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Bone On Bone

2017 - Bone On Bone
Bone On Bone

RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2017
PURCHASE: True North Records | itunes |Amazon

seen rose gold haze at the end of the day
ragged-winged hawk swooping down on prey
curtain going up on the night time shadow play.
seen sun going down set the sea on fire
black smoke boiling from burning tires
and bones in the mud — was the blood sacrifice required?
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

one day fit and one day fat
one day flush and one day flat
reality distorted like a sat-on hat.
one day I feel like I’m in control
the next I’m suspended in a bottomless hole
a drunk trying to shinny up a greased pole
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

I’m slick as a dealer in a green eyeshade
aces up his sleeve and he’s not afraid
the mayor and his uniformed monkeys have been well paid.
climbing up the ivy to the balcony above
where pines the heart of my one true love
obsession, delusion — all that waits is the fateful shove
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

crows in the treetops motors in the road
structures of darkness that the dawn corrodes
into the title montage of a new episode.
whisper wells up from the deeps untrod
overflows its channel and spreads abroad
gathers in power like a lightning rod
Oo-ee all the sights I’ve seen
in the depth of the world and the heart of a dream
Oo-ee all the places I’ve been
each one reflected in the states I’m in, uh huh
states I’m in

May 21, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars, Percussion and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
Colin Linden – Guitars, Mandotar and Harmony
John Whynot – Organ
Brandon Robert Young – Harmony

you got lamentation
you got dislocation
sirens wailing and the walls come down

you got revelation
you got felt relation
door creaks open and the trumpet sounds

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

you got incantation
you got quantum vibration
temple trembles as the Lord draws nigh

you got transformation
thunder shaking
seal is broken and the spirit flies

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

we’re taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
taking a stab at matter
set the spirit free

January 11, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Ruby Amanfu & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

forty years in the wilderness getting to know the beasts
projected and reflected on the greatest and the least
forty years of days and nights — angels hovering near
kept me moving forward though the way was far from clear
and they said
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

forty years in the wilderness dancing with the flies
dazzled by the visions rolling out before my eyes
angel-made graffiti, demons in disguise
you could trade away your birthright for another day’s supplies
or you could
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

rising with the height of land, falling with the crowd
spirits in the scouring wind called my name out loud
said you could go to heaven, you could go to hell
you could hang out in between in the place you know so well
or you could
take up your load
run south to the road
turn to the setting sun
sun going down
got to cover some ground
before everything comes undone
comes undone

June 19, 2016 – Saratoga Springs, CA

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Mary Gauthier & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

cafe society meets in front of Peet’s
goes on about the goings on up and down the street
talk about evictions, talk about the dogs
the drunkards in the dog park and once and future fog
the caliphate of perverts and the flight of refugees
the growing ranks of homeless and the disappearing bees

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day
cafe society talking up a storm
talk about the Nasdaq and the Racing Form
talk about the opera, talk about cars
talk about the desert and the colonies on Mars
talk about tsunamis and the crazies with their guns
and the crazy-ass policemen shooting everything that runs

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day

talk about beauty, talk about disease
the supersize container ships that ply the swelling seas
somebody went to heaven. left some parts in the bay
But he’s a friending of a friending — I don’t know him anyway
flapping lips of flatulence bellow “vote for ME”
everything is spinning in the looming entropy

cafe society — a sip of community
cafe society — misery loves company
hey — it’s a way
to start the day

December 29, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar, Harmonica and Vocals
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums
Colin Linden- Vocals
Ron Miles – Coronet

Stand in the swaying boxcar doorway
moving east away from the sunset and
after a while the eyes digest a country and
the belly perceives a mapmaker’s vision
in dust and dirt on the face and hands here
its smell drawn deep through the nostrils down
to the lungs and spurts through the bloodstream
campaigns in the lower intestine and
chants love songs to the kidneys
After a while there is no arrival and
no departure possible any more
you are where you were always going
and the shape of home is under your fingernails..

I’m a product of some parents of the sort that shouldn’t breed
didn’t get much of schooling past learning how to read
got the poetry bug in some forgotten institution
when first I did embark on my career of destitution
the beauty of language set a hook in my soul
me like a breadcrust soaking soup from a bowl
You can call this a rant but I declare I declaim
Al Purdy’s poems are the name of the game
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

Pokers in the counting house counting out the bacon
matter’s getting darker in the universe they’re making
they love the little guy until they get a better offer
with the dollar getting smaller they can fit more in their coffers
and the doings on the corner neither sung nor seen
they’re circling the shopping carts at Sherbourne and Queen
I resemble that assembly but I’m not the same
Al Purdy’s poems are the name of my game
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

You can spit on the prophet but respect the word
I’ve got some lines I want to spin you that you ought to have heard
the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

the winds of fate blow where they will
I’ll give you 3 Al Purdy’s for a twenty dollar bill

And after the essence of everything
had exchanged itself for words and became
another being and could even be summoned
from the far distance we chanted a spell of names
and we said “mountain be our friend”
and we said “River guard us from enemies”
And we said what it seemed the gods themselves
might say if we had dreamed them and they
had dreamed us from their high places
and they spoke to us in the forest
from the river and the mountain
and the mouths of the ochre-painted dead
had speech again and the waters
spoke and the speech had words
and our children remembered

December 29, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitars and Vocal
Scott Amendola – Drums
John Shifflett – Upright bass
Julie Wolf – Accordian
Gary Craig – Fan and Other Percussion
John Dymond – Electric Bass
Ron Miles – Coronet

Produced by Julie Wolf – with additional production by Colin Linden

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear view
of you

you’re a warm bright window lighting up the rain
I catch a glimpse of the glow but I still remain
outside where the shadows pool and bleed
chimney silhouettes semaphore in a code I cannot read

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear view
of you

you’re like the leaves that come down from the trees
a suggestion of a springtime to be
crunching underfoot outlined in frost
full of promise for the return of something lost

looking and waiting — it’s what I do
scanning the skies for a beacon from you
shapes on the curtain, but no clear viewv of you

looking and waiting — it’s what I do

January 23, 2016 – Toronto

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar, Mbira and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Sansula
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

Instrumental

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar and Bones

(French)
Mon chemin
Qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

chemin de fer
chemin de l’air
chemin de lumière
parfois d’éclairs
de nuit, de jour
toujours ces carrefours
putain de détours
encore je cours
je cours toujours.

Qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

de jour, de nuit
le chemin fleuri
fleurs d’esprit
fleurs de folie
on pleure, on rit

on pleure, on rit
le chaos s’élargit
il y a peu d’abri
c’est pas le paradis
ce chemin de ma vie

mais qui sait
ou serait
mon chemin
sinon ici?

(English)
who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

iron road
road of earth
road of the air
road of light
sometimes lightning

by night by day
always these crossroads
fucking detours
still I’m running
always running

who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

by day by night
the road blooms
flowers of spirit
flowers of madness
you cry, you laugh

you cry. you laugh
chaos expands
not much shelter…
it’s no paradise
this road of my life

who knows
where my
road would be,
if not here

September 9, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Charango, Dulcimer and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Harmony
Ron Miles – Coronet

on the coastline
where the trees shine
in the unexpected rain
there’s the carcass
of a tanker
in the centre of a stain
and the waves of
dead sea things
slide slick on to the stones
and the flux
thicker than water
from the planet’s pierced bones

in a jeweler’s
armoured window
you can just cast your eyes on
a diamond-crusted
pendant
in the shape of Bart Simpson
through mirrored
cops in armour
and the drift of gas clouds
drones the
size of horseflies
scrutinizing the crowds
and the horsemen
on a high ridge
they wheel and they ride
their work all
done for them
by the turgid black tide

false river, dark flow
how far do we have to go?
torrent tumbles to the sea
this ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
false river

life blood
of the land
consort of our earth
pulse to the
pull of moonrise
can you tally what it’s worth?
we can spend it
till we end it
while the heat climbs up the graph
till we’re panting
like a salmon
with its gill hooked on a gaff
and the dark blood
keeps flowing
like a hemorrhage from the womb
that birthed us
gave us substance
on our own heads be our doom

false river, dark flow
how far do we have to go?
torrent tumbles to the sea
this ain’t the way it’s supposed to be
false river

August 24, 2016 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Guitar, Harmonica and Vocal
Roberto Occhipinti – Upright Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian
Colin Linden – Electric Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

This song is included in the book Refugium Poems for the Pacific which was compiled by Yvonne Bloomer.

I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

standing on the platform
awed by the power
I feel the fire of love
feel the hand upon my shoulder saying “brother climb aboard”
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

standing on the platform
locomotive throbbing
I’m drawn to that open door
in the wonder of a child’s heart I’m stepping up the stair
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
I’m on a Jesus train
headed for
headed for
headed for the City of God

February 13, 2015 – San Francisco

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar, Mbira and Vocal
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums and Percussion
John Aaron Cockburn – Accordian and Sansula
Colin Linden – Slide Guitar
Brandon Robert Young & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chorus – Vocals

(Chorus)
O — what a beautiful city
O — what a beautiful city God knows
what a beautiful city
twelve gates to the city, hallelu

three gates in the east, three gates in the west
three gates in the north, three gates in the south
which should make twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

city on the hilltop — I’m gonna make it mine
gonna be a citizen of a world of love divine
twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

no matter which tribe you’re born to there’s a way in for you
come from any quarter — you can be a citizen too
’cause there’s twelve gates to the city, hallelu

(Chorus)

June 19, 2016 – Saratoga Springs, CA

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – 12 String Guitar and Vocals
John Dymond – Bass
Gary Craig – Drums & Percussion
Ron Miles – Coronet
Ruby Amanfu & The San Francisco Lighthouse Chours – Vocals

Traditional Song with new arrangment and added verses



Liner Notes:

Produced by Colin Linden
* Produced by Julie Wolf – with additional production by Colin Linden
Mixed by John Whynot at Fantasy Studio D, Berkeley, CA – assisted by Robert Kirby & Aiden Nelson
except “3 Al Purdys”, “Looking And Waiting” & “Stab At Matter” mixed by COLIN LINDEN at Pinhead Recorders

Recorded At Prairie Sun Recording Studio, Cotati, CA by Matthew Wright, assisted by Jaycob Bellochio, Ben Bacey and Nate Nauseda
except “3 Al Purdys” recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA by Adam Munoz with additional recording by Julie Wolf,
and ‘False River” & “Jesus Train” recorded at Union Street Studios, Toronto, Canada by Chris Stringer, assisted by Alex Gamble
and ‘Bone On Bone” recorded at Pinhead Recorders, Nashville, TN by Colin Linden
Additional recording at Pinhead Recorders by Colin Linden
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound New York

All Songs are written by Bruce Cockburn and Published by Holy Drone Corp (SOCAN) except:
3 Al Purdys which is written by Bruce Cockburn and Al Purdy and published by Holy Drone Corp and The Al Purdy Estate and
“Twelve Gates To The City” which is traditional with additional verses written by Bruce Cockburn and published by Holy Drone Corp.

