"The Barricades of Heaven" as written by Luis Conte, Jackson Browne, Mauricio Fritz Lewak, Kevin James Mccormick, Scott Troy Thurston and Jeffrey Young....
Running down around the towns along the shore
When I was sixteen and on my own
No, I couldn't tell you what the hell those brakes were for
I was just trying to hear my song

Jimmy found his own sweet sound and won that free guitar
We'd all get in the van and play
Life became the paradox, the bear, the rouge et noir
And the stretch of road running to L.A.

Pages turning
Pages we were years from learning
Straight into the night our hearts were flung
Better bring your own redemption when you come
To the barricades of heaven where I'm from

All the world was shining from those hills
The stars above and the lights below
Among those there to test their fortunes and their wills
I lost track of the score long ago

Pages turning
Pages we were years from learning
Straight into the night our hearts were flung
Better bring your own redemption when you come
To the barricades of heaven where I'm from

Childhood comes for me at night
Voices of my friends
Your face bathing me in light
Hope that never ends

Pages turning
Pages torn and pages burning
Faded pages, open in the sun
Better bring your own redemption when you come
To the barricades of heaven where I'm from
Better bring your own redemption when you come
To the barricades of heaven where I'm from

Lyrics submitted by kickin000

"The Barricades of Heaven" as written by Jackson Browne Fritz Lewak

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Barricades of Heaven song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis is a gorgeous and haunting guitar ballad. One of my favorite JB tunes. I heard him sing it just last night on PBS Soundstage. Sure glad that show is back. Should be a treat for all. About the meaning, I think it is pretty self-explanatory. A young band setting out for fame and glory and growing up too fast and too hard. This song stays in the soul for a long time.
    dcwsilverleighon June 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with that youthful nostalgia, Dreamgirl. I grew up in the same part of So Cal as JB. I remember those clubs, even tho' I am younger ("In '65 I was 17..." but 7!) The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach across from the pier on PCH was hallowed ground.

    Summer nights in high school, piled into someone's car or van, driving up the 405 to Westwood and Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

    One thing. When the resources are there to write these lyrics correctly, to see Jimi Hendrix spelled as "Jimmy" is unacceptable. A couple titles are wrong as well.
    MMMerryon September 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it is a look back on his life, starting at age 16, he was starting his fledgling career in California. I think possibly "the barricades of heaven" is a metaphor for California. I'm interested in his thoughts about how "on his own" he was at 16. Somehow, I find common ground between Barricades of Heaven, Hotel California, and The Last Resort. At first there seems to be something compelling and enticing about "paradise," and in the end, something less, and even just the opposite of paradise. Thoughts?
    staffhornon June 05, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow can this song not have any comments yet?? I love this song -- remembering childhood, the time when everything was possible, the young standing on the borderline of dreams and knowing some of them might someday come true. The time when things seemed easy, not knowing the obstacles you have to face later in life ("pages we were years from learning").
    And even realizing afterwards things aren't as easy as they seem when you are young ("faded pages open in the sun"), fond memories of those days always remain. Beautiful, nostalgic song.
    dreamgirl1983on August 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst. :]
    I like this song; I like how... simple the music is, but how much the words mean.
    As for exactly what the words mean, I don't know.
    I was hoping someone else could tell me,
    kelley BELLYYYon January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about religion, but it just occurred to me that as Jackson eschews the lifestyle of the rich and famous, the line "all the world was shining from those hills" may refer to Hollywood - most of the song seems to refer to aspects of LA. "Among those there to test their fortunes and their wills/I lost track of the score long ago ..." I suspect Jackson would see the culture of Hollywood and his own view of the world as being diametrically opposed, and that he sees that plastic culture as irredeemable.
    detailrichon October 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning This song means youth, glory, and riches all fade away at the "Barricades of Heaven" so you bet ter find redemption before you come to the gates.
    Why Jackson says he's from there is a mystery, unless he was inspired by an angel, possibly a fallen one.
    I dig the tune and the theme of the early years. I first heard this song on a C.D. that I bought at a pawn shop. It also had "Call it a loan" on it. Another one I had never heard and play a lot.
    Jackson is the "Dylan from L.A."
    dpndnon January 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationin our youth, we start ready to be somebody
    we know little but that never stops us
    we rush to define ourselves
    to be recognized
    to make a difference
    to find our song

    but we aren't alone
    we share with others
    some of those, in our eyes, seem to find what we seek
    so we connect and follow that road
    and pages of our lives are written
    many times never knowing what any of it meant
    or how important it was
    but we feel this barrier deep within
    and an undefinable cry for redemption
    a cry that is always with us

    the cry drives us to define ourselves
    but we never meet those visions deep within
    we rush down the road to find the fortunes
    pit our will against others
    we want to follow those who have found success
    we think that will silence the cry
    feeling hollow, we are disillusioned at the futility
    disappointed that the struggle never redeems us

    our youth gone, those ambitions rooted deep within our souls
    never answer the cry, never overcome the barricade
    pages continue to turn
    we still don't fully understand what any of it means

    visions give way to dreams
    in the dark of night, we look back at how it all started
    the friends who shared those pages
    voices still clear
    the face of a long lost love
    we hope to always remember
    we begin to find meaning

    we look back and see it all fading
    what we once held is past
    faded, torn, lost
    the failures and successes
    the good and the bad
    the only thing left are just the memories
    those define us now
    and give us meaning
    those in our lives who wrote the pages with us
    at that moment, we were recognized
    we made a small difference

    still wanting to redeem ourselves
    confronted again by the barricades
    walls that still stand before us
    always an insurmountable barrier
    as if heaven itself denies us
    no redemption ever comes
    nothing we've done redeems us
    we never measure up
    there's no redemption for who we are
    there are only memories of those in our lives
    and we never seem to know this until we look back
    we find meaning in others
    we define ourselves by those in our life
    and we still want redemption
    but now it's for the past
    meaningson May 08, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningWhat would you find at "the barricades of Heaven"? Gates, Pearly Gates of course.

    And what would be at those gates? The Angels - "Los Angeles". (Has everyone forgotten what L.A. means?)

    Having spent my youth there, it's pretty obvious to me what Jackson, Eagles, and everyone else who was or is there with hopes and dreams is searching for. But how many find it there? Better bring it when you come.
    6n12nuton June 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song, basically about Jacksons life. Jackson left home at the age of 16. Ran off to southern California. The barricades of heaven represent SoCal. When Jackson was there, he rented an apartment in Echo Park. It just so happened to be the apartment below Glenn Frey and JD Souther. Jackson would be up every morning..making tea at 9 am. Jackson would start playing and Glenn would listen. Supposedly, Glenn learned a lot by listening to Jackson.
    The song is merely a description of that time in Jacksons life. Young, talented and in LA.
    SoupNazion August 14, 2015   Link

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