-- Sunwheel Dance (1971) & (2005)--

Track Listing:
Click song titles to see lyrics, other albums the song appears on, and known comments by Bruce Cockburn on the song. Track lengths are not guaranteed as they occasionally change with format (i.e. CD/vinyl) and release version. * Denotes bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in June 2005.

[1] My Lady and My Lord (2:15) *
[2] Feet Fall on the Road (2:41)
[3] Fall (2:58)
[4] Sunwheel Dance (1:42)
[5] Up On the Hillside (3:00)
[6] Life Will Open (4:06)
[7] It's Going Down Slow (3:35)
[8] When the Sun Falls (2:21)
[9] He Came from the Mountain (3:12)
[10] Dialogue With the Devil (or "Why Don't We Celebrate") (6:20)
[11] For the Birds (2:14)
[12] Morning Hymn *

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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

Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this album, by date:

  • Circa 1986

    "Sunwheel Dance seemed to finish off a certain thread- I got worried about the typecasting I was getting, ergo, Night Vision, an urban exploration, somewhat tentative it now appears."
    -- from the World Of Wonders Tour Program, circa 1986. Submitted by Rob Caldwell

  • 3 April 1992

    Epic, however, did decide to release Cockburn's third album, Sunwheel Dance, in 1972 [sic, could refer to the U.S. release, although Canadian release was definitely in 1971]. "They put it out in England, too," Cockburn recalled, "and it actually got a significant amount of airplay on Radio Luxembourg or one of the pirate stations off the English coast, but it didn't really do anything else outside of Canada, really." In Canada, Cockburn undertook his first national cross-country tour to support the album. (It went gold in Canada in 1998.)
    -- from "Bruce Cockburn: A Burning Light and All the Rest", by William Ruhlmann, Goldmine, 3 April 1992. Anonymous Submission.

  • July-November 1995

    "I think [the influence of Eastern philosophies] were there [in the first three albums]. Actually, I think they are still are. Somebody referred to Buddhists as 'great technicians of the sacred' which I think is true as it goes. I wasn't a Christian yet when I made those records although I was heading (being dragged by the nose might be better) that way. And I have been exposed to various aspects of Buddhist teaching, first through the Beat writers, then Merton, Chogyam Trungpa, the Sutras themselves, etc."
    -- from answers by Bruce Cockburn to questions asked by the Humans discussion list. July-November 1995. Submitted by Bruce Edwards.

  • November/December 1999

    BC: If you look at what I wrote in the seventies, it's full of sunlight. "Sunwheel Dance," for example. There's sun imagery all over the place. Yet it was a period when I was searching but very unaware of my own inner workings. There was all this optimism, even though the songs themselves may have been going in different directions. But the imagery of light was there--a lot.

    Things got a little darker through the eighties. The focus shifted from nature and the spiritual to people and the spiritual. It was more outward directed. The light shifted; there was a lot less light. Stuff like "Berlin Tonight" comes to mind, where light's either not an issue or it's a darker kind of light, much more metallic. In a way, The Charity of Night was the culmination of that whole line of looking at things.
    -- from "Fire in an Open Hand" by Susan Adams Kauffman, The Other Side magazine, November/December 1999. Submitted by Nigel Parry.

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    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.