Bone On Bone - Bruce Cockburn

Album photography by Daniel Keebler
Cover photo by Bruce Cockburn

Art Direction design & layout by A Man Called Wrycraft www.wrycraft.com

Translation by Marcel Moussette & Jane Macaulay

Direction:
Bernie Finkelstein
The Finkelstein Management Company
bernie@finkelsteinmanagement.com

We acknowledge the financial support of the government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund

The San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus” is:
Kate Lamont
Amanda Perez
Tamara Silvera
Julie Suan
Jonathon Travis
Juliana Travis
Shanna Travis
Julie Wolf
Andi Woodward

Album Note:
Thanks are due, whether they like it or not, to: Jeff Garner, the Gospel of Mark (Forty Years in the Wilderness); Charlie, Craig, Pam and Pam, Amanda, Philip, Belinda, Fiona, Carl, Sheila and the rest of the morning gang at Peet’s (Cafe Society); Brian Johnson, Julie Wolf, Al Purdy RIP (3 Al Purdys); les Guillaumes…Appollinaire et Chattier (Mon Chemin); Yvonne Blomer, Enbridge et al (False River); SF Lighthouse, Marc Bregman (Jesus Train); Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry, Rev Gary Davis (Twelve Gates to the City); God, MJ, Iona, Bernie Finkelstein, Daniel Keebler, and the United States of America, for welcoming me into its tender embrace.

The catalogue # is TND678 and the UPC is: 620638067826


Bruce Cockburn – Bone on Bone

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Bone On Bone, Cockburn’s 33rd album, arrives with 11 new songs, including “3 Al Purdys,” a brilliant, six-minute epic that pays tribute to Purdy’s poetry. Cockburn explains its genesis: “I went out and got Purdy’s collected works, which is an incredible book. Then I had this vision of a homeless guy who is obsessed with Purdy’s poetry, and he’s ranting it on the street. The song is written in the voice of that character. The chorus goes, ‘I’ll give you three Al Purdys for a twenty dollar bill.’ Here’s this grey-haired dude, coat tails flapping in the wind, being mistaken for the sort of addled ranters you run into on the street—except he’s not really ranting, he’s reciting Al Purdy. The spoken word parts of the track are excerpts from Purdy’s poems. After that, once the ice was broken, the songs just started coming.”

Cockburn’s rugged fingerpicking style on the Dobro perfectly matches Purdy’s plainspoken words and the grizzled voice of his street character. A similar guitar style can be heard on two of the next songs Cockburn wrote, the gospel-like “Jesus Train,” and “Café Society,” a bluesy number about people who gather at his local coffee shop to sip their java and talk about the state of the world.

There’s a prevalent urgency and anxious tone to much of the album, which Cockburn attributes to living in America during the Trump era. But, more than anything, Bone on Bone amounts to the deepest expression of Cockburn’s spiritual concerns to date. The 12-time Juno winner and Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee turned away from traditional Christianity in the mid-1970s toward a quest for the more all-inclusive mysticism he documents in his memoir. And it’s that kind of spirituality that figures prominently in “Jesus Train” and “Twelve Gates to the City.” In “Looking and Waiting,” Cockburn sings of “scanning the skies for a beacon” from the divine.

“It’s a song of faith and frustration,” says Cockburn of the latter. “…Tired of looking in from the outside. My MO has always been to be aware of the divine…that dimension…always dealing with being stuck in a kind of observer’s position with respect to all that. I know it’s there. I don’t really see as faith so much as knowledge. Others may have different ideas about those things, but for me, I don’t have to struggle to believe in God, or the notion that God cares what happens to me. But I do have to struggle with being in a conscious, intentional relationship. That underlies a lot of these songs.”

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” ranks alongside “Pacing the Cage” or “All the Diamonds” as one of Cockburn’s most starkly beautiful folk songs. “There have been so many times in my life when an invitation has come from somewhere…the cosmos…the divine…to step out of the familiar into something new. I’ve found it’s best to listen for, and follow these promptings. The song is really about that. You can stay with what you know or you can pack your bag and go where you’re called, even if it seems weird…even if you can’t see why or where you’ll end up.”

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” is one of several songs that feature a number of singers from the church Cockburn frequents, for the sake of convenience referred to in the album credits as the San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus.” “The music was one of the enticements that drew me to SF Lighthouse. As I found myself becoming one of the regulars there, and got to know the people, I felt that I really wanted all these great singers, who were now becoming friends, to be on the album. They were kind enough to say yes!” Among other songs, they contribute call-and-response vocals to the stirring “Stab at Matter.” Other guests on the album include singer-songwriters Ruby Amanfu, Mary Gauthier, and Brandon Robert Young, along with bassist Roberto Occhipinti, and Julie Wolf, who plays accordion on “3 Al Purdys” and sings with the folks from Lighthouse, together with LA songwriter Tamara Silvera.

Produced by Colin Linden, Cockburn’s longtime collaborator, the album is built around the musicianship of Cockburn on guitar and the core accompaniment of bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig. Also very much part of the sound is the accordion playing of Cockburn’s nephew John Aaron Cockburn and the solos of noted fluegelhorn player Ron Miles (check out his stunning work on the cascading “Mon Chemin,” for example).

Two other songs should be noted. The environmental warning “False River” came about at the invitation of Yvonne Bloomer, the poet laureate of Victoria, British Columbia. Bloomer was seeking a poem about the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. “Pipelines have their own perils that we’re all aware of,” says Cockburn, “so I started writing what was meant to be a spoken-word piece with a rhythm to it. But it evolved very quickly into a song.”

“States I’m In,” which opens the album, conjures up feelings of mystery and dread. “It’s literally a ‘dark night of the soul’ kind of song,” Cockburn explains, “as it starts with sunset and ends with dawn. It passes through the night. The song is about illusion and self-delusion, looking at the tricks you play on yourself.” He adds: “Maybe it’s also a play on words about me living in the States.”

Cockburn, who won the inaugural People’s Voice Award at the Folk Alliance International conference in February and will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September, continues to find inspiration in the world around him and channel those ideas into songs. “My job is to try and trap the spirits of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal,” he once noted. More than forty years after embarking on his singer-songwriting career, Cockburn keeps kicking at the darkness so that it might bleed daylight. ~ Nicholas Jennings, Bernie Finkelstein & Bruce Cockburn

For further information, contact: publicity@truenorthrecords.com



Listen to Bruce Cockburn’s New Album ‘Bone on Bone’ (USA & beyond)

by Brittney McKenna – No Depression

8 September 2017 – Bruce Cockburn is one of Canada’s most beloved songwriters, earning 12 Juno Awards and spots in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame over the course of his storied career, which spans nearly five decades.

