Breakfast In New Orleans, Dinner In Timbuktu

Bruce Cockburn - Breakfast In New Orleans Dinner In Timbuktu - 1999
Breakfast In New Orleans Dinner In Timbuktu – 1999

RELEASE DATE: September 14, 1999
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

Slid out of my dreams like a baby out of the nurse’s hands
Onto the hard floor of day
I’d been wearing OJ’s gloves and I couldn’t get them off
It was too early but I couldn’t sleep
Showered and dressed, stepped out into the heat
The parrot things on the porch next door
Announced my arrival on Chartres Street
With their finest rendition of squealing brakes

Down in Kaldi’s café the newspaper headlines promised new revelations
Concerning Prince Charles’ Amex account
A morose young man in old-tim Austrian drag
Stares past his long mustache at the ground
And last night’s punks and fetish kids
All tattoos and metal bits
And in the other corner (wearing the white trunks)
Today’s tourists already sweating

Deep in the city of the saints and fools
Pearls before pigs and dung become jewels
I sit down with tigers, I sit down with lambs
None of them know who exactly I am

I’ve got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

Languid mandalla of the ceiling fan
Teases the air like a slow stroking hand
Study the faces, study the cards
Study the shadow creeping over the yard

I’ve got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

Trouble with the nations, trouble with relations
Where you going to go to find illumination?
Too much to carry, too much to let go
Time goes fast – learning goes slow

But I’ve got this thing in my heart
I must give you today
It only lives when you
Give it away

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Electric Guitars, Vocals, Handclaps
Gary Craig: Drums
Richard Bell: Organ
John Dymond: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Carlos Del Junco: Harmonica
Stephen Donald: Trombone
Sally Sweetland: Handclaps
Lucinda Williams: Harmony

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 6 – 2014

She’s got a mango in the garden – sweet as can be
She’s got a mango in the garden – full of mystery
She’s got a mango in the garden – from the original tree
She’s got a mango in the garden – shares it with me

Humid gleaming precious well
Love to drink that water
Parallel worlds when the sun goes down
The atmosphere grows hotter

She’s got a mango in the garden – sweet as can be
She’s got a mango in the garden – full of mystery
She’s got a mango in the garden – from the original tree
She’s got a mango in the garden – shares it with me

I slip through the glistening gate
Tide began to pound
Tears of light poured over me
And ricocheted all around

She’s got a mango in the garden – sweet as can be
She’s got a mango in the garden – full of mystery
She’s got a mango in the garden – from the original tree
She’s got a mango in the garden – shares it with me

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
George Koller: Bass
Ben Riley: Drums
Daniel Janke: Kora
Margo Timmins: Harmonies

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 6 – 2014

I’m sipping Flor De Caña* and lime juice, it’s three a.m.
Blow a fruit fly off the rim of my glass
The radio’s playing Superchunk and the friends of Dean Martinez

Midnight it was bike tires whacking the pot holes
Milling humans’ shivering energy glow
Fusing the space between them with bar-throb bass and laughter

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

I learned as a child not to trust in my body
I’ve carried that burden through my life
But there’s a day when we all have to be pried loose

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

I’ve seen the flame of hope among the hopeless
And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all
That was the straw that broke me open

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

Toronto

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Gary Craig: Drums
Richard Bell: Organ
John Dymond: Bass
Colin Linden: Electric Guitar
Janice Powers: Keyboard
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Jonell Mosser: Harmony

Also On:
Anything Anywhere Anytime – 2002
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 6 – 2014

Heavy northern autumn sky
Mist-hung forest — Dark spruce, bright maple —
And the great lake rolling forever to the narrow gray beach

I look west along the red road of the frail sun
Where it hovers between shelf of cloud and spiky trees,
Receding shore;

The world is full of seasons; of anguish, of laughter
And it comes to mind to write you this:

Nothing is sure
Nothing is pure
And no matter who we think we are
Everyone gets his chance to be nothing

Love’s supposed to heal, but it breaks my heart to feel
The pain in your voice —
But you know, it’s all going somewhere
And I would crush my heart and throw it in the street
If I could pay for your choice

Isn’t that what friends are for?
Isn’t that what friends are for?

