Up Here In Heaven

Up on the hill I see it begin,
Marking the heroes where they fall,
In the stone, in the stone the names of those who have gone;

And over the river, there is a place,
Where they remember boys and men,
Widows talk, widows talk of all that they could have been;

We can hear you, we can hear you whisper our names;
We can see you, we can see you reading our names;

Up here in heaven, we stand together,
Both the enemy and the friend, 'till the end of time,
Up here in heaven, we are forever,
There is only on God up here, for all of the world;

What of the children caught in the war,
How can we tell them what it's for,
When they cry, when they cry are voices heard anymore?

Are you listening, are you listening men of the war?
There is nothing, there is nothing worth dying for;

Up here in heaven, we stand together,
Both the enemy and the friend, 'till the end of time,
Up here in heaven, we are forever,
There is only one God up here, for all of the world;
There is only one God up here, the God of the world.
"For me, this is the most important track that I've written on this record - possibly one of the most important I've ever written. I was down at the family castle in Wexford and, as I've probably mentioned before, my grandfather has got a little study there. He's been dead now for 20 years, but he's always been a great inspiration to me, and I feel his spirit very close to me all the time. Now, in this little study he's got all his memorabilia and old photo-graphs and stuff - and there's a piano in there which is just...terrible. It's not his, my brother put it in there, but it's a really bad old piano. And it sounds great! It's a little upright, and it's kind of tinkly. I love the sound of it, and I've written so many songs on this thing. Virtually every time I go in there, I start playing it. On the last album, Shine On, I wrote on that piano. Moonlight And Vodka, Lonely Sky...so many of them down the years. Anyway, I was playing around on this thing and I started to get a melody coming through. I was looking at photographs of my grandfather in India, all these other soldiers were in them, too, and the idea started drifting into my mind of the point of view of all the dead soldiers looking down. So, here comes the movie!... The movie is, quite simply, the view of a dead soldier looking down on people observing Remembrance Day, for example - it could be any time. In my mind, I can see the sea of white crosses in Flanders in the cemeteries there, I can see the memorial to the Vietnam dead in America; Washington and the black marble stone. The soldier, up in heaven, is looking down at people whispering the names and reading the names, he sees all of the widows - and he's saying 'Up here in heaven, we're all together, forever. We have been fighting for different gods but, up here in heaven, there is actually only one God - the god of the world.' It's so ludicrous to fight for something that hasn't been proved. The West fights the East. People fight for religious reasons and they say 'God's with us.' The Germans say 'Gott mit uns.' The Japanese say something else again, and so on. And the soldier is saying 'Up here in heaven, things are not that way.' The movie would be of millions of soldiers, all different -blacks, orientals, European...all kinds. Then it's back again to the children. The lyric goes 'What of the children caught in the war? How can we tell them what it's for when they cry? When they cry, are voices heard any more?' The beat on this is primal, and it's one of those songs where...I don't know what to put after it. It'll have to end the record - and it'll certainly have to end the cassette. On the CD, I don't want to put it at the end because people don't really listen to the end as often as they might. Most people that buy CDs don't actually get beyond the eighth track very often, for some bizarre reason. But it's been proven that most people can listen to about 40 minutes of music, and leave it at that. So, the track will probably be about 40 minutes in on the CD. But, in a concert, people will be so stunned by this, that it's very difficult to know what to follow it with. We're thinking of putting a video together of scenes of war, illustrating the point I'm making here - and it would be very powerful. I'll give you an example. It was the last song that I brought in for the album, ironically, and I had it in my head - but we'd already recorded 13 tracks. So, I went into the studio with this track and said 'Guys, I've got this little song. I probably won't want to record it on this album. It may not be appropriate.' And they said 'Well, play it.' So I played it and they said 'Oh, we loved that!' So I left them at it. I remember it distinctly; it was about 12.30pm. I went back into the studio at about 1.10pm - and they'd already got this fantastic backing. It was recorded within about five minutes, the track we've got. And there was somebody who hadn't heard it who came into the studio a few hours later - and every single member of the band got up from the living area and said 'You've got to hear this.' Everybody who has heard it here is just open-mouthed. It's a very, very strong tune - and when you hear it, I hope you'll agree with me."
The Getaway Gazette, April 1994


"Up Here In Heaven" appears on the following albums:

This Way UpThe Lady In Red (The Very Best Of Chris De Burgh)Live In Dortmund