Five Songs for Five Days (4): In a Big Country – Big Country

Day Four of Five: In a Big Country – Big Country

I’ve always loved the strength, optimism and fighting spirit of this song and years ago when I first heard it, it summed up for me the spirit of the Scottish people who were displaced during the Highland Clearances and how they fought through atrocious and inhumane conditions to sail to the new world of Canada especially and from there forge a new life for themselves and their descendants.

Stuart Adamson

I was thinking about this song earlier in the year, not long after the greatest calamity and sadness of my life – trying to hook into that spirit – when I wrote the short blog below. I take much from the words of this song:

‘I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime’

‘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’

‘Stay alive’ is the song’s simple message, for that is what we must all do.
It’s sad to think about what happened to Stuart Adamson but he has left us with a fine legacy.

Big Country – In a Big Country

To quote the classic Mass Hibsteria words, This is How it Feels.

I have always loved this song since it first emerged on The Crossing in 1983 – the words speak to me personally, every single one of them – especially now, as I attempt to emerge from some of my darkest hours.

‘I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert,
But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.’

‘Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming.
Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted.’

Stay Alive

Restless Natives

Quite often these days I like to listen to a little music when running alone. I succumbed from this practice for a lot of years, mainly because I like to appreciate some of the attractive environments I chose to run in. After all, what could be more pleasant and uplifting than listening to Spring birdsong when gliding through a dappled glen, or listening to mighty waves beating against a sea wall on a beach. Sometimes though it’s good to have the company of a little music, especially when the running might be trying for whatever reason.

I see many people that run along in time to personal stereos these days, we all know what a common sight that is on the streets and pavements. Apart from one or two very significant safety drawbacks it’s easy to see why people are still continuing the jogging boom of over thirty years ago with the encouragement of a beat or a melody to step out to. On a shorter run I tend to like up-tempo music, perhaps not surprisingly. There’s a tendency to seek out music with a personal meaning or history for me too. One such piece of music I fins particularly stirring is the title track from a little-known, low budget movie from years ago entitled Restless Natives.

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Stay Alive

Big Country, Rescue Rooms, Nottingham. Friday, 17th August, 2007.

It was a friend north of the border who gave me the heads-up about this impending gig in the heart of Nottingham’s Studentland. The gig and tour are being carried out as a twenty-fifth anniversary commemorating the band’s brilliant debut album. “The Crossing”. Sadly of course, the band’s singer, main songwriter and twin lead guitarist, Stuart Adamson is no longer with us after his desperate loss through his suicide in Hawaii in 2001. His influence on the band and it’s music is still evident though. So is the love and respect for him from his former friends in Big Country.


Continue reading “Stay Alive”