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Bruce Cockburn - Mummy Dust - 1981

Mummy Dust

Bruce Cockburn - Mummy Dust - 1981
Mummy Dust – 1981

RELEASE DATE: 1981
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

Compilation album
with 2 new songs *

1. Silver Wheels
2. Loner
3. Joy Will Find a Way
4. Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon
5. It’s Going Down Slow

I was up all night, socializing
Trying to keep the latent depression from crystalizing
Now the sun is lurking just behind the Scarborough horizon

And you’re not even here
On the coldest night of the year.

I took in Yonge Street at a glance
Heard the punkers playing
Watched the bikers dance
Everybody wishing they could go to the south of France

And you’re not even here
On the coldest night of the year.

Hey look at me now
See the shape I’m in
It’s taken me so long to catch on to what’s going on
Inside this skin
When two lovers really love there’s nothing there
But this suddenly compact universe
Skin and breath and hair

I watched the all night TV show
In the all night bar
I drove all the people home
I was the one with the car

Now I’m sitting here alone and sleepless
and wondering where you are
And wishing you were here
On the coldest night of the year

released 1981

Also On:
Resume – 1981
Mummy Dust – 1981
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Inner City Front – 2002

7. Laughter
8. Red Brother Red Sister
9. You Don’t Have to Play the Horses

It could have been me put the thorns in your crown
Rooted as I am in a violent ground
How many times have I turned your promise down
Still you pour out your love
Pour out your love

I was a dweller by a dark stream
A crying heart hooked on a dark dream
In my convict soul I saw your love gleam
And you showed me what you’ve done
Jesus, thank-you joyous Son

You entered a life like ours to give us back our own
You wanted us like you, as choosers not clones
You offered up your flesh and death was overthrown
Now salvation is ours,
Salvation is ours

I was a dweller by a dark stream
A crying heart hooked on a dark dream
In my convict soul I saw your love gleam
And you showed me what you’ve done
Jesus, thank-you joyous Son

So I’m walking this prison camp world
I long for a glimpse of the new world unfurled
The chrysalis cracking and moisten winds uncurl
Like in the vision John saw
The vision John saw

I was a dweller by a dark stream
A crying heart hooked on a dark dream
In my convict soul I saw your love gleam
And you showed me what you’ve done
Jesus, thank-you joyous Son

released 1981

Also On:
In The Falling Dark – 2002

11. All the Diamonds in the World



First released in 1981 and features classic songs like the ‘Coldest Night Of The Year’, ‘All The Diamonds In The World’. And ‘Dweller By A Dark Stream’.

Album Info:
All songs written by Bruce Cockburn/All songs published by Golden Mountain Music Corp.
All songs produced by Gene Martynec for True North Productions
Compilation engineered by Gary Gray at Manta Sound, Toronto April 1981
Assisted by Dave Taylor
Mastered by George Graves, The Lacquer Channel, Toronto
Package Artwork & Concept: Bart Schoales
Front Photograph Jorge Zontal
Back Cover Photo: George Whiteside
Special thanks to Bruce Meek


Bruce Cockburn - Inner City Front - 1981/2002

Inner City Front

Bruce Cockburn - Inner City Front - 1981/2002
Inner City Front – 1981 / 2002

RELEASE DATE: 1981 / 2002
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North (deluxe version)

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

Woman cry — chase man down street crying “No Chuckie, no, please don’t”
Another girl comes they run along St. Andrew, turn south on Kensington
Meanwhile Chuckie beats it down the alley by the chicken packer’s
By the time I reach the corner they’ve all vanished
Just a deaf kid talking like Popeye to a large fleshy laughing man in a blue shirt

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you’re dealing with love and romance

Down the alley past the fire escape a woman is talking on the telephone
Kitchen light spills out, laughter riding on its beam
In the maze of moebius streets we’re trying to amuse ourselves to death
Under the deep sky that’s squatting so close over us tonight
You’d think it was trying to hatch us
The numb and confused
The battered and bruised
The counters of cost
And the star-crossed

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you’re dealing with love and romance

Confused and solo in the spawning ground
I watch the confusion of friends all numb with love
Moving like stray dogs to the anthem of night-long conversations,
of pulsing rhythms and random voltage voices
In spite of themselves, graceful as these raindrops creeping spermlike across the car window
Stay or leave, give or withold, hesitate or leap
Each step splashing sparks of red pain in every direction
And through it all, somehow, this willingness that asks no questions

You pay your money and you take your chance
When you’re dealing with love and romance

released 1981

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance – 1997
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Isn’t it hard
To be the one who has to give advice?
Isn’t it hard
To be the strong one?

I see the skyline blurred through the plastic on your back screen door
Not unlike the faces of the people who keep turning up in the places we go
The ones we’d never see if things weren’t going so well
When I was a torn jacket hanging on the barbed wire
You cut me free
And sewed me up and here I am

Isn’t it hard
To be the one whose phone rings all day everyday?
Isn’t it hard
To be the strong one?

Mouths move without vision — without regard for consequences
Eyes fill with memories poisoned by intimate knowledge of failure to love
Sometimes, sometimes, doesn’t the light seem to move so far away?
You help your sisters, you help your old lovers,
you help me but who do you cry to?

‘Cause isn’t it hard
To be the one who gathers everybody’s tears?
Isn’t it hard
To be the strong one?

released 1981

Blue billboard on the roof next door
Makes a square of light on the kitchen floor
Smokes rises from a cigarette
There’s a dull glisten where the table’s wet
Soft breath rises from the bed
A thousand question marks over my head

Turn on the tube but there’s nothing new
The usual panic in red, white and blue
“Military advisors” marching in the square
Knife-sharp trouser creases slicing air
Private armies on suburban lawns
Shoulders braced against the tidal dawn
All’s quiet on the inner city front
I don’t know why I should but I feel content

Bell in the fire station tower
Rings out the measure of the racing hours
I slip through the door to the roof outside
To gaze at the sign hanging in the sky
That sailor on the billboard looks so self-possessed
Doesn’t have a thing to forgive or forget
All’s quiet on the inner city front.

released 1981- Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Instrumental

released 1981

Neon flame on the window of an upstairs room
Helicopter beats across the face of the moon
Got a hunger that sprawls like this galaxy
Want to wrap my arms around you — draw you right inside me

I want to go walking
With you Judy
Through the movie
Of the world

No matter what I do I feel your presence everywhere
I’ll be just standing around and your scent comes at me
Out of nowhere
I see your face on the wall — in the magazine too
Next thing you know the billboard out my window will be you

I want to go walking
With you Judy
Through the movie
Of the world

Today was a dog licking crap in the gutter of the street
Tonight is a dancer oscillating on weightless feet
So the fortune teller said you wouldn’t end up with me
Last I heard only God gets to say what has to be

I want to walking
With you Judy
Through the movie
Of the world

released 1981

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

Midnight flight
Fullmoon light
Laughter in the air
It’s a party all right
Slate-blue clouds
Iridescent sea
I’m heading for you
And you’re headed for me

and we dance and we dance
and we dance…

Down there in the realm of power
Somebody’s manicured hands
Play the Ace of Influence
Against the Jack of Demands
I reach of the deck —
Draw the seven of hearts —
Doesn’t mean the world
But it’s a better place to start

and we dance and we dance
and we dance…

Paradox and contrast
Variety and change
History repeats
But it’s never the same
We’ve got this time
We’ve got this rhythm
Till the whole thing comes apart
Like light through a prism

and we dance and we dance
and we dance…

released 1981

7. Justice (4:49)

What’s been done in the name of Jesus?
What’s been done in the name of Buddha?
What’s been done in the name of Islam?
What’s been done in the name of man?
What’s been done in the name of liberation?
And in the name of civilization?
And in the name of race?
And in the name of peace?

Everybody
Loves to see
Justice done
On somebody else

Can you tell me how much bleeding
It takes to fill a word with meaning?
And how much, how much death
It takes to give a slogan breath?
And how much, how much, how much flame
Gives light to a name
For the hollow darkness
In which nations dress?

Everybody
Loves to see
Justice done
On somebody else

Everybody’s seen the things they’ve seen
We all have to live with what we’ve been
When they say charity begins at home
They’re not just talking about a toilet and a telephone
Got to search the silence of the soul’s wild places
For a voice that can cross the spaces
These definitions that we love create —
These names for heaven, hero, tribe and state

Everybody
Loves to see
Justice done
On somebody else

released 1981

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Way out on the rim of the galaxy
The gifts of the Lord lie torn
Into whose charge the gifts were given
Have made it a curse for so many to be born
This is my trouble —
These were my fathers
So how am I supposed to feel?
Way out on the rim of the broken wheel

Water of life is going to flow again
Changed from the blood of heroes and knaves
The word mercy’s going to have a new meaning
When we are judged by the children of our slaves
No adult of sound mind
Can be an innocent bystander
Trial comes before truth’s revealed
Out here on the rim of the broken wheel

You and me — we are the break in the broken wheel
Bleeding wound that will not heal

Lord, spit on our eyes so we can see
How to wake up from this tragedy

Way out on the rim of the broken wheel
Bleeding wound that will not heal
Trial comes before truth’s revealed
So how am I supposed to feel?
This is my trouble —
Can’t be an innocent bystander
In a world of pain and fire and steel
Way out on the rim of the broken wheel

released 1981

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn Live – 1990/2002
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

9. Loner (7:38)

Down at the bus station
Shark grins and sandpaper conversation
Men’s faces women’s bodies on the magazine stand
And a headline about Sarajevo and Tehran

They are radiant angels, they are earthly slaves
They are predators moving in their endless days
Days of striving, nights of novocaine
Never going to bring them freedom from their pain

I’m a loner
With a loner’s point of view
I’m a loner
And now I’m in love with you

Wild shadows, acid verbs
Eyelids opening dans mon coeur
Tu me touche comme la pression
Des etoiles sur les tenebres*

In the elevator and the empty hall
How am I ever going to hear you when you call
I’m always living and I always die
on the event horizon of your eyes

I’m a loner
With a loner’s point of view
I’m a loner
And now I’m in love with you

released 1981

Also On:
Mummy Dust – 1981

I was up all night, socializing
Trying to keep the latent depression from crystalizing
Now the sun is lurking just behind the Scarborough horizon

And you’re not even here
On the coldest night of the year.

