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Jackson Browne — Fountain Of Sorrow
Album: Late For The Sky
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 800









Released: 1974
Length: 6:40
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer
I was taken by a photograph of you
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more
But they didn't show your spirit quite as true
You were turning 'round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes

Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small
Though it hasn't really been that long a time
What I was seeing wasn't what was happening at all
Although for a while our path did seem to climb
When you see through love's illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You've had to hide sometimes, but now you're all right
And it's good to see your smiling face tonight

Now for you and me it may not be that hard to reach our dreams
But that magic feeling never seems to last
And all the future's there for anyone to change, still you know it seems
It would be easier sometimes to change the past
I'm just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you
In my lessons at love's pain and heartache school
Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you
There's this loneliness springing up from your life
Like a fountain from a pool

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You've had to hide sometimes but now you're all right
And it's good to see your smiling face tonight

Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
You've known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You've had to struggle, you've had to fight
To keep understanding and compassion in sight
You could be laughing at me, you've got the right
But you go on smiling so clear and so bright
Comments (178)add comment
Wow, the lyrics, the harmony... As much as I like some of the recent catalog of songs, nothing beats this time in music.
The opening lyrics of this song. Wow. Maybe some of the best song writing ever.

And remember...sometimes it would be easier to change the past.
What an amazing track. I'm so enamored with Browne's gifts  - what a talent! 
Amazing Lyrics - This 1 song has more Lyrics then the WHOLE Nickelback Catalog.
 CCinSB wrote:

He was superb last summer. {#Crown}

 
And was SUPERB again this summer at the Bowl!
 bev wrote:
joempie wrote:
Is that the same producer as the Eagles or was this just the sound of the time?

 
Both, I'd say.

Edited list of Late for the Sky personnel from Wiki:
Jackson Browne – acoustic guitar, guitar, piano, keyboard, vocals, slide guitar
Dan Fogelberg – vocals, harmony vocals
Don Henley – vocals, harmony vocals
David Lindleyfiddle, guitar, violin, electric guitar, steel guitar, slide guitar
J. D. Souther – harmony vocals
Larry Zack – percussion, drums

 
Thanks. The names Henley and Souther explain a LOT :)
Zzzzzzzz.......
 BKardon wrote:

Hahaha!  Yes, this competes with the best of Britney Spears and The Monkees.

 
If you can't tell the difference, you have no soul.  Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that.
 BKardon wrote:

Hahaha!  Yes, this competes with the best of Britney Spears and The Monkees.

 
Matthew 15:14
your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger

While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool
 hschlossberg wrote:
Pop drivel

 
Hahaha!  Yes, this competes with the best of Britney Spears and The Monkees.
 Cannon wrote:

Looking forward to seeing him (again) at the SB Bowl this summer.  The air will be rank & dank!

 
He was superb last summer. {#Crown}
 Cueburned wrote:

Saw him at the SB County Bowl in the 70's.  The air was rank and dank back in the day. He always did take himself pretty seriously. "I'm an artist, pendejo!" was pretty much the sub text. 

 
Best place for a show! {#Daisy}
 Cueburned wrote:

Saw him at the SB County Bowl in the 70's.  The air was rank and dank back in the day. He always did take himself pretty seriously. "I'm an artist, pendejo!" was pretty much the sub text. 

 
Looking forward to seeing him (again) at the SB Bowl this summer.  The air will be rank & dank!
 Imkirok wrote:

If you want to hear that song for the 10,000th time, just turn on any moldy oldie station.  The great thing about RP is that they play songs like this that you would never otherwise hear.

 
Bravo. And this is an intelligent, passionate, sensitive, meaningful song. Not to mention a great lover's song. A song for great lovers. A great song for lovers. And I remember it well, from the time I dated Carol and we saw him sing this at a small venue in Cambridge MA in 1976, and it doesn't get any better than that. 
Jackson Browne's song structures always seem so ordinary and unimaginative. Yet, his voice bring me back to a very specific time and place. An ordinary and unimaginative place, so - well, it all fits.
Pop drivel
 VH1 wrote:
WHEN playing a song from Browne, please play Running on Emtpy not this booooooooooooooooooring cheese.

 
If you want to hear that song for the 10,000th time, just turn on any moldy oldie station.  The great thing about RP is that they play songs like this that you would never otherwise hear.
WHEN playing a song from Browne, please play Running on Emtpy not this booooooooooooooooooring cheese.
Geeez, back when song writing meant something. Have nothing like this today.Too bad.  