It’s been six years since Cockburn released a studio album — 2011’s Small Source of Comfort — but the songwriter announced earlier this year his plans to release a 33rd LP, Bone on Bone. The new collection of songs, produced by Colin Linden, touches on many subjects close to Cockburn’s heart, including the poet Al Purdy, life in Trump’s America, and the complexities of personal spirituality.

Click through and Listen to the album in its entirety before its September 15 release date.

Credit: Listen – Bone On Bone – No Depression.


First Play and Q&A: Bruce Cockburn Bone On Bone (Canada)

7 September 2017 – by Andrea Warner – CBCMusic

“Take up your load, run south to the road,
Turn to the setting sun,
Sun going down, got to cover some ground,
Before everything comes undone.”
Bruce Cockburn

The gentle lilt of his guitar, that familiar voice a little more road-worn but still warm and wise, and those words. This is his first studio album in seven years, but few lyricists help us to know ourselves more deeply than award-winning singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.

Above is the chorus from “40 Years in the Wilderness,” the third track off of Cockburn’s new record, Bone On Bone. CBC Music has the advance stream playing a week ahead of its Sept. 15 release. Order the album here and get a list of his Canadian tour dates here.

A week after Bone On Bone drops, Cockburn will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on Sept. 23 in Toronto, alongside Beau Dommage, Stéphane Venne and Neil Young. It’s a fitting honour for Cockburn, who, over the course of almost five decades in the music industry, has penned some of the most thoughtful and enduring folk and pop songs of the 20th and 21st centuries, including his U.S. breakthrough, “Wondering Where the Lions Are,” and the gorgeous “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”

But after writing his 2014 memoir, Rumours of Glory, Cockburn wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to write anything ever again.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn said in a press release. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Three years later, Bone On Bone is here.

Cockburn spoke with CBC Music over the phone from his home in San Francisco about writer’s block, finding his faith again and how the late Canadian poet Al Purdy helped kick start the making of Bone On Bone, his 33rd album.

The fifth song on the record is called “3 Al Purdys” and I love the fact that he was an entry point for you after your break with songwriting. What was your relationship to him and his poetry?

I actually didn’t have any relationship with him or his poetry really, until the invitation came to contribute to the film [Al Purdy Was Here]. I was aware of him certainly and I was aware of his reputation but I hadn’t really gotten into his stuff at all. When the prospect of doing something for the documentary was raised I went out and got his collected works and I was completely blown away and amazed that I’d missed it all those years. And regretful, because it would have been great to have met him, or at least to sort of been able to track the development of his work over the years. You can kind of do that looking at the book as a retrospective, but he really was an incredible poet and so Canadian. I can’t think of anyone other than Stompin’ Tom Connors who so exemplified a certain aspect of Canadian culture.

And there’s so much pathos and humour in his work.

When I got asked to write a song, I had not written anything for a while. All the time I was writing my memoir and I couldn’t really get into the concept of songwriting because all the creative energy was going to the book. I was kind of wondering, “Am I going to write songs again?” The invitation came to do this and it was like, “OK, this will be the kickstarter.” I immediately thought of this image of this homeless guy who comes across as being penniless for his art. I pictured him kind of in the wind, coattails blowing and he’s ranting on the street. Well, not really ranting, he’s reciting Al Purdy’s poetry, he’s obsessed with his poetry. The chorus is “I’ll give you three Al Purdys for a 20-dollar bill,” I think Purdy would’ve approved of that, probably.

I think so too.

Basically the guy’s like, “You look at me, you see a homeless bum, you think I’m ranting. But you’ve got to pay attention to this, ’cause you can spit on the prophet, but pay attention to the word.”

I think a lot about those themes, and they’re in your work, too, the obligation of humanity to see a little bit deeper than we sometimes want to.

I agree with you. When you encounter the surface of something, there’s a massive depth behind it. Allow for that even if you don’t know what’s in there, so that you have the chance to discover more. It’s important to kind of approach everything in life like that.

Can we talk a little bit about ‘Forty Years in the Wilderness’? I think this is one of the most extraordinary songs I’ve heard this year and I’d love to know a little bit about what went into writing it.

I was in church one day and the sermon was about Jesus descending from heaven and he realizes who he is, or what his mission is let’s say. One of the gospels basically describes him as kind of jumping up and running off into the desert. He spends 40 days in the desert and in the story he’s tempted by and being offered all sorts of great worldly things, which he rejects. This [sermon] happened right about the time, not to the date, but more or less 40 years since I’m a churchgoer. And I’m back in church and I’m hearing this, and I’m thinking, well — it’s not quite correct to say why, but a large part of me not being a churchgoer was learning about the world.

It hit me at the end of the ’70s, way back when, that if I was going to love my neighbour as myself I’d better find out who my neighbour was. I embraced urban life at that point, which previously I’d been very suspicious of, and I made a point of kind of socializing myself in a very different way from how I had been before that point. And over time, I mean, didn’t just happen overnight, but ah, you know, I had a lot of adventures. I met a lot of great people and some not-so-great people and I travelled to some amazing places and I pretty much fell away from going to church, although I did not fall away from my belief in God and my desire for a relationship with God.

My wife who was going through her own spiritual searching was kind of steered toward this particular church [in San Francisco] and had gone pretty regularly for several months before she managed to convince me to actually go and I went and I completely fell in love with the place — well, not with the place but with the people and the spirit that’s there.

Your guitar playing is really the centrepiece for so much of the record and I was really curious about how the guitar has helped shape you as a storyteller over the years. It seems like it’s an extension of your storytelling.