I took in Yonge Street at a glance
Heard the punkers playing
Watched the bikers dance
Everybody wishing they could go to the south of France

And you’re not even here
On the coldest night of the year.

Hey look at me now
See the shape I’m in
It’s taken me so long to catch on to what’s going on
Inside this skin
When two lovers really love there’s nothing there
But this suddenly compact universe
Skin and breath and hair

I watched the all night TV show
In the all night bar
I drove all the people home
I was the one with the car

Now I’m sitting here alone and sleepless
and wondering where you are
And wishing you were here
On the coldest night of the year

released 1981

Also On:
Resume – 1981
Mummy Dust – 1981
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Inner City Front – 2002

Shaman clambers up the world dream tree
Looking for clues about what is to be
Chants and trances give his spirit wings for flight
Wings still shackled to history
The chain of events is broken so easily
Oh, let me rest in the place of light

Skull-drum skin stretched tight
Sends out ripples in the gathering night
The deepest darkness breeds the brightest light
Music rising from the bones of saints
From the pungent smell of sad sweet poems and paintings
Oh, let me rest in the place of light

God waves a thought like you’d wave your hand
And the light goes on forever
Through the seasons and through the seas
The light goes on forever
Through the burning and the seeding
Through the joining and the parting
The light goes on forever

Gypsy searches through the cards for clues
Alchemist searches for eternal youth
Human reaching almost makes it but not quite
The soul strikes out at what the wind blows by
You live and it hurts you, you give up you die
Oh, let me rest in the place of light

Fugitives in the time before the dawn
Backed up to the wall with weapons drawn
Like mounted nomads always ready for a fight
This creature that thinks and so can fake its own being
Lightless mind’s eye not much good for seeing
Oh, let me rest in the place of light

God waves a thought like you’d wave your hand
And the light goes on forever
Through the people and through the walls
The light goes on forever
Through who obeys and who does not
Through who gets rich and who gets caught
The light goes on forever

Uptight lawyer on Damascus road
Becomes a nexus where the light explodes
Concentrated, overpowering sight
Two way whirlpool churning up all time
Infinity stoops to touch the human mind
Oh, let me rest in the place of light

God waves a thought like you’d wave your hand
And the light goes on forever
Through the buildings and through the hills
The light goes on forever
Through the struggles and the games
Through the night’s empty doorframes
The light goes on forever
March 25, 1980 – Ottawa

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 7 – 2014



For Bruce Cockburn, the months leading up to Inner City Front’s 1981 release had been fraught with change: his marriage of 10 years dissolved, leading him to switch from country to city life. Taking an an apartment in downtown Toronto, he assembled a band of crack musicians and adopted a more rugged, urban sound. Gone were most traces of the Gentle Folkie of the late 1960s and even the Mystic Christian of the 70’s. In their place was Bruce Cockburn of the 80s – highly politicized and sporting an electric guitar.

Album Info:

All songs written by Bruce Cockburn
© 1981 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN)
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission
Produced by Bruce Cockburn for True North Productions
Associate Producer: Bernie Finkelstein

The musicians are:
Bruce Cockburn: Guitar and Vocals
Memo Acevedo: Percussion
Bob DiSalle: Drums
Dennis Pendrith: Bass guitar
Jon Goldsmith: Keyboards
Hugh Marsh: Violin and Mandolin
Kathryn Moses: Reeds and Background Vocals
Murray McLauchlan: Background Vocals on “Wanna Go Walking”
Ruhollah Khomeini: Additional Percussion on “Justice”
M. Kaddafi: Additional Background Vocals on “The Strong One”

Engineered by Gary Gray
Mastered by George Marino, Sterling Sound, NY
Remastered by Vlado Meller, Sony Music Studio Operations, NY
Recorded at Manta Sound, Toronto, April-June 1981

Art Direction: Bart Schoales
Back Cover Photo: George Whiteside

Special thanks to Shorewood Packaging, Toronto
Thanks for the help, Jimmy!

Remaster Info:
Digitally remastered at the E Room in Toronto by engineer Peter Moore, utilizing 24-bit technology.
New liner note essay written by Nicholas Jennings.
Released by Rounder Records 19 November 2002.

19 November 2002 – From Rounder Records: Bruce Cockburn self-produced the nine tracks of rock, reggae, jazz and folk-fusions that form “Inner City Front”, originally released in 1981. Now re-mastered with two bonus tracks, it could be called the artist’s Toronto album since it reflects so strongly his move to the city and his embrace of both its attractions and tensions. “Inner City Front” contains some of the most carefree love songs of his career, including a B-52s-like rocker “Wanna Go Walking,” the flute-filled “And We Dance,” and the infectious “Coldest Night of the Year,” which finally joins the album for which it was originally intended. “The Light Goes On Forever” is also included as a bonus track, having been previously available only as a B-side. Produced by Bruce Cockburn.


Bruce Cockburn - The Trouble With Normal - 1983

The Trouble With Normal

Bruce Cockburn - The Trouble With Normal  - 1983
The Trouble With Normal

RELEASE DATE: 1983 / 2003
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

* Bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in 2002.

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese
Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees
Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see
“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream
As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

June 30, 1981 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Sun climbs toward high noon,
Glints metallic off the bowl of the spoon
Sliding through the air toward parted lips
Watch the expression when the straight taste hits
Face crumples, tongue’s quickly withdrawn
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

Oh sweet fantasia of the safe home
Where nobody has to scrape for honey at the bottom of the comb
Where every actor understands the scene
And nobody ever means to be mean
Catch it in a dream, catch it in a song
Seek it on the street, you find the candy man’s gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

In the bar, in the senate, in the alley, in the study
Pimping dreams of riches for everybody
“Something for nothing, new lamps for old
And the streets will be platinum, never mind gold”
Well, hey, pass it on
Misplaced your faith and the candy man’s gone
I hate to tell you but the candy man’s gone

December 3, 1981 – NYC, Boston

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

Tokyo jetlag evening walking
Out of my throat appears this chuckle
A true 20th Century sound
A little crazed and having no tonal centre

The echoes of this laugh fade for a long time
Snaking among those jumbled pedestrians
Following that struggling Cedric taxicab
Sliding over the seeming infinity of white light and neon

With no warning, mind’s eye winks like a lifespan
And opens again on memory flash of prairie Indian
Dancers — they’re on a stage, all jigging motion
And flare of bright feathers, surrounded by white faces
Floating on a sea of mind
Hoop dancer struts in front — drum and voices blend with endless rain

There’s a time line
Something like vertical, like perpendicular
Cutting through figures shuffling on horizontal plane
Cutting through the survival pride of the dancers
Through the guilty, sentimental warmth of the crowd
Through to some essence common to us, to original man
To perhaps descendants numberless … or few

Where it intersects the space at hand
This shaman with the hoops stands
Aligned like living magnetic needle between deep past and looming future
Butterfly pierced on each drum beat, wing beat, static spark, storm front, energy circle delineated by leaping limbs

1st man last man dancing man man dancing
Hoops in hand trampled grass circle spreading
Voices flame above crazy coyote heartbeat drum

I see sunrise on the plains big river at dusk
Perpetual pillar of dust on prairie rim and always overhead
those wings — circling, turning

He’s the earth he’s the egg he’s the eagle always circling
Always turning — always comes back to the centre

Hoops whirling, now transparent feet touch down on anaconda
Streets and on the next leap dissolve slowly into the moving lights

Rainbow steps, jerking universe
Goodbye, man-in-time
And just beyond the clatter and cars the last long notes of wild voices ring
Like Roland’s horn

September 5, 1979 – Tokyo

Body lines fluid in static heat
Thoughts buzzing like flies around meat
Land here — land there —
Quick circles in the air
I’m riding smooth but just a little slow
Waiting for the moon to show

Leather-faced old men by the cafe wall
Kids in the surf splashing with a soccer ball
I gaze through curved lens
Trying to identify the sky’s end
Little spots on the horizon into gunboats grow
Waiting for the moon to show

Might be a party — might be a war
When those faceless sailors come ashore
Speculation is a waste of time
You want to go have a glass of wine?
Whatever’s coming, there’s no place else to go
Waiting for the moon to show

September 12, 1981 – Lauzarote

Away from the river
Away from the smoke of the burning
Fearful survivors
Subject of government directives
One sad guitar note
Echoes of the wall of the jungle
Seen from the air they’re just targets with nowhere to run to

Children of rape
Raised on malnutrition
Men in camouflage
Filled with a sense of mission
Light through the wire mesh
Plays on the president’s pistol
Like the gleam of a bead of sweat in the flow of a candle

Hear the cry in the tropic night
Should be the cry of love but it’s a cry of fright
Some people never see the light
Till it shines through bullet holes

The tropic moon
Bathing a beach fringed with palms
Glitters on shells
And beach tar and coke cans
And on the night-coloured boat
And on the barrels of guns
In the rage in the hearts of these men is the seed of a wind they call
Kingdom Come

Hear the cry…

June 4, 1982 – Sardegna

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – 1985
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Moon across the valley
Squatting on the roof
Of the dirty gray bank
Like a cop with no proof

We were lying in bliss
Love was cooling into sleep
There was a dream on the horizon
And a punch-up in the street

We were lying on the mountain
by the satellite dish
Humming with the tremors of
Every envy, rage and wish
Orchids and radar
In the dazzling night
The stars were all racing like satellites

Going up against chaos
Going up against chaos
Two hearts full of tough love

We were bodies of light
Like we’ll be someday
The sirens and the curses
Were light years away

We were Lot on the mountain
We were Noah on the Ark
Flying hand in hand
From the doghowl dark

Going up against chaos
Going up against chaos
Two hearts full of tough love

August 8, 1981 – Toronto

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – 1985

Don’t need the everlasting trade expansion
Don’t need the cold white heroin breath
Don’t need Pizzarro or the Inquisition
No berserk worship of a hero’s death
Don’t need reactionary politicians
Don’t need the gunfight at the O.K.
Don’t need no Reverend Paisley hate-masturbation
Don’t need no Jihad or no IRA

We need to put our hearts together
Set up a rhythm in combination
And if we put our hearts together
We get a rhythm that will shake creation

Who needs supremacy of pink people
There’s no such thing as a pure racial strain
It takes all colours to make a rainbow
Takes every part to make a working brain
The whole of history is a growing together
If you want pure, you’re gonna have caves again
Anyway who needs a geek like the Grand Dragon
So full of shit his breath makes acid rain

We need to put our hearts together
Set up a rhythm in combination
And if we put our hearts together
We get a rhythm that will shake creation

Woman-in-kitchen, man-in-palace
Worshipping the performance of the phallus
Gaming for power till their hearts grow callous
As if a human’s just an animal with malice
Limp lance, phallocrat, finger on the trigger
Go ahead and stay small while everything gets bigger
It’s a bully’s game and I don’t want to play
Why don’t you think about the better way

We need to put our hearts together
Set up a rhythm in combination
And if we put our hearts together
We get a rhythm that will shake creation

January 3, 1983 – St. Vincent

I need a helmet to protect my head
I need earphones to hear what gets said
I need a miracle to keep this little thread from snapping

I know a lot about alienated man
But we’ve all heard as much about that as we can stand
It’s just what happens when you let the time span catch you napping

Two forward and one back
Blind fingers groping for the right track
What’s to do when a stab and a pat on the back look like the same thing?

