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Fields of Gray

Features: Bruce Hornsby (piano, vocals); Jimmy Haslip (bass); John Molo (drums); Pat Metheny (guitar); Phil Collins (backing vocals, tambourine); John McLaughlin Williams (violin); Laura Roelofs Park (violin); Beverly K. Baker (viola); William Comita (cello); Lamont Coward (percussion).

I think this song is beautiful. Thematically, we might link it to “I Will Walk With You” on Scenes from the Southside. Indeed, browsing through the set lists available on Si’s site, it seems that both songs have occasionally been played by Bruce linked up into one. No matter, this song does stand out on its own, as testified by a couple who had this song played at their wedding (See Hornsby’s official guestbook)

The title of the song seems to be resembled to Sting’s “Fields of Gold”. Furthermore, the themes are remarkably similar, in that they are about a loving relationship. However, there is a massive contrast between the two. While Sting’s song paints a vivid, sensual relationship, Bruce focuses on the everyday side of life, and the general importance of “getting through” average days together. At first glance, this might seem a resigned, pessimistic theme. As one part suggests:

“When I was younger I saw things in black and white/ now all I see is a sad hazy gray”

However, Hornsby finally makes it clear that there is indeed something special in itself about just being there for one another:

“No matter what else happens,
Or what the future will be
In a world so uncertain,
Through the clouds it’s hard to see
I will grab you and carry you,
Calm your fears when you’re afraid
We’ll go walking,
Across the fields of gray

Carwyn Tywyn


mp3  Fields of Gray > beach music medley
» 9.5 MiB - 1,196 downloads
Hilton Head, SC
Band show; audience recording
October 26 2002


Elyce adds:

Carwyn mentions that the song is about a ‘loving relationship’, and I think it’s important to note that this is not just any loving relationship, but more about the amazement of parenthood. While romantic love can be intense and all consuming, parental love goes to a whole different level. He talks of how the entire world shifts into a different mode when a person becomes a parent, and how the mere site of one’s children can be a reminder of all parenthood means. The song is like his promise to forever be a presence in the lives of his children – regardless of the circumstances.



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