This Roamer

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