-- Southland Of The Heart --
19 April 1992. Stouffville, Ontario, Canada.

Found on:

Dart To The Heart (1994)

When the wild-eyed dogs of day to day
Come snapping at your heels
And there's so much coming at you
That you don't know how to feel
When they've taken all your money
And then come back for your clothes
When your hands are full of thorns
But you can't quit groping for the rose

In the southland of the heart
Where night blooms perfume the breeze
Lie down
Take your rest with me

When thoughts you've tried to leave behind
Keep sniping from the dark
When the fire burns inside you but
You jump from every spark
When your heart's beset by memories
You wish you'd never made
When the sun comes up an enemy
And nothing gives you shade

In the southland of the heart
Where the saints go lazily
Lie down
Take your rest with me

When the preacher lays his insight down
And claims to lead the blind
When those you trust just get you hooked
And trifle with your mind
When the nightmare's creeping closer
And your wheels are in the mud
When everything's ambiguous
Except the taste of blood

In the southland of the heart
There's no question of degree
Lie down
Take your rest with me

In the southland of the heart
Everyone was always free
Lie down
Take your rest with me

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

  • 7 July 1998

    "This is a song that -- some of you may have heard this story already but perhaps some of you haven't. This is a song that was recently recorded by Maria Muldar. And she did a really great job of the song. It's a beautiful record. And when people do your songs it's kind of strange because it's very hard to be objective about their performances you know. 'that's not as good as I do it'. You know is the common response, I find.

    Maria did a really great job and there was one -- well actually, it doesn't take away from it at all -- but there was a certain, we had a discussion before she did it about part of the lyrics of the song because she felt she couldn't sing them the way they were and would I mind rewriting the song and I said "no way". And I tried to explain to her what I meant by the contentious lyrics and that didn't help so, so we ended up, I just said 'well look it, you do what you feel you need to do and I'll think of it as a jazz person improvising'.

    You know, that was okay. We left it at that and she ended up using lyrics I confess were not as good as my own but in this one particular part of the song, it's a very small part of the song, there is a reference to blood.

    She had trouble with the reference to blood. And I couldn't figure this out I mean I still can't figure it out. I don't know what that means to her. Someone pointed out to me that the imagery of blood means a whole different thing to women than it does to men, fair enough, but I don't think that was it somehow.

    What did occur to me later was that we had this discussion actually last Fall. And I was in the San Francisco area where she lives and the Halloween edition of the local entertainment rag had a cover story on sexual bloodletting with garish photos and all that sort of stuff and stories about people buggering each other and, you know, drinking blood and piss mixed and all this kind of weird stuff, in public, you know, like at parties you could hire these people and they would come and put on a performance for you.

    And some important member of the Democratic party had been caught doing this. [laughs]. I mean hiring these people, not performing the act but anyway it was sort of, it was big news in a small way.

    So maybe Maria was thinking of that stuff and couldn't get it out of her head. I suppose you won't be able to now either. Anyway, all that had nothing to do whatever with the song, I was thinking about what happens when life smacks you in the mouth, so...."

    -- from a live performance at Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI, 7 July 1998. Submitted by Doug Stacey.

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