In a Big Country

Well, happy Friday, friends!

Another week has gone by so quickly… how does that happen when we are still so restricted and isolated? Surely, time should be dragging!

My province, Manitoba, continues to be subject to seemingly (or realistically) ever-widening restrictions, and it’s my opinion that this is primarily due to the arrogant, myopic leadership of our premier. He has stubbornly upheld his notion of “the economy” over most everything else, so much so that we currently have the highest COVID-19 infection rates in North America. And instead of compassion, he has chosen to shame those infected or sick in the hospital. And now, our temporarily-expanded hospital intensive care units are so overwhelmed, overloaded and understaffed by caring but exhausted people, we’re airlifting critically ill patients to other provinces.

Okay, wait… I’m sure you didn’t stop by to read a rant. Let’s begin again.

If you’ve been following along here in the last few weeks, you might have noticed I have a bit of a thing going on with the 1980s. In the last while, I’ve posted songs from the 80s by Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds, John Lennon (1940-1980), Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Church. Today, it’s Big Country, with their breakout hit, “In a Big Country.”

I first heard the band’s music in 1983 or so and now automatically associate them with that one song. I never followed them and didn’t know much about their career, which started in Scotland in 1981. After a couple of breaks, they are still active. But today, “In a Big Country” popped into my head, and I decided I’d post it.

It’s been another busy day, much of the early part governed by Perry Como the inside cat’s morning routines, then meditation, some commitments for Sweety, and a super-windy bike ride for me. Later, we drove out to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park, then off to a couple of garden centres on the western edge of the city. I could not go into the store with my dear as local restrictions limit shopping to one person per household. I sat in the car watching her delight in being among the plants while I enjoyed the day’s heat and, of course, some music from my Song of The Day playlist. With over 500 songs on that list, it’s always a surprise what will play next.

“In a Big Country” played in all the dance clubs I frequented in the 80s, so it recalls good times with my friends (that 80s mix of St. Norbert and St. Vital folks I refer to as friends 2.0, as explained in a much earlier post). The song has a catchy beat; maybe not a remarkable piece of music but on the upbeat side for a Friday. From reading the lyrics, I believe it’s about resilience and persistence; two things we all need more of these days.

Like I mentioned in my post on “Under the Milky Way” The Church used effects on guitars to reproduce bagpipe sounds. Big Country, classified as a Celtic rock/new wave/post-punk band, are known for similarly using effects on guitars to make sounds like fiddles and bagpipes in their music. I guess that was a thing, though it never occurred to me at the time.

Today’s selection comes from Big Country’s debut album, The Crossing (1983). While the album only made it to #18 on the American charts, it rose to #4 in Canada and #3 in the United Kingdom. Steve Lillywhite — who has worked with U2, Ultravox, Simple Minds and many others — produced the record.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the official video from Big Country’s YouTube channel:

Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

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