We’re the insect life of paradise:
Crawl across leaf or among towering blades of grass
Glimpse only sometimes the amazing breadth of heaven

You’re as loved as you were
Before the strangeness swept through
Our bodies, our houses, our streets —
When we could speak without codes
And light swirled around like
Wind-blown petals,
Our feet

I’ve been scraping little shavings off my ration of light
And I’ve formed it into a ball, and each time I pack a bit more onto it
I make a bowl of my hands and I scoop it from its secret cache
Under a loose board in the floor
And I blow across it and I send it to you
Against those moments when
The darkness blows under your door

Isn’t that what friends are for?
Isn’t that what friends are for?
Isn’t that what friends are for?

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
George Koller: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Janice Powers: Keyboards
Ben Riley: Cymbals
Lucinda Williams: Harmony

Instrumental

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitar
George Koller: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Ben Riley: Drums

You knelt on the carpet, crimson and stained
Light trickled over your black dress like rain
Your lips were hot and my shocked heart screamed
And I can’t scrape my eyes free of this dream

We each occupy the same space/time
Matter, antimatter, tangled like vines
And the awful tolling, and the cold rain outside
And I cannot scrape this dream off my eyes

And the embers of Eden burn
You can even see it from space
And the great and winding wall between us
Seem to copy the lines of your face

And the embers of Eden burn
You can even see it from space
And the great and winding wall between us
Seem to copy the lines of your face

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Steve Lucas:: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Janice Powers: Keyboards
Ben Riley: Drums
Jonell Mosser: Harmony

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 6 – 2014

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you.

The moon stood still
On Blueberry Hill
And lingered until
My dreams came true.

The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody;
But all of those vows we made
Were never to be

Tho’ we’re apart,
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

cover

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Electric & 12-String Guitars, Vocals
Gary Craig: Drums
Richard Bell: Organ
John Dymond: Bass
Janice Powers: Keyboard
Margo Timmins: Duet Vocal

Judge said to the hooker, “Can you come out to play?
I’ve been condemning people all day long, that’s how I get paid
My dreams are full of criminals frolicking about
Open up the window, let the bad air out!”

Strangled by confusion, my mind is in decay
Can’t picture tomorrow, can’t remember yesterday
Send out for the Black & Decker and the psychiatric couch
Open up the window, let the bad air out

Traitors in high places take my money, tell me lies
Take a walk past Parliament, it smells like something died
They ask for trust, but somehow I’ve got serious doubts
Open up the window, let the bad air out

Too much monkey business, like Mr. Berry said
Drugs and oil and money, don’t mean nothing when you’re dead
At the risk of being subversive, nothing left to do but shout
“Open up the window, let the bad air out!”

circa November 1991

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Vocals
Steve Lucas: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Ben Riley: Drums
Carlos Del Junco: Harmonica
Stephen Donald: Trombone
Daniel Janke: Kora

On this rooftop where we’re sitting
In the rays of the setting sun
Glasses of wine on a crate between us
Catch the light — seem to glow from within

And there’s a laugh
Hanging in the air
And there’s no
Desperation anywhere

So many miles, so many doors
Some need patience, some need force
All fall open in their own due course
To allow us this time

And your limned
In light, golden and thin
Looks to me
Like you’re lit up from within

And look how far the light came
Look how far the light came
Look how far the light came
To paint you
This way

And I picture us in this light
Friendship a fine silver web
Stretched across golden smoky haze
And this is simple
And this is grace

And this light
Is a guest from far away
Passing through
The last whisper of day

And look how far the light came
Look how far the light came
Look how far the light came
To paint you
This way

Beginning of April 1998 – Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Resonator & Electric Guitars, Vocals
Steve Lucas: Bass
Rick Lazar: Percussion
Ben Riley: Drums
Carlos Del Junco: Harmonica
Stephen Donald: Trombone
Janice Powers: Keyboard
Lucinda Williams: Harmony

Instrumental

released 1999 & 2005

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Acoustic Guitar
George Koller: Bass & Dilruba
Rick Lazar: Percussion

Also On:
Speechless – 2005

There’s a black and white crow
on the back of a two-toned sheep
in a field of broken yellow stalks
below looming cliffs.

