"Roundabout" as written by and Jon/howe Anderson....
I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

The music dance and sing
They make the children really ring
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you
Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too
Twenty four before my love you'll see
I'll be there with you

I will remember you
Your silhouette will charge the view
Of distance atmosphere
Call it morning driving through the sound and
Even in the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you
Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too
Twenty four before my love you'll see
I'll be there with you

Along the drifting cloud
The eagle searching down on the land
Catching the swirling wind
The sailor sees the rim of the land
The eagle's dancing wings
Create as weather spins out of hand

Go closer hold the land
Feel partly no more than grains of sand
We stand to lose all time
A thousand answers by in our hand
Next to your deeper fears
We stand surrounded by a million years

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
Twenty four before my love and I'll be there

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you
Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too
Twenty four before my love you'll see
I'll be there with you

Da la la la da da la


Lyrics submitted by askewchan

"Roundabout" as written by Steve James Howe Jon Anderson

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Roundabout song meanings
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  • +12
    Song MeaningI remember some 30 years ago hearing an interview with members of Yes on the radio. The inevitable question about the meaning of "Roundabout" was asked. After 30 years I surprisingly remember much of the detail. The answer was that the song was written on the train as they were travelling to Montreux. "In and around the lake
    Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there" refers to the mountains and their reflections as they appeared on Lake Geneva during the trip. "Ten true summers," it was their 10th trip to the festival. "Catching the swirling wind the sailor sees the rim of the land the eagle's dancing wings create as weather spins out of hand," there was a storm building on the lake and they could see a boat heading in and an eagle riding the thermals while hunting. "Feel partly no more than grains of sand" and "surrounded by a million years" refers to how small they felt and how brief our existence within the magnificence of the setting.
    ltadpwon July 10, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThere are some close calls here on the meaning of Roundabout. But here it is for real:

    Jon Anderson said the song came about from a trip to Scotland. A roundabout is a traffic circle in Scotland. And near Loch Ness, fog settles in at the base of the mountains. They seem to come up out of the fog instead from the ground, so "Mountains come out of the sky" and stand there.
    ShutlOrbiton March 10, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've read what Jon Anderson has said. This song has great meaning to me personally. It reminds me of when I first fell in love with, and began dating (living with) my now wife. She's from Canyon Lake, Texas. It's west of New Braunfels, Texas. New Braunfels is a old town settled by germans and has a european roundabout in the middle of town. Canyon Lake is in the hill country with lots of small mountains that regularly get fog around them from the lake. There are always brown eagles and turkey buzzards flying in a circular pattern out there. She's of teacher--of children of course. There is a place with dinosaur tracks called Dinosaur Flats about 2 miles from where we lived. The whole area used to be under the ocean. There are millions of deposits of sea life. I was born by the ocean in the summer and was 10 years old when this song came out. I moved to Texas at 24. I know that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but to me it forms a metaphor in my mind. It's a happy song. We need more happy songs. it makes me think of our first, spartan, years together. We're still very happy.
    Beach Bumon August 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love Yes. They are incredible musicians and singers however I wouldn't get too hung up trying to understand Yes lyrics. My understanding is they are all basically meaningless except in a real general way. They are written basically for how the words sound tonally. They are intentionally intricate, complicated and obtuse to match the incredible musical virtuosity throughout their music. Simple lyrics just wouldn't cut it in these songs.
    liverdudeon June 25, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn a nutshell...A man telling his love that he will take the "high road" (I'll be the roundabout -- BTW a roundabout is a circular intersection where you can keep going round until you decide which road to turn off on). That he will do whatever it takes to suit her. That in the scheme of things, it is not important to be arrogant and full of pride in the relationship. That a person is pretty trivial in the scheme of things (nature and the world at large) and that love is about putting the other person's needs first.
    That's my quick and dirty take anyway.
    I remember when Fragile first came out when I was a teenager driving around in my first car with an 8-track car stereo...it was amazing music...and remains so today.
    Admanon December 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually, i think this song is about memories passing through ( i dont know his name), the lead singer of yes's brain. Hes in a place who he may of met his first love. And i think the bassline symbolizes the rapid memories and emotions going through him
    Sspatzzon July 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll take a stab at what it actually means and not just what the actual words came from.

    They're using roads as a metaphore for love. He'll be her roundabout, giving her time and letting her choose where to go with their love. He wants to make where ever she chooses to go a scenic route (i.e. the mountains, and Puget Sound) and make it as beautiful as possible. Saying her "silhouette will charge the view" is the singer saying she's what really makes their love beautiful.

    I can't say what the "Along the drifting cloud...by a millions years" section is talking about. I want to say it's that their love will last, even though some things will be hard to get through (like stormy seas.)

    Obviously I don't really know the true meaning of the entire song, but you can't say I didn't try.
    no00000000on February 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI've always been intrigued by the repeated verses with the numbers: 1, 10, 24. I interpret these as indicating three phases or aspects of the relationship the singer is praising with his partner to whom he is speaking.

    "One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you"--I'm not far away, and I'm coming to join you very soon, I'm eager to join together and I'm happy that we're so close, and that the distance is easily traversed. It's about immediate joy.

    "Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too"--this experience will go on and be repeated many times, there's much to look forward to. This is about an indefinite future of joy together.

    "24 before my love you'll see I'll be there with you"--sometimes we can't meet today, but will have to wait until tomorrow (hours being the understood subject of 24). We must have patience, trust, and confidence in each other. You'll see--it will all work out. This is about the relationship remaining strong even when there is some immediate barrier to our joy.
    ScottEFon September 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it might be about touring when you have a family that stays at home. He is like a roundabout (a traffic circle), always returning home, to the same place. The tours are like circles from home back to home. And he is in love with what is at home. He needs to reassure his wife that he will always return to her, for many many years, without fail. He is telling her that they are always only a mile away, and he will be home again and again to spend time with her. And Yes is great at giving us images of nature. He also tells her that while on tour, he will think of her and that will help him get through and back to her. I think the word morning may actually be mourning, he is saying he is depressed without her, driving through the sound (the concerts) and the valleys (the depression experienced from touring so much), but he always comes in and out of the valley. I doubt that there is no meaning at all to the song and I think allegory is at play here in droves. I love Yes's music. I think the lyrics are just as elevated as their technique and skill.
    BiggsTJohnsonon June 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIt sounds sort of like Jon Anderson is singing to someone he loves, with the first verse being a proposal, and the second verse being about him having to leave, but saying he will remember her.
    *OuTbREaK*on December 01, 2012   Link

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