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Robbie Robertson — Broken Arrow
Album: Robbie Robertson
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2119









Released: 1987
Length: 5:15
Plays (last 30 days): 3
Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain
There he goes, moving across the water (that's right)
There he goes, turning my whole world around

Do you feel what I feel
Can we make that so it's part of the deal
I gotta hold you in these arms of steel
Lay your heart on the line...this time

I wanna breathe when you breathe
When you whisper like that hot summer breeze
Count the beads of sweat that cover me
Didn't you show me a sign, this time

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain
There he goes, moving across the water
There he goes, turning my whole world around

Can you see what I see
Can you cut behind the mystery
I will meet you by the witness tree
Leave the whole world behind

I want to come when you call
And I'll get to you if I have to crawl
They can't hold me with these iron walls
We've got mountains to climb

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain
There he goes, moving across the water (that's right)
There he goes, turning my whole world around
Turning my whole world around
Turning my whole world around
Turning my whole world around
Comments (248)add comment
 lewisv66 wrote:

Guy Garvie/Elbow - similar but different.


How about this one? Peter sings with Robbie on this one :)
Amazing album. Thanks to all who created it and to Bill for including this in the RP playlist.
 carter_usm wrote:

Can Peter Gabriel please sing this song?


Guy Garvie/Elbow - similar but different.
 ace-marc wrote:

You can thank Lanois for that.

... that, and perhaps Robbie Robertson?  One of the greatest song writers of all time.
Can Peter Gabriel please sing this song?
 xcranky_yankee wrote:

So many Lanois collaborations have benefitted - from Luscious Jackson to Emmylou Harris! And one of my favorite Neville Brothers' tunes "Yellow Moon". So much fun to listen to even if it doesn't carry the entire album. This is my favorite Robertson album (to date).

Yes, didn't carry the album, since there were so many other gems on this Daniel Lanois masterpiece.

But I remember enjoying this lovely song well before Rod Stewart's, frankly, better-produced version. Rod made it his own, the bastard. But it came from Robbie's heart.
 ace-marc wrote:

You can thank Lanois for that.

So many Lanois collaborations have benefitted - from Luscious Jackson to Emmylou Harris! And one of my favorite Neville Brothers' tunes "Yellow Moon". So much fun to listen to even if it doesn't carry the entire album. This is my favorite Robertson album (to date).
 jasonthehead wrote:

Phil Lesh covered this with the Grateful Dead back in the day. Let Phil sing!



Odd. That's what I think every time I hear this. His was the version I heard before the Robertson one. I'd actually rather not hear Phil attempt to sing. It's too late to fix anything.
brw001 wrote:
One of the greatest songwriters and musicians of all time...hands down.

 h8rhater wrote:
Someone actually down voted this comment.  Philistine.
They possibly thought that's what he meant by 'hands down' 
It is unreasonable when the world doesn't agree with you, isn't it? 
You play this song often...and I love that you do..Thanks 
I've always liked Rod Stewart's version of this song, but I love this original.
Buy a guitar tuner Robbie!  ARGH!
Simply magical . . . thanks Robbie
Manu Katche's drums on this album are understated yet brilliant.  He also did stellar work with Peter Gabriel
 brw001 wrote:
One of the greatest songwriters and musicians of all time...hands down.
 
Someone actually down voted this comment.  Philistine.
 ace-marc wrote:

You can thank Lanois for that.
 
...or Robbie, if you like.
I loved the heck out of this album when it came out. I was a mailman in La Mirada, California at the time and I remember one day delivering mail to this house where they were playing the album. When this attractive girl came to the door I mentioned how great I thought the album was. She smiled and closed the door. I swear I wasn't hitting on her, I just really loved the music. 
Ok ok, but listen, please stop bringing me this junk? What am I supposed to do with a broken arrow and a bottle of rain?

Jokes aside, this is certainly a classic. 
'Somewhere Down the Crazy River' is another amazing track from the album, worth listening to on a decent system.
One of my favorite songs off one of the greatest albums of its time.  I particularly like the pairing of his voice with Peter Gabriel on supporting vocals. 
when i hear this song,
I always remember the movie by the same name
that launched Howie Long's great acting career............ 


I know this joke is stolen.
Giving credit to TB.
This album, and this song in particular, was the soundtrack to my senior year in high school in 1988. This is one of the most beautifully arranged and produced songs that i have ever heard.
 buddy wrote:
This entire album is killer, I've never grown tired of it. This song in particular is a clear 10.
 
