Rumours of Glory: 14 of the best Bruce Cockburn songs about faith, life and God
Bruce Cockburn released his first album in 1970. He's now 72 and his latest, Bone On Bone, will be coming out next month. With a career spanning five decades, there is a wealth of wonderful music and lyrics to draw from in his back catalogue.
His transition from acoustic troubadour to Christian mystic was followed by a spell where his music concentrated mainly on political and environmental activism.
Throughout his long career of recording and touring, chronicled in his 2014 memoir, Rumours Of Glory, Cockburn has consistently touched on spiritual themes.
His writing is influenced heavily by the Christian tradition. He recently said that he remains on a spiritual journey: 'I don't know the answer. I'm still working on it, and that is perhaps why people are willing to listen to the stuff I put into songs.'
Here, we look at some of Cockburn's most enduring spiritual songs...
1. 'He Came From The Mountain' from Sunwheel Dance (1971)
In His world we wait
In His hands our fate
Keep on climbing
We shall see his gate
In good time
2. 'Christmas Song' from Salt, Sun and Time (1974)
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
3. 'Lament For The Last Days' from Joy Will Find A Way (1975)
Oh, Satan take thy cup away
For I'll not drink your wine today
I'll reach for the chalice of light
That stands on Jesus' table
4. 'A Life Story' from Joy Will Find A Way (1975)
Christ is born for you and me
Storm tossed sea
Christ is nailed upon a tree
Christ is risen to lead us free
5. 'Lord Of The Starfields' from In The Falling Dark (1976)
O love that fires the sun
Keep me burning.
Lord of the starfields
Sower of life,
Heaven and earth are
Full of your light
6. 'Festival of Friends' from In The Falling Dark (1976)
Like an imitation of a good thing past
These days of darkness surely will not last
Jesus was here and He's coming again
To lead us to his festival of friends
7. 'Wondering Where The Lions Are' from Dancing In The Dragons' Jaws (1979)
One of these days we're going to sail away,
going to sail into eternity
some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me
8. 'No Footprints' from Dancing In The Dragons' Jaws (1979)
Love the Lord
And in Him love me too
And in Him go your way
And I'll be right there with you
9. 'What About The Bond?' from Humans (1980)
What about the the bond?
What about the mystical unity?
What about the bond
Sealed in the loving presence of the Father?
10. 'Dweller By A Dark Stream' from Mummy Dust (1981)
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
11. 'Shipwrecked At The Stable Door' from Big Circumstance (1988)
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
12. 'Cry Of A Tiny Babe' from Nothing But A Burning Light (1991)
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
13. 'Celestial Horses' from You've Never Seen Everything (2003)
The world's in the wake of those whispering horses
But there's always a pillar of cloud on the valley's rim
There's darkness in the canyon
But the Light comes pounding through
For me and for you
14. 'Forty Years In The Wilderness' from Bone On Bone (2017)
Forty Years In The Wilderness getting to know the beasts, projected and reflected on the greatest and the least...
Forty Years In The Wilderness dancing with the flies, dazzled by the visions rolling out before my eyes