Meaning of “In a Big Country” by Big Country

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“In a Big Country” by Big Country is a song about hope and resilience. It suggests that, even in vast, challenging “big country”, one’s dreams and aspirations remain alive. The song’s lyrics reflect the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment amidst desolation and broken promises. This is not a song about a person but about the spirit of endurance and the strength to see the “sun in wintertime”. The band, through this song, delivers a message of staying alive and hopeful in the face of despair and disillusionment.

Discover the metaphoric mountainsides and sunlit winters as we unravel the spirit of the song. Keep reading to ride the waves of the poignant yet resilient melody!

“In a Big Country” Lyrics Meaning

The song starts with a reflection on unmet expectations and broken promises, setting the stage for a message of enduring hope. “Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you” signifies the relentless passage of time amidst recurring disappointments.

However, the refrain, “In a big country dreams stay with you, like a lover’s voice fires the mountainside. Stay alive,” is a resilient cry. It’s an assertion that in a vast, often daunting world, dreams can still flourish, and one can find motivation and reason to continue, akin to the way a lover’s voice can ignite passion and bring life to a mountain’s side.

The “big country” possibly represents life’s vast and unpredictable landscape full of challenges and disappointments. It’s filled with metaphorical “deserts,” where growing “flowers” seems improbable, symbolizing barren circumstances. Yet, there’s a refusal to surrender to despair. “But I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime,” resonates as a powerful metaphor for finding light in the darkest times, for maintaining hope in periods of despair.

This contrast between pain and endurance is vividly portrayed in 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.” This illustrates the dichotomy between confronting harsh realities and the human spirit’s insistence on hope and survival.

The phrase “Pull up your head off the floor, come up screaming, cry out for everything you ever might have wanted” encourages listeners to raise their voices and fight for their desires, symbolizing a battle cry for perseverance.

Why Was “In a Big Country” Written?

To understand the depth of this song, we should explore the context and the mindset of the band. Big Country was known for their distinctive sound, a mix of alternative rock and new wave, reflecting the 80s musical ethos. The song’s prevailing theme of hope amidst despair could be reflective of the socio-political climate of the time, marked by economic challenges and global tensions.

The lyrics convey a universal message, resonating with anyone who has faced disappointment and adversity, making it timeless. The band could have been influenced by a desire to communicate resilience and a spirit of survival in confronting life’s relentless challenges. The song is not just a musical expression but a comforting companion, whispering the promise of endurance and hope in every listener’s heart, reminding them to stay alive and value the power of dreams in their “big country.”