You can thank Lanois for that.
Phil Lesh covered this with the Grateful Dead back in the day. Let Phil sing!
This entire album is killer, I've never grown tired of it. This song in particular is a clear 10.
 garoo1980 wrote:
cattgirl813 wrote:
Ohmygawd, I never knew this song and Rod's whatever that was were one in the same. Rod really murdered a beautiful piece of work, didn't he?
I've never heard this version before, I had no idea. Its pretty routine to have a great song butchured, but when you discover them the wrong way round its a bit surreal. A strange feeling to really like a song you're so used to hating
 
Maybe h8ing is the problem and not the song.  I hear a lot of slag here about Mr. Stewart's interpretation (butchured [sic], shallow, etc..), but I think it's a fine version and a different take on a great song.  Stewart's best mid-late career stuff is when he is working with music like this.
 handyrae wrote:
mrrmt wrote:
I think a bottle of rain, while utterly romantic, is really some sort of evil curse on the giver.
Well--duh! Perhaps I'll give my love a box 'o wind and see how that goes over...
 
...or a Box of Rain, perhaps?
I love when RP plays Robbie Robertson one of the great legends of rock and roll. 

How about something from the new album, Sinematic?
Thanks for reminding me about The Band -- helps put the depth of his music in perspective.
Beautiful song. When this came out I knew very little about Robertson or The Band, despite owning Tales from Big Pink; had just never explored them in depth. The first few times through I was far more aware of U2's and Langlois' influence; it took time to hear the nuances and to get into Robertson's lyrics. The inclusion of this on the Powwow Highway soundtrack cemented it in my heart.
Love the song.  Love Rod's rendition even though I am not a Rod Stewart fan, generally.  No disrespect to Robbie.  It is one of his very best songs IMO.
 garoo1980 wrote:
cattgirl813 wrote:
Ohmygawd, I never knew this song and Rod's whatever that was were one in the same. Rod really murdered a beautiful piece of work, didn't he?
I've never heard this version before, I had no idea. Its pretty routine to have a great song butchured, but when you discover them the wrong way round its a bit surreal. A strange feeling to really like a song you're so used to hating
 

One of the greatest songwriters and musicians of all time...hands down.
I have never tired of his evolving music since I first heard him at a private session in the Coq d'or Tavern in Toronto in about 1962
 ick wrote:
This was one of the first albums I bought on those newfangled compact disc thingys.  It remains a great listen.
 
I go back further than that. One of my favorite all time albums.


This was one of the first albums I bought on those newfangled compact disc thingys.  It remains a great listen.
Ouch… this song doesn't hit the spot, I'm afraid 
 fredriley wrote:

As for broken arrow, folk might or might not be interested to know that this is also USAF jargon for a 'wee mishap' with a nuke, such as the infamous B52 crash in 1966 - see the Wikipedia entry.
 Hannio wrote:

I'm more familiar with its use as an infantry call sign to indicate being overrun by the enemy, as in "We Were Soldiers".  But I agree that is not the sense of the meaning here.  Robertson is surely using it in the sense of its original Native American meaning.

 
It's kind of sad, although not particularly surprising, that the original Native Americans meant the term as a symbol of peace while modern Americans have spun it into multiple definitions related to warfare.
Robbie at his post-Band best.
A wonderful song from a wonderful album.  One of the best of the 1980s.  Big thanks go to Daniel Lanois for making it even better.
 fredriley wrote:

As for broken arrow, folk might or might not be interested to know that this is also USAF jargon for a 'wee mishap' with a nuke, such as the infamous B52 crash in 1966 - see the Wikipedia entry.
 
I'm more familiar with its use as an infantry call sign to indicate being overrun by the enemy, as in "We Were Soldiers".  But I agree that is not the sense of the meaning here.  Robertson is surely using it in the sense of its original Native American meaning.
This is an amazing song on a great album  It has so much depth to it that it never gets tiresome.
Beautiful album, and wonderful tune in tribute to his native American heritage.
I've loved this album from the moment I first heard it.

Robertson is a Canadian treasure.

 
Timeless and one of his best albums with a contribution by another great artist, Peter Gabriel.
after all these years, still grips your heart
Very nice segue from the new Buffy Sainte-Marie album.  In light of the theme maybe something from Otis Taylor?  I think his ancestry includes native American.
Only tolerable because I can hear Richard Manuel singing this properly.
Simply outstanding.  I have liked it ever since its release.
great song from one of my favorite albums of all time.
Seems like so many posts are very critical. I wonder how many of them could come close to writing and producing anything that could be rated much above a 1. Art is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. Try a little tenderness and find something constructive to say or go make something better. Critics are like opinions and you know what they are like.
 onomasticator wrote:
Didn't a "broken arrow" signify peace, cessation of hostilities following war, in the native American context?  That would make a lot more sense than lost nukes in a song about being able only to offer true love in contrast with the pursuit of a rival suitor. The knee-jerk tendency to assume this refers to USAF terminology for lost nukes boggles the mind.
 
