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Bruce Cockburn — Night Train
Album: Charity of Night
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1224









Released: 1997
Length: 6:05
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Not a knife throw from here you can hear the night train passing
That's the sound somebody makes when they're getting away
Leaving next week's hanging jury far behind them
Prisoner only of the choices they have made

Night Train...
Night Train...

Ice cube in a dark drink shines like starlight
The moon is floating somewhere out at sea
On an island in the blur of noise and color
Alcatraz, St. Alina, Patmos and the Chateau D'if

Night Train...
Night Train...

And everyone's an island edged with sand
A temporary refuge where somebody else can stand
Till the sea that binds us like the forced tie of a blood oath
Will wear it down, dissolve it, recombine it

Anyone can die here they do it every day
It doesn't take much effort though it goes against the grain
And the ultimate forgetfulness of violence
Sweeps the landscape like a headlight of a train

Night Train...

Ice cube in a dark drink shines like starlight
Starlight shines like glass shards in dark hair
And the mind's eye tumbles out along the steel track
Fixing every shadow with its stare

Night Train...
Night Train...

And in the absence of a vision there are nightmares
And in the absence of compassion there is cancer
Whose banner waves over palaces and mean streets
And the rhythm of the night train is a mantra
Comments (214)add comment
Lyrics are good, but the rambling bass is fab-oh-lah!  As always, Mr. Cockburn's iconic voice slides perfectly into his aural environment.
Love Bruce a Canadian Icon...just like the Tragically Hip...great tunes! Thanx Bill for playing music that touches us dearly.
I need 11 for this song. That base line...
 ImaOldman wrote:
I Saw Bruce at Guitar Town Fest at Copper Mountain a few years ago. I had been a fan for a while but never really appreciated what a monster guitar player he is until then. Awesome!
 
Bruce is a kick-ass guitar player.
I Saw Bruce at Guitar Town Fest at Copper Mountain a few years ago. I had been a fan for a while but never really appreciated what a monster guitar player he is until then. Awesome!
 dolfan wrote:
That's the sound somebody makes when they're getting away
Leaving next week's hanging jury far behind them
Prisoner only of the choices they have made

These lines alone make this a 10 for me. 

"Anyone can die here, they do it every day
It doesn't take much effort, though it goes against the grain "

does it for me.


 wgsu_1978 wrote:
I'll take Cockburn over the insufferable Leonard Cohen any day. But I still haven't heard one of my favorite Canadians, Murray McLauchlan, on RP. How about "Honky Red"?
 
Agreed. Maybe Down at the Henry Moore or the locally overplayed Farmer's Song. Still like them all.
Enjoyable as always
No need to press PSD here.   As a matter of fact, I have never pressed PSD ever, ever, ever.
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
..... But I still haven't heard one of my favorite Canadians, Murray McLauchlan, on RP. How about "Honky Red"?
 
I know it.  Suggest it!  Upload it (if requested).

Any folks from the Ottawa area remember Sneezy Waters? 
 Typesbad wrote:
Love the meandering bass on this.
 
Has an almost Jaco feel.
That's the sound somebody makes when they're getting away
Leaving next week's hanging jury far behind them
Prisoner only of the choices they have made

These lines alone make this a 10 for me.  
Love the meandering bass on this.
 westslope wrote:
Bruce at his electric best.

 

Amen to that! 


Bruce at his electric best.
Anyone can die here, they do it every day
It doesn't take much effort, though it goes against the grain
And the ultimate forgetfulness of violence
Sweeps the landscape like a headlight of a train
Night Train...

Ice cube in a dark drink shines like starlight
Starlight shines like glass shards in dark hair
And the mind's eye tumbles out along the steel track
Fixing every shadow with its stare
Night Train...
Night Train...

Jonatha Brooke on background "ahhhs" -


In total HEAVEN right now.  His best, if you ask me!  {#Bananapiano}  The lyrics, ALL of it—simply off the charts superb!
 
Hard to beat the atmosphere that the chugging bass, rattling percussion, and that screaming ring of iron in the guitar create on this — !
I'll take Cockburn over the insufferable Leonard Cohen any day. But I still haven't heard one of my favorite Canadians, Murray McLauchlan, on RP. How about "Honky Red"?

 darrio wrote:
How about adding Steve Winwood's Night Train?
 
Agreed.
 
 


 msymmes wrote:
Nice tune.  But it sounds like it's being played through an 8K audio codec.

 

 

Nice tune.  But it sounds like it's being played through an 8K audio codec.

 
Cool tune from one of Bruce's best CDs.
Good tune for a Jack Reacher movie.
 Stingray wrote:

Hey Bruce, my beloved Cockburns!

Bill likes Mr. Cockburns - I do not!

(Amazing statement - is it not?)



 
Enjoy your weenie roast …. 
desoredenada wild being guitar {#Bananajam}
 Cynaera wrote:
I love this song - it's so mesmerizing...

 
So were you, dear. So were you...
How about adding Steve Winwood's Night Train?
 

Hey Bruce, my beloved Cockburns!

Bill likes Mr. Cockburns - I do not!

(Amazing statement - is it not?)


