Wednesday, April 22, 2015

32: Going Home - Runrig

Runrig, the Scottish rock/folk band, have been around since the mid-1970s, just like me. Over the years I've had various exposures to them, most recently when we visited Skye in 2009 and saw an awful lot of Runrig material for sale at the Portree Visitor's Centre. Following that I had another investigation into their back-catalogue and among other tracks, came across 'Going Home', originally from 1979. It's one of those simple folksy-type tunes where you can figure out the chords in two minutes, enjoy Rory MacDonald's slide guitar and harmony vocals (he should really sing more on Runrig tracks) and let it wash over you.

Then two months later you find you're still listening to it, still playing it, still enjoying the evocative guitar, minor chord progressions and Donnie Munro's always-excellent lead vocals telling you the story of the train journey home to the Highlands. Musically the chorus is the strongest, the second line ("when the summer's coming in") hitting the same basic chord in the sequence as Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" up at number 39, with the same high harmony that results. Lyrically it's consistent throughout, but the final lines really do make you feel you're pulling into the station at the Kyle of Lochalsh, looking over the bridge to the Cullins rising on Skye in the distance, the seawater gently lapping on the seawall below and hearing the wheeling cries of gulls in the mild breeze.

Now the skylines reach my eyes
The ridge stands out in Highland skies
I just can't believe I'm going home

Make you feel like it's your home, even if you're never been there.

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