Good point, obviously lost on the producers of the movie, "Broken Arrow."

 Stingray wrote:
BORING!
 
Are you sure you're not American?  Needs more explosions and car chases, right?

 katiediddler wrote:
Fantastic, well-produced album. Love the layering. Love Robbie.
 

Robertson produced this album with Daniel Lanois.Lanois is amazing.He is currently(I think) working with Chris Whitleys daughter Trixie on some of her solo stuff. Check out "I'd rather go blind" on youtube. It's just Lanois,Brian Blade on drums and Whitley on guitar and vocals. really very cool.

superb album by one with the ability to establish a solo career after the band
When this came out, I pretty much wore out my cassette copy it. Later replaced it with the CD. But for some reason, my enjoyment of this record was limited to that specific time, because I don't think I've pulled it out in years...
Fantastic, well-produced album. Love the layering. Love Robbie.
 Stingray wrote:
BORING!
 
Well put Stingray. I do like 'Showdown at Blue Sky' off this album...but this one not so much.

BORING!
 floydoftherocks wrote:


...OK, but what does 'bottle of rain' mean?? 

 

It means "life is temporary."

 fredriley wrote:
Nothing higher than a 4 in the last half hour - must be another one of RP's doldrums. Ah well, it always comes good in the end, and at least the dull stuff encourages me to turn off the computer and go home.

This number is unpleasantly reminiscent of early Genesis...
 
Not even close.  This just drones on.  He sounds like he needs to clear his throat but can't.

good album, thou Crazy River is the outstanding song on it
This is the second-worst sin perpetrated upon humanity by Rod Stewart...the first being, of course, his abominable cover of Tom Waits's "Downtown Train".  And let's don't even broach the subject of "Do You Think I'm Sexy".
Always liked this album and always liked Robbie's contributions to the Band.  I also like that he put some of his Native American self into this album.
Love this record.
Not my favorite track. But this album as I recall was produced by Daniel Lanois. So there are some amazing guests: the entire U2 band, Peter Gabriel, etc. The best cut is "Catch the Blue Train" or some such. Amazing.
Nothing higher than a 4 in the last half hour - must be another one of RP's doldrums. Ah well, it always comes good in the end, and at least the dull stuff encourages me to turn off the computer and go home.

This number is unpleasantly reminiscent of early Genesis...
 SweTex wrote:
Great song from a great album.
 
Agreed! Fantastic. This song earns a 9 from me.

I'm picturing someone just pushing him over while he sings and no one noticing - not even him.
Great song from a great album.
Didn't a "broken arrow" signify peace, cessation of hostilities following war, in the native American context?  That would make a lot more sense than lost nukes in a song about being able only to offer true love in contrast with the pursuit of a rival suitor. The knee-jerk tendency to assume this refers to USAF terminology for lost nukes boggles the mind.
 brighthue wrote:

Robbie Robertson composed the song and his is, debatably, a stronger performance.
 
"jk" = "just kidding"

 fredriley wrote:

As for broken arrow, folk might or might not be interested to know that this is also USAF jargon for a 'wee mishap' with a nuke, such as the infamous B52 crash in 1966 - see the Wikipedia entry.

 

...OK, but what does 'bottle of rain' mean?? napalm?? {#Question}

 davidrudolph wrote:
what a lame cover of the Rod Stewart clasic. . . . jk{#Wave}
 
Robbie Robertson composed the song and his is, debatably, a stronger performance.
 davidrudolph wrote:
what a lame cover of the Rod Stewart clasic. . . . jk{#Wave}
 
'kin 'ell! That explains why this is so dire if it's from a Rod Stewart "classic" (an oxymoron, surely?). This is so dull that it makes dull seem exciting in comparison. Watching grass grow is a positive fun riot compared to listening to this soporific drone.

As for broken arrow, folk might or might not be interested to know that this is also USAF jargon for a 'wee mishap' with a nuke, such as the infamous B52 crash in 1966 - see the Wikipedia entry.

 Smoove_D wrote:
Who the hell would want a broken arrow?
 