I almost think of it the other way around. I’m a songwriter because I wanted to be a guitar player. I started off wanting to play rock and roll guitar, under the influence of Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent and Elvis. I never did end up playing that music, per se, but that got me wanting to play the guitar and, you know, over the years, the earliest years of playing I began to imagine myself being in the jazz world and playing, you know, composing music mainly, but playing on the guitar. I never got the chops together to be a jazz musician.

Well the reason I didn’t is that I felt after I got to know it more, that it wasn’t really where I was being invited to go. I was interested in all kinds of other music as well by the time this kind of turning point, decision-making wise. I was heavily under the influence of Bob Dylan and singer-songwriters/folk music of the ’60s. My mother said, “Well, you’re gonna have to sing, you know. Play guitar and sing too.” And I’m going, “Nah, no way, I’m not singing.” She had a lot to do with convincing me that that singing was something I could pull off, even though I was terrified of doing it.

Once I was learning folk songs and blues tunes, it wasn’t a very big step to start writing songs. It was the guitar that started it all. And I’ve always loved the instrument and loved making music on the instrument, whether there was a song to be sung or not, you know?


Bruce Cockburn Announces His First Studio Album In Seven Years – Bone On Bone

For Release On Vinyl, CD And Digital Download
September 15, 2017

BONE ON BONE

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone

States I’m In – Slide Show YouTube Video
States I’m In – Soundcloud Stream (Album Version)
States I’m In – Spotify (Album Version)
Pre-order from True North Records
Pre-order on iTunes
Pre-order on Amazon
Bio – and – Bio – Bone On Bone google doc
Bruce Cockburn – At A Glance – or – At A Glance google doc
New Bruce Cockburn photo

TORONTO, July 12, 2017 – Bruce Cockburn has announced the September 15, 2017 release of his first full-length album in seven years, Bone On Bone (True North Records). The release coincides with his induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, and the launch of his longest touring schedule in decades.

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

Bruce Cockburn - promo photo by Daniel Keebler

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Bone On Bone, Cockburn’s 33rd album, arrives with 11 new songs and there’s a prevalent urgency and anxious tone to much of the album, which Cockburn attributes to living in America during the Trump era. But, more than anything, Bone on Bone amounts to the deepest expression of Cockburn’s spiritual concerns to date. The 12-time Juno winner and Canadian Music Hall of Fame’s “Forty Years in the Wilderness” ranks alongside “Pacing the Cage” or “All The Diamonds” as one of Cockburn’s most starkly beautiful folk songs. “There have been so many times in my life when an invitation has come from somewhere…the cosmos…the divine…to step out of the familiar into something new. I’ve found it’s best to listen for, and follow these promptings.

“Forty Years in the Wilderness” is one of several songs that feature a number of singers from the church Cockburn frequents, for the sake of convenience referred to in the album credits as the San Francisco Lighthouse “Chorus.” “Among other songs, they contribute call-and-response vocals to the stirring “Stab at Matter.” Other guests on the album include singer-songwriters Ruby Amanfu, Mary Gauthier, and Brandon Robert Young, along with bassist Roberto Occhipinti, and Julie Wolf, who plays accordion on “3 Al Purdys” and sings with the folks from Lighthouse, together with LA songwriter Tamara Silvera.

Produced by Colin Linden, Cockburn’s longtime collaborator, the album is built around the musicianship of Cockburn on guitar and the core accompaniment of bassist John Dymond and drummer Gary Craig. Also very much part of the sound is the accordion playing of Cockburn’s nephew John Aaron Cockburn and the solos of noted fluegelhorn player Ron Miles (check out his stunning work on the cascading “Mon Chemin,” for example).

Cockburn, who won the inaugural People’s Voice Award at the Folk Alliance International conference in February and will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in September, continues to find inspiration in the world around him and channel those ideas into songs. “My job is to try and trap the spirits of things in the scratches of pen on paper and the pulling of notes out of metal,” he once noted. More than forty years after embarking on his singer-songwriting career, Cockburn keeps kicking at the darkness so that it might bleed daylight.

Bone On Bone Track Listing:

1. States I’m In
2. Stab At Matter
3. Forty Years In The Wilderness
4. Café Society
5. 3 Al Purdys
6. Looking And Waiting
7. Bone On Bone
8. Mon Chemin
9. False River
10. Jesus Train
11. Twelve Gates To The City

TOUR DATES

For more information, please contact:
Eric Alper, Publicity
True North Recordsv P: 647-971-3742
E: Eric@TrueNorthRecords.com

Photo by Daniel Keebler.

Press Release Bone On Bone

You may download the pdf as well.

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone - Press Release pdf

New Tour Dates and New Album Info

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone tour dates
New tour with band starting in November 2017

Bruce will start touring in the eastern U.S. in November 2017, in support of his yet to be released new album Bone On Bone. Released date is set for 15 September 2017. He will tour in Canada in September 2017 and in the U.S. and Canada in January/February 2018. This tour will be a band tour, and details of that will be coming along shortly.



