© 2018 ODP Productions

The story behind Somewhere Along the Way (the Camino Song)

 

I was walking alone on the Camino de Santiago, between Burgos and Hontanas in 2017. Carrying a small parlour guitar on my back for 1000ks was proving to be a difficult assignment and I ended up having to walk with poles to ease the load on my spine and shins. The path under my feet was crunching in time with the rhythm of the poles, creating a metronomic effect. A song came into my head. Now, to be perfectly clear, when you’re walking 1000ks you have to do something with your time.  So I would sing - old songs, crooners, whatever came into my head.

 

So I started to sing:

Somewhere along the way, somewhere along the way, I hope you find what you’re looking for, somewhere along the way.

 

It wasn’t something I’d sung before.  I’d never heard the lyric or the melody.

It came again:

Somewhere along the way ... somewhere along the way, I hope you find what you’re looking for, somewhere along the way.

 

I wasn’t sure if I was singing someone else’s song, or trying to tell myself something, but I remember clearly a feeling of ‘something extraordinary is happening here’. And then, as if I was channeling a message from somewhere or someone, lyrics started to come to me:

El Camino roses, Santo Domingo crows

Believe you can, you’re halfway there, seven bells to four

Frighten off the horses, an old soul awakes

A lion’s heart, an opening heart and a soul as old as slate

 

Then I sang, what I was starting to realise, was the chorus:

Somewhere along the way, somewhere along the way, I hope you find what you’re looking for, somewhere along the way.

 

Another verse...

Sellos on a soundboard, beneath a field of stars

La familia growing, crossing fields afar

Will you walk beside me, will you lead the way

Footsteps by the fountain, carry me away

 

And again the chorus...

Somewhere along the way, somewhere along the way, I hope you find what you’re looking for, somewhere along the way

 

A middle eight

How will I ever forget, the Spanish sunrise, the Spanish sunset

 

And another verse ...

El peregrino cantante, fullness of the moon

Prayers beneath the arches, sunflowers in bloom

Words on parchment paper, fill an empty room

I hope this blessing, such as it is, finds you in full bloom

 

I arrived in Hontanas an hour later and quickly wrote down the words on a paper napkin at the local cafe. The words you read and hear are the exact words I heard on the Meseta that day.

 

I was sent a message. I hope YOU find what you’re looking for, somewhere along the way.