{#Whisper}  A Peace Offering?
I played this album a lot when it came out, but got really sick and tired of it after a while. That happens with some music, it just goes rotten somehow. But listening to this song now after such a long time, it hasn't aged that badly. It was one of my favourites on the album back then. I'd say, a 7 now.
Who the hell would want a broken arrow?
I always hated this song as a Rod Stewart song.  Turns out it wasn't the song I disliked, but the singer. Go figure.
what a lame cover of the Rod Stewart clasic. . . . jk{#Wave}
Ballzak wrote:
To me this song forever belongs to Phil Lesch. The guy can't sing worth a damn but something about him doing it (circ. 1994) in a sun-drenched Autzen Stadium filled with 40,000 fun folks, many of whom in the bleachers across the field at the start of this song unfurled a HUGE sheet with the words "Let Phil Sing!" embedding this song in Phil's voice in my mind. No disrespect to Mr. Robertson but such is the magic of music- it's often all about the time and place...


I remember that show!  it was dynamite.  I share your sentiment the song will always be phil's.

 Lkw wrote:


Not a bad song indeed.

But about The Band, I think you'd better say: "<...> anything The Band did with Robbie". The other way around.

Because Robertson is very overrated I think, and this album is more Daniel Lanois's - the producer - than his own. Listen to Daniel Lanois - 'Death Of A Train', very much the same sound and atmosphere.

In particular Garth Hudson but also the other members of The Band are very underrated, and that's sad. Robertson took way too much of all the credits.

 