Albums – Alphabetical Listing

1. Anything Anytime Anywhere
Bruce Cockburn - Anything Anytime Anywhere - 2002
1979 – 2002 – Compilation
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
2002 (28th album)

2. Big Circumstance
Bruce Cockburn - Big Circumstance - 1988
Produced by Jon Goldsmith
1988 – 2005 (20th album)

3. Bone On Bone
Bone On Bone - Bruce Cockburn - 2017
Produced by Colin Linden
2017 – (33rd album)

4. Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner In Timbuktu
Bruce Cockburn - Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner In Timbuktu - 1999
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
1999 (27th album)

5. Bruce Cockburn
Bruce Cockburn - 1970
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1970 (1st album)

6. Live (Bruce Cockburn Live)
Bruce Cockburn - Live - 1980
Produced by Jon Goldsmith
1990 – 2002 (21st album)

7. The Charity Of Night
Bruce Cockburn - The Charity Of Night - 1996
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
1996 (25th album)

8. Christmas
Bruce Cockburn - Christmas - 1993
Produced by Bruce Cockburn
1993 (23rd album)

9. Circles In The Stream (Live)
Bruce Cockburn - Circles In The Stream - 1977
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1977 – 2005 (8th album)

10. Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws
Bruce Cockburn - Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws - 1979
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1979 -2002 (10th album)

11. Dart To The Heart
Bruce Cockburn - Dart To The Heart - 1994
Produced by T Bone Burnett
1994 (24th album)

12. Further Adventures Of
Bruce Cockburn - Further Adventures Of - 1978
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1978 – 2002 (9th album)

13. High Winds White Sky
Bruce Cockburn - High Winds White Sky - 1971
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1971 – 2003 (2nd album)

14. Humans
Bruce Cockburn - Humans - 1980
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1980 – 2003 (11th album)

15. Inner City Front
Bruce Cockburn - Inner City Front - 1981
Produced by Bruce Cockburn
1981 – 2002 (14th album)

16. In The Falling Dark
Bruce Cockburn - In The Falling Dark - 1976
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1976 – 2002 (7th album)

17. Joy Will Find A Way
Bruce Cockburn - Joy Will Find A Way - 1975
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1975 (6th album)

18. Life Short Call Now
Bruce Cockburn - Life Short Call Now - 2006
Produced by Jon Goldsmith
2006 (31st album)

19. Mummy Dust
Bruce Cockburn - Mummy Dust - 1981
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1981 (Compilation) (13th album)

20. Night Vision
Bruce Cockburn - Night Vision - 1973
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1973 (4th album)

21. Nothing But A Burning Light
Bruce Cockburn - Nothing But A Burning Light - 1991
Produced by T-Bone Burnett
1991 (22nd album)

22. Resume
Bruce Cockburn - Resume - 1981
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1981 (Compilation) (12th album)

23. Rumours Of Glory
Bruce Cockburn - Rumours Of Glory - 1985
German Release Compilation
1985 (17th album)

24. Rumours Of Glory – box set
Bruce Cockburn - Rumours Of Glory (box set) - 2014
Produced by Bernie Finkelstein, Geoff Kulawick and Bruce Cockburn
2014 (8 disc compilation + dvd) (34th album)

25. Salt, Sun and Time
Salt, Sun and Time - Bruce Cockburn - 1974
Produced by Bruce Anthony and Eugene Martynec
1974 (5th album)

26. Slice O Life
Bruce Cockburn - Slice O Life - 2009
Produced by Colin Linden
2009 (solo-acoustic-live) (32nd album)

27. Small Source Of Comfort
Bruce Cockburn - Small Source Of Comfort - 2011
Produced by Colin Linen
2011 (33rd album)

28. Speechless
Bruce Cockburn- Speechless - 2005
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
2005 (instrumental) (30th album)

29. Stealing Fire
Bruce Cockburn - Stealing Fire - 1984
Produced by Jon Goldsmith & Kerry Crawford
1984 -2003 (16th album)

30. Sunwheel Dance
Bruce Cockburn - Sunwheel Dance - 1971
Produced by Eugene Martynec
1971 – 2005 (3rd album)

31. The Trouble With Normal
Bruce Cockburn - The Trouble With Normal - 1983
Produced by True North Productions
1983 – 2002 (15th album)

32. Waiting for a Miracle 2 DISC
Bruce Cockburn - Waiting For A Miracle - 1987
Album compilation by Bruce Cockburn and Bernie Finkelstein
Singles Compilation 1970 -1987
1987 (19th album)

33. World Of Wonders
Bruce Cockburn - World Of Wonders - 1986
Produced by Jon Goldsmith & Kerry Crawford
1986 (18th album)

34. You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance
Bruce Cockburn - You Pay Your Money and You Take Your Chance - 1997
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
1997 (live with trio) (26th album)

35. You’ve Never Seen Everything
Bruce Cockburn - You've Never Seen Everything - 2003
Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
2003 (29th album)


|

Bruce Cockburn - 1970

Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn - 1970
Bruce Cockburn – 1970

RELEASE DATE: 1970
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

Look out the window, what do I see?
Cows hangin’ out under spreading trees.
Zoom! They’re gone behind the sign
White letters pointing to the long white line
and I’m going to the country
O, la la la la la
I’m going to the country
Sunshine smile on me

I can smell the grass growing in the field
Wind in my hair tells me how it feels
Farm house, silver roof flashing by
Tractor-trailer truck says goodbye with a sigh
And I’m going to the country
O, la la la la la
I’m going to the country
Sunshine smile on me

Birds singing, I’m singing in my bones
Doesn’t much matter now where I’m going
Get it when I get there is what I’ll do
If I get enough I’ll give some to you
And I’m going to the country
O, happy as can be
I’m going to the country
Sunshine smile on me

released 1970

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

Rain rings trash can bells
And what do you know
My alley becomes a cathedral

Eyes can be archways
To enter or leave by
Vacuums replaced by a crystal

Jesus don’t let Toronto take my song away

It’s easy to love if
You let yourself love it
But like a moth’s wing it’s easily crushed

Jesus don’t let tomorrow take my love away

released 1970

Also On:
Mummy Dust – 1981
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

So many things to see in this old world
But all I can see is you
In a crowded subway train
Or walking in the country rain
You’re there with me too

Of all the songs sung in any day
Your voice is all I hear
For though each song has its own place
And, finished, quickly fades away
I hear you everywhere

And though I know you won’t be pleased
By all that I do
Surely we can find a way
To overlook what you don’t like

It’s been said many times that we’re all by ourselves
And each man is on his own
I don’t care, that may be true
I just want to be with you
Together alone

released 1970

Drift along
Hear the gravel crackle
Butterflies
Shades of the eternal dancer
God has buttered the land with sunlight
Sunlight

