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Roundabout by Yes

Roundabout by Yes

Progressive Rock Music

Group members Jon Anderson and Steve Howe wrote the song towards the end of a tour when they were traveling in Scotland. The scenery of the mountains and lakes, including Loch Ness, was magnificent and somewhat mystical. They passed many roundabouts (that is, a roundabout is a British term for a traffic circle) on their journey.  Anderson wanted to be back home in London with his then-wife Jennifer.  All of these are ingredients that went into the song. It was released on their 1971 album Fragile. The cut was 8:29 long. The single was edited to 3:27 for radio airplay. The band was surprised by the edit, as they were on tour at the time, and were concerned that it did not make sense musically.

However, it was released in 1972, backed with “Long Distance Runaround,” and charted successfully for Yes.  In 1972, “Roundabout” went to #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #10 on U.S. Cash Box Top 100, #9 in Canada, and #27 in The Netherlands. The band plays the longer version at concerts.

On the track are Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Steve Howe (electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals), Christ Squire (bass guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals), Rick Wakeman (Hammond organ, Minimoog, grand piano, Mellotron), and Bill Bruford (drums, percussion). The lineup has changed over the years.  The band continues to tour and perform.

Here are the lyrics to “Roundabout” by Yes:

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

The music dance and sing
They make the children really ring
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see you
Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too
Twenty-four before my love you’ll see
I’ll be there with you

I will remember you
Your silhouette will charge the view
Of distance atmosphere
Call it morning driving through the sound and
Even in the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see you
Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too
Twenty-four before my love you’ll see
I’ll be there with you

Along the drifting cloud
The eagle searching down on the land
Catching the swirling wind
The sailor sees the rim of the land
The eagle’s dancing wings
Create as weather spins out of hand

Go closer hold the land
Feel partly no more than grains of sand
We stand to lose all time
A thousand answers by in our hand
Next to your deeper fears
We stand surrounded by a million years

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky; they stand there
Twenty-four before my love and I’ll be there

I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving through the sound and
In and out the valley

In and around the lake
Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there
One mile over we’ll be there and we’ll see you
Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too
Twenty-four before my love you’ll see
I’ll be there with you

Da la la la da da la….[repeat]

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Roundabout” by Yes.

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