My father published several volumes of poetry in his life, and I had already gone to that well to set his a couple of his poems to music on our first album Songs of Serenity (see the next song). So when planning this album, I knew I wanted to plumb that material for a few more potential musical gems. But this one is a little special, as it was actually a song even when Gordon wrote it, not just words but a whole tune and everything – a definite attempt at songwriting.
Unfortunately, I never heard it, nor was it recorded or written out, so I had to rely on a couple of people who remembered him singing it (our cousin Darleen and the wife of my dad’s best friend Ernie, Pam Whittaker). Dar had written down the chords and showed me what she recalled of its structure, and Pam sent me a video of her singing the whole song.
It was still somewhat sketchy to me, kind of a weird form to my ears, but between the two, I got enough of the idea to make sense and flesh it out as a song. I added a chorus with no additional words, merely repeating the last words of the 2nd and 4th verses (“Anywhere…” and “Till I’m through…”), and taking them through some simple chord changes that fit the old-school vibe of the classic sounding story song. To me, it sounded like something Johnny Cash would do, and in the end I sang it pretty much in imitation of my Dad (who also had a pretty deep singing voice) imitating how Johnny would sing. I wish I could’ve ever heard his true version of this; even more I wish he could hear this! The idea for the trumpet parts came directly from thinking about Cash’s mariachi-style horns on “Ring of Fire”.
This Roamer This roamer’s got a home somewhere This roamer’s got a home somewhere But I don’t know where it is Matter of fact, the sad fact is I’m too young to care This loner’s got a love somewhere This loner’s got a love somewhere But I want to go to the land of snow Play my hand in the land of sand Hang my hat most anywhere Anywhere … hang my hat most anywhere This dreamer had a dream one time This dreamer had a dream one time But all my dreams like all my schemes Were fragile stuff and sure enough They shattered on the rocks of time This fool had a future too This fool had a future too But now it’s gone and the road winds on And where it goes God only knows But I’ll follow it till I’m through Till I’m through … gonna follow it till I’m through This roamer’s got a home somewhere This roamer’s got a home somewhere But I don’t know where it is Matter of fact, the sad fact is I’m too old to care I’m too old to really care!
© 2022 Scott Perry (SOCAN/BMI) Recorded by Jackson Gardner at Flash Recording and Adrian Buckley at Chez Miaou Mixed & Mastered by Adrian Buckley Scott Perry: Vocals, Guitars Eric Lefebvre: Bass Derek Macdonald: Keyboards Adrian Buckley: Drums Benjamin Hay: Trumpets