Showdown At Big Sky

Posted: July 31, 2009 in Nuclear War, Robbie Robertson, Showdown at Big Sky, Songs of Space and Nuclear War

Having reached a not-to-exceed measure of largeness, I have decided to run more. By the way, it is hot here in Alabama. I mean Tarzan couldn’t take it, its so hot. Anyway, I’ve retained an old habit, which is to run with music. Running without music is like farming without tractors. Yeah, you can do it, but it is definitely much more difficult.

So the 1987 Robbie Robertson tune Showdown at Big Sky came up on my shuffle (which not only describes my pace, but also my music machine) and as I listened to the words during a cool-down, I realized Showdown really must be considered as a fully qualified Song of Space and Nuclear War. Although the song is now old enough to drink, Robertson sings insightfully of the era’s soon to end Cold War’s threats including the big bang, the weapons race, darkness at high noon, and the fact any moment could be our last. Finally, he opines on our need for strength, wisdom, and morality–makes me think about Iran and North Korea today. I’d say Robbie’s overall tone was one of concern without being overwhelmed or defeated. Check out the lyrics for yourself.

I had ordered Robertson’s CD back in the day when it was new (I had heard Showdown at Big Sky or seen the video, or something and was attracted to it), and I ordered it as a part of my initial buy in the Columbia House Record (not kidding) Club. It was supposed to be in my first delivery lump of 12 or 13 CDs. They all showed up uneventfully, except for one, the Robertson CD, which was inexplicably empty. I never called or wrote to Columbia House–I didn’t think it would do any good–but the empty jewel box haunted me for years (but not enough to buy another copy). Not too long ago, I bought Showdown off iTunes or Amazon. I have a to-buy list but I’m pretty much ‘bought out.’ The only remaining stuff I want is either not digitized or only sold as an “album.” I still have stacks of albums that I bought just to get one song.

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