That's because he has a monster ego that drove him to take the lion's share of the credit and also because he wrote most of the songs. But all members of The Band—including Mr. Robertson—said that Garth Hudson was the greatest musician any of them had ever heard.
O, to feel this way about someone again.....
EastSideErin wrote:
this is the best love song ever
The music is rather haunting, but the lyrics say it so clearly when one focuses upon them; so evocative. Love is a mystery, I guess, and a salvation.
marcucho wrote:
so boring and slow selection for a friday........lets rock some
I too request more rocking! 1 -> 1
I love this song, and think it is the PERFECT SELECTION for an easy, rainy friday. thanks, Bill!
Jelani wrote:
What constitutes a giant talent?
Beth Ditto?...
marcucho wrote:
so boring and slow selection for a friday........lets rock some
marcucho wrote:
so boring and slow selection for a friday........lets rock some
I agree..Hey Bill bring out the Led!
so boring and slow selection for a friday........lets rock some
I think "The Band" is over rated - don't like them at all, really. Robbie on his own is much better.
This is an amazing song that has withstood the tests of time. I'm sure we'll still be listening to this song in awe in 30 years.
beastly wrote:
This is a beautiful song from a pretty good album by a giant talent.
What constitutes a giant talent?
To me this song forever belongs to Phil Lesch. The guy can't sing worth a damn but something about him doing it (circ. 1994) in a sun-drenched Autzen Stadium filled with 40,000 fun folks, many of whom in the bleachers across the field at the start of this song unfurled a HUGE sheet with the words "Let Phil Sing!" embedding this song in Phil's voice in my mind. No disrespect to Mr. Robertson but such is the magic of music- it's often all about the time and place...
This is a beautiful song from a pretty good album by a giant talent.
Some of you may remember this from one of the best episodes of thirtysomething ever. I mean, who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?
MTlady wrote:
Haven't heard this version yet, thanks RP!!!
This "version" is the original...
Probably my favorite off the album
Timeless CD. Probably his finest solo effort.
...beautiful song, unmitigated...
Nyet. Glad some folks like this. Personally I'm not impressed.
Haven't heard this version yet, thanks RP!!!
ugggg.. painfully overplayed. mute
Shesdifferent wrote:
I know alot of people don't think Robbie Robertson is so great, but to me there is something about his music that is very hopeful and inspiring. It's nice to hear.
I'll go along with this, too! Robbie deserves all praise, because he has not only tapped into "it" but has gone out on every limb to share it with the rest of us! I agree, and get tremendously uplifted by many of his songs, and some of them take years to really get to me...
Roverfish wrote:
(commenting after hearing a different RR tune and finding this) I think Levon Helm's larger issues stemmed from resentment around talent equity: AMG "it is said that one reason their set from Woodstock was never issued was because his mic was live and his voice too prominent." The world may never know all the facts, but I don't think you can trivialize RR's contributions to music (both his own and solo) simply by assailing his ego. He is and was far too talented for that type of attack.
I'll go along with this... I used to be willing to jump on the Band-wagon of those who were ready to disparage Robbie, even though I really loved his Crazy River, Broken Arrow, and the record Songs for the Native Americans, because, and I think this is why he was so often the focal point -- he was the one who had the sociable personality. That's just the way it is. I really understood when I finally watched The Last Waltz maybe not quite down to Earth but totally sober enough to see into it and remember it, and the fact must be faced that Robbie was the one who was willing and able to reach out and grapple with whoever wanted to listen or investigate, whether it was Scorcese or the fans. The others, you can plainly see, are not disposed to doing that. That's just the way it is, and the way it is with so many inter-group dynamics. Put all of it together, objectively and subjectively, and you see one heck of a mind, musician, and personality all on display. The others have them, to be sure, but they are not on display -- and that was how they wanted it, whether they could accept it or not. Rock on, Robbie, and God bless all of them for doing what they did for so long; just a monumental legacy, really!
I know alot of people don't think Robbie Robertson is so great, but to me there is something about his music that is very hopeful and inspiring. It's nice to hear.
woozurdaddy wrote:
I'm a huge fan of The Band from way back in the day and have to say this whole album and this song in particular is as good as anything Robbie ever did with them. Rock on...
Not a bad song indeed. But about The Band, I think you'd better say: "<...> anything The Band did with Robbie". The other way around. Because Robertson is very overrated I think, and this album is more Daniel Lanois's - the producer - than his own. Listen to Daniel Lanois - 'Death Of A Train', very much the same sound and atmosphere. In particular Garth Hudson but also the other members of The Band are very underrated, and that's sad. Robertson took way too much of all the credits.
garoo1980 wrote:
I've never heard this version before, I had no idea. Its pretty routine to have a great song butchured
Especially when not-Sir Rod Stewart is involved. Someone stop him before he covers more songs. Please.
Awesome tune from an awesome album!!
cattgirl813 wrote:
Ohmygawd, I never knew this song and Rod's whatever that was were one in the same. Rod really murdered a beautiful piece of work, didn't he?
I've never heard this version before, I had no idea. Its pretty routine to have a great song butchured, but when you discover them the wrong way round its a bit surreal. A strange feeling to really like a song you're so used to hating
EastSideErin wrote:
this is the best love song ever
Wow. I think this is the worst song ever.
this is the best love song ever
bob789 wrote:
MUCH better to give a box of rain
i knew someone who was as smart as a box of hair...
is that the boDean's guy in the backup vocals?
(commenting after hearing a different RR tune and finding this) dmax wrote:
Fixed it. Get Levon Helm's side of the story.
You're writing this of someone who, when asked why he waited 11 years to release his first solo work, replied: "I wasn't so sure I had something to say." Doesn't sound so egomaniacal to me. It might also be worth mentioning that Levon was 16 when he joinged Ronnie Hawkin's band and Robbie was 15 when he joined a year later...oh, and Levon left the official "Band" in 1965 and he only returned when the group got an official recording contract. Oh, and Levon was the only non-Canadian in the group in the early years. To your credit, AMG notes the following:
Following the release of the second album, things changed somewhat within the group. Partly owing to the pressures of touring and the public's expectations of "genius," and also to the growing press fixation on Robbie Robertson at the expense of the rest of the group, the other group members remained familiar enough that their names and personalities were well-known to the public. The Band was still a great working ensemble, as represented on their brilliant third album, Stage Fright, but gradually exhaustion and personal pressures took their toll. Additionally, the huge amounts of money that the members started collecting, against hundreds of thousands and ultimately millions of record sales, led to instances of irresponsible behavior by individual members and their spouses and raised the pressure on the group to perform. The members had always engaged in a certain amount of casual drug use, mostly involving marijuana, but now they had access to more serious and expensive chemical diversions. Some private resentments also began manifesting themselves about Robertson's dominance of the songwriting (some reality of which was questioned openly in Levon Helm's autobiography years later), and the fact that the group was now constantly in the public eye didn't help.
I think Levon Helm's larger issues stemmed from resentment around talent equity: AMG "it is said that one reason their set from Woodstock was never issued was because his mic was live and his voice too prominent." The world may never know all the facts, but I don't think you can trivialize RR's contributions to music (both his own and solo) simply by assailing his ego. He is and was far too talented for that type of attack.
bob789 wrote:
MUCH better to give a box of rain
Interesting you should mention a "Box of Rain", one of my favorite Grateful Dead tunes, by Phil Lesh. The Dead covered this song ("Broken Arrow") a lot in concert in later years, sung by Phil...
mute button when this one comes on.
Rod Stewart !!! This song? You kidding?? Don't you ever dare try to play it on RP. Not Ever.
bob789 wrote:
MUCH better to give a box of rain
How about a box of COOOKIES?
pousso wrote:
Great song! Rod Stewart should never have been allowed to touch it!
Ohmygawd, I never knew this song and Rod's whatever that was were one in the same. Rod really murdered a beautiful piece of work, didn't he?