Civilization and its discontents
When all’s been said and all the money spent
Trying to beat the system of the world’s events
Gets you nowhere.

Tired faces with the bus stop blues
Man on a bench with a blanket of news
The young Jamaican joking with the old Jew about women

So many people so lost you feel sorry
But too much pathos just makes you angry
And even though I know who loves me I’m not that much less lost

Black outline, sliding gray scale
Subtle variations of dark to pale
Pearl sky raining light like hail, come on and pierce me
Raining light like a vision of the holy grail, come on and pierce me

Civilization and its discontents
When all’s been said and all the money spent
Trying to beat the system of the world’s events
Gets you nowhere.

July 2, 1981 – Toronto

Stare into the moonlight
Silver fingers press my eyes
Probing in my heart with longing

These footprints by the sea’s edge
Disappearing grain by grain
Lose their form but keep their substance

As the waves roar on the beach like a squadron of F16’s
Ebb and flow like the better days they say this world has seen

Government by outrage
Hunger camps and shanty towns
Dignity and love still holding

This bluegreen ball in black space
Filled with beauty even now
battered and abused and lovely

And the waves roar on the beach like a squadron of F16’s
Ebb and flow like the better days they say this world has seen

Each one in our own heart
Desperate to know where we stand
Planet of the clowns in wet shoes

September 9, 1981 – Tenerife

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

Instrumental

Languid mandala of the ceiling fan
moving air like a slow stroking hand
music drifts in like the embassy
of afternoon’s sullen sensuality
i wanna dance with you

African voices in an opium dream
magenta waves on a sea of bluegreen
i wanna dance with you til the sky gets clear
dance til the calluses fall off my ears
i wanna dance with you

Hours get shorter as the days go by
you never get to stop and open your eyes
trouble with the nation, trouble with the relations
where you gonna go for some illumination?
i wanna dance with you

Autumn ’81 – Toronto



Bruce Cockburn’s political activism is immediately apparent on “The Trouble With Normal”, an album bristling with anger and outrage.

Album Info:

Words and music by Bruce Cockburn
Published by Golden Mountain Corp. (BMI)
Traduction by Marcel Mousette
Recorded at studio Manta Sound, Toronto, September 1982 – January 1983
Engineer: Gary Gray
Mastering: Sterling Sound, New York
Produced by True North Productions

The Musicians are:
Bruce Cockburn: Guitar and voices
Bob DiSalle: Drums
Jon Goldsmith: Keyboards
Hugh Marsh: Violin and mandolin
Dennis Pendrith: Bass and stick
Dick Smith: Percussion
Background vocals on ” Put Our Hearts Together”: Sharon Lee Williams, Shawne Jackson, Collina Phillips

All songs written by Bruce Cockburn ©1983 Golden Mountain Music Corp. Used by permission.

Art direction: Micheal Wurstlin
Photography: George Whiteside
Direction: The Finkelstein Management Company Limited
151 John Street, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 2T2
(416)596-8696 Telex: 065-24566

Remaster Info:
Digitally remastered at the E Room in Toronto by engineer Peter Moore, utilizing 24-bit technology.
New liner note essay written by Nicholas Jennings.
Released by Rounder Records, 19 November 2002.

19 November 2002 – From Rounder Records: Originally released in 1983, “The Trouble With Normal” is yet another gem from the Bruce Cockburn catalog. Explicit politics dominate the record, led by the weighty title track, whose lyrics, like those of so many of Cockburn’s political songs, still ring true today. This remastered version of the album contains two bonus tracks, both recorded during the sessions for the album: the romantic “Wanna Dance With You,” a reggae number, and “Cala Luna,” a moody instrumental. “The Trouble with Normal” is a rich testament to Bruce Cockburn’s timeless, sophisticated sound-and worldview. Produced by Eugene Martynec.


Bruce Cockburn - Stealing Fire - 1984 / 2003

Stealing Fire

Bruce Cockburn - Stealing Fire - 1984 / 2003
Stealing Fire – 1984 / 2003

RELEASE DATE: 1984
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

* bonus tracks on the remastered 2003 reissue

This album was re-released on vinyl, 2 November 2010, through True North Records.

Don’t the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall
The next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin — this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime —
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight —
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
And we’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

September 1983 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Maybe the poet is gay
But he’ll be heard anyway

Maybe the poet is drugged
But he won’t stay under the rug

Maybe the voice of the spirit
In which case you’d better hear it

Maybe he’s a woman
Who can touch you where you’re human

Male female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see

Don’t let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet
You need him and you know it

Put him up against the wall
Shoot him up with pentothal

Shoot him up with lead
You won’t call back what’s been said
Put him in the ground
But one day you’ll look around

There’ll be a face you don’t know
Voicing thoughts you’ve heard before

Male female slave or free
Peaceful or disorderly
Maybe you and he will not agree
But you need him to show you new ways to see

Don’t let the system fool you
All it wants to do is rule you
Pay attention to the poet
You need him and you know it

January 1982 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn Live – 1990 / 2002
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Dance music from the corner bar
Over dogs barking at a passing car
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

Hot night — streets are full of life
Carnival faces in rembrandt light
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

Half moon shining through the blind
Paints a vision of a different kind
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

Wet limbs striped with silver light
Locked together at the centre of the night
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

Night bloom filling up the room
With the salt and musk of lovers’ rich perfume
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

Animal grins and wild shining eyes
Laughing and shouting we’re a hundred storeys high
And your hair tumbles down like sahara gold

July 1983 – Toronto, Canada

Step outside — take a look at the stars
Catch a glimpse of the way things are —
Making contact…

Smell of sweet fresh oil on skin
When you move on me like the tide coming in —
Making contact…

So many ways to understand
One for every woman and man
Been that way since the world began

I hear the drumming of the surf and I have to dance
Stepping to the rhythm of circumstance —
Making contact…

I feel so huge — I feel so small
I feel so good I want to swallow it all —
Making contact…

Making contact
Swimming in an ocean of love

Making contact
Swimming in an ocean of love

We move together like the waves
Swimming in an ocean of love

Every night and every day
Swimming in an ocean of love

One world — one human race
Swimming in an ocean of love

One kiss from a smiling face
Swimming in an ocean of love

See that sign coming into view
Swimming in an ocean of love

Mother sea welcomes you
Swimming in an ocean of love

Making contact…

January 1984 – Tobago

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

Crashing in the kitchen, noises in the hall
Roll over and go back to sleep — it’s just a dream, that’s all
So how come the window’s broken?
What caused the glass to fall?
And who put that bullet hole in Peggy’s kitchen wall?

Police arrive — muddy up the floor
Dig out half the plaster — it’s a .38 for sure
Kick the neighbour’s door in
Saying better tell it all
Who put that bullet hole in Peggy’s kitchen wall?

Blaster on the back porch shaking up the lane
They’re drinking gin and joking — laughter falling down like rain
Everybody wears a halo
Never saw nothing at all
So who put that bullet hole in Peggy’s kitchen wall

July 1983 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Rising like lightspill from this sleeping town
Like the light in a lover’s eyes
Rising from the hearts of the sleepers all around
All those dreamers trying to light the sky

Burning — all night long
Burning — at the gates of dawn
Singing — near and far
Singing — to raise the morning star

Rising like lightning in the pregnant air
It’s electric — I can feel its might
I can feel it crackling in my nails and hair —
Makes me feel like i’m dancing on feet of light

Burning — all night long
Burning — at the gates of dawn
Singing — near and far
Singing — to raise the morning star

Singing for the yellow and the brown and the black
For the red and the white people, too
Dovetailing strong points with the things we lack
Singing for the people like me and you

Burning — all night long
Burning — at the gates of dawn
Singing — near and far
Singing — to raise the morning star

July 1983 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn Live – 1990 / 2002
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

7. Nicaragua (4:47)

Breakfast woodsmoke on the breeze —
On the cliff the U.S. Embassy
Frowns out over Managua like Dracula’s tower.
The kid who guards Fonseca’s tomb
Cradles a beat-up submachine gun —
At age fifteen he’s a veteran of four years of war
Proud to pay his dues
He knows who turns the screws
Baby face and old man’s eyes

Blue lagoon and flowering trees —
Bullet-packed masaya streets
Full of the ghosts of the heroes of Monimbo
Women of the town laundry
Work and gossip and laugh at me —
They don’t believe I’ll ever send them the pictures I took.
For every scar on a wall
There’s a hole in someone’s heart
Where a loved one’s memory lives

In the flash of this moment
You’re the best of what we are —
Don’t let them stop you now
Nicaragua

Sandino in his tom mix hat
Gazes from billboards and coins
“Sandino vive en la lucha por la paz”
Sandino of the shining dream
Who stood up to the U.S. marines —
Now Washington panics at U2 shots of “Cuban-style” latrines
They peek from planes, eavesdrop from ships
Voyeurs licking moistened lips, ‘cause…

In the flash of this moment
You’re the best of what we are —
Don’t let them stop you now
Nicaragua

February 1983 – Managua

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn Live – 1990 / 2002
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Here comes the helicopter — second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher…I’d make somebody pay

I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher…I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation — or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher…I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher…Some son of a bitch would die

