-- Bright Sky --
18 September 1977. Fort Saint John, Yukon Territories.

Found on:

Further Adventures Of... (1978)

Geese come rushing on a river of wind
In the bright sky, bright sky

Wild music ripples like a wake behind
In the bright sky, bright sky

Go higher, go higher where the wind is all
In the bright sky, bright sky

Where the bullets get tired and fall
In the bright sky, bright sky

They fly out of vision taking part of my soul
In the bright sky, bright sky

Well, maybe together we can touch down whole
In the bright sky, bright sky

I never saw the colours in the northern dark
In the bright sky, bright sky

But there were all those people floating like Noah's Ark
In the bright sky, bright sky

And we all rush away on a river of wind
In the bright sky, bright sky

But if i live i'll be coming back again
In the bright sky, bright sky

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

  • 30 August 1979:

    "Here's a song from the Northwest Territories, excuse me, it's from the Yukon. In the Yukon, there's a little town called Farrow which has been the site for many years of a folk festival - one of the best folk festivals around, strangely enough for a town of 1200 or so, 200 miles from Whitehorse. People come from all over the north and all over northern British Columbia to do this festival. Its put on by the mining company that owns the town - I presume as a tax dodge ]laughter], but its okay by me - they paid my way up there.

    Every year they do that. I'm not sure if it's gonna continue - it's been really good anyway - I know they had one as recently as last year. The time I was there they had 70 of us that came up there- 70 performers, the hall held 700 people. That 10 to 1 ratio is pretty good [laughter]. The town swelled considerably - the hotel filled up. The hotel in Farrow's known as the Tiltin' Hilton 'cause it's built on the permafrost [laughter] and...since it was...the floors kinda go like this.

    If you're in a state of grace you get a bed with your head up and the bad guys get their feet up. But it was a really marvelous thing - there's something about the isolation that, in a sense, for most of us - for most of the performers - that we kind of flit around a lot and don't have much of a solid contact with each other or with the people we're playing to.

    And in a situation like that- in a way its a bit like what you guys probably are experiencing here, but in a secular context - its missing that dimension. But, the sense of everybody being thrown together on their own in a way and cut off from everything else a kind of shipboard romance develops - its a very nice feeling. That's sort of the main point behind this song."
    -- Lutheran National Study Movement Conference performance, 30 August 1979, Hastings Lake, Mulhurst, Alberta. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.

  • 1986:

    "I wrote these words on the way south from Faro, Yukon after my one experience of the Farrago festival - lots of communal spirit (and spirits). The guitar part was inspired by a record I heard of traditional Swedish fiddle duets."
    - from "All The Diamonds" songbook, edited by Arthur McGregor, OFC Publications, 1986. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.

  • Spring 1993

    James Jensen: "Bright Sky" has a very unusual guitar accompaniment.

    BC: That's based, or I shouldn't say based on, but the idea came from a record of Swedish fiddle music that I had that was duets and they did a lot of that stepping up kind of harmony that you hear.
    -- from an Interview by James Jensen at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, circa Spring 1993.

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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.