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BRUCE COCKBURN > Albums

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

7 September 2017 – by Andrea Warner – CBCMusic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three years later, Bone On Bone is here.

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

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

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

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

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

I think so too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

BONE ON BONE

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone

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

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

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

Bruce Cockburn - promo photo by Daniel Keebler

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bone On Bone Track Listing:

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

TOUR DATES

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

Photo by Daniel Keebler.

Press Release Bone On Bone

You may download the pdf as well.

Bruce Cockburn - Bone On Bone - Press Release pdf

New Tour Dates and New Album Info

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

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



Albums – Alphabetical Listing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Crowing Ignites
Bruce Cockburn Crowing Ignites 2019
Produced by Colin Linden
2019 – (34th album)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

37. 50th Anniversay Box Set 5LP
Bruce Cockburn - True North - 50th Anniversary Box Set 5LP - 2020
September 2020 – The first album where it all started, the self-titled debut Bruce Cockburn along with two albums that have never before been released on vinyl; The Charity of Night and Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu. Each album has been re-mastered by Bruce’s long-time producer Colin Linden, and is pressed on coloured vinyl. The five-180 gram discs are contained in original artwork sleeves adapted from the original designs by the acclaimed graphic designer Michael Wrycraft, and housed in an individually numbered box signed personally by the artist. There will be only a limited initial pressing.

38. Four New SongsBruce Cockburn - Four New Songs - 2021
2 May 2021 – In this COVID year, with no public opportunity to introduce new songs, and since I have a few new songs, it seemed like they could be put out for people to hear in a way that would at once benefit the church and satisfy my need to be noticed. (Suggested Donation: $20)

Any revenue generated by this exercise will go to support SFL and its work, which includes, among other things, support for programs for unhoused people in San Francisco, and for Lighthouse Kathmandu, a Nepali-run organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and rescuing its victims.


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Bruce Cockburn - 1970

Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn - 1970
Bruce Cockburn – 1970

RELEASE DATE: 1970
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

Jesus don’t let Toronto take my song away

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

Jesus don’t let tomorrow take my love away

released 1970

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

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

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

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

Home is just around the bend…
The end

released 1970

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

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

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

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

released 1970

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

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

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

released 1970



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

Album Info:

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

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

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

Special thanks to Toronto Folklore Centre

Recorded at Eastern Sound, Toronto, Canada-December 1969


Bruce Cockburn - High Winds White Sky - 1971 / 2003

High Winds White Sky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 28, 1969 – Montreal, Canada

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

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

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

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

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

But let us go laughing — O
Let us go

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

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

July 1969 – Toronto, Canada

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

3. Love Song (2:26)

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

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

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

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

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

In the place my wonder comes from
There I find you

released 1971

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977

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

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

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

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

June 1970 – Burritt’s Rapids, Ontario, Canada

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

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

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

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

May 27, 1970 – Ottawa, Canada

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

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

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

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

Falsehood lies panting like a fish in the palm…

June 1970 – Ottawa, Canada

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

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

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

November 18, 1970 – Toronto, Canada

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

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

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

Winter 1969 – Cumberland, Ontario, Canada

Instrumental

released 1971

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

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

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

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

August 15, 1970 – Chilliwack, British Colombia, Canada

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

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

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

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

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

So honey come and help me build this totem pole.

released 2003

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

Somebody put me in reverse

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

Somebody made my bubble burst

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

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

But somebody stole my elephant

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

Get used to believing in elephants

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

And we’ll all go away for a cure

released in 2003

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



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

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

Album Info:

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

Produced by Eugene Martynec

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

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


Bruce Cockburn - Sunwheel Dance - 1971 / 2005

Sunwheel Dance

Bruce Cockburn - Sunwheel Dance - 1971 / 2005
Sunwheel Dance – 1971 2005

RELEASE DATE: 1971 / 2005
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

* Bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in 2005

Up above my shoulder the ragged rooftops rise
Casting shadows over streets they seem to despise

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

I went down to the dead lake shore to see what I could see
Along the breeze came, away my cap went, my head it was set free

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

And I hear a far away tune come drifting through the gray
It clears a path before my feet, it makes my fingers play

