Bruce Cockburn does Alan Ginsberg…

Very few people write lyrics that catch in my brain like Bruce Cockburn.

I am sat listening to some old vinyl this morning, toast in hand, before we head out into the lovely Sunday morning, and was captivated by this song again.

It is an outpouring of images and words from the road.

Silver wheels

High speed drift on a prairie road
Hot tires sing like a string being bowed
Sudden town rears up then explodes
Fragments resolve into white line code
Whirl on silver wheels

Black earth energy receptor fields
Undulate under a grey cloud shield
We outrun a river colour brick red mud
That cleaves apart hills soil rich as blood

Highway squeeze in construction steam
Stop caution hard hat yellow insect machines
Silver steel towers stalk rolling land
Toward distant stacks that shout “Feed on demand”

100 miles later the sky has changed
Urban anticipation — we get 4 lanes
Red orange furnace sphere notches down
Throws up silhouette skyline in brown

Sundogs flare on windshield glass
Sudden swoop skyward iron horse overpass
Pass a man walking like the man in the moon
Walking like his head’s full of irish fiddle tunes

The skin around every city looks the same
Miles of flat neon spelling well-known names
Fat wheeled cars squeal into the sun

Radio speakers gargle top 40 trash
Muzak soundtrack to slow collapse
Planet engines pulsate in sidereal time
If you listen close you can hear the whine

Very Ginsberg. But Ginsberg  never played the guitar like this…

Call me a groupie (I do come  close to hero worship with this man) but I came across these clips the other day and could not resist re-posting. He is talking about an album that I reviewed here– and to be honest I was not very kind. By way of some slight redress, I offer these two clips…

Then a little more nodding to Ginsberg-