Robbie Robertson “Broken Arrow”

Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson

“Broken Arrow”

This week we have decided to calm things down a bit and play a song from the Canadian born, Native American singer/songwriter Robbie Robertson. Forgotten Rock Classics came across this song late one night while watching a movie we can not remember, as the credits started to roll they were playing this song and we fell in love with it. Yes it is a little newer then most of the songs we have done but it is a forgotten classic.

Upon further investigation we found out that Rod Stewart had re-done this song in 1991 and scored a big hit off of it. No offense to Rod (his version really sucks) but Robbie Robertson’s voice is much better suited for the song. The Grateful Dead even put the song into their live shows back in the early 1990’s with bassist Phil Lesh singing the vocals. That alone speaks volumes for the song.

Robbie is best known for his work in the band The Band as well as their work as the back up band to Bob Dylan when he changed from folk music to electric. Robbie Robertson’s self titled first solo album was recorded in 1987 and put out on Geffen Records with Robbie and Daniel Lanois as co-producers. Broken Arrow is the third track from the record that also included the hit Somewhere Down the Crazy River. It is a love ballad that brings Robertson back to his Native American roots. There are many different ideas about what the song is about but we are going to stick to the idea that it is a love song about forbidden love. When listening to the song we would like to think about it more as a love song to someone we love versus forbidden love to a love we can not have.

We understand that the Native American theme is a very important aspect of the song, but for the video that goes with the song we have taken a 1935 cartoon starring Molly Mow-Cow from which has to do with Molly and a Indian women working together to save the ladies child and Molly’s duck friends. We truly believe that you will enjoy listening to this song just as much as we do.

Video courtesy of Forgotten Rock Classics


9 thoughts on “Robbie Robertson “Broken Arrow”

  1. I’ve always felt the song was about Christ, especially the chorus. I’m not a religious person but…..
    Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow (peace)
    Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain (rain a symbol of hope, life)
    There he goes moving across the water (Jesus was reported to have walked across the water)
    There he goes turning my whole world around (one could argue that few have affected the world like Christ)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember watching some show with Robbie on it were he explained what the song was about but the best thing about music is we as the listeners can interpret the song anyway we want. I believe when I first started the blog I did a post about The Temptations “I wish it would rain”. The post was about another California drought and wishing it would rain and if I remember correctly never mentioned what the song was really about.


    • I totally agree. I too am not a catholic / Christian, but I really resonate with the idea that this song is exactly as you described 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Been listening to a lot of RR lately. Another good choice for a song. Also from a very good album. RR and the Red Road Ensemble’s ‘Music for Native Americans has been on the player for the last few months. ( The Band is never far from a music machine in my pad). Love this tune.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the song and the video 🙂 I learn so much about American rock classics and bands every time I read your posts. Thanks for sharing this great song!


    • We are so glad that you are enjoying the blog and this song in particular. There are so many more songs that will be coming up that we think you will enjoy. Thanks so much for the kind words!


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