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

Come on, come on, soot and storm
I know the sun will break your arm
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me warm

released 1971 & 2005

Also On:
Sunwheel Dance – 2005

Feet fall on the road
Bound to motion
Though chains be of gold
They are chains all the same

Traveler on the bridge
Awakens to find
It’s not the river that flows
But the bridge that moves o’er

In the hand of the cloud
Liquid as time
The heron’s wings well
Know the grace of space

released 1971

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

3. Fall (2:58)

Cloud pillars clinging like vines to the sky
Don’t cry
We’ll walk down the meadow with sunrise inside
So dry your eyes
The winds of all kingdoms meet where we stand

The gray forest people cast off their old clothes
Good-bye
Everything’s sleeping as winter draws near
So close your eyes
The mists of all twilights dance close at hand

The rust-coloured river is now slowing down
Going dry
Harvest has lifted the crown from the ground
But don’t you cry
The song of the seasons brings life to the land

released 1971

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 2 – 2014

Instrumental

released 1971 & 2005

Also On:
Speechless – 2005
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

Up on the hillside you can see the cross shine
Out in the alley hear the hungry dog whine
You and I, friend, sit waiting for a sign
See how the sunset makes the lake look like wine

Over the mountain I can hear myself called
I want to come running but my window’s too small
The cliffs are so high and I might fall
What were you saying? — oh, it’s nothing at all

Yes, the world’s in convulsions and the weather is fine
Buicks get bigger and five cents costs a dime
I must get going, you know, there’s not much time
The road is waiting and I’m running out of rhyme
Up on the hillside, see how the cross does shine

released 1971

Also On:
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

Waves can’t break without rocks that dissolve into sand
We can’t dance without seasons upon which to stand
Eden is a state of rhythm like the sea
Is a timeless change

Turn your eyes to the world where we all sit and dream
Busy dreaming ourselves and each other into being
Dreaming is a state of death, can’t you see?
We must live through who we are

If we can sing with the wind song
Chant with thunder
Play upon the lightning
Melodies of wonder
Into wonder life will open

We are children of the river we have named “existence”
Undercurrent and surface pass in the same tense
Nothing is confined except what’s in your mind
Every footstep must be true

If we can sing with the wind song
Chant with thunder
Play upon the lightning
Melodies of wonder
Into wonder life will open

released 1971

Go tell the sergeant-major
To get that thing repaired
They’re losing their pawns in Asia
There’s slaughter in every square
Oh —
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

Go get the fire department
To bring that hose along
And them and the schoolboy bandits
Can water each other’s lawn
Oh —
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

Everybody seems to be leaving
Better say your travelling prayers
It don’t matter how you get it
It’s where do you go from there
Oh —
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow
It’s going down slow

God, damn the hands of glory
That hold the bloody firebrand high
Close the book and end the story
Of how so many men have died
Let the world retain in memory
That mighty tongues tell mighty lies
And if mankind must have an enemy
Let it be his warlike pride
Let it be his warlike pride

released 1971

Also On:

Mummy Dust – 1981
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987

Update: 2003 – This song was rewritten and rerecorded for a compilation album put out by warchild.ca.

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

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

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

released 1971

He came from the mountain
To walk among the wounded
They couldn’t see him
But the snow did melt whenever he passed by

He came behind winter
His face was like the sun
They wouldn’t see it
But he sang on the bank and made the waters run

In his world we wait
In his hands our fate
Keep on climbing
We shall see his gate
In good time

He came to the lowlands
He said we must have faces
So we could see like him
Before our wings would ever come to fly

In his world we wait
In his hands our fate
Keep on climbing
We shall see his gate
In good time

released 1971

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

Standing on a rock in a river
Staring at the splintered sun
You could drown yourself in jewels
Like a thousand other fools
While you stand there looking down at what you’ve won

Sitting on a mountain of ashes
Face to face with past regrets
You could roll down to the canyon
Piss away this incarnation
But remember that you pay for what you get

And he says, “But don’t you know
How hard it is
To hit the ground and mean it.
And mean it?”

Walk the jangling streets of the city
Trying to find the buried sun
You could drown yourself in jewels
Like a thousand other fools
While you wander waiting for it to be done

And he cries, “Why don’t we celebrate?
Why don’t we celebrate?
Love can make you sad.
Come on, let’s drive ourselves mad.”

And he’s aware
How hard it is
To kiss the sun and mean it.
And mean it.

