"In a Big Country"
UK and international 12-inch vinyl edition
Single by Big Country
from the album The Crossing
Released19 May 1983
  • 4:44 (album version)
  • 3:56 (single edit)
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite
Big Country singles chronology
"Fields of Fire"
"In a Big Country"
Music video
"In a Big Country" on YouTube

"In a Big Country" is a song by Scottish rock band Big Country. It was released in May 1983 as the third single from their debut studio album The Crossing. The song reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart in June 1983.[1] It was released in the US in the autumn of 1983 and peaked at No. 3 on the Top Rock Tracks chart and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year. It reached No. 3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart in Canada on 26 November 1983.[2]

Music video

The music video for the song received heavy airplay on MTV. It follows the four band members as they track down an unspecified treasure, while constantly being pursued and bested by a woman who appears to be a rival treasure-hunter.

The first half of the video follows the band as they ride through lush green fields on sports three-wheelers and a motorbike while the woman watches them through binoculars. The group soon locates a black box emblazoned with the band's logo and a map. What is inside the box is never shown. The opening scenes are filmed at the then-derelict Corfe Castle railway station including the 'down' platform shelter and show the ruins of Corfe Castle in the background. The station is now part of the restored Swanage Railway.

The woman lures them to her by starting a fire in a barn, the smoke drawing the band members' attention. She (unintentionally and comically) defeats all four with a single punch. They then consult their map and head off again.

The second half of the video takes place at sea in Swanage Bay. The band head towards Swanage Pier where they don wet suits and scuba gear and set out on a motorized inflatable raft. The woman, who has followed them, overtakes them on a jet ski. The band reach their destination at sea, but have apparently no luck in locating the treasure after attempting some underwater diving (however, since nobody in the band was actually scuba certified, this meant having to stay on the surface).

The video concludes with the woman trapped on a small island surrounded by a cliff with a rescue fire burning. The band appears overhead and lead singer Stuart Adamson tosses a rope down the cliff edge. He and drummer Mark descend. Stuart and the woman embrace (perhaps revealing they knew each other and had an ongoing relationship/rivalry) while Mark discovers the black box floating amongst the seaweed in the inlet.

Interspersed throughout the video, in between the action, the band is shown in flannel shirts and blazers performing the song onstage. The video ends on this note, with Stuart dancing and the rest of the band playing.


Weekly charts

Charts (1983–1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 7
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[4] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[5] 22
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[6] 34
UK Singles (OCC)[7] 17
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 17
US Top Rock Tracks (Billboard)[9] 3

Year-end charts

Chart (1983) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[10] 41
Chart (1984) Position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[11] 60

American Authors version

"In a Big Country / You Make My Dreams Come True"
Single by American Authors and The Mowgli's
Released19 April 2014
LabelIsland Def Jam
American Authors singles chronology
"In a Big Country / You Make My Dreams Come True"
"Go Big or Go Home"
The Mowgli's singles chronology
"Love's Not Dead"
"You Make My Dreams Come True"

"In a Big Country" was covered by American alternative rock band American Authors. The song was recorded by the band for the 2014 single "In a Big Country / You Make My Dreams Come True", with American alternative rock band The Mowgli's. The single was released by Island Def Jam on vinyl on 19 April 2014 as a Record Store Day release. The track appeared as the A-side of the single. It charted on Billboard in 2014–2015.[citation needed]

Track listing

1."In a Big Country" (performed by American Authors) 
2."You Make My Dreams Come True" (performed by The Mowgli's) 


American Authors

Release history

Region Date Format Label
United States[12] 19 April 2014 7" vinyl Island Def Jam


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 56–57. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 Singles 1984". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4377." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – In a Big Country". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  6. ^ "Charts.nz – Big Country – In a Big Country". Top 40 Singles.
  7. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Hot 100 : Dec 03, 1983 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. 3 December 1983. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Billboard Rock Albums & Top Tracks - October 22, 1983" (PDF). Billboard. Billboard. 15 September 2020. p. 31. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  10. ^ "The Top Singles of 1983". RPM. Vol. 39 no. 17. Library and Archives Canada. 24 December 1983. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Record Store Day Unveils 2014 Releases: David Bowie, Jay Z, Coldplay, Haim + More". Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2014.