Already recorded as “Cariboo” for 2017’s Songs of Serenity, this was the original title of the poem my father published in a collection in 2005. Searching for something to play at his celebration of life in Quesnel, I was inspired by this fond wistful ode to the land in central BC where we both grew up, sat down with his old guitar and let the music flow over the simple words he’d written years before. It demanded to be in the classic country key of C, and there was little I had to do but sing what I felt. Since he’d only written five brief stanzas, which became the verses of the song, I had to add a chorus but I kept that simple too, adding my own “call” out to the place I was raised, that I left long ago, but that I will always fondly “recall”.
The original session for my first album after losing both parents went very well, we got all our bedtracks recorded in less than the 10 hours of studio time I had booked, so I pulled out the tune I had intended to do solo on guitar and ran it past the band. To my surprise, this song the boys had never heard before immediately sprang to life under their sure musicianship and respectful touch. We ran it through once, then recorded it right away and that’s the track that made the album.
Preparing for this latest album devoted to my parents, I knew I had to bring it back and use it again, to go with a couple of other dad-written lyrics. Since I had kept the original spare with only my single voice (rare for a harmony lover like me), I went back and added a nice keening 3-part to the chorus and a few other touches, just to give it a bit of distinction from that earlier recording, and we remixed it with those additional vocals. But nothing else was changed; the day we laid down this instrumental track remains one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced in the studio.
My Cariboo Cariboo, I hear you calling Far across the golden sea – And the memory of your splendor Lingers in the heart of me I will walk again your valleys Stroll along your crystal streams – I will climb majestic mountains, If only in my dreams Cariboo - I’m calling you If you only knew My Cariboo How I’ve been recalling you I will see you in the morning When the sun bathes you in gold – I will hear your legends calling As they sing of days of old I will see you in the evening, Watch it deepening your blue – When the velvet night comes creeping I will feel the pulse of you Cariboo - I’m calling you If you only knew My Cariboo How I’ve been recalling you You will never leave my memory, Though I travel foreign seas – My Cariboo, I hear you calling Deep within the soul of me
© 2022 Scott Perry (SOCAN/BMI) Recorded by Matt Di Pomponio at Echoplant and Adrian Buckley at Chez Miaou Mixed & Mastered by Adrian Buckley Scott Perry: Vocals, Guitar, Banjo Eric Lefebvre: Bass Derek Macdonald: Keyboards Adrian Buckley: Drums