Discography

Late For The Sky

Late for the Sky, Jackson Browne's third Asylum album, is his most mature, conceptually unified work to date. Its overriding theme: the exploration of romantic possibility in the shadow of apocalypse. No contemporary male singer/songwriter has dealt so honestly and deeply with the vulnerability of romantic idealism and the pain of adjustment from youthful narcissism to adult survival as Browne has in this album. Late for the Sky is the autobiography of his young manhood.

Stephen Holden, Rolling Stone, 1974

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Possibly the best thing this long time successful writer and, over the past few years, successful singer has come up with. The lyrics are meaningful and come as close to poetry as anyone else making music today. This album really transcends any categorization, which is one of the highest compliments that can be paid an artist.

Billboard, October 7, 1974

  • 1. LATE FOR THE SKY
    The words had all been spoken
    And somehow the feeling still wasnt right
    And still we continued on through the night
    Tracing our steps from the beginning
    Until they vanished into the air
    Trying to understand how our lives had led us there

    Looking hard into your eyes
    There was nobody Id ever known
    Such an empty surprise
    To feel so alone

    Now for me some words come easy
    But I know that they dont mean that much
    Compared with the things that are said when lovers touch
    You never knew what I loved in you
    I dont know what you loved in me
    Maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be

    Awake again I cant pretend
    And I know Im alone
    And close to the end
    Of the feeling weve known

    How long have I been sleeping?
    How long have I been drifting alone through the night
    How long have I been dreaming I could make it right
    If I closed my eyes and tried with all my might
    To be the one you need

    Awake again, I cant pretend
    I know Im alone
    And close to the end
    Of the feeling weve known

    How long have I been sleeping?
    How long have I been drifting alone through the night
    How long have I been running for that morning flight
    Through the whispered promises and the changing light
    Of the bed where we both lie
    Late for the sky

    Words and music by Jackson Browne
    1974 Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 2. FOUNTAIN OF SORROW
    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 didnt 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 hasnt really been that long a time
    What I was seeing wasnt what was happening at all
    Although for a while our paths did seem to climb
    But when you see through loves illusions, there lies the danger
    And your perfect lover 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
    Youve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
    Youve had to hide sometimes but now youre all right
    And its 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 while the futures there for anyone to change still you know it seems
    It would be easier sometimes to change the past
    Im just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you
    In my lessons at loves pain and heartache school
    Where if you feel too free and you need something to remind you
    Theres this loneliness springing up from your life
    Like a fountain from a pool

    Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
    Youve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
    Youve had to hide sometimes but now youre all right
    And its good to see your smiling face tonight

    Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light
    Youve known that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
    Youve had to struggle, youve had to fight
    To keep understanding and compassion in sight
    You could be laughing at me, youve got the right
    But you go on smiling so clear and so bright

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 3. FARTHER ON
    In my early years I hid my tears
    And passed my days alone
    Adrift on an ocean of loneliness
    My dreams like nets were thrown
    To catch the love that I'd heard of
    In books and films and songs
    Now there's a world of illusion and fantasy
    In the place where the real world belongs

    Still I look for the beauty in songs
    To fill my head and lead me on
    Though my dreams have come up torn and empty
    As many times as love has come and gone

    To those gentle ones my memory runs
    To the laughter we shared at the meals
    I filled their kitchens and living rooms
    With my schemes and my broken wheels
    It was never clear how far or near
    The gates to my citadel lay
    They were cutting from stone some dreams of their own
    But they listened to mine anyway

    I'm not sure what I'm trying to say
    It could be I've lost my way
    Though I keep a watch over the distance
    Heaven's no closer than it was yesterday

    And the angels are older
    They know not to wait up for the sun
    They look over my shoulder
    At the maps and the drawings of the journey I've begun

    Now the distance leads me farther on
    Though the reasons I once had are gone
    I keep thinking I'll find what I'm looking for
    In the sand beneath the dawn

    But the angels are older
    They can see that the sun's setting fast
    They look over my shoulder
    At the vision of paradise contained in the light of the past
    And they lay down behind me
    To sleep beside the road till the morning has come
    Where they know they will find me
    With my maps and my faith in the distance
    Moving farther on

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 4. THE LATE SHOW
    Everyone I've ever known has wished me well
    Anyway that's how it seems, it's hard to tell
    Maybe people only ask you how you're doing
    'Cause that's easier than letting on how little they could care
    But when you know that you've got a real friend somewhere
    Suddenly all the others are so much easier to bear

    Now to see things clear it's hard enough I know
    While you're waiting for reality to show
    Without dreaming of the perfect love
    And holding it so far above
    That if you stumbled onto someone real you'd never know
    (You'd never know)
    You could be with somebody who is lonely too
    (Sometimes it doesn't show)
    He might be trying to get across to you
    (words can be so slow)
    When your own emptiness is all that's getting through
    There comes a point when you're not sure why you're still talking
    I passed that point long ago
    (Long ago)
    Now I'm so tired of all this circling
    And all these glimpses of the end
    (You know it's useless to pretend)
    That's all the voices say:
    "You'll go right on circling
    Until you've found some kind of friend"

