-- Each One Lost --
Camden East - 13 September 2009

Found on:

Small Source of Comfort (March 2011)

Under the big lights
shadows stretching long
the ramp is lowered gently to the tarmac
and all of us, we wait
in this sea of gravity
for the precious cargo to appear

Here come the dead boys
moving slowly past
the pipes and prayers and strained commanding voices
and the tears in our hearts
make an ocean we're all in
all in this together don't you know

You can die on your sofa
safe inside your home
or die in a mess of flame and shrapnel
we all in our time go
you know you're not alone
you're in the hearts of everybody here
Each one lost
is everyone's loss you see
each one lost is a vital part of you and me
Some would have us bow
in bondage to their dreams
of little gods who lay down laws to live by
but all these inventions
arise from fear of love
and open-hearted tolerance and trust

Well screw the rule of law
we want the rule of love
enough to fight and die to keep it coming
if that sounds like confusion
brother think again
we know exactly what we chose
Each one lost
is everyone's loss you see
each one lost is a vital part of you and me

BC - Vocal, Guitar, Harmony
Jenny Scheinman - Violin, Harmonies
Tim Lauer - Accordian
Colin Linden - Bass

This song started being played in front of humans on the Slice O Life tour, 14 November 2009.

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

  • From the Small Source of Comfort liner notes:

    Each One Lost (Camden East 13/09/09) - "On the way into Kandahar Airfield from Ottawa, our little group spend a few hours at Camp Mirage, a Canadian staging base in the Middle East. As we were about to board our next plane, we found ourselves part of a Ramp Ceremony, honouring the remains of two young Canadian Forces members who had been killed that day and were being sent home. One of the saddest and most moving scenes I've ever been privileged to witness...this song is dedicated to the memory of Major Yannick Pépin and Corporal Jean-Francois Drouin."

  • 18 April 2010:

    (paraphrased from show notes) This is a new song about a ramp ceremony. This is where Canadians publically mourn their fallen soldiers with ramp ceremonies that the media covers (imagine that!). Bruce was visiting his brother in Afghanistan while he was over there as an army doctor and they got caught in a ramp ceremony. Bruce described how they bring the two coffins down the ramp from the plane and the whole base lined up to mourn and pay respect. He found it terribly moving. ~ Submitted by a Human.

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