A track from his self-titled debut album, James Taylor wrote and recorded this song in 1968 while staying in an apartment in London. In this song, James sings about longing to return to North Carolina, the place he and his siblings called home in their childhood days. He says it's about "that feeling of being called away to another place." There has been a great deal of speculation as to the identity of Karin, the woman he sings about in the line, "Karin, she's a silver sun." Until 2009, Taylor would not reveal her identity, leading listeners to create their own theories: Some felt that Karin was a poetic name for Carolina, others believed that Karin was a beautiful young woman that James met while on a trip to Spain, and many have said that this song is about drugs, since at the time it was written, Taylor was trying so hard to kick a serious addiction to heroin.
Taylor cleared this up in a concert screened by BBC Television in March 2009, when he revealed the identity of the Karin alluded to in this song.
The album was recorded in London the same time the Beatles recorded their White Album and was released on their Apple label; at some point Taylor skipped across to the island of Formentera, where he met Karin. This appears to have been a fleeting relationship, or perhaps simply a meeting, but he never saw her again. She was Scandinavian, about twenty-four years old, and had shoulder length blonde hair, reminiscent of Annalena Nordstrom in the Wishbone Ash song "Blowin' Free." Her ghost was still haunting him 35 years later, and with the advent of the Internet he decided better late than never, located a police artist and commissioned him to draw a sketch of what she would look like after all this time. The artist e-mailed him a most unflattering sketch the next day as a joke. Though Taylor was pleased with the real sketch, he said that try as he may he couldn't stop thinking of her now as a criminal.