-- The Embers Of Eden --
released 1999

Found on:

Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu (1999)

Rumours of Glory - box set Disc 6 (2014) [compilation album]

You knelt on the carpet, crimson and stained
Light trickled over your black dress like rain
Your lips were hot and my shocked heart screamed
And I can't scrape my eyes free of this dream

We each occupy the same space/time
Matter, antimatter, tangled like vines
And the awful tolling, and the cold rain outside
And I cannot scrape this dream off my eyes

And the embers of Eden burn
You can even see it from space
And the great and winding wall between us
Seem to copy the lines of your face

And the embers of Eden burn
You can even see it from space
And the great and winding wall between us
Seem to copy the lines of your face

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

  • 31 October 1999

    "When the astronauts walked on the moon it is said that the only thing they could make out when looking back on earth were the burning rainforests and the Great Wall of China. Actually I didn't want to write a song about being on the moon, I just took this as a picture and placed it in the song."
    -- from an intro to the song at a gig in Worpswede, Germany, 31 October 1999. Submitted by Simon Gorler.

  • 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.

  • 14 May 2000

    [about] "the nonevolvement of a relationship."

    -- from "Bruce Cockburn: Canadian will bring his band to Whitaker Center," by Kira L Schlechter, The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, PA, May 14, 2000. Submitted by John Peregrim.

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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.