    I saw you through the laughter and the noise
    You were talking with the soldiers and the boys
    While they scuffled for your weary smiles
    I thought of all the empty miles
    And the years that I've spent looking for your eyes
    (Looking for your eyes)
    And now I'm sitting here wondering what to say
    (That you might recognize)
    Afraid that all these words might scare you away
    (And break through the disguise)
    No one ever talks about their feelings anyway
    Without dressing them in dreams and laughter
    I guess it's just too painful otherwise

    Look
    It's like you're standing in the window
    Of a house nobody lives in
    And I'm sitting in a car across the way
    (Let's just say)
    It's an early model Chevrolet
    (Let's just say)
    It's a warm and windy day
    You go and pack your sorrow
    The trash man comes tomorrow
    Leave it at the curb and we'll just roll away

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 5. THE ROAD AND THE SKY
    When we come to the place where the road and the sky collide
    Throw me over the edge and let my spirit glide
    They told me I was going to have to work for a living
    But all I want to do is ride
    I don't care where we're going from here
    Honey, you decide

    Well I spend my time at the bottom of a wishing well
    And I can hear my dreams singing clear as a bell
    I used to know where they ended and the world began
    But now it's getting hard to tell
    I could be just around the corner from heaven or a mile from hell

    I'm just rolling away from yesterday
    Behind the wheel of a stolen Chevrolet
    I'm going to get a little higher
    And see if I can hot-wire reality

    Now can you see those dark clouds gathering up ahead?
    They're going to wash this planet clean like the Bible said
    Now you can hold on steady and try to be ready
    But everybody's going to get wet
    Don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet

    I'm just rolling away from yesterday
    Behind the wheel of a stolen Chevrolet
    I m going to get a little higher
    And see if I can hot-wire reality

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 6. FOR A DANCER
    Keep a fire burning in your eye
    Pay attention to the open sky
    You never know what will be coming down
    I dont remember losing track of you
    You were always dancing in and out of view
    I mustve thought youd always be around
    Always keeping things real by playing the clown
    Now youre nowhere to be found

    Dont know what happens when people die
    Cant seem to grasp it as hard as I try
    Its like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
    That I cant sing, I cant help listening

    And I cant help feeling stupid standing round
    Crying as they ease you down
    Cause I know that youd rather we were dancing
    Dancing our sorrow away
    Right on dancing
    Theres nothing you can do about it anyway
    Just do the steps that youve been shown
    By everyone youve ever known
    Until the dance becomes your very own
    No matter how close to yours
    Anothers steps have grown
    In the end there is one dance youll do alone

    Keep a fire for the human race
    Let your prayers go drifting into space
    You never know what will be coming down
    Perhaps a better world is drawing near
    And just as easily it could all disappear
    Along with whatever meaning you might have found
    Dont let the uncertainty turn you around
    Go on and make a joyful sound
    Into a dancer you have grown
    From a seed somebody else has thrown
    Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
    And somewhere between the time you arrive
    And the time you go
    May lie a reason you were alive
    But youll never know

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 7. WALKING SLOW
    Walking slow down the avenue
    Through my old neighborhood
    Don't know why I'm happy
    I've got no reason to feel this good
    Maybe it's because I'm all alone
    And I've got no place to go
    And everywhere I look I see
    Another person I'll never know

    I got a thing or two to say
    Before I walk on by
    I'm feeling good today
    But if I die a little farther along
    I'm trusting everyone to carry on

    Pretty little girl
    Running up and down the street with no shoes on
    I got a pretty little girl of my own at home
    Sometimes we forget we love each other
    And we fight for no reason
    I don't know what I'll do if she ever leaves me alone

    I got a thing or two to say
    Before I walk on by
    I'm feeling good today
    But if I die a little farther along
    I'm trusting everyone to carry on

    I'm puttin' down my left foot
    I'm puttin' down my right foot

    I got a thing or two to say
    Before I walk on by
    I'm feeling good today
    But if I die a little farther along
    I'm trusting everyone to carry on

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved
  • 8. BEFORE THE DELUGE
    Some of them were dreamers
    And some of them were fools
    Who were making plans and thinking of the future
    With the energy of the innocent
    They were gathering the tools
    They would need to make their journey back to nature
    While the sand slipped through the opening
    And their hands reached for the golden ring
    With their hearts they turned to each others heart for refuge
    In the troubled years that came before the deluge

    Some of them knew pleasure
    And some of them knew pain
    And for some of them it was only the moment that mattered
    And on the brave and crazy wings of youth
    They went flying around in the rain
    And their feathers once so fine grew torn and tattered
    And in the end they traded their tired wings
    For the resignation that living brings
    And exchanged loves bright and fragile glow for the glitter and the rouge
    And in the moment they were swept before the deluge

    Now let the music keep our spirits high
    And let the buildings keep our children dry
    Let creation reveal its secrets by and by
    When the light thats lost within us reaches the sky

    Some of them were angry
    At the way the earth was abused
    By the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power
    And they struggled to protect her from them
    Only to be confused
    By the magnitude of her fury in the final hour
    And when the sand was gone and the time arrived
    In the naked dawn only a few survived
    And in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge
    Believed that they were meant to live after the deluge

    Now let the music keep our spirits high
    And let the buildings keep our children dry
    Let creation reveal its secrets by and by
    When the light thats lost within us reaches the sky

    Words and Music by Jackson Browne
    Swallow Turn Music ASCAP
    All Rights Reserved