From the self-titled solo album by Robbie Robertson, “Showdown At Big Sky” reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1987. This album won the Juno Award for “Album of the Year,” while both producers Daniel Lanois and Robertson won “Producer of the Year.”
People have reacted to “Showdown at Big Sky” in a variety of ways due to its rich symbolism and the listener’s viewpoint. From a Christian view some of the lyrical symbols include; darkness at high noon (Matthew 27:45), that day may be soon (Revelation 22:20), all you believers (1 Peter 2:4-8) standing inside this room (John 14:1-4), the valley of tears (Isaiah 25:7-8), in the Book of David (Revelation 22:16), children of Eden (Genesis 4), and the Holy Ghost (Mark 1:7-8). Last but not least, in the refrain, Robertson sings about people hearing, in every village and every town, bells ringing out. As a child, I can still remember hearing bells at a small country church ringing out, calling those nearby together for worship.
Understandably, some will see meaning in this song as a possible world war being waged and fought by theists, while Christian’s will see it as the ultimate battle of good and evil that can only be fought and won by God’s Son… not us.