Corn grows high
Like a tall watusi
Katydid
Hums a monotonous tune
Rather hypnotically
Hmmmmmm
Overhead there’s a parrot with boxing gloves
Singing like me
What a clever bird
Even knows the words
But he doesn’t seem to see
Me
Making my great escape

You can just take so much of your own advice
Who needs a king
Sitting in a tree
So loquaciously
Pigeonholing everything
Pigeons have a way of taking wing

Back again
Purple thistles bristle
All around
Bane of the Eternal Dancer
Hmmmmmm

Home is just around the bend…
The end

released 1970

Sable sky anoints the earth with crystal ‘neath my foot
Wide-eyed, white-plumed owl plays upon his magic flute
Silver-circled moonlight cresting waves of shadow blue
And the river is secretly flowing

Shining stars dance high above the cobweb treelimbs’ grace
Fairy castles crowned with light fly banners of white lace
Tangled boughs of holly watch with eyes of scarlet hue
And the wind is silently blowing

Are no men is only Man seeking one love
Searching vainly for excuse among the stars above
Eyes too tired to see the river flowing ‘neath the ice
And too numb to see the purpose behind knowing

released 1970

Musical friends are keeping me happy
They know what I need
Now I can sleep on anyone’s floor without
Feeling cold
Inside or outside me

The closer we get the easier life be –
Comes for each of us
We can sing songs and play at each other
Over wine
In bottles or in pipes

And we can pass
On endings till the end
We can laugh
Me and my musical friends

Nobody’s quite sure just where they’re going
They’ll find out soon enough
When they get there some sunny morning or
Windy night
If they can just keep moving

And we can pass
On endings till the end
We can laugh
Me and my musical friends

Musical friends are keeping me happy
They know what to do
Musical friends have many things to
Offer you
And you can be one too

(Who ever heard of drinking wine from a pipe anyway?)

released 1970

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

Living in the past
Is not living at all
The old fear going fast
Everybody’s scared to fall
Turn with the times
Change your mind

Sullen and profane
The ancient temple stands
Dissolving in the rain
Its gods long turned to sand
Forgotten childhood rhyme
Change your mind

Listen for the ring
Of tomorrow’s bell
Be the first to sing
From beyond the wishing well
Know what’s behind
But change your mind

released 1970

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

I’m looking to be by a window
That looks out on the sea
Anybody here know
Where such a place is?

Surf of golden sunlight
Breaking over me
Man of a thousand faces

In the Garden paths take form
But the hailstorm guards its own
Things forbidden, things unknown
You must travel on alone

In memorium friends come round
But the hard ground holds its own
Time for pulling, time to ride
It’s my turn but where’s the guide?

On the jetty shadows lie
And the gulls cry once or twice
Swelling thunder, truth is hid
Behind the glass eye of the idol…
Anybody here know
Where such a place is?

You know, these city towers,
Jewels on the Serpent’s crown,
Twist the space between them
Till every eye is blinded

Lord will you trade your sunlit ocean
With its writhing filigree
For any one of my thousand faces?

released 1970

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

When we come
When we come again
To celebrate renewal
At the heart
At the heart of us
Our eyes will touch life

Though we may be hard to find
Where we stand in time
The mirrors of the past shine
With the light of unborn days
We wander in the flames
With nothing but our names
And no-one for the blame
We love so well to focus on

When we come
When we come again
To search beside the Fool
For the heart
For the heart of us
Our eyes will touch Life

By ornaments entranced
We trace in frenzied dance
The patterns carved by chance
On the pavement of memory
Seasons turning yet again
The Mother’s breast is full again
As in heaven, so with men
Is now and ever shall be

Till we come
Till we come again
To recognize renewal
At the heart
At the heart of us
Our eyes will touch life

released 1970

When thoughts rush by
And your signals seem to fly
Keep it open
Keep it open
And help me keep mine open too

Some will lie behind
But we needn’t be unkind
Keep it open
Keep it open
And help me keep mine open too

Sun stoned in the east
In our eyes let there be peace
Keep it open
Keep it open
And help me keep mine open too

released 1970



“First Bruce Cockburn album that launched True North Records; includes the track ‘Going To The Country’ ”

Album Info:

Production notes:
Released April 1970. All songs written by Bruce Cockburn
Produced by Eugene Martynec for True North Productions

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: 6 and 12 string guitar, piano, bass drum
Michael Ferry: Tongue
Dennis Pendrith: Bass

Production and Electronics: Eugene Martynec
Engineer: Bill Seddon
Cover Design and Illustration: Meek-Cairo-Brown
Photography: Tim Saunders

Special thanks to Toronto Folklore Centre

Recorded at Eastern Sound, Toronto, Canada-December 1969


Bruce Cockburn - High Winds White Sky - 1971 / 2003

High Winds White Sky

Bruce Cockburn - High Winds White Sky - 1971 / 2003
High Winds White Sky 1971 / 2003

RELEASE DATE: 1971
REISSUE: 2003
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

* Bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in 2003.