"You know it seems, sometimes it would be easier to change the past..." 
For this type of vibe, prefer Elton John. 
 hayduke2 wrote:

{#Clap}
 
Jackson is the king of 'sorrow'
Still a soft spot in my heart for JB. But I have to say, the drums bug the s___t out of me. May as well be using a machine.
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
The Deadheads in my dorm used to keep a Jackson Browne album in their collections for special occasions. When you heard it coming from their rooms you knew not to barge in. 

I would never pull a stunt like that; nothing would make me buy a Jackson Browne LP. Syrupy, maudlin, overplayed treacle back then. Today hearing him once a week or so on RP is tolerable. But I would never deny his importance, and think younger listeners should definitely hear him.
 
Appreciate your take, but it is interesting how perceptions differ.  I  think he hits notes of life that resonate for many; I can relate   I find that he consistently mines a deep and rich vein. 
.
  

 
 gjeeg wrote:
Broke me open when I first heard this in 1975.
There is no one else like him. Hymns for a lifetime.

In Crosby's words, "His songs are stone cold gems."

Poetic, aching artistic pop for those who have ever felt.

 
{#Clap}

The Deadheads in my dorm used to keep a Jackson Browne album in their collections for special occasions. When you heard it coming from their rooms you knew not to barge in. 

I would never pull a stunt like that; nothing would make me buy a Jackson Browne LP. Syrupy, maudlin, overplayed treacle back then. Today hearing him once a week or so on RP is tolerable. But I would never deny his importance, and think younger listeners should definitely hear him.
This song hits me on so many levels....
How this isn't a solid outstanding is beyond me. Words, music, perfect.
The opening lyrics on this song rates as some of the best in telling a story and ends with this cryptic phrase:

...there was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes...

Wow. Freakin wow. 
 
 Johnny_Wave wrote:
A great, great song.   Clear 8, hands down
 

Clear 9.  Brings back many memories.
I was a high school kid when this song came out, and I though, yawn, how lame. It took some growing up on my part before I could hear what he was saying.
best friend in high school, circa '79, had the same car in a 4 door version. what a beast.
Jackson Browne is one of my all time favs.  LOVE him.
Masterful.
Remastered edition out June 30.
Great timeless classic. I don't hear anything coming out today that is as beautiful and insightful. 
A great, great song.   Clear 8, hands down
 gjeeg wrote:
Broke me open when I first heard this in 1975.
There is no one else like him. Hymns for a lifetime.

In Crosby's words, "His songs are stone cold gems."

Poetic, aching artistic pop for those who have ever felt.

 
...... yes
Broke me open when I first heard this in 1975.
There is no one else like him. Hymns for a lifetime.

In Crosby's words, "His songs are stone cold gems."

Poetic, aching artistic pop for those who have ever felt.
 martinc wrote:
fantastic - please play more

 
...... yes
fantastic - please play more
bland----please delete from playlist
 stunix wrote:
I just got silence on at least 3 different streams.  Im in UK on win6/FF.
music started at beginning of next song.

 
Yep, here too. Tuned in during the song, and mildly panicked for 3 minutes when I thought Paradise was lost...
I just got silence on at least 3 different streams.  Im in UK on win6/FF.
music started at beginning of next song.
 ick wrote:
This guy's more depressing than Morrissey.

 
You´re right. Your comment on the other hand makes me smile.
joempie wrote:
Is that the same producer as the Eagles or was this just the sound of the time?

 


Both, I'd say.

Edited list of Late for the Sky personnel from Wiki:
Jackson Browne – acoustic guitar, guitar, piano, keyboard, vocals, slide guitar
Dan Fogelberg – vocals, harmony vocals
Don Henley – vocals, harmony vocals
David Lindleyfiddle, guitar, violin, electric guitar, steel guitar, slide guitar
J. D. Souther – harmony vocals
Larry Zack – percussion, drums
I was never a big Browne fan. He always came off as poetic and observant, but also wistful and even melancholy. (Except maybe Redneck Friend, which is foot-tappin' rocker.)  I came to his songs more through other acts, like the Eagles. Still, many of those songs, and just his sound, are some of the soundtrack of my first college years in Boston. I hear his voice and am at once time machined to Beacon Street in Boston. 
This is one of the songs that makes me wish the rating scale went higher.  The lyrics are so brilliant - I adore this song.
God, these lyrics typlifiy the term "singer song writer"


...just a trace of sorrow in your eyes..  



