-- High Winds White Sky --
June 1970. Ottawa, Canada.

Found on:

High Winds White Sky (1971)

High winds
White sky
Wild birds do glide
Tattered smoke fades
Embers in the pipe
Move like
Life beginning

High winds
Glittering ring
Blood of the king
Daughter of the stars
You are
Life beginning

The wind's travellers' tales tease the tops of the trees
the ships have all sailed to the mouth of the sea...

High winds
Wheel turns
The spider spins
Hands draw us in
River-scented skin
Moves in
Life beginning

Falsehood lies panting like a fish in the palm...

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

  • 1986: "I had a major crush on somebody when I wrote this, but it never amounted to anything."
    -- from "All The Diamonds" songbook, edited by Arthur McGregor, OFC Publications 1986. Submitted by Rob Caldwell.

  • January 2000

    Joseph Roberts: It's bigger than both of us, bigger than the music or publishing industry. I was in love when your album High Winds White Sky came out. I was released from the limited vision of what I had up to that time believed love to be. It was much, much more than I ever imagined. There seems to be a depth of intimacy and connection way back in Sunwheel Dance and now a track The Embers of Eden CD, although it's packaged completely differently.

    BC: They are related to love. When I was writing the early songs I was a lot less aware than I am now of where things were coming from. I just wrote things when the words sounded right. There were feelings that went into it that were sort of recognized but part of developing the craft of writing and part of growing as a human, has meant a greater precision about what I'm feeling and thinking and how I'm expressing it. It's a real different process now.

    Embers of Eden is a lot more grounded in history than High Winds White Sky was. The chorus part of Embers came from what can be seen from orbit, on the surface of the earth. One of the early astronauts said that the only things of human origin that you could make out from orbit were the Great Wall of China and the smoke from burning rainforests. That was such a powerful image it stayed with me and eventually came out in a personal use that had nothing to do with rainforests or the Great Wall of China. It was a figurative use of that image.
    -- from "Conversations with Bruce Cockburn", Common Ground, January, 2000, interviewed by Joseph Roberts. Submitted by Audrey Parsons.

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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.