-- Tabs, Chords & Tunings: Last Night Of The World (standard) --
Transcribed by Nigel Parry

Tabs Index

Disclaimer: The following tab is intended for private enjoyment and educational purposes and should not be read as an encouragement for members of the general public to play the song live. The lyrics and music of "Last Night Of The World" are the intellectual property of Bruce Cockburn, his management, and record companies, etc,.


Last Night Of The World was transcribed from the Breakfast in New Orleans Dinner in Timbuktu album. This tab is offered in standard tuning, which is not the tuning Cockburn uses. Having said that, this version sounds pretty close.

Chord symbols below have been simplified. The diagrams below show the detailed version of the "C", "G", and "D" used in the text. There are indeed names for these chords but let's aim for the lowest common denominator, which I am numbering myself among. The Em7 and Am7 are regular versions of these chords. As always this is approximate and nothing is exact. The idea is that this is a starting point. Dig out the CD and play along.


I am assuming a standard tuning for this song, which is apparently in a non-standard tuning, specifically EADF#BE. If you want to send in a tab for that tuning, feel free.

The "G"			The "C"			The "D"

 E--3			 E--3			 E--3
 B--3			 B--3			 B--3
 G--0			 G--0			 G--2
 D--0			 D--2			 D--0
 A--2			 A--3			 A--X
 E--3			 E--X			 E--X


For the ringing two notes in the riff, try playing both the B then the top E string while strumming a suitably bouncy rhythm. If that's too easy for you, try adding the bass riff as well:


For the bass note riff, the tab looks like this (where => means hammer onto the following note):

5--0 => 2 => 3-------


C  G

C  G

C                                                    G
I'm sipping Flor De Caņa and lime juice, it's three a.m.

C                                   G
Blow a fruit fly off the rim of my glass

C                                                            G
The radio's playing Superchunk and the friends of Dean Martinez

D  CC  G

C                                         G
Midnight it was bike tires whacking the pot holes

C                                  G
Milling humans' shivering energy glow

C                                                        G
Fusing the space between them with bar-throb bass and laughter

D  CC  G


                        Em7  C            G
       If this were the last night of the world

                    Em7   C     G
       What would I do?

                    Em7  C      G
       What would I do that was different

                     Am7    D         G
       Unless it was champagne with you? 

C                                       G
I learned as a child not to trust in my body

C                                    G
I've carried that burden through my life

C                                              G
But there's a day when we all have to be pried loose

D  CC  G


C                                     G
I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless

C                                            G
And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all

C                                  G
That was the straw that broke me open

D  CC  G


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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.