February and April 1983 – Chiapas, Mexico, and Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Bruce Cockburn Live – 2002
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Battered buses jammed up to the roof
Dust and diesel the prevailing themes
Farmer sleeping on the truck in front
Feet trailing over like he’s trolling for dreams
Smiling girl directing traffic flow
.45 strapped over cotton print dress
Marimba-brown and graceful limbs
Give me a moment of loneliness

Dust and diesel
Rise like incense from the road
Smoke of offering
For the revolution morning

Headlights pick out fallen sack of corn
One lone tarantula standing guard
We pull up and stop and she ambles off
Discretion much the better part of cars
Rodrigo the government driver jumps out
He’s got chickens who can use the feed
We sweep the asphalt on our hands and knees
Fill up his trunk with dusty yellow seeds

Dust and diesel
Rise like incense from the road
Smoke of offering
For the revolution morning

Guitars and rifles in blue moonlight
Soldiers stretched out on sparkling grass
Engine broke down — they took us in
now we make music for the time to pass
Tired men and women raise their voice to the night
Hope the fragile bloom they’ve grown will last
Pride and passion and love and fear
Burning hearts burning boats of the past

Dust and diesel
Rise like incense from the road
Smoke of offering
For the revolution morning

March 1983 – Interamerican Highway, Nicaragua

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Yanqui wake up
You know it’s time to go
The sun is almost up and we want to be alone

Yanqui head spin
Better get some rest
Tomorrow we can talk about the way you insulted the guests

Ivan’s outside
Sulking in the yard
Everyone got bad communication when the time gets hard

Not a nice guy
But he’s got troubles of his own
Anyway it’s best if you both just leave the rest of us alone

Yanqui go home
You had too much
Better go sleep it off
Party’s over —
Time to meditate on it
Time to tally up the cost

Yanqui wake up
Don’t you see what you’re doing
Trying to be the Pharoah of the West bringing nothing but ruin

Better start swimming
Before you begin to drown
All those petty tyrants in your pocket gonna weigh you down

You’re my friend but I say
Yanqui go home
You had too much
Better go sleep it off
Party’s over
Time to meditate on it
Time to tally up the cost

1983

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory – German release 1985
Stealing Fire – 2003
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

Under the skin insect glint is shot thoughts
Hemispheres of sparks, eyes that won’t close
Observe and doing change all things

Falls through Love objects
this gathering of accidents
into dynastic triumph of things
I long for dawn at end of mind

Traveling light deluge of birth and death
quiver of events trembling to be
Shot into the face of time
Call it the Sundance

Everything you do, everything you say
Whether false or true
in some kind of way, touches something
Everything you take, everything you leave
Every move you make
Pulls the fabric of the weave of everything
Call it the Sundance

Everything you do, everything you say
Whether false or true
in some kind of way, touches something
Everything you take, everything you leave
Every move you make
Pulls the fabric of the weave of everything
Call it the Sundance

1983

Also On:
Stealing Fire – 2003



With 1984’s Stealing Fire, Bruce Cockburn’s words and music took a greater urgency than ever before. The previous year, he made his first trip to Central America on behalf of the international development group OXFAM. While in southern Mexico, he visited a refugee camp that had recently been attacked by the helicopters of the U.S.-backed Guatemalan army.

The horrific experience sparked the anger-filled “If I Had A Rocket Launcher”, a song which brought him unprecedented attention – garnering heavy radio airplay and regular video rotation on MTV.

Stealing Fire is full of many of Cockburn’s most powerful political songs, yet it boasts some of his most romantic numbers as well. From “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” to “Making Contact” whether issuing calls to action or cries for help. Bruce Cockburn’s poetry demands affection.

Upon its release Stealing Fire immediately staked a claim as one of the most compelling albums by singer-songwriter in the 1980s. Nearly twenty years later, the album’s impact is undiminished.

Album Info:

the musicians are:
bruce cockburn – guitar and voice
jon goldsmith – keyboards
fergus marsh – bass and stick
miche pouliot – drums
chi sharpe – percussion

words and music by bruce cockburn
except on “maybe the poet” words by bruce cockburn,
music by bruce cockburn, kerry crawford, jon goldsmith, and fergus marsh, and “to raise the morning star”, words by bruce cockburn, music by bruce cockburn and fergus marsh

published by golden mountain music corp. (BMI)
© 1984 golden mountain music corp.

recorded at manta sound, toronto, march-april 1984
engineer: john naslen
assisted by: ron searles
mastering by: mike reese, mastering lab, los angeles
produced by: jon goldsmith and kerry crawford
for true north productions
art direction: bart schoales
cover painting: blair drawson
photography: george whiteside

direction:
the finkelstein management company limited.
98 queens street east, suite 201,
toronto, ontario, m5c 1s6, (416) 364-6040


Bruce Cockburn - Rumours Of Glory - 1985 - German Release

Rumours Of Glory – compilation German Release

Bruce Cockburn - Rumours Of Glory - 1985 - German Release
Rumours Of Glory – 1985

RELEASE DATE: 1985
PURCHASE: Out Of Print

* only available on the CD version
+ previously unreleased

Songs are linked to the original album for lyrics.

1. The Trouble With Normal (3:35)
2. Going Up Against Chaos* (5:31)
3. Wondering Where The Lions Are (3:42)
4. Tokyo (3:25)
5. All’s Quiet On The Inner City Front (5:27)
6. Creation Dream* (4:00)
7. Wanna Go Walking (2:53)
8. Grim Travellers* (4:51)
9. Rumours Of Glory (3:38)
10. Tropic Moon (4:38)

Yanqui wake up
You know it’s time to go
The sun is almost up and we want to be alone

Yanqui head spin
Better get some rest
Tomorrow we can talk about the way you insulted the guests

Ivan’s outside
Sulking in the yard
Everyone got bad communication when the time gets hard

Not a nice guy
But he’s got troubles of his own
Anyway it’s best if you both just leave the rest of us alone

Yanqui go home
You had too much
Better go sleep it off
Party’s over —
Time to meditate on it
Time to tally up the cost

Yanqui wake up
Don’t you see what you’re doing
Trying to be the Pharoah of the West bringing nothing but ruin

Better start swimming
Before you begin to drown
All those petty tyrants in your pocket gonna weigh you down

You’re my friend but I say
Yanqui go home
You had too much
Better go sleep it off
Party’s over
Time to meditate on it
Time to tally up the cost

1983

Also On:
Stealing Fire – 2003 (remastered)
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 3 – 2014

12. Lord Of The Starfields (3:22)
13. The Coldest Night Of The Year (3:58)
14. Laughter (3:35)
15. The Rose Above The Sky* (6:23)



Rumours of Glory is on Plane Records and contains Yanqui Go Home which was previously unreleased and is a Germany-only release. It is currently out of print.


Bruce Cockburn - World Of Wonders - 1986

World Of Wonders

Bruce Cockburn - World Of Wonders - 1986
World Of Wonders – 1986

RELEASE DATE: 1986
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North


World Of Wonders – vinyl edition
RELEASE DATE: 2 November 2010
PURCHASE: True North
CAT #TNV003

This limited edition 180g vinyl release includes a digital download card featuring all tracks from the original, full–length CD.

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

November 1985 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Bruce Cockburn – Live – 1990 / 2002
You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance – 1997
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Over the slow slide of continents
Over the salt pans pipelines masts and pavilions
Shimmering crescent moon recedes into working dawn —
Lone crow against pallid sky
Single plume of white smoke on yellow speckled plain
Yellowing leaves sparkle in cold breeze —
Wave patterns among wave patterns
Particles disperse and rejoin
Dissolve and reform like the lining of a womb
Still
The cold of your absence blows from
The silent TV, the parking lot
The balcony with clothes waving good-bye/hello

In the rising day
You keep fading away
Don’t I know that you’re always around
I can reach you if I try
Lily of the midnight sky

Solders of sunrise — shooting into a forest of flowers
Slow motion
Petals float into pink crimson white
Grow wings
Flutter into mountainous distance
Flutter like a stadium full of applauding hands
I raise a fist to the marauding sun that has hidden you away
I’m the rag in a bottle of gasoline
Longing to ignite
Ich will alles
All of you — shining on the panther skin of night
Mirrored in a black lake in a night that glistens like blood on gold

Nobody else could be you
If only I could see you
I should be able to touch you somehow
I can reach you if I try
Lily of the midnight sky

While you look from on high
Spare a smile as I
Put on my dog mask and howl for you
I can reach you if I try
Lily of the midnight sky

November 11, 1984 – Boulder, Colorado

Stand on a bridge before the cavern of night
Darkness alive with possibility
Nose to this wind full of twinkling lights
Trying to catch the scent of what’s coming to be (in this…)

World of wonders…

Somewhere a saxophone slides through changes
Like a wet pipe dripping down my neck
Gives me a chill — sounds like danger
But I can’t stop moving till I cross this sector (of this…)

World of wonders…

There’s a rainbow shining in a bead of spittle
Falling diamonds in rattling rain
Light flexed on moving muscle
I stand here dazzled with my heart in flames (at this…)

World of wonders…

Moment of peace like brief arctic bloom
Red/gold ripple of the sun going down
Line of black hills makes my bed
Sky full of love pulled over my head

World of wonders…

June 1985 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn – Live – 1990 / 2002
Slice O Life – 2009

Dull twilight spits hesitant sulphur rain
Sky been down around our ears for weeks
Only once — gap-glimpsed moon over that anal-retentive border wall
As we laughed through some midnight checkpoint under yellow urban cloud

Weeks of frantic motion — petrol veins of Europe pumping
Through scratchy acid-bitten transparent winter trees
Through brownish haze that makes a ghost of the horizon
I’m rushing after some ever-receding destination

Berlin tonight
Table-dancing in black tights
Waving a silver crutch in the blue lights
Shapechanging over glass
On the front line of the last gasp

Green shoots of winter wheat and patches of snow
Russian walks dog in Saxon field
From the top of a solitary tree like the one on the flag of Lebanon
Unblinking eye of hawk follows traffic on the autobahn

Tank convoy winds down smokestack valley
Pround chemical pennants wave against the sky
Turret gunner laughs when I throw up my hands
I’m all glasses and grin to him under my “commie” fur hat

Berlin tonight
Table-dancing in black tights
Waving a silver crutch in the blue lights
Shapechanging over glass
On the front line of the last gasp

February 1985 – 2 Germanies

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

You’ve got covert action
Prejudice to extremes
You’ve got primitive cunning
And high tech means
You’ve got eyes everywhere
But people see through you

