Peia O’er the Land, O’er the Sea
O’er the Land, O’er the Sea is a song I wrote several years ago while living in a little cabin in Southern Oregon. After many years of travels and study, I finally rooted down, creating a home for myself and finding my kin. This song was inspired by the feeling of finally coming home after a long journey, and by the beautiful way of life I witnessed in the community surrounding me. For the first time in my life I saw humans living in a harmonious relationship with the earth, growing most of their food, standing up for the forests and watershed, creating holistic schools for their children when public schools fell short, and ritual was again integrated as a way of marking the seasons and cycles of life and death.
This recording was done on the first eve of the Sea To Seed tour, as we sat anchored in Fulford harbor of Salt Spring Island, gently rocking in the hull of the mighty Celtic Sun. I love that you can hear the sounds of this colorful old wooden boat creaking throughout the recording. Ironically, I had forgotten about this song and how appropriate it was for the theme of this tour, so when I was asked to sing it unexpectedly, I struggled to recall the guitar accompaniment. Thankfully the 3rd time was the charm and we were able to capture a live version of myself and Biko (percussion) playing the song. As the tour unfolded, collaboration came naturally and we soon asked David Brown to join us on both guitar and bass. We’ve added David’s beautiful accompaniment to reflect the spirit of collaboration and comradery that permeated our time on the boat and the farms of the Salish Sea.
“I have known a people who love all that grows, and bring the land back to life. And I have seen them sing in the fire, and I have heard their one soul’s song…O’er the land, O’er the sea we began a great journey.”
The video was filmed on the very last day of Sea to Seed, as we sailed from Nanaimo back to Salt Spring Island. Parting was bittersweet, but it was a beautiful day for sailing and we took in the afternoon sun on Libertatia’s deck, taking turns steering, singing to one another and whittling wooden spoons (a favorite crew pastime on long sailing days.) We decided to capture a bit of the beauty of the moment and I perched on the bow for one final serenade of O’er the Land, O’er the Sea. What I love most about this video is the footage taken during the tour, of everyone involved. Here you get a glimpse of life on the water as well as the incredible team of captains, crew and musicians, who pulled together again and again to keep us afloat, bringing our music to the gulf islands upon wind and water.
“I have seen the white wind dancing with the new day sun, and I have seen the way that the light dances on the water when the day is done.”