Wow.  
Just changed my rating from 9 to 10.
Breathtaking
{#Notworthy} 
 ick wrote:
This guy's more depressing than Morrissey.

 
i agree
This guy's more depressing than Morrissey.
 Cynaera wrote:
I love how people take portions of this song and apply it to their lives throughout time. I took the song in its entirety and applied it to my life (yes, my life was that insane), but now, just a few lines seem to fit where I am now. Who knew that Jackson Browne would be such a visionary? Amazing that an entire song could be segregated and applied to so many individual circumstances...

Jackson Browne will always be one of the first artists who springs to mind when someone asks me, "Who were your biggest influences?"
 
up vote.
 phlattop wrote:

Sad to say, I somehow missed hearing this record as a teen in the late 70s-early 80s, knowing only "Running on Empty" (a great tune in itself). Quite a song and I can see how so many on here find the lyrics so applicable to their lives.

 
I missed this song and this album as well, but discovering Fountain of Sorrow as an adult was a great thrill and it quickly went into heavy rotation on my iPod. Great tune and great album, and well worth discovering no matter how old/young you are.
  joempie wrote:
Is that the same producer as the Eagles or was this just the sound of the time?
 

{#Whisper}
Is that the same producer as the Eagles or was this just the sound of the time?
 George_Tirebiter wrote:
Jackson's first wife Phyllis committed suicide in 1976, but that was after the release of this.  I like his work, my wife thinks he can be a little depressing.  Been to several shows - always good, and his bands are tight.
 
Not exactly "party" music although there are some good straight ahead rockers on this LP.


Of the many, many great JB tunes, lyrics and all, this song is my #1 Jackson Browne song. Always has and always will be.
 Cynaera wrote:
I love how people take portions of this song and apply it to their lives throughout time. I took the song in its entirety and applied it to my life (yes, my life was that insane), but now, just a few lines seem to fit where I am now. Who knew that Jackson Browne would be such a visionary? Amazing that an entire song could be segregated and applied to so many individual circumstances...

Jackson Browne will always be one of the first artists who springs to mind when someone asks me, "Who were your biggest influences?"
 
Sad to say, I somehow missed hearing this record as a teen in the late 70s-early 80s, knowing only "Running on Empty" (a great tune in itself). Quite a song and I can see how so many on here find the lyrics so applicable to their lives.

I love how people take portions of this song and apply it to their lives throughout time. I took the song in its entirety and applied it to my life (yes, my life was that insane), but now, just a few lines seem to fit where I am now. Who knew that Jackson Browne would be such a visionary? Amazing that an entire song could be segregated and applied to so many individual circumstances...

Jackson Browne will always be one of the first artists who springs to mind when someone asks me, "Who were your biggest influences?"
I'm not sure if I would have survived the late 70s without this album. Thanks, JB.
When you see through love's illusion, there lies the danger....brilliant
I'm old enough now to have heard this song through many phases of my life.  I find it interesting how different parts of the song resonate with me now than did before.  Today I pondered these lyrics more than ever before ... This is just a really incredible piece of work.

And while the future's there for anyone to change, still you know it's seems
It would be easier sometimes to change the past



 dmax wrote:
"While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool"

Wow. Really. And that's just two lines from this tune. Jackson helped me get through those fabulous college years, where you go running off in search of the perfect stranger.

 
Well put! i have to ditto what you said.

He is indeed a great songwriter and performer.   I don't agree that ALL of his songs are great, but some are.Top 40 radio ruined some of his songs for me.
One of my favourite songs of all time. Beautiful, aching, poetic lyrics with a gorgeous plangent melody and exquisite harmonies.
Holy crap this song is long...not that I'm complaining.

a ageless talent...will be seeing him in Santa Barbara in a couple weeks  {#Cool}



Songwriting classes should use this one as an example.
 Cynaera wrote:
I know I've said this about a hundred times, but Jackson Browne is my absolute favorite artist, and this whole CD is excellent.  I'd give it a 20 if the rate-o-meter went that high.{#Bananajam}
 
I knew you HAD to be a fan {#Angel}
Jackson's best!
 Cruzan wrote:
Yup, it seems to me that pretty much all Jackson Browne songs are interchangable.........
 
........which is a wonderful thing.

"While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool"

Wow. Really. And that's just two lines from this tune. Jackson helped me get through those fabulous college years, where you go running off in search of the perfect stranger.

