"South Side of the Sky" as written by and Jon/squire Anderson....
A river a mountain to be crossed
The sunshine in mountains sometimes lost
Around the south side so cold that we cried
Were we ever colder on that day
A million miles away
It seemed from all eternity

Move forward was my friend's only cry
In deeper to somewhere we could lie
And rest for the the day with cold in the way
Were we ever colder on that day
A million miles away
It seemed from all eternity

The moments seemed lost in all the noise
A snow storm a stimulating voice
Of warmth of the sky of warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day
A million Miles away
We seemed from all eternity

La la la la la la, la la la la la la la la

The moments seemed lost in all the noise
A snow storm a stimulating voice
Of warmth of the sky of warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day
A million Miles away
We seemed from all eternity

The sunshine in mountains sometimes lost
The river can disregard the cost
And melt in the sky warmth when you die
Were we ever warmer on that day a million miles away
We seemed from all of eternity


Lyrics submitted by musicandnintendo, edited by Wazoo92, songdood

"South Side of the Sky" as written by Chris Squire Jon Anderson

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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South Side of the Sky song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis is a very good song, and I'm amazed that nobody has commented on it yet. It describes an Arctic/Antarctic expedition that ends with all the members freezing to death. This is a very good showcase of Steve Howe's electric guitar chops; the fills that he plays are amazing.
    orion720on December 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, funny, hardly anyone noticed this song...

    anyway, one of my fav yes songs, one of my alltime favs too. love the melody, love the drums (the DRUMS!!! Mr .Bruford couldnt play that better), love the guitars (Squire/Howe/Wakeman), love the transitions between "moods" here, Mr. Anderson's voice... it all fits so perfectly together, all so well balanced. theres so much music in it...
    Lesteron December 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about Apollo 13. A million miles away. the coldness of space. The mountains of the moon that we don't see on the dark side. A snow storm, a stimulating voice. The crackling voice of mission control through the white noise. The desperation of the what the mission became. They could all die.
    Beach Bumon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI haven't read anything to verify or disprove what you have said above..

    The image I had (before reading you all's) was like on that movie "Alive" with the soccer players, when their plane crashes in the mountains somewhere, and they end up having to eat the dead.. But some survive in the end...

    The "lala" part of this song is wierd - but freaking awesome -- the piano and drums are so fucking awesome too in this part -- especially when you are picturing that it's a daydream of someone who is barely concious in subzero temperatures...

    Then that fucking awesome machine sound comes in.. starts quitely.. gets louder.... and the reality of the subzero temperatures - empending death!! - wakes you out of that utopian hallucination! The only way to die is to die hard and like a man.

    I too am surprised that this song is not mentioned often among Yes fans --- I don't think they even play it in concert.. But I'm not much for the "popular" Yes songs... So I think this song is way more important than "Roundabout", but on the other hand, not as important as "Heart of The Sunrise"...

    About Bruford: when you listen to Alan White on Relayer, you see that Yes didn't really miss Bruford (white does fucking awesome on that album)..

    But a lot of credit still should go to Bruford on fragile (I wasn't as impressed on the Edge)...

    When I listen closely to the drum compositions on South Side, Long Distance Runaround, and Sunrise, I am so amazed at how clever -- and simply beautiful his drumming was.. Clearly Bruford was integral on fragile, but on the Edge, something is missing, and it makes sense to me that he departed at that point.
    lyricstudenton April 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me feel cold. So well done, especially the piercing keyboard in the background.
    Mahakalaon May 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSure, it's a really great song and the lyrics are more straightforward than most Anderson scrawlings. The first time I heasr it I thought of Ernest Shackleton's expedition to the Antarctic in 1914-16; they wanted to cross the continent through hundreds of miles of almost completely uncharted ice (an almost desperate idea!). The ship froze in about thirty miles from the coast, and they drifted, locked in the ice, had to abandon ship and drag everything in sleds and open boats...really far out, but Shackleton was an inspiring leader and no one died though the odds against them were immeasurable.

    The way they explore different moods here - the "hallucination" section! - is just amazing, and so is the musicianship. One reason why it's rather unknown even with hardcore Yes fans is that the band have hardly ever perfomed it live, once Bill Bruford left the year after the album, It's very much in his style of drumming - jazzy, ultra-syncopated, lots of phased beats and empty spaces.
    tinderboxon September 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is also one of my all time favourite tracks. As with all of Yes's work, it is beautifully composed and played. About 15 years ago I was doing a basic media course and created a video to go with this song that was shot on Irish hilltops in the dead of winter. We used some shots of turbine blades on a windfarm that went perfectly with the bit in the middle (before the brilliant drum roll).

    The song always made me think of a party of refugees tyring to escape some terrible atrocity and taking a desperate flight over snowfields. The leader (maybe father) tries to keep everyone moving, but it is becoming pointless as they succumb to the harsh conditions.

    That's what the video was supposed to evoke, but it wasn't very good!
    ulysess1966on December 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like that the same song can mean so many different things to each listener. I first heard this song on a local AOR AM station when it was new, and I became a Yes fan then. Being a space-obsessed pre-teenager then, I had a vision of explorers on a distant world - cutoff from the rest of their team. Their options were to freeze to death on the dark side of the planet or burn up on the lit side. Being delirius from the cold, being warm for a while before dying sounded like a good option. I imagined the "friend" was the leader, and the story teller just a lowly grunt. As the leader sucumbed to the cold as they waited out the snow storm, his voice is replaced by the story teller's own irrational thoughts. Isn't the 4th line of the last verse supposed to say "warmer" instead of "colder"?
    tripleseeon December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThose talking about the Antarctic mission got it right. Apparently, a young, stoned Jon Anderson was watching the discovery channel and they were talking about said mission, so he wrote this song. I wouldn't quote me on that though. All I know is that this is an incredible song that plays a huge role in making Fragile a masterpiece.
    inpraiseoffollyon January 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRead it from the point of view with someone with a cocaine addiction...
    VanMorrisonon May 12, 2007   Link

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