You’ve got good manipulators
Got your store of dupes
You’ve got the idiot clamour
Of your lobby groups
You like to play on fears
But people see through you

You’ve got instant communication
Instant data tabulation
You got the forces of occupation
But you don’t get capitulation
Cause people see through you

You’ve got the sounding brass
You’ve got the triumph of the will
You do what you want to
And we pay the bills
you hype the need for sacrifice
but people see through you

You’ve got anti-matter language
Contrived to conceal
You’ve been lying so long
You don’t know what’s real
You’re a figment of your own imagination
And people see through you

You’ve got lip service tributaries
You’ve got death fetish mercenaries
You hold the tickets to the cemetaries
You’re big and bad and scary
But people see through you

August 25, 1985 – Bridgenorth

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 4 – 2014

Rays of the moon make magic in the streets of the city
All the people get strange but their faces look so pretty
The walking graffiti, survivalist bums
Even the secret police shout that you’re the one
See how I miss you

Every psychopath gets his own magazine these days
I just read about how I can kill in a hundred ways
But I don’t want to cause anybody pain
I only want to hold you in my arms again
See how I miss you

I watch this woman in a tight sequined lizard dress —
Tosses her scarlet hair like a sly caress
She got midnight voice like some beckoning saint
She got something special but you she ain’t
See how I miss you

November 1985 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Bruce Cockburn – Live – 1990 / 2002

Something moves in the still dark hours
Sunday in a shanty town
Wyelids open two by two
But not a single light goes on

Tension builds as the only sound
Is the quiet clash of metal and boots
And now and then an order barked
At the bullies in the drab green suits

Military thugs with their dogs and clubs
Spreading through the poblacion
Hunting whoever still has a voice
Sure that everyone will run

They come in strong but it’s not that long
Before they know it’s not so easy to leave
To keep a million homeless down takes more
Than a strong arm up your sleeve

At the crack of dawn the first door goes down
Snapped off a makeshift frame
In a matter of minutes the first rock flies
Barricades burst into flame

First mass rings through smoke and gas
Day flowers out of the night
Creatures of the dark in disarray
Fall before the morning light

Bells of rage — bells of hope
As the ten-year night wears down
Sisters and brothers are coming home
To see the Santiago dawn

Santiago sunrise
See them marching home
See them rising like grass through cement
In the Santiago dawn

I got a dream and I’m not alone
Darkness dead and gone
All the people marching home
Kissing the rush of dawn

Santiago sunrise
See them marching home
See them rising like grass through cement
In the Santiago dawn

December 1983 – Santiago

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 7 – 2014

Praying mantis on screen
Canoes prowl reef in early morning sun
As it flashes on the rhythmic fall of weed cutter’s cutlass blade
Everybody’s got something to sell besides the obvious dollars and dope
Aloe rub, starfish, vegetable patties, braid your hair miss and bush doctor cures
Sudden angry eruption between aloe peddler and man with property to protect
Muscular security guard with truncheon of twisted wire
“Kiss my blood clot” she hisses and they’re enemies for life
In the beach front bar they’re playing reggae versions of Jim Reeves’ Greatest Hits
The waitress sings along, eyes focused dreamily on that sentimental world and there’s Dancing in Paradise…

Blue green ship in turquoise bay
Swollen bauxite-red river rushing
Stream rising from feathered bamboo hills
Tracks once paved now falling away into deep lush valleys
And the farmed-out road contracts pass through so many hands
The print erodes with the weather-worn blacktop
And the jungle’s always trying to reclaim the right of way
And the mangoes cacao turmeric goats soursop
Mushrooms cane plantains limes
Horses crayfish long-legged birds donkeys
Curved horns of cattle above dense grass
Ganja sensitive plant ackee
And some thorn whose prick brings lockjaw
And tires torn by sharp yellow rocks —
Young girl stares pensively from dark door in pale blue wall
Big About and friends at their crossroads bar
With its dirt corral for dancing
Drink soursop juice all day long
In quest of the perpetual stiff bamboo
And there’s Dancing in Paradise…

Biggy Dread gunned down by police at Big Bridge March 16
Riding a mule cart to Sav-la-Mar pulled out a cutlass and they had to shoot
That’s what they say
Something tells me they like to shoot
Something in the eyes of the ones at the road block
Where they searched the car and tried to get us to confess to whatever…
There’s truncheons and gas down in Harbour St.
Typical response where life isn’t so sweet
And somebody gets desperate enough to say so
Price of fish price of flour
Going up up up almost by the hour
And they throw away money on spectacular shows
To show the world the right likes the right music
And the Prime Minister sucks ice cream in the company of a happy band of children
While a naked man, sores on his neck,
Lies for days in Washington Blvd. gnawing chicken bones
And the Chamber of Commerce thinks there’s too much crime
And there’s a kung fu movie in every town
And there’s Dancing in Paradise…

Easter 1985 – Jamaica

Sweet wind blowing off the bay
Sweeping the heat of the day away
Making the leaves of the palm trees sway
Down here tonight everything’s okay

Net’s coming in and the anchor’s down
Hour of darkness comes around
Stars dust the sky and the lights go on
Soon tonight will be filled with song

Pans gonna play and the fire burn bright
Talking drums say everything’s all right
Beating of the sea sends a message
To the far starlight
“We’re doing okay down here tonight”

The end of the road’s still far away
But the travelling’s better by the light of day
This hour of darkness is the time to dance
Lay down your burdens — give the beat a chance

Pans gonna play and the fire burn bright
Talking drums say everything’s all right
Beating of the sea sends a message
To the far starlight
“We’re doing okay down here tonight”

January 1984 – Tobago



One of Bruce Cockburn’s most politically driven albums. Featuring “Call it Democracy”, “People see Through you” and “Santiago Down”.

Album Info:

words and music by: bruce cockburn
published by: golden mountain music corp.
© 1985 golden mountain music corp. all rights reserved, used by permission
translation: marcel mousette
recorded at manta sound, toronto, october-november 1985
engineer: john naslen
assisted by: mark baldi
mastering by: bob ludwig, masterdisk, new york

the musicians are:
bruce cockburn – voice, guitars, caharango
judy cade: bckground vocals
jon goldsmith: keyboarads
fergus jemison marsh: bass and stick
hugh marsh: violin · apperas courtesy of duke street recjords
chi sharpe: percussion
michael sloski: drums
michael alan white: trumpet, flugelhorn and conch
background vocals on: “see how i miss you” and “dancing in paradise” – sharon lee williams, shawn jackson, colina phillips, judy cade and kerry crawford

art direction: bart schoales
photography: george whiteside

direction:
the finkelstein management company limited
98 queen street east, suite 201
toronto, ontario, canada m5c 1s6
telephone: (416) 364-6040 telex: 065-24566

Produced by Jon Goldsmith and Kenny Crawford for True North Productions


Bruce Cockburn - Waiting For A Miracle - 1987

Waiting For A Miracle

Bruce Cockburn - Waiting For A Miracle - 1987
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987 (2 cd)

RELEASE DATE: 1987
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

* Denotes bonus tracks on Canadian CD version
+ New song

(Songs are linked to original album for lyrics)

Disc One:

1. Going to the Country (3:12)
2. Musical Friends* (2:54)
3. One Day I Walk (3:06)
4. It’s Going Down Slow (3:31)
5. Up on the Hillside* (3:00)
6. Feet Fall on the Road* (2:41)
7. Mama Just Wants to Barrelhouse All Night Long (from the film ‘Rumours of Glory’) (6:24)
8. All the Diamonds (2:40)
9. Burn (3:50)
10. Silver Wheels (4:41)
11. I’m Gonna Fly Someday* (4:02)
12. Vagabondage* (4:20)
13. Free to Be* (2:29)
14. Laughter (3:30)
15. Wondering Where the Lions Are (3:09)
16. Tokyo (3:28)
17. Fascist Architecture (4:04)
18. The Trouble with Normal (3:17)

Disc Two:

1. Rumours of Glory (from the film ‘Rumours of Glory’) (5:02)
2. The Coldest Night of the Year (3:58)
3. Wanna Go Walking* (2:52)
4. You Pay Your Money and you Take Your Chance (4:17)
5. Tropic Moon* (4:38)
6. Candy Man’s Gone*(4:06)
7. Lovers in a Dangerous Time (4:06)
8. If I Had a Rocket Launcher (4:59)
9. Making Contact* (3:46)
10. Peggy’s Kitchen Wall (3:42)
11. People See Through You (3:44)
12. Call it Democracy(3:50)
13. See How I Miss You*(4:01)

From Tierra del Fuego to Ungava Bay
The history of betrayal continues to today
The spirit of Almighty Voice, the ghost of Anna Mae
Call like thunder from the mountains — you can hear them say
It’s a stolen land

Apartheid in Arizona, slaughter in Brazil
If bullets don’t get good PR there’s other ways to kill
Kidnap all the children, put ’em in a foreign system
Bring them up in no-man’s land where no one really wants them
It’s a stolen land

Stolen land — but it’s all we’ve got
Stolen land — and there’s no going back
Stolen land — and we’ll never forget
Stolen land — and we’re not through yet

In my mind I catch a picture — big black raven in the sky
Looking at the ocean — sail reflected in black eye —
Sail as white as heroin, white like weathered bones —
Rum and guns and smallpox gonna change the face of home
In this stolen land…

If you’re like me you’d like to think we’ve learned from our mistakes
Enough to know we can’t play god with others’ lives at stake
So now we’ve all discovered the world wasn’t only made for whites
What step are you gonna take to try and set things right
In this stolen land

Stolen land — but it’s all we’ve got
Stolen land — and there’s no going back
Stolen land — and we’ll never forget
Stolen land — and we’re not through yet

January 1986 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Bruce Cockburn – Live
You Pay Your Money And You Take Your Chance
Rumours Of Glory – box set – disc 2

Look at them working in the hot sun
The pilloried saints and the fallen ones
Working and waiting for the night to come
And waiting for a miracle

Somewhere out there is a place that’s cool
Where peace and balance are the rule
Working toward a future like some kind of mystic jewel
And waiting for a miracle

You rub your palm
On the grimy pane
In the hope that you can see
You stand up proud
You pretend you’re strong
In the hope that you can be
Like the ones who’ve cried
Like the ones who’ve died
Trying to set the angel in us free
While they’re waiting for a miracle

Struggle for a dollar, scuffle for a dime
Step out from the past and try to hold the line
So how come history takes such a long, long time
When you’re waiting for a miracle

You rub your palm
On the grimy pane
In the hope that you can see
You stand up proud
You pretend you’re strong
In the hope that you can be
Like the ones who’ve cried
Like the ones who’ve died
Trying to set the angel in us free
While they’re waiting for a miracle

January 1986 – Managua, Nicaragua

Written by: Bruce Cockburn and Hugh Marsh

Also On:
Anything Anytime Anywhere
Rumours Of Glory – box set – disc 3



Album compilation by Bruce Cockburn and Bernie Finkelstein, with 2 new songs.

