With the Thanksgiving Day holiday upon us today, and yesterday traditionally the busiest travel day of the year, it always reminds me of those trying to get home. When I think about my family and the holiday, being home for it means a great deal to me. As it does for others who have to travel to make it happen. Whenever my wife and I roam anywhere, it is my mate who the kids and I follow to our destination.
She is the sightseeing one between the two of us, and loves getting us there. Me? While I have a fondness for journeying with the gang, it’s my role for getting us home, together.
With that, there is one song that epitomizes the type of yearning I get whenever away, looking for home ground. The 1988 title track for the extraordinary singer-slash-songwriter Brenda Russell and her fourth album, Get Here, does it for me on so many fronts. Though it rated as only a minor R&B hit back in the late-’80s, its longing lyrics and keyboard melody always attracted moi to the tune.
Russell’s vocal stylings did the song justice, but it is the piece’s lyrics where its passion resides.
That being said, my favorite version of the ballad remains its 1991 cover by Oleta Adams. In comparison to the original release, this one became a huge international hit. No doubt the song was spurred by the effects and sentiments for those involved in the first Gulf War that very year. Nevertheless, it was this Russell-written song that meant so much to so many then, and that it still captures the feelings of those away from loved ones even now.
Ms. Adams broader vocal range brought an added resonance to the piece, I think. Her efforts with the song really matched the lyrics for all they’re worth. Achingly at times. So, for those on the road this season, or just away, this song is for all of you. Whether you’re overseas (in whatever circumstances), on the other side of the continent, the globe, or in the very next town, coming home is where it’s at — especially with this holiday.
May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving… and get home safe.
You can reach me on an airplane, you can reach me with your mind You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can You can reach me by sail boat, climb a tree and swing rope to rope Take a sled and slide down the slope, into these arms of mine You can jump on a speedy colt, cross the border in a blaze of hope I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can There are hills and mountains between us Always something to get over If I had my way, surely you would be closer I need you closer oh closer You can windsurf into my life, take me up on a carpet ride You can make it in a big balloon, but you better make it soon You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can I don't care, I don't care, I need you right here right now I need you right here right now right by my side Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah Get here, oh, oh, oh I don't care how you get here, Just get here if you can.