Music / Bruce Cockburn

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
— "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"

Bruce Douglas Cockburn (pronounced "COH-burn"; born May 27, 1945) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, known for his spiritual lyrics.


  • Bruce Cockburn (1970)
  • High Winds, White Sky (1971)
  • Sunwheel Dance (1971)
  • Night Vision (1973)
  • Salt, Sun and Time (1974)
  • Joy Will Find a Way (1975)
  • In the Falling Dark (1976)
  • Circles in the Stream (1977)
  • Further Adventures Of (1978)
  • Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws (1979)
  • Humans (1980)
  • Inner City Front (1981)
  • The Trouble with Normal (1983)
  • Stealing Fire (1984)
  • World of Wonders (1986)
  • Big Circumstance (1988)
  • Nothing But a Burning Light (1991)
  • Christmas (1993)
  • Dart to the Heart (1994)
  • The Charity of Night (1996)
  • Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu (1999)
  • You've Never Seen Everything (2003)
  • Speechless - The Instrumentals (2005)
  • Life Short Call Now (2006)
  • Slice O Life - Live Solo (2009)
  • Small Source of Comfort (2011)


  • Album Title Drop: "Hills of Morning" on Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the third verse of "Dancing In Paradise", Bruce goes on an extended diatribe about the terrible things going on in "Paradise". The last observation?
    And there's a Kung-Fu Movie in every town.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Most of his albums include French translations of his lyrics. A handful of his older albums include at least one song written in French, and his Christmas album includes him singing in Spanish and Huron.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "The Rose Above the Sky"
  • Christmas Songs: "Christmas Song" (on Salt, Sun and Time), "Cry of a Tiny Babe" (on Nothing But a Burning Light). And, of course, the entire Christmas album.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Cover Version: He ended one of his live albums with a cover of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • Crapsack World: A lot of his more political work has this theme, especially The Trouble With Normal, Stealing Fire, and You've Never Seen Everything.
  • Darker and Edgier: Humans marked a departure from his sunnier earlier work.
  • Empathic Environment: "The Coldest Night of the Year" is about a guy missing his girlfriend on a bitterly cold and dark winter night.
  • God-Is-Love Songs: "All The Diamonds in the World"
  • Intercourse with You: "Sahara Gold", "Mango", "Wait No More".
  • New Sound Album: The Trouble with Normal was noticeably more synth-driven than his earlier works. Nothing But a Burning Light signaled a move back to a rootsier sound (this and the next album would be produced by T-Bone Burnett). The Charity of Night was another shift into a more expansive, jazzy sound with more spoken-word pieces.
  • Not Christian Rock: He converted to Christianity right around writing Salt, Sun and Time, and often incorporates Christian themes in his work, but usually subtly, especially after Humans.
  • Precision F-Strike: "You Get Bigger As You Go" ("...too dogshit tired..."), "Call It Democracy" ("It's just spend a buck to make a buck / You don't really give a flying fuck /About the people in misery.")
    • Funnily enough, Bruce's mother was more upset about his use of "IMF, dirty MF" in the chorus of "Call It Democracy", which generally went unnoticed by the censors.
    • The last line of "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" is a very emphatic, "If I had a rocket launcher, some son of a bitch would die!"
  • Protest Song: Several, including "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" and "Call It Democracy".
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice on his earliest albums is a fair bit higher and gentler than what would come later.
  • A World Half Full: Very much so; even his most dour works have an undercurrent of hope.