"In A Big Country" as written by Stuart Adamson, Mark Brzezicki, Tony Butler and Bruce Watson....
I've never seen you look like this without a reason
Another promise fallen through
Another season passes by you
I never took the smile away from anybody's face
And that's a desperate way to look
For someone who is still a child

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive, here we go

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered
I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

So take that look out of here it doesn't fit you
Because it's happened doesn't mean you've been discarded
Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted
I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered, see ya
I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive
Ha, ha

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive

In a big country dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
Stay alive


Lyrics submitted by typo

"In a Big Country" as written by Mark Brzezicki Bruce Watson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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In A Big Country song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentOh, and about the suicide of Stuart Adamson:
    I'm sure that when he wrote and performed this song, Adamson believed the lyrics. He may have not followed their message during a troubling time in his life, but I like to think he wrote those lyrics as much as for an anonymous or un-designated friend as to himself. I don't think he just made up an entire song without actually feeling the emotion and beliefs presented in the song, even if he did take his life. His suicide and this song aren't mutually exclusive.

    Sometimes, I like to hope that this very song has saved the lives of a significant number of people who otherwise would have given up on life. Perhaps Adamson is responsible for protecting more years than he gave up on?
    RamuneDrinkon August 31, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI think it's about making the best of what you have... "I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime." Life isn't perfect, but you can always find a way to make things look more positive.
    emilieheidelon January 03, 2006   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis is sung to a troubled person. It's validating, "I've never seen you look like this without a reason" and acknowledges sadness in the experience, but encourages a more positive outlook. "That's a desperate way to look for someone who's still a child" seems to sound like the person is being a bit dramatic. But the overall message is to not let one thing get in the way. Yea, things won't be miraculously beautiful, but it can still be good. Don't let the pain in the realization of whatever you just discovered rule your life- fight for what you want, because you deserve it.

    I like this song, but I never really "heard" the lyrics until it was played on the radio twice in a row the other night, and I realized there must be a message in it for me...
    MellyJCon June 03, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI just discovered this song the other day, and considering the age of the song and the popularity of the band, not many people will read this comment. And yet, I feel obliged to post a ridiculously overlong commentary...this song is just so addicting.

    The first few lines, "Shout!" and "Come up screaming!" remind me of the inspiration for "Shout" by Tears for Fears. Apparently, there's a kind of therapy called Primal Therapy (more here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…). Of course, only a small part of the song brings this to mind, but I feel it's worth a small mention...

    As for the song as a whole, I see it as a testament to life. The first stanza mentions previous failures of the singer's friend after a more recent disaster ("Never seen you look like this without a reason"). The friend feels as though their life is just one mistake after another, as though it's passing him by (lines four and five). The singer sympathizes, but slightly reprimands the friend for being depressed and nihilistic. The singer uses himself as an example, and goes on to explain why one should be optimistic and joyful.

    The chorus begins with a rather blatant title drop, which is most likely intended to highlight the line's importance. "In a big country" is, for me, a metaphor for life; whether your glass is half full or half empty, and even if it feels like it's darn near empty, you can never stop having dreams, hopes, and aspirations. I interpret the second line pretty literally; sometimes when you're feeling down, a single voice can be enough to turn your attitude around. Now that I think about it, it could be a personification of sunrise: the lover's voice is that beautiful red, yellow, and orange color of the morning sun, visually setting fire to nearby mountains. The third line is a frank, direct message to the singer's same friend, telling him that life is worth living.

    The second stanza is really my favorite...the singer talks about how he once used to think the way most people do ("I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered..."), only to have all his hopes crushed by the things happening around him completely beyond his own control (line 2). He even says "...you can't stay here..." if your life truly isn't worth it. But then he stands up ("I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert,") and gives his reasons for living ("But I can live and breathe | and see the sun in winter time."). The singer already went through his depression, but discovered reasons for living all around himself. Now, he's trying to show all of this to his friend, simultaneously accepting that the friend may have lost all his hopes and feels like his life isn't worth it, while showing him reasons TO live. At the same time, the song sounds as though the singer is trying to convince the friend to not kill himself in the most blunt request, "Stay alive" repeated ad infinitum.

    Generally, the rest of the song is made up of refrains, so I'll focus on the last "new" lines, lines one through four of the third stanza. The singer concludes his talk by telling the friend to stop being depressed, as it's out of place ("So take that look out of here, it doesn't fit you."). The second line basically says you can't keep dwelling on the past. The third and fourth lines once again remind me of primal therapy...if it's a little too weird for you (heck, it's weird to me) you can take them as a call to rise up against angst and be happy. If you'd rather make a different connection, "Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night" by Dylan Thomas has a lot of similarity; both song and poem try to convince the audience that life is worth living through powerful lyrics and refrain.

    Anyways, yeah.
    RamuneDrinkon August 31, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSlimJim's comment above is not worthy of a response, because it would involve cursing and a general degree of nastiness that I'm trying hard to avoid these days. To consider a cover version to be "one's favourite song" without acknowledging its debt to the "very poor" original is jaw-droppingly cold-hearted.

    As for "other good songs"...heck yeah, they're there. Pick up the greatest hits (in either incarnation) and thrill to "Fields of Fire," "Chance," "Look Away," and "Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys)," just for starters. The only problem is that you won't get to hear Mark Brzezicki's breathtaking drum intro to "In a Big Country" on the edited greatest-hits versions: for that, you'll need "The Crossing" itself.

    This song was what made me realize, long ago, what people meant when they used the word "anthem." It's tragic that Stuart Adamson was unable to listen to his own words before committing his final and irrevocable act, but the love and the hope that this song espouses will remain with us.
    raffishtenant2on November 17, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt’s a great song. Love the bag pipe guitar. Lyric too of course. I love the first “shah!”shouts he gives at the beginning.. For me, that shout alone contains a lot of Celtic spirit as much as any lyric or bag pipes.
    I don’t have a drop of Celtic blood in me but I respect their spirit.
    focus007on November 18, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song makes me think of a man and his girl, saying it's time to end it, but he still wants to be there for her. He's giving her advice and he wants to help her get over him and move on. He's not trying to grow flowers in the desert of their relationship... but he can at least see the sun in the wintertime of struggle that they're going through. He's trying to get her to see it too and remember the good times; Feed off of those good times to stay alive. No matter where she goes, he'll still be with her, reminding her of that.

    He does regret all of the strife that this is causing, though, acknowledging that getting out the pain by telling the truth maybe didn't matter as much as much as her feelings. But she can't stay there with all of her hopes shattered... she needs to move on. It's a big country.
    technoon January 30, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is about how when your young you have big dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Everything looks so vast and hopeful. When the song says, "stay alive," they mean stay young, stay hungry.

    Great song!
    bakismakion April 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentno one has commented on this song so i am just going to say, that i think it's great and more people should know about this obscure band. big country loved making songs about their homeland. Scotland. and the music behind the words was one of the most powerful things about this band. such pretty instrumental work...oh and plaid, got to love the plaid outfits during a time of a sort of fashion frenzy these guys didn't even seem to care. awesome guys!
    high fidelityon September 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah, why are there only two songs you can comment on? why has no one (besides high fidelity) commented on them? has no one heard of big country?

    this song is amazing. the guitar work is just beautiful. this band did things unlike anyone at their time, and for that, i salute them.
    lemmingmeringuepieon October 24, 2004   Link

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