And he screams, “Why don’t we celebrate?
Why don’t we celebrate?
Life can make you sad.
Come on, let’s drive ourselves mad.”

Standing on a rock in a river
Staring at the rain made one
On the surface flashing diamonds
Rolling down the twilight canyon
And we shall kiss the sun in spite of him

So why don’t we celebrate?
Why don’t we celebrate?
Why don’t we celebrate?

released 1971

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977
Resume – 1981

Hmmm — every day
Flashes like a spray of blue jays
Hmmm — a golden crown upon each one

Like an eagle seen against the sun

released 1971

12. Morning Hymn * (2:36)

Wind chimes flicker
Brittle corners slide away
Smile back at the day
Shadows flying
Like the mist before the sun
See the sadness run
Silk-spun web of pearls
Glistens in the grass in summer
North wind changes all the fields
To dazzling glass in winter

Come near to me
Hear this song I sing to you
Are you singing, too?

Written in 1968 – released in 2005 – (also 1972 as b-side to It’s Going Down Slow)

13. My Lady And My Lord * [Solo] (2:15)

Up above my shoulder the ragged rooftops rise
Casting shadows over streets they seem to despise

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

I went down to the dead lake shore to see what I could see
Along the breeze came, away my cap went, my head it was set free

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

And I hear a far away tune come drifting through the gray
It clears a path before my feet, it makes my fingers play

Come on, come on, wind and rain
I know the sun will shine again
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me sane

Come on, come on, soot and storm
I know the sun will break your arm
Till then my lady and my Lord will keep me warm

released 1971 & 2005

Also On:
Sunwheel Dance – 2005



Bruce Cockburn’s third album is an undeniably joyous affair. “It was a period when I was searching but very unaware of my own inner workings,” Cockburn later explained. “There was all this optimism, even though the songs themselves may have been in different directions. But the imagery of light was there _ a lot.”

Album Info:

The musicians are:
Trisha Cullen, accordian
Ian Guenther, violin
Carol Marshall, cello
Eugene Martynec, electric guitar (on “Feet Fall on the Road”), piano and electronics (on “Fall”)
Eric Nagler, jaw harp
Dennis Pendrith, bass
John Savage, drums
the chorus on “For the Birds” consisted of Michael Ferry, Anne and Mose Scarlett, Eric and Marty Nagler
Bruce Cockburn, acoustic guitar, dulcimer, mandolin, harmonica, bottleneck guitar, piano and electric guitar (on “It’s Going Down Slow”)

The album was recorded and mixed between mid-September and mid-December, 1971 at Thunder Sound in Toronto. The engineer was Bill Seddon.

The cover design and photography was done by Bart Schoales.
All songs written by B. Cockburn
© 1971 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN) (BMI)
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Produced by Eugene Martynec for True North Productions.
Digitally Mastered by Vic Anesini, Sony Studios, NY


Bruce Cockburn - Night Vision - 1973

Night Vision

Bruce Cockburn - Night Vision - 1973
Night Vision – 1973

RELEASE DATE: 1973
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

1. Foxglove (1:29)

Instrumental

released 1973 & 2005

Also On:
Speechless – 2005
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 1 – 2014

So we wait beside the desert
Nothing left to give away
Naked as the Hanged Man’s secrets
Nothing left to do but pray

You don’t have to play the horses
Life’s a gamble all the same
It don’t take much to make you lose sight
Of the object of the game

Anyone can be a soldier
It’s a prevalent disease
Oh God I don’t know where to step now
Help me find the right road please

So we wait beside the desert
Nothing left to give away
Naked as the Hanged Man’s secrets
Praying for the break of day

February 9, 1972 – Ottawa, Canada

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

I’ve been down to parliament, I’ve been in school
I’ve been in jail to learn the golden rule
I’ve been to the workhouse — served my time in those hallowed halls
The only thing I know is the blues got the world by the balls

I’ve been to the tundra and the mountain too
I’ve been in paris doing what the frenchmen do
I’ve been in boston where the buildings grow so tall
Everywhere you go the blues got the world by the balls

You can catch ’em from the preacher or from the pool shark
You can find ’em in the grammar of the socialite’s remark
Or down in the washroom you can read it on the wall
Everywhere you look the blues got the world by the balls

