"Hard Sun (Indio cover)" as written by and Gordon Peterson....
When I walk beside her
I am the better man
When I look to leave her
I always stagger back again
Once I built an ivory tower
So I could worship from above
And when I climbed down to be set free
She took me in again

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

When she comes to greet me
She is mercy at my feet
When I see her pin her charm
She just throws it back again
Once I dug an early grave
To find a better land
She just smiled and laughed at me
And took her blues back again

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

When I go to cross that river
She is comfort by my side
When I try to understand
She just opens up her eyes

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

Once I stood to lose her
When I saw what I had done
Bound down and flew away the hours
Of her garden and her sun
So I tried to warn her
I'll turn to see her weep
Forty days and forty nights
And it's still coming down on me

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world

There's a big
A big hard sun
Beaten on the big people
In the big hard world


Lyrics submitted by ravin_13

"Hard Sun" as written by Gordon Peterson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hard Sun (Indio cover) song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment
    This is an excerpt from an interview with Gordon Peterson a.k.a Indio

    Where does the environmental awareness come from?

    My grandfather had a farm in Northern Ontario where I picked tobacco every summer from the time I was 15, which is even worse that picking cotton because you get covered with this sticky brown stuff. But, when you're out on the land every day laboring, you can't help but develop a respect and a love for it.

    Is that what's behind "Hard Sun"?

    That's a very interesting song, because some people don't quite get it. It's written in the guise of a relationship between a man and a woman. The woman represents Mother Earth and she's slipping away from him -- and it's about how one person can completely throw off the whole balance. Yet, there are lots of people who just don't get the metaphor.
    seeker1984on December 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe it's about nature. You think you're controlling it somehow, yet it surrounds you and grows back. You fell helpless when you're alone, yet it is it that created and raised humankind for centuries and centuries. Nature is both charming and terrible and I believe this song is about that. There is something very special about nature for you cannot "have" it nor can it have you. The sun is beating on the big, rich, "important" people who do not feel one with the nature anymore.
    Ex Abruptoon October 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFrom What I gather after seeing the movie Into the Wild, this song relates to the man vs. nature struggle of Christopher McCandless. His search for a better land (Alaska) his search to rid himself of people and how the Earth took him sadly away. His crossing of the river and inability to get back and his eventual death is a sad but heroic story of this true life story. Sleep well Christopher you touched my lifesir. It is a big hard Sun in a Big hard World. And beautifully written.
    CanadianJeffon January 31, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFor me this song is a spiritual song about the meaning and the decision you take in life. A life in compliance with society's ideals (self confidence and happiness through money, consumption and status) vs. a life according to your own personal goals and values. The sun is your inner voice, which guides you in order to become who you really want to be.

    When I walk beside her
    I am the better man
    when i look to leave her
    I always stagger back again

    When you're life is aligned with your feelings, your real desire and guided by your inner voice, your "heart" or gut, you will be happy. You can try to silence the voice but it will always be there and come up in certain moments, questioning if you're really doing what you want to do.

    Once I built an ivory tower
    so I could worship from above
    when I climb down to be set free
    she took me in again

    The ivory tower is a life or a career which might pay a lot or guarantees you a great status in society..the tower was built to worship from above, e.g. power or money to find meaning in life and to silence the voice. When you climb down the tower, setting yourself free of your plain, meaningless everyday life, you feel that you're back on the right track.

    There’s a big
    a big hard sun
    beating on the big people
    in the big hard world

    The big people are ruthless or maybe even mindless people with lots of power and money and the big hard world is today's society (kind of like the matrix, where everyone tries to build his ivory tower) telling everyone how to live their life in order to become happy. If you live your life by the rules of the big hard world, your inner voice will constantly remember you that you did not suceed in this or that, so you're a loser.

    When she comes to greet me
    she is mercy at my feet
    I see her inner charm
    she just throws it back at me

    But when you life accoring to your own rules, values and goals everything becomes easy as you don't care any more about the big people in the big hard world.

    Once I dug an early grave
    to find a better land
    she just smiled and laughed at me
    and took her rules back again

    Maybe you were thinking about suicide because life has no meaning, but then, the inner voice comes back reminding you that this is not your path, but only the path others have chosen for you.

