Big Country – “In a Big Country” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Big Country’s “In a Big Country” is a musical rallying cry. It’s not just a feel-good ’80s tune; it’s a lifeline for anyone who’s had their hopes dashed and dreams tested. The song echoes themes of resilience, urging you to keep your dreams alive even when the world seems barren. The track, written by Stuart Adamson, becomes a form of sonic therapy for those feeling stuck, suggesting that just because bad things happen doesn’t mean you’re out for the count.

Looking for a song that’s more than just a toe-tapper?

Read on to uncover the soul-stirring message “In a Big Country” holds for anyone needing a pick-me-up.

“In a Big Country” Lyrics Meaning

The song starts off with a vibe of disappointment: “I’ve never seen you look like this without a reason.” It describes the sense of hopelessness that often accompanies failure. The first lines connect to the sentiment that even good people have bad days, and it’s not an end-all situation: “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.”

Then comes the chorus, and boy, what a shift! “In a big country dreams stay with you, Like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside.” This is the part where the song evolves into an anthem of hope. The phrase “In a big country” serves as a metaphor, indicating that there’s always room for your dreams and ambitions in the vast landscape of life. It’s not just about the physical scope of a ‘big country’ but the endless potential within you.

The song doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities, though. Lines like “I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered, But you can’t stay here with every single hope you had shattered,” remind us that optimism doesn’t negate reality. However, it advises not to dwell on these setbacks. It encourages you to not just exist but to “live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.”

Towards the end, it even offers a dash of rebellious spirit: “So take that look out of here it doesn’t fit you, Because it’s happened doesn’t mean you’ve been discarded.” It’s a call to arms against despair. To not only dream but to actively “Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted.”

The Story Behind “In a Big Country”

So what spurred Stuart Adamson to pen this rousing track? The song was written during a transitional period for both the band and the world. It was the early ’80s, and folks were navigating economic hardships and socio-political turmoil. Adamson, who had left his previous band, Skids, was grappling with a lot of the same uncertainties that his audience felt.

Big Country itself was formed as a reaction to the state of things. The band aimed to be authentic and introspective in an era leaning towards synthetic pop and shallow lyricism. “In a Big Country” served as an antidote to the looming cynicism that clouded the decade. Adamson wasn’t interested in whitewashing the struggles of life; rather, he sought to acknowledge them and provide a hopeful outlook.

With its soaring guitar lines and anthemic chorus, the song encapsulates the emotional tone Adamson wanted to strike. The music itself serves as a parallel to the lyrical content—optimistic but not naive, introspective but not depressive.

So, the next time you hear “In a Big Country,” remember it’s not just an ’80s classic. It’s a timeless call to keep your dreams alive, no matter the odds.