High above the plains
little grey houses blend
with giant jagged boulders
and pale weathered stumps.

Life in the ghost of the bush.

Wind whips the acacias and strange forked palms
That cluster around the water hole

Suddenly, out of the blowing sand
A milk-white camel appears.

Turbaned rider, blue robe billowing,
bounces with the shambling trot;
wears a sword and a rifle on his back,
and hanging from his neck, a transistor radio…

You blink and like ghosts, they’re gone

Under the wan disc of sand-masked sun
A woman grins – spits expertly
Into the path of a struggling black beetle
Six feet away
Hoists her water bucket onto her head
And strides off up the trail…

Sun a steel ball glowing
Behind endless blowing sand
Sun a steel ball glowing
Dust of fallen empires slowly flowing through my hands
Use me while you can

Pearl held in black fingers
Is the moon behind dry trees
Pearl held in black fingers
Bird inside the rib cage is beating to be free
Use me while you can

I’ve had breakfast in New Orleans
Dinner in Timbuktu
I’ve lived as a stranger in my own house, too
Dark hand waves in lamplight
Cowrie shell patterns change
And nothing will be the same again

Bullet in a sandstorm
Looking for a place to land
Bullet in a sandstorm
Full heart beats an empty one
In the deck they dealt to man
Use me while you can

released 1999

Musicians:
Bruce Cockburn: Resonator & 12 String Guitars, Vocals
Gary Craig: Drums
Richard Bell: Organ
John Dymond: Bass
Daniel Janke: Kora
Lucinda Williams: Harmony

Also On:
Rumours OF Glory box set disc 6 – 2014



Features special guest appearances by Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) and Lucinda Williams, and includes performances from Daniel Janke on the West African kora, and Richard Bell (The Band, Janis Joplin) on keyboards.

Album Info:

Production notes:
Released worldwide on 14 September 1999 Produced by Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden
Recorded and mixed by John Whynot
Additional recording by Colin Linden and Mike Poole
Recorded at Reaction Studios, the Gas Station and Pinhead Recorders, Toronto; The Doghouse, Nashville.
Mixed at Sound City, Los Angeles.
Assisted by Tom Heron, Chris Stringer and Marek
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City
Disc & traycard photo plus assorted original colour photographs by Sally Sweetland.
Additional B&W photography by Gayle Hurmuses.
Art direction, design and layout by A Man Called Wrycraft, Toronto, Canada.

Song credits:
All songs written by Bruce Cockburn ©1999 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN), except “Blueberry Hill” which is written by Al Lewis, Vincent Rose & Larry Stock; Chappell & Co./Sovereign Music Co. (ASCAP).

Lucinda Williams contributed harmony to ‘When You Give It Away”, “Isn’t That What Friends Are For”, “Look How Far”, and “Use Me While You Can”

Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) contributed harmonies on “Mango” and the duet vocal on “Blueberry Hill”

Daniel Janke played kora (click for picture: a kora is a 21-stringed African harp) on “Mango”, “Let The Bad Air Out”, and “Use Me While You Can”

Richard Bell (The Band, Janis Joplin) played organ on “When You Give It Away”, “Last Night Of The World”, “Blueberry Hill”, and “Use Me While You Can”

Percussionist Rick Lazar contributed to all the songs on the album except “Blueberry Hill” and “Use Me While You Can”.

On “Deep Lake” bassist George Koller plays dilruba (click for picture: an Indian instrument that looks like a sitar but is played with a violin bow, and sounds exactly as you imagine the combination of these two instruments would). Believe it or not, the violin sounding instrument on “Down To The Delta” (that kicks in 3 mins 08 secs into the track), also played by Koller, is actually a double bass.