What does Southern Cross mean?

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Crosby Stills Nash & Young: Southern Cross Meaning


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Song Released: 1982

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Southern Cross Lyrics

Got out of town on a boat
Goin' to Southern islands.
Sailing a reach
Before a followin' sea.
She was makin' for the trades
On the outside,
And the downhill run
To Papeete.
Off the wind on this heading
Lie the Marquesas.
We got eighty...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Oct 25th 2012 report

    First, the title: the Southern Cross, or Crux, is a large constellation visible in the night sky in the Southern hemisphere.

    Stephen Stills wrote this song while taking a long boat ride in the South Pacific, in the aftermath of his divorce from French singer/songwriter Veronique Sanson. The marriage had been a very difficult one, and the divorce was no easier, as both parties fought in court for custody of their son.

    During the long boat trip, Stills started to calm down and sort out his feelings. Seeing the stars at night from a boat in the middle of the ocean, he got a sense of how small and petty his own problems were, and how unimportant his quarrels with Sanson had been.

    And he begins to realize that, before long, both he and Sanson will be all right, they'll both find happiness wiht new partners, that Stills will always draw his greatst strength and inspiration from music, and that eventually, he'll be able to look back and appreciate the GOOD things that came of his marriage.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 24th 2019 report

    This is a love song that I also lived.

    I was forced to leave a relationship I cherished due to my infidelity.

    "So we cheated and we lied
    And we tested
    And we never failed to fail
    It was the easiest thing to do."

    Yeah. I messed up. I blew it. I had a lot to learn, again, again, and again.

    "Think about how many times
    I have fallen"

    But I have learned there are no mistakes in the Universe.

    "Spirits are using me
    larger voices callin'."

    But true love doesn't stop just because of mistakes made.

    "What heaven brought you and me
    Cannot be forgotten."

    "So I'm sailing for tomorrow
    My dreams are a dyin'.
    And my love is an anchor tied to you
    Tied with a silver chain."

    I left Connecticut and ended up in Hawai`i.

    "Got out of town on a boat
    Goin' to Southern islands."

    - end -

  3. anonymous
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    Mar 5th report

    In 1981, Hart Bochner, discovered that he had cancer, he decided he should drown, to create oxygen. Steven Stills told him not to, that the two periods of the u.s.p would represent his only pharyngsospasms, and that he would survive these.

  4. anonymous
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    Aug 2nd 2022 report

    I look at the voyage and the ship as a metaphor of the travels and loves of a musician. Spirits using me conjures the muse and that he commits his life to his music and not earthly relationships...although, he is looking for a woman girl that understands this and would continue to love him as he finds other loves in other ports (think about how many times I have fallen).
    The metaphoric ship of music is all he has left when the woman he loves the most can abide his non-committing ways.

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 11th 2022 report

    The journey on the sea corresponds with/is symbolic of his journey through life, before, during, after his marriage. It gives him time to think, to experience personal things as not being so important, yet also being part of a bigger picture, a universe, of emotions represented by sea travel. Maybe this boat trip is something he always wished to do, and now is the perfect time. Maybe he needed something epic and grand to begin to help emotional healing, and set his marriage experience aside.

  6. anonymous
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    Apr 7th 2021 report

    Actually, beyond what ASTORIAN wrote—in my opinion—no further interpretation to this song is needed but we’re each entitled to our own opinion, of course. Based on what I know of Stills though, their interpretation is spot-on. I’ve been in Stephen’s shoes, as so many of us have. I’m now far more happily married than I ever could have imagined being—and far more than I deserve to be—but I dearly love my ex-wife and probably always will. It’s a mutual thing but is strictly platonic. After being together for 37 years, it took a 4-year separation for each of us to learn that there are instances where love (sorry John) really isn’t “all you need.” Were we all perfect beings, love would be more than enough to resolve any differences, but in mortality, non of us will be. Like Joni says, life is for learning.

  7. anonymous
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    Feb 9th 2021 report

    For me, Understanding the depth of meaning is easy, painful and obvious. Absolutely crafted lyrics with beautiful voices and melodies.
    Now I want to know what noisy bar in Avalon. Which Avalon and why’d you not expect to fail when we treat relationships selfishly. Taken for granted. Larger voices calling. Only In the stillness (no pun) of our best efforts of meditation will be heard. Will they be forgotten?
    The universe is within us of us and all encompassing around all. We are One. Individually seeking, the One.

  8. anonymous
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    Jul 21st 2020 report

    David Crosby’s ass being “ repeatedly busted for drugs,” and usually in South America or the Bahamas.
    In the last verse of the song, the words
    “ you will survive being busted “ we’re about Dave’s, repeated drug busts.
    Wow... I wonder, was Steven Stills trying to lift the spirits of his close friend by writing those words? (NOT!)
    Throwing a dig at his close friend and during a recording session is more likely. In fact; I’m quite sure that being in a studio at the time, (is) the only thing that kept, Steven Stills from being “ sucker punched in the fucking head,” by David.
    No wonder Dave went through three livers.
    He went from being an outsider with
    Buffalo Springfield, to Steven Stills very own, red-headed step child!
    Furthermore, leave Neil Young out of the equation, because he was nowhere around when -Southern Cross - was written or recorded.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  9. anonymous
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    Mar 24th 2020 report

    Sometimes a broken heart and a lost love that you can never get back seems more expansive than the breadth of the heavens reaching up to the Southern Cross. She's still out there but might as well be the distant stars. Acceptance dulls the pain.

  10. anonymous
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    Mar 9th 2020 report

    I believe the Southern Cross is an ode to the almighty vagina. Of course there are beautiful words to honor it.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  11. anonymous
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    Sep 29th 2019 report

    Everything has to die sooner or later. Be responsible for your own actions. You can only control your thoughts nobody else’s

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Nov 18th 2017 report

    Not to ever lose sight of beauty or music.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Jun 22nd 2015 report

    Since had boat boat named Mayan I'd say he was familiar with history , as well as ancient civilizations. The Mayan and the Egyptian,etc. were very advanced astronomers . They all worshipped personified constellations and told allagorical stories about them . The sun/son goes to die on the southern cross to die 1st day of summer and winter solstices( Easter and Christmas ) . On the third it rises or resurrects to highest point . But the truth you could be running could be so small, but is as big as the promise , the promise of a coming day (return ) .. Spirits are using me , higher voices calling ....

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