 DDB61 wrote:
I think "Bright Baby Blues" was my personal fav from his early years.  Running on Empty marked the end or an era.
 
I totally agree, with both sentences. I was too young to pick my own music at the time of this album's release, but fortunately had two older sisters who put me in touch with the "folkies" of the time, Bonnie, Linda, Little Feat, Jackson... and a great little group named Brewer and Shipley, which can be heard on occasion right here on RP! Thank you, older sisters!


Anyone who has lived through this kind of period knows how Jackson's words nail it so well.  So glad I grew up and got well.  Thanks for the memories.  {#Clap}
i remember this set from a dark time in my life ~(about a year ago)
Yup, it seems to me that pretty much all Jackson Browne songs are interchangable.........
Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small
Though it hasn't really been that long a time
What I was seeing wasn't what was happening at all
Although for a while, our path did seem to climb
But when you see through love's illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While the loneliness seems to spring from your life
Like a fountain from a pool
 RabbitEars wrote:
i can't tell one song of his apart from another
 

Yeah, this sounds just like his other one.
I think Tiffany or some such teenie bopper may have ripped this off for some awful thing in the 80's.  This is far superior to the drivel that resulted from it.
This is simply a great song by a great songwriter and singer.
 calypsus_1 wrote:

Jackson Browne by ~Sportakook
©2006-2010 ~Sportakook

My most recent endeavor, Jackson Browne. He's also one of my favorite musicicians. Plus he has really pretty hair which is fun to draw. XD


 
Just went to your site, great talent!

This song is just the opposite of the DMB song I am listening to; I was really torn which one to listen to, I love them both.


Jackson Browne by ~Sportakook
©2006-2010 ~Sportakook

My most recent endeavor, Jackson Browne. He's also one of my favorite musicicians. Plus he has really pretty hair which is fun to draw. XD


Bittersweet to be sure, but a beautiful song just the same.


I know I've said this about a hundred times, but Jackson Browne is my absolute favorite artist, and this whole CD is excellent.  I'd give it a 20 if the rate-o-meter went that high.{#Bananajam}
Jackson's first wife Phyllis committed suicide in 1976, but that was after the release of this.  I like his work, my wife thinks he can be a little depressing.  Been to several shows - always good, and his bands are tight.
 RabbitEars wrote:
i can't tell one song of his apart from another
 
Amen. And I don't care for the way he reads.
 RabbitEars wrote:
i can't tell one song of his apart from another
 

adjust your rabbit ears perhaps....naw, jk....you gotta right to your opinion....just messin wid ya
I think my ex took this cd when she moved out. Dammit, need to buy this again. The whole album is beautifull.
i can't tell one song of his apart from another

I'm just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you . . .


Indeed. I know, and live, this feeling.


My brother's favorite song. We played it at his funeral. Still magic.
 parttime wrote:


I was told this hole album is about a suicide.
 
His wife committed suicide and left him with their very young child to raise.  He used to bring his young son up on stage with him somtimes....

Can't stand Jackson Browne.  Have to leave RP for a bit.

Why?

 parttime wrote:


I was told this hole album is about a suicide.
 

His wife's suicide.
 adastra wrote:
Can't think of a better place to ask this question.
 
The song always seemed to me to be literal: that is, inspired by an actual, particular photograph of someone important to him.

If this is so, has that particular photograph been preserved? Does Jackson Browne still have it? Has it ever been exhibited? Scanned and put online?

After becoming re-acquainted with this song recently, I feel a hunger to see that photo — not unlike what I experience while listening to the Mussorgsky/Ravel "Pictures At an Exhibition." The painter Viktor Hartmann, who had recently died, had been a friend of Mussorgsky, and his paintings had been collected in a literal exhibition. As with Browne, I don't know whether these paintings still exist — at any rate I have never been able to find images of them.

 

I was told this hole album is about a suicide.
 Rotterdam wrote:
Oooo. Sorry, but I just can't help myself. I think this man is a whiney git. Ick ick ick. And I really hate it when people express unkind opinions like this, but my fingers have taken over, and I can't stop myself from typing this. From the song rating, I see I am greatly in the minority. Shame on me. Oooo - this is so terminally blech. What's WRONG with me?
 

Nothing wrong ... don't worry.  You're just one or two years and a couple of changes behind ...