ALBUM INFO:

All songs written by Bruce Cockburn except Stolen Land which is written by Bruce Cockburn and Hugh Marsh.

All songs published by Golden Mountain Music Corp. (PRO Canada) except “Going to the Country” and “Musical Friends”, which is published by Bytown Music Ltd.( PRO Canada)

Traduction par Marcel Moussete

Album compilation by Bruce Cockburn and Bernie Finkelstein for True North Productions.

Compliation engineers: John Naslen, Gary Gray, Michael Duncan
Digital Mastering: Bob Ludwig, Masterdisk, N.Y.
Hugh Marsh appears courtesy of Duke Street Records

Cover Painting: Robert Davidson “Raven Bringing Light to the World”
Photography: George Whiteside
Design Art Direction: Bart Schoales


Bruce Cockburn - Big Circumstance - 1988 / 2005

Big Circumstance

Bruce Cockburn - Big Circumstance - 1988 / 2005
Big Circumstance 1988 / 2005

RELEASE DATE: 1988
REISSUE: 2005
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North (deluxe edition)

Rain forest
Mist and mystery
Teeming green
Green brain facing labotomy
Climate control centre for the world
Ancient cord of coexistence
Hacked by parasitic greedhead scam –
From Sarawak to Amazonas
Costa Rica to mangy B.C. hills –
Cortege rhythm of falling timber.

What kind of currency grows in these new deserts,
These brand new flood plains?

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

Cut and move on
Cut and move on
Take out trees
Take out wildlife at a rate of species every single day
Take out people who’ve lived with this for 100,000 years –
Inject a billion burgers worth of beef –
Grain eaters – methane dispensers.

Through thinning ozone,
Waves fall on wrinkled earth –
Gravity, light, ancient refuse of stars,
Speak of a drowning –
But this, this is something other.
Busy monster eats dark holes in the spirit world
Where wild things have to go
To disappear
Forever

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

April 7, 1988 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

The man who twirled with rose in teeth
Has his tongue tied up in thorns
His once expanded sense of time and
Space all shot and torn
See him wander hat in hand –
“Look at me, I’m so forlorn –
Ask anyone who can recall
It’s horrible to be born!”

Big Circumstance comes looming
Like a darkly roaring train –
Rushes like a sucking wound
Across a winter plain
Recognizing neither polished shine
Nor spot nor stain –
And wherever you are on the compass rose
You’ll never be again

Left like a shadow on the step
Where the body was before –
Shipwrecked at the stable door

Big Circumstance has brought me here –
Wish it would send me home
Never was clear where home is
But it’s nothing you can own
It can’t be bought with cigarettes
Or nylons or perfume
And all the highest bidder gets
Is a voucher for a tomb

Blessed are the poor in spirit –
Blessed are the meek
For theirs shall be the kingdom
That the power mongers seek
Blessed are the dead for love
And those who cry for peace
And those who love the gift of earth –
May their gene pool increase

Left like a shadow on the step
Where the body was before –
Shipwrecked at the stable door

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

Tabloids, bellowing raw delight
Hail the return of the Teutonic Knights
Inbred for purity and spoiling for a fight,
Another little puppet of the New Right

See-through dollars and mystery plagues
Varied detritus of Aquarian Age
Shutters on storefronts and shutters in the mind –
We kill ourselves to keep ourselves safe from crime.
That’s the gospel of bondage…

We’re so afraid of disorder we make it into a god
We can only placate with state security laws
Whose church consists of secret courts and wiretaps and shocks
Whose priests hold smoking guns, and whose sign is the double cross
But God must be on the side of the side that’s right
And not the right that justifies itself in terms of might –
Least of all a bunch of neo-nazis running hooded through the night
Which may be why He’s so consipicuously out of sight
Of the gospel of bondage…

You read the Bible in your special ways
You’re fond of quoting certain things it says –
Mouth full of righteousness and wrath from above
But when do we hear about forgiveness and love?

Sometimes you can hear the Spirit whispering to you,
But if God stays silent, what else can you do
Except listen to the silence? if you ever did you’d surely see
That God won’t be reduced to an ideology
Such as the gospel of bondage…

February 22, 1987 – Toronto, Canada

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

In front of a newborn moon pushing up its glistening dome
I kiss these departing companions – take the next step alone
I just said goodnight to the closest thing i have to home
Oh – and the night grows sharp and hollow
As a junkie’s craving vein
And I don’t feel your touch, again.

To be held in the heart of a friend is to be a king
But the magic of a lover’s touch is what makes my spirit sing
When you’re caught up in this longing all the beauties of the earth don’t mean a thing
Oh – and the night grows clear and empty
As a lake of acid rain
And I don’t feel your touch, again.

The last light of day crept away like a drunkard after gin
A hint of chanted prayer now whispers from the fresh night wind
To this shattered heart and soul held together by habit and skin
And this half-gnawed bone of apprehension
Buried in my brain
As I don’t feel your touch, again.

June 1987 – Toronto, Canada

Through rutted winding streets of Kathmandu
Dodging crowded humans cows dogs rickshaws –
Storefronts constellated pools of bluewhite
Bright against darkening walls

The butterfly sparkle in my lasered eye still seems
To hold that last shot of red sun through haze over jumbled roofs
Everything moves like slow fluid in this atmosphere
Thick as dreams
With sewage, incense, dust and fever and the smoke of brick kilns and cremations –

Tom Kelly’s bike rumbles down –
we’re going drinking on the Tibetan side of town.

Beggar with withered legs sits sideways on skateboard, grinning
There’s a joke going on somewhere but we’ll never know
Those laughing kids with hungry eyes must be in on it too
With their clinging memories of a culture crushed
By Chinese greed

Pretty young mother by the temple gate
Covers her baby’s face against diesel fumes
That look of concern – you can see it still –
Not yet masked by the hard lines of a woman’s
Struggle to survive

Hard bargains going down
When you’re living on the Tibetan side of town.

Big red Enfield Bullet lurches to a halt in the dust
Last blast of engine leaves a ringing in the ears
That fades into the rustle of bare feet and slapping sandals
And the baritone moan of long bronze trumpets
Muffled by monastery walls.

Prayer flags crack like whips in the breeze
Sending to the world – tonight the message blows east
Dark door opens to warm yellow room and there
Are these steaming jugs of hot millet beer
and I’m sucked into the scene like this liquor up
This bamboo straw

Sweet tungba sliding down –
drinking on the Tibetan side of town

March 1987 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Live -1990 / 2002
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 5 – 2014

High above valley,
Above deep shade coloured with the calls of cuckoos,
The ring of coppersmith’s hammer high in the hiss of the wind
Wind filled with spirits and bright with the jangle of horse bells
After a crisp night crammed with stars
It’s morning

Over the scratched-up soil, scorched-earth wasted,
Long shadows lead women bearing water
I watch the sway of skirts,
Think of moist spice forests –

Too many pictures
Swirling
Vertigo
Momentum of civilizations
Threw me too far over this time-simple landscape
And I hang here
In this mountain light
A balloon blown full of darkness –
Got to let this ballast go
Got to float upward
Till I burst

Weavers’ fingers flying on the loom
Patterns shift too fast to be discerned
All these years of thinking
Ended up like this
In front of all this beauty
Understanding nothing

Rhododendrons in bloom, sharp against
Spring snow
Remind me of another time
In japanese temple –
There was a single orange blossom
At the wrong time of year –
Seemed like a sign –
When I looked again
It was gone

Weavers’ fingers flying on the loom
Patterns shift too fast to be discerned
All these years of thinking
Ended up like this in front of all this beauty
Understanding nothing

October 26, 1987 – Toronto, Canada

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

Goons in blackface creeping in the road —
Farm family waiting for the night to explode —
Working the land in an age of terror
You come to see the moon as the bad news bearer
Down where the death squad lives

They cut down people like they cut down trees —
Chop off its head so it will stay on its knees —
The forest shrinks but the earth remains
Slash and burn and it grows again
Down where the death squad lives.

I’ve got friends trying to batter the system down
Fighting the past till the future comes round.
It’ll never be a perfect world till God declares it that way
But that don’t mean there’s nothing we can do or say
Down where the death squad lives

Like some kind of never-ending Easter passion,
From every agony a hero’s fashioned.
Around every evil there gathers love —
Bombs aren’t the only things that fall from above
Down where the death squad lives
down where the death squad lives

Sometimes I feel like there’s a padlock on my soul.
If you opened up my heart you’d find a big black hole
But when the feeling comes through, it comes through strong —
If you think there’s no difference between right and wrong
Just go down where the death squad lives

This world can be better than it is today
You can say I’m a dreamer but that’s okay
Without the could-be and the might-have-been
All you’ve got left is your fragile skin
And that ain’t worth much down where the death squad lives

January 28, 1986 – Toronto, Canada

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

They’re hosing down trucks at the border under a rainbow sign —
The raindrops falling on my head burn into my mind
On a hillside in the distance there’s a patch of green sunshine
Ain’t it a shame
Ain’t it a shame
About the radium rain

Everyday in the paper you can watch the numbers rise
No such event can over take us here, we’re much too wise
In the meantime don’t eat anything that grows and don’t breathe when the cars go by
Ain’t it a shame
Ain’t it a shame
About the radium rain

Big motorcycle rumbles out of the rain like some creation of mist
There’s a man on a roof with a blindfold on and a hand grenade in his fist
I walk stiff, with teeth clenched tight, filled with nostalgia for a clean wind’s kiss
Ain’t it a shame
Ain’t it a shame
About the radium rain

