big river


Birth Name: James Michael Aloysius Bradford
Born: March 16, 1954
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Soul

basic information

release date 1996 Jan, 12
country of manufacture Germany
label east west
catalog no. 0630-12823-4 [Cass.], 0630-12823-2 [CD]
format Cass., CD
note of registration P + ©1995 Warner Music UK Ltd.
recording Rak Studios, Abbey Road Studios, London
mixing Whitfield Street Studios and Westside Studios, London by Jon Kelly engineered by Cameron Jenkins assisted by Graeme Stweart, Guy Massey, Will O’Donovan and Sam Gibson
mastering n/a
production Jimmy Nail, Danny Schogger
credits Thanks are due to many: to all the musicians and technicians who worked on this album, to all who worked on the „Crocodile Shoes“ and „Summer Strummer“ tours, to Emma K and Tarquin G, to Kellie G, to Max H and all at East West, to Jon K and to Mark K.

A special thank you to Danny S.

Jimmy Nail


Jimmy Nail vocals
Mark Knopfler lead guitar
Hugh Burns acoustic guitar
Melvin Duffy pedal steel guitar
Alan Clark 5) organ
Guy Chambers piano
Danny Schogger synthesizer
Flonn O‘Lochlainn bass
Geoff Dugmore drums, percussion
Andy Caine backing vocals
Tessa Niles backing vocals

tracks [CD]

1 big river [6:00]



big river
(Jimmy Nail)

Walking on cobble stone, little bits of skin and bone
Jumping on a tram car for a ride
I can remember then, ‘cause I was just a boy of ten
Hanging around the old quayside
Now all the capstans and the cargo boats
And stevedores are gone
To where all the old ships go
But memories, just like the seas live on
’Cause that was when coat was king,
The river was a living thing
And I was just a boy but it was mine
The coaly Tyne

For this was a big river
I want you all to know that I was proud
This was a big river
But that was long ago, that’s not now

My father was a working man,
He earned our living with his hands
He had to cross the river every day
He picked up a union card out to the Neptune yard
Mouths to feed and bills to pay
There came a time for him to sail
Across the seas and far away
And finally when that war was won
You brought him home and home he stayed
And when his days were done,
Under a golden sun
You took him back to where he longed to be,
Back to the sea

For this was a big river
I want you all to know that I was proud
This was a big river
But that was long ago, that’s not now

The Neptune was the last to go
I heard it on my radio
And the they played the latest number one
But what do they do all day?
What are they supposed to say?
What does a father tell his son?
If you believe that there’s a bond
Between our future and our past
Then try to hold on to what we have
We built them strong, we built to last
‘Cause this is a mighty town,
Built upon solid ground
And Everything they’ve tried so hard to kill,
We will rebuild

For this was a big river
I want you all to know I'm so very proud
This was a big river,
But that was long ago, that’s not now
This is a big, big river,
And in my heart I know it will rise again
The river will rise again

Zomba Music Publishers Ltd


³ source: database by Wolf-Dieter Mattick

Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Nail
Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Nail photography © by Paul Cox


  • cassettes
  • singles
  • promos
  • compilations
  • sampler

big river

Modified track
big river '96 (remixed)

big river big river '96 (radio edit)        
CD³ CDs        
#PROP90 / 0630-12823-2 [Germany] # EW024(DD)        


euro x clusive hit disc : 133E hittrax : X186 radio show Nr. 3 : Januar 1996 ; radio news Warner Music United Kingdom new releases    
1995 1996 1996 1996 [1996?]    

versions: album (5:53), (5:56) and edit (4:16), [4:21]

¬the¬ Nail file : the best of Jimmy Nail

release date: 1997 June, 10
country of manufacture: Germany
label: eastwest
catalog no.: 3984-20739-4 [Cass.], 3984-20739-2 [CD]
format: Cass., CD³
note of registration: (C) + (P) 1997 Warner Musik UK Ltd.

5 big river
  • label: Warner Platinum / WSM Warner Strategic Marketing • country of manufacture: EU • catalog no.: 2564-62625-2 • format: CD³ • note of registration: (P)2005 Warner Music UK Ltd. (C)2005 Warner Music UK Ltd. • release date: 2005


¬the¬ Nail file : the best of Jimmy Nail ; video c

cover year country of manufacture format label catalog no. note of registration
1997 ? VHS VIDEO Warner Music Vision / east west 3984-21271-3 (C) 1997 Warner Musik UK Ltd.
now that's what I call music! 32 16 hot singles vol. 2 hitbreaker 3/96 : pop news³ [Mr Music] plus 2•96 Marek Niedzwiecki : Moja Lista Marzeń  
1995 1996 1996 1996 [2012?]  


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