Spring 1972 – Mostly Chilliwack, British Colombia, Canada

Also On:
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 2 – 2014

I was up the road on easy street
Watching everybody stand around and cheat
A man comes up and says, “Move along
Down to the corner where you belong”
But mama just wants to barrelhouse all night long

I hear the city singing like a siren choir
Some fool tried to set this town on fire
TV preacher screams “come on along”
I feel like Fay Wray face to face with King Kong
But mama just wants to barrelhouse all night long

Sometimes I wonder what I am
I feel like I’m living in a hologram
It doesn’t seem to matter what’s right or wrong
Everybody’s grabbing and coming on strong
But mama just wants to barrelhouse all night long

January 19, 1973 -Toronto, Canada

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977
Resume – 1981
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Slice O Life – 2009
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 2 – 2014

You tell me tomorrow may be coming
Sometimes I wonder if it hasn’t already been
But like the firebreathing rebel
I’m not sure what I mean
All I know is you’re not me and that you’ll never be

He tells me the future is not to be believed in
“Don’t waste your wishes on what hasn’t already been”
But like the strong arm policeman
He’s not sure what he means
All he knows is he can’t see what he will come to be

He says if we burn up the roof from above us
We surely will see the light and maybe more
But like the burnt out hooker
We’ll only see down to the floor
All we know is that we’re here until we are set free

September 28, 1969 – Ottawa, Canada

When the sun goes nova
And the world turns over
I don’t want to be alone
So honey come on home

If you’re in the valley
When the dam breaks, palley
You is going to feel alone
So honey come on home

If you’re on the bum
And the policemen come
If you lose your grip
Or your trousers rip
I’ll be waiting dear

Honey won’t you come on home…

Spring 1972 – Between Jasper and Valleyview, Alberta, Canada

8. Deju Vu (5:36)

Deja vu
Glass cafe faces
Fade into the wash
Of brick-dust-yellow afternoon

Deja vu
Slow lines on pages
Shape words like echoes
Of a ball bounced in an empty street

Deja vu
Sun on hair dancing
To breeze-borne snatches
Of a lost music box melody

October 22, 1972 – Toronto, Canada

9. Lightstorm (2:34)

Instrumental

released 1973

Night comes
The mask of the world
Resolves into round bits of silver on the table
Round arrow nocked against the bow
Round fruit devoured by time
While the moon climbs

Sea swells
Illusion is queen
In the shallow graves of experience time-centred
Grave silence reigns over the stars
Graven image hanging in time
While the earth unwinds

With rain the world grows us older
Lord let us not be lost
God bless the children with knowledge of the cost

Day comes
The hawk of gold
Springs forth in flame from a highway paved with diamonds
Lion rampant on a green field
Ramparts cracked into the sky
While the Christ stands by

With pain the world paves us over
Lord let us not betray
God bless the children with visions of the Day

June 14, 1972 – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977



Includes the classic ‘Mamma Wants To Barrelhouse All Night Long’.

Album Info:

Of all the albums I’ve been involved with, this has been the most exciting for me, and the one I’ll probably be able to actually listen to in times to come (thanks to the fine playing of Dennis, John and Pat). The music is both a departure and a return. For various shifts and re-enforcements of point of view, I’m indebted to:
Kitty, Gene
Samuel R. Delaney (Driftglass)
Django Reinhardt
L. Durnell, (and my brother)
John (the Alexandria Quartet)
David Wiffen (in spite of himself)
life going round and round
I hope you like it
-Bruce Cockburn

All songs written by B. Cockburn © 1973 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN) (BMI) All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Produced by Eugene Martynec and Bruce Cockburn for True North Productions

Recorded at Thunder Sound between February and May 1973
Engineer: Bill Seddon
Rehearsals and Pre-Production at Tatsi (Toronto)
Digitally Remastered by Vic Anesini, Sony Studios, NY

Musicians:
Pat Godfrey-Keyboards
Dennis Pendrith-Bass
John Savage-Percussion
Bruce Cockburn-Guitars, Banjo, Vocals

Cover Painting: A. Colville (1954)
Inside Photo and Art Direction: Bart Schoales


Bruce Cockburn - Salt, Sun And Time - 1974

Salt, Sun And Time

Bruce Cockburn - Salt, Sun And Time - 1974
Salt, Sun And Time – 1974

RELEASE DATE: 1974
PURCHASE: iTunes | True North

All the diamonds in this world
That mean anything to me
Are conjured up by wind and sunlight
Sparkling on the sea

I ran aground in a harbour town
Lost the taste for being free
Thank God He sent some gull-chased ship
To carry me to sea

Two thousand years and half a world away
Dying trees still grow greener when you pray

Silver scales flash bright and fade
In reeds along the shore
Like a pearl in sea of liquid jade
His ship comes shining
Like a crystal swan in a sky of suns
His ship comes shining.

