From the recording Willie Calvin's Surprise

Written to commemorate a dear man whom I attempted to surprise on a trip back to Northern Ireland in 1990.


An old Irish fool said, "You can never go home."
Never ever? I wondered, as I went in alone,
to look for a piece of the past i had known, Belfast, Coleraine, Balintoy...
Willie Calvin and me, a wee boy.

I thought I might know him, all the stories I'd heard.
His name so familiar since I spoke my first word.
Into town to hear pipe bands, in the garden at home...
some folks thought that I was his son.

Two men stood there speaking when I got inside
One asked, "Can I help you?" with true Irish pride.
Willie Calvin i asked for, then I watched his eyes.
"Well, you've found 'im." the fellow replied.

A trick I now played on old Willie's memory,
as I asked about the guitar he played when i was three.
Thirty years had gone by - I lived across the sea.
With a blank face he now stared at me.

Well I knew that I had him. I'd done him no harm...
and now the whole story I could really lay on.
But then he said, "Stephen!" and threw out his arms.
We laughed and together we cried.
I guess the old Irish fool must have lied.

Willie said, "Son I knew ye when ye came through the door,
but I best dare not say it." (just in case he was wrong)
He said, "The thrill that you gave me will last from now on."
And it has, because it's lasted with me.
I was a wee boy at age thirty-three.

Go home to your own ones,
your own ones are home.
If you're trying to get there, you can't go alone.
Take loved ones and memories of happier times,
and don't be surprised if you find...
you're home, when you're home in your mind.