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

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2536









Released: 1987
Length: 5:15
Plays (last 30 days): 2
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 (264)add comment
Over the decades , this album has somehow managed to become an intrinsic part of my life, and I'd even say a part of me.  
Tihis is so 80s... guess only Sade's output has aged even worse than this.
Another brilliant musician who could not withstand using his fame to make some quick money by publishing meaningless mainstream junk.
This man brought us so many rocking classics and so many beautiful melodies. Thanks for it all, Robbie. 
R I.P.
I very much look forward to seeing Scorcese’s new film and Robertson’s musical contributions. 
RIP
Thank you William for providing not only a phenomenal radio station, but for creating a place where a community of music lovers can share the loss of this remarkably gifted artist. 
RIP, Robbie Robertson 1943-2023.

Man, 3 Robbie Robertson songs in a row, I knew something was up. Had to Google it... breaks my heart! Love RP, and how you are in tune with the world. Following Broken Arrow with Xavier Rudd was right on time, though a little embarrassed to shed a few tears in front of my coworker. She's tooo young to know...
So sad we lost him. Listened to his work for two hours last night in tribute.
Sad loss of a great talent.
 xray38 wrote:

Whenever I hear this album, I think of a time 40 years ago when I moved by myself  from a large city, to a small city that I knew no-one in, for a job, and found myself skating on the canal in the evenings, snow floating down, with this album often on in the background sound system.  Ahhh, music and memories.



that's a beautiful visual. i can see it and feel it.

i always love hearing this one, too. well, anything from this album.
 scrubbrush wrote:

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.



Just heard the sad news that Robbie passed away today at the age of 80. 
This album was a game changer for me. 
Robbie will be missed.
This takes me back to summer 1991, hearing the Rod Stewart version on Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" on a lazy Sunday afternoon while I poked around on the computer just like I'm doing now.  Can't believe that was so long ago.
Whenever I hear this album, I think of a time 40 years ago when I moved by myself  from a large city, to a small city that I knew no-one in, for a job, and found myself skating on the canal in the evenings, snow floating down, with this album often on in the background sound system.  Ahhh, music and memories.
 NorthernLad wrote:

Manu Katche's drums on this album are understated yet brilliant.  He also did stellar work with Peter Gabriel



Who sings baking one this track
Finally bumped this from a 9 to a 10 where it belongs.

Great song, and i usually dont complain, but second time in two days?
 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...