July 25, 1973 – Stockholm

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977
Mummy Dust – 1981
Waiting For A Miracle – 1987
Rumours Of Glory box set – disc 2 – 2014

Instrumental

released 1974 & 2005

Also On:
Speechless – 2005

Don’t want to be on no rooftop
Frying in the afternoon sun
Don’t want to sit by no fountain
Listening to the man-made stream run
Just want to stand where the sea-spray
Gleams like fire with you
And I don’t have to tell you why

Don’t want to go to no parties
Full of fair-weather friends
Don’t want to be in no “in” crowd
Chasing after every trend
Just want to stand on some hillside
In Wales with you
And fly — don’t have to tell you why

Don’t want to live in no mansion
Ornate as a crown prince’s church
Don’t want to live on no sidewalk
Underneath no pigeon’s perch
Just want to stand at the rainbow’s
Real end with you
And I don’t have to tell you why

December 1, 1973 – Toronto, Canada

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

Small windows
Looking outward
Show me a sequined sky
Rubies shine in my glass of wine

Dusk breezes
On oiled water
Paint a pointillist facade
It’s ceaselessly shifting world —

Like today I’m far away
I see your face behind each time-blurred pane

Strings vibrate
Music leaps out
In a shimmering intrigue
Words unsaid whirl away like dust

From the sidewalk-sweeper’s broom
Across a fold in space you touch my hand

June 26, 1973 – London, England

Wind across the quay-side
Grit in my eyes and fish in my nose
White as whalebone, wheeling seagulls cry

Outside the bar in the high street
Blind fingers spin an accordion reel
Shoes and sedan wheels grudgingly keeping time

Fishing boat stretched out at low tide
Dog and a black man work on the deck
Bright as a bottle, sunlight skips wave to wave

Part of a map of somewhere
Teases my foot like a haunting dream
Never so free, i’m lost in the seagulls’ flight

July 6, 1973 – Sheffield, England

Also On:
Circles In The Stream – 1977

Instrumental

released 1974

Heard the rooster crowing
Couldn’t see no dawn
But I know it won’t be long

To keep the fire burning
Ain’t no easy game
But we’ll do it just the same

I’m going to the northland
Where the weather keeps you real
Till this devil’s law is repealed
And I know it won’t be long

released 1974

Fire-bright faces in winter night
A dog in the distance barks
The sky speaks in patterns of starlight
The fire replies in sparks

The stream is a motionless moment
Salmon in the sea swims deep
Pregnant with force as a prayer is
Spring in the hard earth sleeps

Like the snow on the stark spruce limb
Coated with ice, then stripped by wind
We melt away and return again
Stronger for the tempering flame
Stronger for the Saviour’s name.

December 25 1973 – Cumberland, Ontario, Canada



Includes the classic ‘All The Diamonds In The World’

Album Info:

Musicians
Bruce Cockburn: guitar and voice
Eugene Martynec: guitar and synthesizer
Jack Zaza: clarinet

Art direction: San Murata
Design: Wayne Lum
Illustrator: John Bicknell
Photography: Lyle Wachovsky
Concept: Bob Fresco

Words and music by Bruce Cockburn (except “Seeds on the Wind” which is by Bruce Cockburn and Eugene Martynec)

Produced by Bruce Anthony and Eugene Martynec for True North Productions.

Recorded at Thunder Sound (Toronto) between May and August, 1974
Engineered by Bill Seddon
All songs mixed at Thunder Sound with Bill Seddon as Engineer except songs 2 [Salt, Sun and Time] and 5 [Roulier Sa Bosse] which were mixed at Manta Sound with Leo De Carlo.

Mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony Music Studios, NYC


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