I’m Gonna Make This Place Your Home

The Canadian Scottish on board the S.S. Princess Elaine, October 4, 1940.

“As the ship pulled away from the dock, her decks crowded with khaki figures, the pipes played “The Skye Boat Song”. It was an unforgettable moment, both for those on the deck and those on the ship. It was to be five and a half long years before the battalion would come home. All too many would never make the return journey.”

Dr. R.H. Roy, Ready for the Fray, Evergreen Press Ltd., 1958, page 92


Tonight we venture a bit off the usual path, but once again I refer to when you feel it, when you see it, when you hear it – you know it. Whether you are a kinestheic learner, visual learner, or an acoustic learner we found it all tonight, in yet another of the unlikeliest of places.

When Steven Tyler joined the judging panel of American Idol, quite frankly I was hooked. Having seen Aerosmith in concert several times I felt his remarks on the show would be interesting. It was because of Mr. Tyler that I started to watch. Together with J-lo and Randy they make quite a team carving a path for all the erstwhile contestants. As judges they don’t hold back. This year it was a bit different, enter Phillip Phillips the son of a Georgia State pawn shop owner who takes me back to those years in university when a singer with a guitar would play during the dark hours at the Student Union Building. You heard songs that introduced you to new thinking, and listened to ideas you never heard before. You felt, saw, and heard sunset glow. It’s a bit like watching film and knowing the soundtrack fills the passing frames with emotion.

Tonight, I wanted to pick up that acoustic guitar again as Phillip Phillips sang, as his final Idol performance, “Home”. I knew in an instant there was something more to write. I always enjoy trying to figure out how to string different and seemingly remote items together and tonight I found it again.

Thank you Phillip Phillips. Welcome home all veterans.

Welcome Home ribbon for the 16th Battalion Canadian Scottish.


Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cuz I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cuz I’m gonna make this place your home
I’m gonna make this place your home

(Lyrics from Phillip Phillips’ Live Perfomance)


About The Author

In April 2007 Paul met Casey and Ian Williams of the Paradigm Motion Picture Company in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul has been working with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company team since 2009. Paul began watching films at Canadian forces stations at Zweibrucken, Germany and then on the island of Sardinia. Returning to Canada in 1967 it was at Halifax, Nova Scotia where Paul first saw David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia". It is from this film that Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. This was further enhanced by the introductory whistle soundtrack, complete with sounds from the jungle, birds and insects, from Lean's "Bridge on the River Kwai" and the stunning performance of Alec Guinness. Several years later, at the University of Victoria, Paul's film interests were further cultivated when the University's only available film course studied and compared the classic films of Japan and Australia. It is from this study that Paul became interested in Australian film leading him to Peter Weir's "Gallipoli" (1981) and later learning that Weir visited this historic site. That film alone started Paul on his journey to many home fronts and sites of conflict including England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and the Gallipoli Peninsula. In more recent years the work of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", in which Paul sees the need for a similar storytelling of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and Tolga Ornek's "Gallipoli" have been great sources of inspiration. Paul has often been told he thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm a keen and sensitive interest in the development of content, an understanding of the successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Having worked in the museum and archives fields Paul believes that exhibitions are similar to film, story driven with strong content and further believes "You cannot have a beautiful exhibit or film about nothing." Like his favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes “To deepen not broaden.” It is from this gathering of experiences that Paul continues along his path, recalling all the while his grandmother, whose father did not return from the Great War, how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to inspire him.


2 Responses to “I’m Gonna Make This Place Your Home”

  1. Elaine Neff says:

    Really loved his rendition of this song “Home”, which I had never heard before. Such a lovely, well written, tune, one that will be running through my mind for a while. The song is what helped the talented Phil Phillips have the edge over the fantastic Jessica Sanchez.

    Thank you for the song. Music helps me enjoy my life to the fullest. This one is a beauty. Thanks again to the author.

  2. Don says:

    What a beautiful moment. In that moment it could have been John Denver singing Annie the first time; or Paul Simon doing the Boxer, or Glen Campbell doing Galveston. It just really took me to a simpler place when the lyrics said something meaningful and the music was understandable and powerful. It was different in a nostalgic kind of way; really sweet. There’s still no place like home.
    I think I’ll pick up my old six string too.


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