A flock of birds writes something on the sky in a language I can’t understand
God’s graffiti — but it don’t say why so much evil seems to land on man
When everyone I meet just wants to live and love, and get along as best they can
Ain’t it a shame
Ain’t it a shame
About the radium rain

May 8, 1986 – Cologne

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

Listen to the rain on this mountain town
Listen to the night bird’s lonesome cry
listen to the scratch of pen on paper
That’s the sound of sleep denied

Hear the sleepers toss and turn
Dreaming whatever they’re dreaming of
The wind that’s clearing the heat from the air
Can’t clear my heart of these pangs of love

Pangs of love
That’s the price you pay
When you give your love
But don’t give all the way
Pangs of love
Won’t let me go —
I came so far around the world
To hear the night say
I told you so

April 9,1987 – Pakhara

These shoes have walked some strange streets
Stranger still to come —
Sometimes the prayers of strangers
Are all that keeps them from
Trying to stay static
Something even death can’t do
Everything is motion —
To the motion be true

In this cold commodity culture
Where you lay your money down
It’s hard to even notice
That all this earth is hallowed ground —
Harder still to feel it
Basic as a breath —
Love is stronger than darkness
Love is stronger than death

The gift
Keeps moving —
Never know
Where it’s going to land.
You must stand
Back and let it
Keep on changing hands

Hackles rise in anger
Heat waves rise in sex
The gift moves on regardless
Tying this world to the next
May you never tire of waiting
Never feel that life is cheap
May your life be filled with light
Except for when you’re trying to sleep

The gift
Keeps moving —
Never know
Where it’s going to land
You must stand
Back and let it
Keep on changing hands

February 9, 1988 – Toronto, Canada

You could have gone off the Bloor Street viaduct
I could have been run down in the street
You could have got botulism anytime
I could have gone overboard into the sea

Anything can happen
To put out the light,
Is it any wonder
I don’t want to say goodnight?

I could have been hit by a falling pane of glass
You could have had shark teeth write “finit”
We could have been nailed by some vigilante type
In a case of mistaken identity — obviously

Anything can happen
To put out the light
Is it any wonder
I don’t want to say goodnight?

We could have been lynched and tarred and feathered
Been on a plane that crashed in flames
Could have done the neutron melt together
But here we are just the same!

You could have been daggered in the dead of night
You could have been gassed inside your car
I could have been walking in the open fields
And been drilled through the head by a shooting star

Anything can happen
To put out the light
Is it any wonder
I don’t want to say goodnight?

December 29, 1980 – Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 7 – 2014

Rain forest
Mist and mystery
Teeming green
Green brain facing labotomy
Climate control centre for the world
Ancient cord of coexistence
Hacked by parasitic greedhead scam –
From Sarawak to Amazonas
Costa Rica to mangy B.C. hills –
Cortege rhythm of falling timber.

What kind of currency grows in these new deserts,
These brand new flood plains?

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

Cut and move on
Cut and move on
Take out trees
Take out wildlife at a rate of species every single day
Take out people who’ve lived with this for 100,000 years –
Inject a billion burgers worth of beef –
Grain eaters – methane dispensers.

Through thinning ozone,
Waves fall on wrinkled earth –
Gravity, light, ancient refuse of stars,
Speak of a drowning –
But this, this is something other.
Busy monster eats dark holes in the spirit world
Where wild things have to go
To disappear
Forever

If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?
Anybody hear the forest fall?

April 7, 1988 – Toronto, Canada

Acoustic Version on the 2005 remastered edition of Big Circumstance.



The result of three years of global traveling. 1989’s Big Circumstance reflects Bruce Cockburn’s heartfelt reaction to war, repression and environmental abuse.

On this album Cockburn fires off some of the most politically potent material of his career, including “If A Tree Falls,” which tackled the issue of the rain destruction.

The remastered version of Big Circumstance features a bonus track, an acoustic version of “If A Tree Falls.” Sharpened rather than dulled by the passage of time, Big Circumstance remains a powerful testament to one man’s social conscience and artistic vision.


Album Info:

People who fed, or found their way onto these songs:

e.e. cummings, Bob and Gracie Ekblad, Tom Kellyji, Brennan Manning (“Lion & Lamb”), Dan Russell and Alison Ottman, Lewis Hyde (“The Gift”), Heather MacAndrew, Ursala LeGuin (“Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight”), USC Canada, Susan Walsh, Nirmala Pokharel, the plant manager at Chernobyl…

That’s all. If anyone’s missing, thank you too. Bruce

All songs written by Bruce Cockburn
© 1988 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN)
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Jon Goldsmith for True North Productions
Recorded at Manta Sound, Toronto, July-August 1988.
Engineer: John Naslen
Assisted by Mike Colomby
Mastering: Bob Ludwig, Masterdisk, New York

The musicians are:
Bruce Cockburn – vocals, guitars and harmonica
Jon Goldsmith – keyboards and electric auto harp
Fergus James Marsh – stick and bass
Michael Sloski – drums and percussion
Background vocals: Judy Cade, Margaret O’Hara (appears courtesy of Virgin Records), and Mose Scarlett
Hugh Marsh – violin (appears courtesy of Duke Street Records)
Myron Schultz – clarinets

Art direction: Bart Schoales
Photography: George Whiteside


Live - 1990

Live

Bruce Cockburn Live - 1990
Bruce Cockburn-Live-1990

RELEASE DATE: 1990
REISSUE: 2002
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

1. Silver Wheels (6:11)
2. World of Wonders (4:37)
3. Rumours of Glory (6:04)
4. See How I Miss You (4:01)
5. After the Rain (3:58)
6. Call It Democracy (3:36)
7. Tibetan Side of Town (7:48)
8. Wondering Where The Lions Are (5:19)
9. Nicaragua (5:04)
10. Broken Wheel (5:01)
11. Stolen Land (3:13)
12. To Raise The Morning Star (7:47)
13. Maybe the Poet (4:18)

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad
Other things can make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble — give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best, and…

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps, don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing, and…

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life

Life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word
We must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin
Enjoy it — it’s your last chance anyhow, so…

Always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke it’s true
You can see it’s all a show, keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you, and…

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life…

Cover – Original song from the Monty Python film “Life of Brian”

[10] If I Had A Rocket Launcher (5:29)
Note: The 2002 release from Rounder Records includes the bonus track of “If I Had A Rocket Launcher” as the number 10 track, with all the rest the same.



Bruce Cockburn’s concerts are always a wonder to behold: expansive, entrancing and full of surprises. Live, recorded in August 1989, has all of those qualities in abundance.

Album Info:

Recorded live at Ontario Place, Toronto, August 14th and 15th, 1989
Live recording by: Comfort Sound Mobile, Toronto
Engineered by: John Naslen with Doug McClement
Assistant engineers: Scott Campbell, Jon Erickson
Mixed at: Manta Sound
Engineer: John Naslen
Assistant engineer: Mike Columby
Audiophile assembly: Brad Haehnel
Art Direction: Bart Schoales
Photos: Patrick Harbron

Produced by: Jon Goldsmith for True North Productions

The musicians are:
Bruce Cockburn: electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, bodhran, windchimes and vocals
Fergus Jemison Marsh: Chapman stick, midi stick and background vocals
Michael Sloski: drums, percussion and background vocals

On the road:
Road manager: David Hart
Sound: Bob McLee (band aide services)
Lighting: Steve Hill
Monitors and guitars: Russ Ryan
Monitors: Russ Wilson
Truck: Michael Dufault
Australian sound: John Lacina
Australian Lighting: Phil Spillman

Remaster Info: 2002
Digitally remastered at the E Room in Toronto by engineer Peter Moore, utilizing 24-bit technology.
New liner note essay written by Nicholas Jennings.
Released by Rounder Records, 2002.

19 November 2002 – From Rounder Records: Over 76 minutes of music, including 1 bonus track. Featuring songs dating from 1976’s In the Falling Dark to 1987’s Waiting for a Miracle albums, “Bruce Cockburn’s Live” features a cross-section of the artist’s best material from the era. Originally released in 1989, “Live” features a stunning version of Cockburn’s Top 40 hit “Wondering Where the Lions Are,” along with 14 other versions of Cockburn classics such as “Call It Democracy,” “Rumours of Glory,” and “Silver Wheels,” plus a bonus cut of the rock radio and MTV hit “If I Had a Rocket Launcher.” There’s also a lightness and sense of humor on “Live” that is rarely, if ever, seen in Bruce Cockburn’s studio work – he even closes the set with a version of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. “Live” captures an exceptional performer at the peak of his powers.


Bruce Cockburn - Nothing But A Burning Light - 1991

Nothing But A Burning Light

Bruce Cockburn - Nothing But A Burning Light - 1991
Nothing But A Burning Light – 1991

RELEASE DATE: 1991
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

Chorus:

When you’ve got a dream like mine
Nobody can take you down
When you’ve got a dream like mine
Nobody can push you around

Today I dream of how it used to be
Things were different before
The picture shifts to how it’s going to be
Balance restored

When you know even for a moment
That it’s your time
Then you can walk with the power
Of a thousand generations

[Chorus]

Beautiful rocks — beautiful grass
Beautiful soil where they both combine
Beautiful river — covering sky
Never thought of possession, but all this was mine

When you know even for a moment
That it’s your time
Then you can walk with the power
Of a thousand generations

[Chorus]

August 17, 1990 – Dawson, Yukon Territories

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric guitars and Vocals
Larry Klein – Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Denny Frongheiser – Drums
Michael Blair, Ralph Forbes – Percussion
Sam Phillips – Backing Vocals

Also On:
Anything Anytime Anywhere – 2002
Rumours Of Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

And the President said to Kit Carson:
“Take my best four horsemen please
And ride out to the four directions,
Make my great lands barren for me”

Kit Carson said to the President
“You’ve made your offer sweet
I’ll accept this task you’ve set for me
My fall’s not yet complete”

Kit Carson knew he had a job to do
Like other jobs he had before
He’d made the grade
He learned to trade in famine, pestilence, and war

Kit Carson was a hero to some
With his poison and his flame
But somewhere there’s a restless ghost
That used to bear his name

July 1, 1990 – Vaudreuil, Quebec

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric guitars and Vocals
Michael Been – Bass
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Jim Keltner – Drums & Percussion

Also On:
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Used to have a town but the factory moved away
Down to Mexico where they work for hardly any pay
Used to have a country but they sold it down the river
Like a repossessed farm auctioned off to the highest bidder

Mighty trucks of midnight
Moving on
Moving on

Wave a flag, wave the bible, wave your sex or your business degree
Whatever you want — but don’t wave that thing at me
The tide of love can leave your prizes scattered
But when you get to the bottom it’s the only thing that matters

Mighty trucks of midnight
Moving on
Moving on

I believe it’s a sin to try and make things last forever
Everything that exists in time runs out of time some day
Got to let go of the things that keep you tethered
Take your place with grace and then be on your way

June 1991 – Los Angeles

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric guitars and Vocals
Larry Klein – Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Jim Keltner – Drums

I’m going to ask the question
Please answer if you can
Is there anybody’s children can tell me
What is the soul of a man?

