Bruce Cockburn the Mystical Musician

Well, what can I say. I’m not the first to say that, mystic and really deserves that. Though the term has its connotations which he wouldn’t want.

I’ve been a fan of his for more than 25 years. The first album I really heard was Dancing in the Dragons Jaws from 1979 and it had a hit of sorts, Wondering Where the Lions Are. This song was partially inspired by Charles Williams‘ book The Place of the Lion. And Charles Williams due to this book was a friend of C.S. Lewis! Read the reviews on Amazon. I don’t see the book in the Calgary Public Library.

And on the web site with the comments, now I understand more about the lyrics after all these years! I know the meaning of the lion symbol. I’m not giving it away here, read the site.

At a concert while I was in university we waited after the show at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary and there was Bruce backstage. So we went and shook his hand and got autographs. I sure wish I had kept it. That was with my old friend Roger who was and is a guitar player and a great fan and even asked Bruce something about tuning which he answered. No eliteness about the man, certainly.

Believe it or not, the following song was written May 27, 1970!

Golden Serpent Blues

She 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

Here is another very recent song on his album You’ve Never Seen Everything:

Open

I never lived with balance
I always wake up nervous
Light comes at me sideways
I hold my breath forever

I never lived with balance
Though I’ve always liked the notion
I feel an endless hunger
For energy and motion
Open
Open
Open

I never lived with balance
I want to feel you near me
There’s an aching in my hipbone
Want to let my heart drop open
It’s daylight in the city
There’s thumping in the stairwell
Kundalini sunrise
A clamouring of church bells
Open
Open
Open

You like to let me worry
But I don’t take you for granted
Come over here and kiss me
I’m savouring your picture
The street is filled with noises
Life going up and down
Light comes at you sideways
Enfolds you like a gown
Open
Open
Open


And there are many, many other depths to his music. I really think he is of the level of some of the great mystical poets. That is the thought that came to me today while driving.

Here is a site with a full listing of his albums.
And here is the official site with all the tracks to play. Note that the official site has some troubles loading sometimes.

I could go on and list more of the great expressions of his music and may do that later.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.