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"Southern Cross"
Single by Crosby, Stills & Nash
from the album Daylight Again
B-side"Into the Darkness"
ReleasedSeptember 1982
Recorded1981
Genre
Length
  • 4:41 (album)
  • 3:55 (single)
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Crosby, Stills and Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash singles chronology
"Wasted on the Way"
(1982)
"Southern Cross"
(1982)
"War Games"
(1983)
Audio sample
Audio
"Southern Cross" on YouTube

"Southern Cross" is a song written by Stephen Stills, Rick Curtis, and Michael Curtis and performed by the rock band Crosby, Stills & Nash. It was featured on the band's Daylight Again album and was released as a single in September 1982. Stephen Stills sings lead throughout, with Graham Nash joining on the second verse. Because David Crosby did not reunite with Stills and Nash until the album was well underway, his vocals are not featured on the album version, although he did appear in the video and subsequently sang the song with the group in live performances. The single was a success on the charts, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks in late November[1] and early December 1982.[2]

Composition and music

"Southern Cross" is based on the song "Seven League Boots" by Rick and Michael Curtis.[3][4] Stills explained, "The Curtis Brothers brought a wonderful song called 'Seven League Boots,' but it drifted around too much. I rewrote a new set of words and added a different chorus, a story about a long boat trip I took after my divorce. It's about using the power of the universe to heal your wounds. Once again, I was given somebody's gem and cut and polished it."[5]

The song title and lyrics reference the Crux constellation, known as the Southern Cross.

Video

The video for the song, which got heavy play during the early years of the MTV and VH1 cable networks, featured Stephen Stills sailing a large boat (called Southern Cross), intercut with images of the band singing, including David Crosby although he did not sing on the song (see above).

Personnel

Additional musicians

Cover versions

"Southern Cross" has also been covered by:

Locations

The song mentions a number of locations that one may visit on a sailing voyage from Southern California to the South Pacific, following the "Coconut Milk Run".[6] In order of appearance in the song (and in reverse order of the narrating sailor's southwestward journey), they are:

See also

References

  1. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Nov 20, 1982. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.com. Dec 4, 1982. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  3. ^ Michael Curtis, "The Origins of the Song 'Southern Cross' by Stephen Stills, Rick and Michael Curtis", interview on youtube, Nov 13, 2012. Retrieved Aug. 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Scott McCormick, How Stephen Stills turned an unreleased leftover into the smash hit “Southern Cross”, Discmakers, July 9, 2019. Retrieved Aug. 15, 2020.
  5. ^ Liner notes, CSN (box set), 1991.
  6. ^ "A starlit revel on the Coconut Milk Run". OceanNavigator.com. Retrieved 18 January 2016.