Where I Belong

Looking North

From the album Call It Home (2016)

I wrote this song in January, 1988 while spending a week in the family cabin on Hornby Island. It was a difficult time for me and being alone in a dark, stormy batch of weather, far away from friends and family was both a wonderful thing and a horrible thing. Of course, in 1988 there was no Internet. In fact, I didn’t even have telephone service. It almost seems hard to believe now.

I wasn’t really “that” isolated but it felt a bit like being on a ship in the sea as the winds and rain whistled around the little cabin. Ruminating can do weird things to one’s imagination.

This is one of the darkest songs I’ve written. I did perform it a few times back around that time but never got around to recording it even though I’d wanted to. For me, the song’s emotional feeling is not one I share today but it’s a reminder of how I felt at one time, so, it’s a bit of a snapshot, a slice of time captured, which I don’t always want to remember but because it was a part of me then, it’s interesting to visit it nonetheless.

Where I Belong

It’s the fourth of January, it’s cold and dark and wet
The thoughts that I hold of you have not vanished from me yet
I look out on the ocean, the tide is ebbing slow
I wish I could find direction, I wish I could find my way home

It was the first of January not so many years ago
I held you in my arms and felt our fire glow
You were soft and sweet, your touch was everything to me
Now ghosts are all that I meet, it’s one big mystery

I’ve been on this ocean for oh so long
Lost all my bearings, my compass is all wrong
I seek a warm harbour where the winds aren’t so strong
I long to sink in someone’s arms where I belong – where I belong

I have my critics, they’d like to criticize
The kind of love that I in my lover’s eyes
But I guard my secrets like a king guards his gold
And treasures die slowly when they’re left out in the cold

The arctic winds whistle, the frozen rain steals in
There’s ice on the rigging; it screams your name again and again
Leave me alone please, be damned and be gone
Let me get on with my journey, with my life let me move on


Maybe one day by chance I’ll run aground
You’ll find me happy with a new love I’ll have found
Until that time comes I’ll do the best that I can
I’ll hide the tear in my eye and I’ll walk just like a man


© John McLachlan (SOCAN)

Photo by John McLachlan
Photo by John McLachlan