Won’t somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won’t somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

I’ve travelled different countries
Travelled to the furthest lands
Couldn’t find nobody could tell me
What is the soul of a man

Won’t somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won’t somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

I saw a crowd stand talking
I just came up in time
Was teaching the lawyers and the doctors
That a man ain’t nothing but his mind

Won’t somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won’t somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

I read the Bible often
I try to read it right
As far as I can understand
It’s nothing but a burning light

Won’t somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won’t somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

When Christ taught in the temple
The people all stood amazed
Was teaching the lawyers and the doctors
How to raise a man from the grave

Won’t somebody tell me
Answer if you can
Won’t somebody tell me
Tell me what is the soul of a man?

cover

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Resonater Guitar & Vocals
Michael Been – Bass
Jim Keltner – Drums & Washboard

Also On:
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Evening sun slants across the road
Painting everything with gold
I’m headed for home, got a woman there
I can barely wait to hold
Got wind in my hair, got the heat inside
Heart jumping up and down
An empty head and a messed-up bed
I’ll be floating just above the ground

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

Seen a lot of things in the world outside
Some bad but some good stuff too
Felt the touch of love in the works of God
And now and then in what people do
Never had a lot of faith in human beings
But sometimes we manage to shine
Like a light on a hill beaming out to space
From somewhere hard to find

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

I ride and I shoot and I play guitar
And I like my life just fine
If you try to take one of these things from me
Then you’re no friend of mine
Got a woman I love and she loves me
And we live on a piece of land
I never know quite how to measure these things
But I guess I’m a happy man

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

August 6,1990 – Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric & Acoustic Guitars and Vocals
T-Bone Burnett – Electric Guitar
Larry Klein – Bass
Denny Frongheiser – Drums
Michael Blair, Ralph Forbes – Percussion
Sam Phillips, Jackson Browne – Backing Vocals

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Guess I’d get along without you
If I had no choice
It’s taken me this long to find you

Done a lot of getting ready for this
Some things we learn so slow
But look at you, you’ve got plenty behind you

There’s lots of ways to hit the ground
Not many answers to be found
We’re faced with mysteries profound
And this is one of the best ones

There are eight million mysteries
In the naked body
Can’t even sight on some distant horizon

Like the nine billion names of God
Don’t bring you any closer
To anyone you can simply set eyes on

But in the same way it’s as real
Don’t always recognize what I feel
But of the dancing scenes that life reveals
This is one of the best ones

Say what you will
There’s no snake oil or pill
Can make love less painful or fine
There’s no theatre
Even of the absurd
Can express what goes on in this meeting of hearts and minds

Guess I’d get along without you
If I had no choice
But please never make it so I have to

Paid a lot of dues to get here
And after all this life
I’m a loser if I don’t live with you

There’s lots of ways to hit the ground
Not many answers to be found
We’re faced with mysteries profound
And this is one of the best ones

May 22, 1990 – Toronto, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Acoustic Guitars and Vocals
Michael Been – Bass
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Jim Keltner – Drums
Mark O’Connor – Violin

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Somebody touched me
Making everything new
Somebody touched me
I didn’t know what to do
Burned through my life
Like a bolt from the blue
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Deep in my bones
Turned a key in the hole
There was somebody home
Some would say that I’m dreaming
But I swear that it’s true
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Like the rain on the wind
Left me alone
Feeling like I’d been skinned
But I know you’re with me
Whatever I go through
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

November 17, 1990 – Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric Guitar and Vocals
T-Bone Burnett – Acoustic Guitar
Larry Klein – Bass
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Denny Frongheiser – Drums
Jim Keltner – Drums
Michael Blair – Tamborine

Mary grows a child without the help of a man
Joseph get upset because he doesn’t understand
Angel comes to Joseph in a powerful dream
Says “God did this and you’re part of his scheme”
Joseph comes to Mary with his hat in his hand
Says “forgive me I thought you’d been with some other man”
She says “what if I had been – but I wasn’t anyway and guess what
I felt the baby kick today”

Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe

The child is born in the fullness of time
Three wise astrologers take note of the signs
Come to pay their respects to the fragile little king
Get pretty close to wrecking everything
‘Cause the governing body of the whole [Holy] land
Is that of Herod, a paranoid man
Who when he hears there’s a baby born King of the Jews
Sends death squads to kill all male children under two
But that same bright angel warns the parents in a dream
And they head out for the border and get away clean

Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe

There are others who know about this miracle birth
The humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth
For it isn’t to the palace that the Christ child comes
But to shepherds and street people, hookers and bums
And the message is clear if you’ve got [you have] ears to hear
That forgiveness is given for your guilt and your fear
It’s a Christmas gift [that] you don’t have to buy
There’s a future shining in a baby’s eyes

Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe

March 1, 1990 – Toronto, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric Guitar and Vocals
Michael Been – Bass
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Jim Keltner – Drums
Sam Phillips – Backing Vocals

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Instrumental

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric Guitar and Vocals
Larry Klein – Bass
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Denny Frongheiser – Drums
Ralph Forbes – Percussion

Out in the desert where the wind never stops
A few simple people try to grow a few crops
Trying to maintain a life and a home
On land that was theirs before the Romans thought of Rome

A few dozen survivors, ragged but proud
With a few woolly sheep, under gathering cloud
It’s never been easy, or free from strife
But the pulse of the land is the pulse of their life

You thought it was over but it’s just like before
Will there never be an end to the Indian wars?

It’s not breech-loading rifles and wholesale slaughter
It’s kickbacks and thugs and diverted water
Treaties get signed and the papers change hands
But they might as well draft these agreements in sand

Noble Savage on the cinema screen
An Indian’s good when he cannot be seen
And the so-called white so-called race
Digs for itself a pit of disgrace

You thought it was over but it’s just like before
Will there never be an end to the Indian wars?

January 25, 1990 – Toronto, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Jackson Browne – Resonator Guitar & Vocals
Mark O’Connor – Violin & Mandolin

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 5 – 2014

Instrumental

April 1990 – Mississauga, Canada

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Electric Guitars
Edgar Meyer – Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Michael Blair, Ralph Forbes – Percussion
Mark O’Connor – Violin

Also On:
Speechless – 2005

I love the pounding of hooves
I love engines that roar
I love the wild music of waves on the shore
And the spiral perfection of a hawk when it soars
Love my sweet woman down to the core

There’s roads and there’s roads
And they call, can’t you hear it?
Roads of the earth
And roads of the spirit
The best roads of all
Are the ones that aren’t certain
One of those is where you’ll find me
Till they drop the big curtain

Hear the wind moan
In the bright diamond sky
These mountains are waiting
Brown-green and dry
I’m too old for the term
But I’ll use it anyway
I’ll be a child of the wind
Till the end of my days

Little round planet
In a big universe
Sometimes it looks blessed
Sometimes it looks cursed
Depends on what you look at obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see

Hear the wind moan
In the bright diamond sky
These mountains are waiting
Brown-green and dry
I’m too old for the term
But I’ll use it anyway
I’ll be a child of the wind
Till the end of my days

December 24,1989 – Tucson, Arizona, USA

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn – Resonator Guitar & Vocals
Edgar Meyer – Acoustic Bass
Booker T. Jones – Organ
Mark O’Connor – Violin

Also On:
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 5 – 2014



‘Nothing but a Burning Light’ Bruce Cockburn’s first release for Columbia teams him with producer T-Bone Burnett whose singer/songwriter background, and spiritual leanings, seemed to be a perfect match. Throughout, Burnett’s production is understated, allowing Cockburn’s voice, guitar, and songs to lead the way over a solid foundation of bass, drums, and tasteful organ by Booker T. Jones.

This sort of sympathetic production brings out the best in Cockburn and his material, which is consistently strong. Songs such as “Kit Carson,” “Mighty Trucks of Midnight,” and “Indian Wars” continue the weightier concerns of his work of the past decade, but the majority of the record takes on a more personal, introspective tone. “One of the Best Ones” and “Great Big Love” are winning affirmations of love and life, while the retelling of the nativity, “Cry of a Tiny Babe,” is as beautiful and moving a contemporary Christmas song as you’re likely to hear.

Cockburn also decides to include a rare cover, his excellent reading of the Blind Willie Johnson gospel-blues “Soul of a Man,” which fits nicely in the whole of the album.

Though it may lack the immediate power, Nothing but a Burning Light is Bruce Cockburn’s best since his 1984 release Stealing Fire.

Jackson Browne and Sam Phillips guest on backing vocals. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide

Album Info:

All lyrics and music by Bruce Cockburn except “Soul of a Man” lyrics and music by Blind Willie Johnson, arrangement by Bruce Cockburn.

All songs (copyright) 1991 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN) All rights reserved. Used by Permission.

Produced by T-Bone Burnett
Production Assistant: Joe Henry

Engineered and Mixed by: Pat McCarthy at Ocean Way Recording, Hollywood, CA (May-July, 1991), except “A Dream Like Mine” Recorded by Pat McCarthy and Mixed by Dave Leonard at Scream Studieos, Los Angeles, CA
Second Engineer: Paula “Max” Garcia
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City

Sam Phillips appears courtesy of Virgin Records
Jackson Browne appears courtesy of Elektra Entertainment, a division of Warner Communications, Inc.
Mark O’Connor appears courtesy of Warner Brothers
Michael Been appears courtesy of Red Dot Records Limited

Art Direction: Chris Austopchuk
Photography: Anton Corbijn

Thanks for the Help: Donnie Ienner, Steve Berkowitz, Pat McCarthy and T-Bone Burnett.


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