Good day to you
Fat balloon man
May you always have air
You sing a song everybody can believe

Good day to you
Uncle tom cat
Out to trick the whole world
You carry a tune for nobody but yourself

Bonjour a toi
Herr policeman
May your boots always fit
Someday you’ll find a song you can believe

Good morning good people
The sun is long sailing
The only clouds you see
Are carried within
Soon they’ll be blown all away
Wind’s gonna rise and blow those clouds away
Wind’s gonna rise and blow your blues away
Your sun’s gonna shine in my back door some day …

September 28, 1969 – Montreal, Canada

My canoe lies on the water
Evening holds the bones of day
The sun like gold dust slips away

One by one antique stars
Herald the arrival of
Their pale protectress moon

Ragged branches vibrate
Strummed by winds from o’er the hill
Singing tales of ancient days

Far and silent lightning
Stirs the cauldron of the sky
I turn my bow towards the shore

As we grow out of stones
On and on and on
So we’ll all go to bones
On and on for many a year

But let us go laughing — O
Let us go

And may the holy hermit’s staff
On and on and on
Guide you to the shortest path
On and on for many a year

And let us go laughing — O
Let us go
Let us go laughing — O
Let us go

July 1969 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

3. Love Song (2:26)

In the place my wonder comes from
There I find you
Your face shines in my sky

In your heart where the world comes from
There you will find me
Your eyes dance in my mind

Come with me
We will sail on the wind
We will sway among the yellow grass
When you be beside me
I am real

Though my eyes be closed forever
Still I would find you
You shine across my time

Come with me
We will sail on the wind
We will sway among the yellow grass
When you be beside me
I am real

In the place my wonder comes from
There I find you

released 1971

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977

Oh I have been a beggar
And shall be one again
And few the ones with help to lend
Within the world of men

One day I walk in flowers
one day I walk on stones
Today I walk in hours
One day I shall be home

I have sat on the street corner
And watched the bootheels shine
And cried out glad and cried out sad
With every voice but mine

One day I walk in flowers
one day I walk on stones
Today I walk in hours
One day I shall be home
One day I shall be home

June 1970 – Burritt’s Rapids, Ontario, Canada

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

UShe moves like a golden serpent all day long
Moves like a golden serpent all day long
She lights the candle when the day is gone

She likes to give me honey when I’m down
She likes to give me honey when I’m down
If I ever was a king y’know she was the crown

She carries all the lines down in her palms
She carries all the lines down in her palms
She can drive away the devil with a song

May 27, 1970 – Ottawa, Canada

High winds
White sky
Wild birds do glide
Tattered smoke fades
Embers in the pipe
Move like
Life beginning

High winds
Pyramids
Glittering ring
Blood of the king
Daughter of the stars
You are
Life beginning

The wind’s travellers’ tales tease the tops of the trees
the ships have all sailed to the mouth of the sea…

High winds
Wheel turns
The spider spins
Hands draw us in
River-scented skin
Moves in
Life beginning

Falsehood lies panting like a fish in the palm…

June 1970 – Ottawa, Canada

You point to the sky
The sky
Is reflected in your eyes
And I
Want to fly
On a carpet of brown leaves
We retrace the steps of change
Construct a tapestry of what will come

You point to the sea
I see
What seems to be so free
Bound by
Empty sky
On a tower of gray earth
Far above the spray-struck stone
We climb toward the melting point of time

Here we tumble down the path
Comic beggars trading laughs
For scraps from the tables of the wise

November 18, 1970 – Toronto, Canada

When the sun falls
The bird of paradise
Spreads his wings wide

When the rain shines
The earth sighs gratitude
And spreads her hues bright

You come to me
Bringing the sun and rain
Bringing my song

Winter 1969 – Cumberland, Ontario, Canada

Instrumental

released 1971

I went up on the mountain side
To see what I could see
To see what I could be
On the shining mountain

I watched the day go down in fire
And sink in the valley
And sink into the sea
Drown in golden fire

Fireflies danced in the forest night
The trees began to sing
The crags began to sing
Above the black forest

I went up on the mountain side
To know what I did know
To know whence I did know
On the crowning mountain

August 15, 1970 – Chilliwack, British Colombia, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

11. Totem Pole *[Live] (3:26)

Crows are flying baby and
I’m tired of the cold
Crows are flying baby and
I’m tired of the cold
So honey come and help me build this totem pole

The lantern in the window
beamed me right to you
The lantern in the window
beamed me right to you
So honey come and help me
And I’ll try and help you too

My hearts been hanging up too long
My soul is wearing thin
My hearts been hanging up so long
My soul is wearing thin
So honey come and help me build a house
to put it in

So honey come and help me build this totem pole.

released 2003

Somebody made off with my favourite toy
That I bought with my government grant
The world situation seems to be taking
A definite turn for the worse

Somebody put me in reverse

What fence would hold my pride and joy
Unless he was a man-eating plant
That mother is asking to wind up basking
In fame in the back of a hearse

Somebody made my bubble burst

Call in the guard, he’s out in the yard
been lax in his duties for real
Take him to task for being so crass
As to let someone in who would steal

Great thrills are in store for us all
While the world is on such a slant
Though he’s a bit funky
The girls love his trunk
He’s a hit without deodorant

But somebody stole my elephant

If you should meet him please give me a call
The number is inscribed on the bathroom wall
You’re bound to see him
At the beach or the be-in
Even though some people can’t

Get used to believing in elephants

Call in the guard
He’s out in the yard
He bungled this job up for sure
He blew it in style
But he’s just a child
We’ll send him away for the cure

And we’ll all go away for a cure

released in 2003

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014



“Images and references to rivers, birds, mountains, and especially, sunlight abound on 1971’s High Winds White Sky as they do on Cockburn’s previous self-titled debut album and the subsequent Sunwheel Dance. The three albums formed a powerful acoustic trilology that established Cockburn as one of Canada’s most important performers of introspective, literate songs.

High Winds White Sky remains a landmark recording as fresh and adventurous sounding as the day it was released.”

Album Info:

Production notes:
Recorded between November 1970 and April 1971 (Source: vinyl album notes)

Produced by Eugene Martynec

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn-Lead Guitar, Dulcimer
Eugene Martynec-Second Guitar
Eric Nagler-Mandoline Banjo, Mandolin
Michael Craydon-Marimba, Tables, Tree Bell, Boobams, Pygmy Rhythm Log
John Wyre-Cymbals, Gongs, Salad Bowls

Recorded by Henry Saskowski at Thunder Sound Studios, Toronto, except “Happy Good Morning Blues” and “Shining Mountain”, Recorded and Mixed by Chris Skene at Eastern Sound, Toronto


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