Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dougie Maclean’s house is in this picture… just!

This week’s topic is musical, featuring songs about travelling – or more specifially about that tension between the desire to move on to new adventures versus the urge to find a home/return home.

The Grateful Dead sum this up for me with the line in Truckin’ ‘You’re sick of hangin’ around and you’d like to travel. Get tired of travellin’ you want to settle down…’

But instead of burbling on, for once, I am going to let these great lyrics speak for themselves

Another West Coast classic: Janis Joplin’s rendition of Me and Bobby McGee, where the pertinent lines are: ‘One day up near Salinas, Lord I let him slip away. He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it.’

Closer to home, Glaswegian John Martyn singing a traditional English folk song that goes to show that these conflicting urges are nothing new

An older version vy the Copper Family

” Bob Copper collected it in about 1954 from Jim Barrett, at the Fox in North Waltham, Hants, and printed this version in his book Songs and Southern Breeze…”

Nearer still is Dougie Maclean’s Caledonia, especially as Dougie had a house in Uig. Though as, I think, it is a holiday cottage so I am not quite sure if it represents travel or home.

And finally, you could always resolve the dichotomy by staying home but driving around in a transit van (but not, please, at 106 through Balallan!)

3 thoughts on “Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. ‘Should I stay or should I go?’

    This is the question for me

    When we retired and moved up here
    Here to the Western Isles
    We bought a house and had a life plan
    But then I was left alone

    The house was ours
    We kept bees
    We planted trees
    Tended a patch for growing vegetables
    Went for walks on different beaches
    We had a car

    But then Parkinsons took him away
    Leaving me alone
    Slowly I had to carve out a new life for myself

    With support I started attending a writers group
    Started to write about our experiences
    I started to find my own style and
    Was encouraged by members of the group

    Then I started attending an arts group
    Started developing drawing and painting skills
    In the supportive atmosphere

    I started attending a peer support group
    Where I was able to talk through feelings
    With others who had gone through
    Their own anxieties and therapies

    I made friends and went for walks
    Was able to communicate with family and friends
    Used Zoom to find fellowship and learn about a new faith

    But then I had to ask myself
    Should I stay or should I go?

    My family is scattered around the world
    It would be nice to be nearer them
    I can feel lonely at times
    Having to look after myself

    I have travelled to visit my daughter
    And met down there with and old friend and
    Other family members
    I could travel for as long as it is possible
    Visiting connecting enjoying life
    Do I want to move home hundreds of miles?

    A friend suggested
    ‘Maybe you can get to enjoy both worlds and
    Move more easily between them’



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