This tranquil classic evokes sailing on the open sea, leaving any troubles on the shore. In a Songfacts interview with Christopher Cross
, he told the story of the song:
"I was just at home sitting in this cheap apartment, sitting at the table. I remember coming up with the verse and chorus, and the lyrics to the first verse of the chorus all came out. These tunings, like Joni [Mitchell] used to say, they get you in this sort of trance, so all that came out at once: 'It's not far down to paradise...' The chorus just sort of came out.
So I got up and wandered around the apartment just thinking, 'Wow, that's pretty f--kin' great.' I just thought, 'That's really cool.' So then I sat down and had to try to come up with other stuff to make the rest of the song, but I thought I had something there.
Then it took about two years before I had a bridge to that song, because the modality of the modal tuning thing, it gets pretty linear, and you've got to be careful. There are writers - I won't mention who - whose songs can get kind of boring because everything's this modality. So I knew I needed to lift the song out of that modality in the bridge and make key changes.
It took about two years before I came up with the bridge that changes all the keys to where it lifts, but it was a pretty special moment."