Interminable.
I'm changing my rating from 8 to a 9.  This song just keeps getting better over the years.  This is a quintessential example of singer/songwriter perfection!
What an amazing tune - Jackson Browne at his very best.   I'm probably not alone here but I have a photo of an old GF that is perfectly articulated by this song.

One of the most remarkable albums of the singer-songwriter era. Wonderful lyrics, beautiful music, and his voice was at its peak. I've never grown tired of this song.
Never could get into Jackson Browne.  To me, he was the very epitome of the term "whitebread".
I think "Bright Baby Blues" was my personal fav from his early years.  Running on Empty marked the end or an era.
How is it that Before the Deluge is not on the playlist?  Big Mistake!!
 Randomax wrote:

This album was his pinnacle....before Pretender...his hayday....(and the 2 albums before it) fan-freaking-tastic...Ah...Austin in the 70's....was that even real??


 

Austin in the 70's was definitely real. Lived it and loved it. That is the Austin that I still think of in my dreams and the Austin that will always be home in my heart. How I miss it.
The Joan Baez version of this is pretty good also...
Outstanding....
 WayUpNorth wrote:
"Theres this loneliness springing up from your life
Like a fountain from a pool"

Still gets me after all these years.  Forgotten how good he was.
 
Yes, this song has wonderful lyrics!

I think this is the first time I've ever heard this song...and it's excellent.
Can't think of a better place to ask this question.
 
The song always seemed to me to be literal: that is, inspired by an actual, particular photograph of someone important to him.

If this is so, has that particular photograph been preserved? Does Jackson Browne still have it? Has it ever been exhibited? Scanned and put online?

After becoming re-acquainted with this song recently, I feel a hunger to see that photo — not unlike what I experience while listening to the Mussorgsky/Ravel "Pictures At an Exhibition." The painter Viktor Hartmann, who had recently died, had been a friend of Mussorgsky, and his paintings had been collected in a literal exhibition. As with Browne, I don't know whether these paintings still exist — at any rate I have never been able to find images of them.



 cherinoel wrote:


You're just probably too young...another one of those 'you had to have been there' things we old relics like to say.
 

Thank you, cherinoel, but this song is definately from my youth....I'm sure we are the same age-ish. I just always hated it. I mean, sorry for expressing what must be a dumb opinion, but why is this song good and the Eagles not good? Or rather, why is this song not seen to be as bad as most of the Eagles' stuff? I am seriously curious.
"Theres this loneliness springing up from your life
Like a fountain from a pool"

Still gets me after all these years.  Forgotten how good he was.
 Rotterdam wrote:
Oooo. Sorry, but I just can't help myself. I think this man is a whiney git. Ick ick ick. And I really hate it when people express unkind opinions like this, but my fingers have taken over, and I can't stop myself from typing this. From the song rating, I see I am greatly in the minority. Shame on me. Oooo - this is so terminally blech. What's WRONG with me?
 

You're just probably too young...another one of those 'you had to have been there' things we old relics like to say.

This album was his pinnacle....before Pretender...his hayday....(and the 2 albums before it) fan-freaking-tastic...Ah...Austin in the 70's....was that even real??


Oooo. Sorry, but I just can't help myself. I think this man is a whiney git. Ick ick ick. And I really hate it when people express unkind opinions like this, but my fingers have taken over, and I can't stop myself from typing this. From the song rating, I see I am greatly in the minority. Shame on me. Oooo - this is so terminally blech. What's WRONG with me?
I was 16 in 1976. My high school art teacher asked me to investigate the style/motivation of the album cover... what a smart woman... she couldn't have been but in her 20's... good girl. Cheers to all those that showed us little windows.
Classic SoCal for that era. Not a big JB fan, but at the time was a new immigrant to LA from the wilds of Philadelphia.
Sweet.
 DoctorHooey wrote:
Hey! That album cover is almost a Magritte painting. Good taste, Mr. Browne.
 
The album gives credit saying "If it's all reet with Magritte."

I remember being a sophomore in college, mid 1970s, and listening to this and the new record, The Pretender, one day in my dorm room. Waves of recognition, sadness, and the good feeling that someone somewhere knew how loneliness felt.

You could call it a downer, but it's liberating. In your emptiness, you are not alone.

It's like you're standing in the window, of a house nobody lives in.
And I'm sittin in a car across the way. 
That song makes me think of a group we had in Quebec, called "Beau Dommage". When I hear their music, I get the same feeling. Interresting...