    Once I stood to lose her
    and I saw what i had done
    bowed down and threw away the hours
    of her garden and her sun

    So I tried to want her
    I turned to see her weep
    40 days and 40 nights
    and its still coming down on me

    The last two paragraphs describe the feeling when he tried to get back into the "matrix" but then realized what he has done and that he was on the wrong path.
    drofphilosophyon June 30, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe song “Hard Sun” was sent to me as a gift...
    For me personally, a new acquaintance reached out to me for help during a desperate time in his life. I admit that I hesitated for a minute to get involved, because it's a delicate dance to help someone who might be suicidal...a serious responsibility and commitment to get involved, you know? Because what if they chose to leave this world anyway, you could be left with guilt and loss...
    I was apprehensive, but I listened to my intuition, took a deep breath, and tried to help him…I didn’t give up on him. As the months have passed, we have helped each other really....we have become the best of friends and he seems to be doing better. I don’t know what the future holds for him, but I will always cherish our friendship.
    My friend recently sent me the song “Hard Sun” (without me knowing anything about the song’s connection to the movie “Into The Wild”). He only hinted that I was the woman who was “comfort at his side”. As I listened to it, he made me realize that he felt I was his “hard sun” in the best sense…like a bright light of hope and help and unconditional love like the Sun was to Mother Earth. I just cried and cried listening to it.
    I will always interpret it that way…
    ButterflySoulon July 21, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with Abrupto, I think this song is about nature. I think the reference to "her" is mother nature. I believe the song represents a relationship between everyone and nature, and how its a marriage of sorts when you're alive.
    Cavyon November 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a song about truth.

    when I walk beside her
    i am the better man

    When he accepts no lies and lives life by his own personal truth it makes him a better man.


    when I look to leave her
    I always stagger back again

    Lies can never last for long once you are aware of the truth even if someone tries to deceive you.


    once I built an ivory tower
    so I could worship from above

    The ivory tower is a temple or a church. It is built in honour of the truth but it is not necessary and becomes a trap that imprisons him in lies.


    and when I climbed down to be set free
    she took me in again

    He must climb down from the temple and the truth will reveal itself once again and take him in.


    there's a big
    a big hard sun
    beaten on the big people
    in the big hard world

    The chorus is the description of truth - LIGHT. It is within us. It helps us in the big hard worldwhen we become big people.


    when she comes to greet me
    she is mercy at my feet

    Mercy (meaning):1 a kind or forgiving attitude towards sb that you have power to harm or right to punish; 2 an event or a situation to be grateful for, usually because it stops something unpleasant.

    Truth has power. it can destroy us if we betray it. but if it comes to greet us it usually stops something unpleasant if we accept it


    when I see her pin her charm
    she just throws it back at me

    The charm of the truth is in it's mercy and although it can appear pinned sometimes and not moving toward us, it throws itself or her mercy back at our feet. It never leaves us no matter how hard things might seem. Truth can never be fully stopped. If we see it that way it is a lie, an illusion and we suffer because of it.


    once I sought an early grave
    to find a better land

    He was considering suicide

    she just smiled and laughed at me
    and took her blues back again

    But truth smiled at him and took the blues away. Her blues can mean that maybe the truth was the unbearable burden that made him consider suicide.


    when I go to cross that river
    she is comfort by my side

    Truth gives us comfort during the hardships in life and helps us to push on through.


    when I try to understand
    she just opens up her hands

    If we only try to understand the truth it will reveal it's secrets to us.


    once I stood to lose her
    when I saw what I had done

    This is about forgiveness. He did something that made him feel like he was betraying the truth.

    bound down and flew away the hours
    of her garden and her sun

    He did things not guided by truth but lies and wasted time. That concealed the beauty of the truth which is represented by the garden and her sun.

    so I tried to warn her
    i'll turn to see her weep

    So he did some severe damage to the truth (or so he believes) and tried to correct it but too late.

    40 days and 40 nights
    and it's still coming down on me

    After a very long time it is still weeping and he's feeling the consequences


    This is one of my favorite songs ever. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what it was about. All the previous commenters could also be correct in their interpretation, but... something just didn't fit for me.

    Anyway this is what it means to me. And the music sounds so epic or anthemic, it really backs up all the emotion in the lyrics.

    Amazing song!
    HKaatton July 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song IS about Earth and Nature.
    IMarrydDaveGrohlon September 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am pretty sure this is about Mother Earth... Some nice responses here..
    But to nail the argument, this song was ref to the movie "Into the Wild"
    no arguments on that :)
    pandyamon April 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is about a guy who leads a hard life of bad choices. But he has someone who always accepts him and helps him through it.

    One time he does something unknowingly to hurt her, and before he can fix it, the damage is done and there is nothing he can do.
    SixofSpadeson September 14, 2007   Link

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