That is some wild cover art...
This is bliss.{#Hug}
Pairs nicely with Desert Train by Kimmie Rhodes.
It's all about that great bass line.
Am I the only one that thought his opening line was "the sound someone makes when their getting laid"?
 ninorth49 wrote:
Hi there. Back Supporting the best music radio site there ever was. Love this song. Do not even like Cockburn that much but this one is beautiful. I like music that changes my opinions. And Bill the hippest DJ ever does that. Huge music lover and I have no way of keeping up with the continued playlists that this man produces. I bow an unworthy disciple in front of your skill.

 

KFAT forever....{#Dance}
Hi there. Back Supporting the best music radio site there ever was. Love this song. Do not even like Cockburn that much but this one is beautiful. I like music that changes my opinions. And Bill the hippest DJ ever does that. Huge music lover and I have no way of keeping up with the continued playlists that this man produces. I bow an unworthy disciple in front of your skill.
By far the best of this set of train songs.  
 msymmes wrote:
Dated?  Sure. Maybe. But still growing on me.
 

 
Note to self...   Might have to bump this to an EIGHT.
 
BRUUUUUUUCE! {#Biggrin}

 notfadeaway wrote:
get to see him live, if you can.....fantastic guitar player!
 
I've seen him a couple times. Many years ago. Would like to see him now.
Dated?  Sure. Maybe. But still growing on me.
 
get to see him live, if you can.....fantastic guitar player!
It got me dancing.
Normally cannot tolerate his voice, but the songwriting on this album, along with the guitar and the bass are astounding. Almost all the songs on this album, if you listen and follow the craft of his mind, paint fully realized scenarios. This one and his instrumental album, aptly named Speechless, are my favs.
This does ever so little for me...in such a non abrasive way.
Nice to hear at 12:12 am on a Sunday night.  (Well really Monday morning.)
Love Bruce Cockburn!  He has the capacity to sing the soundtrack of my life.. but this song is not my fav.
Hey. I like this.  Never heard it before and I am born and raised in Toronto and still living nearby :)

Well, that's what happens when you listen to new wave and classic rock for too many years.

I'll give this a 7 right away. 
 bushrat wrote:


I'm sorry, but as a Canadian I feel the absolute opposite and have never understood why people like what he produces.

And though he apparently has legions of fans, its a resounding 1 from me.

For old school Canadian music I'll take Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot any day of the week. 
 
Bruce is a contemporary with these guys. Murray Mclaughlin is another that was in the "folk scene" in Toronto at this time. 
While it's a commercial hit, I like the guts it took to write and record "rocket launcher" and I love his song about the IMF.  Bruce is political when it's easier to be shy about such things.  Thus, he rightfully takes his place with other Canadian singer-songwriters who've challenged us with their work.
CanCon!

{#Roflol}
Not my favorite Bruce tune.  And... he is brilliant.
 bushrat wrote:


I'm sorry, but as a Canadian I feel the absolute opposite and have never understood why people like what he produces.

And though he apparently has legions of fans, its a resounding 1 from me.

For old school Canadian music I'll take Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot any day of the week. 
 
What about Neil, Alex and Geddy? The best drummer in the world, an outstanding guitarist, and a great bass player and all around musician (maybe not the best vocalist....){#Cowboy}
 Hannio wrote:


Yes, a man that Canada, and therefore the world, can be proud of.
 

I'm sorry, but as a Canadian I feel the absolute opposite and have never understood why people like what he produces.

And though he apparently has legions of fans, its a resounding 1 from me.

For old school Canadian music I'll take Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot any day of the week. 
Feel like I am on a road trip, driving at night at the speed of darkness, racing to the dawn.
He probably comes from a long line of chicken roasters.

 
Hannio wrote:



I can think of one good reason to pronounce it the way he does.  I would, too.
 

 KaiT wrote:
Oh Bruce. What a musician/ songwriter/ Canadian you are. 
 

Yes, a man that Canada, and therefore the world, can be proud of.
 fredriley wrote:

There's no good reason, just the perversity of English which regularly mangles pronunciations.  


I can think of one good reason to pronounce it the way he does.  I would, too.
Oh Bruce. What a musician/ songwriter/ Canadian you are. 

What a great album this is!


My favorite Bruce album.
Thanks, Bill! It's twilight in Toronto and I can feel that Night Train a-comin'!
More Bruce please, Bill!!!
 pixel-pusher wrote:

In all cultures, pronunciations blur and morph over centuries. In literate cultures, spellings tend to persist unchanged, even as the pronunciations evolve. I would add "Worcestershire" ("Wooster") to that fascinating list. :-)

Did not know that about Cockburn = "Coburn". Makes me curious how James Coburn got that spelling. Ellis Island, perhaps?
 
Ermm..."Worcester" is pronounced "Wooster". You can leave the "shire" out...although save some of that sauce for me. In MA, a lot of people pronounce "Worcester" as "Woostah." 

The British have a lot elisions and contractions when it comes to pronunciation of town and city names. I've wondered whether that habit is a way of quickly pronouncing a long or complicated name, something that took hold over many generations of a largely stable population. 

And places like Worcester in England have been around for many generations. My parents learned on their honeymoon that towns ending in -cester, -caster and -chester were sites of Roman camps (Castra, Castrorum). The Roman suffix "-castra" got changed over the years into recognizable variations. 

The strangest pronunciation I've heard of from the UK was "Featherstone" being pronounced "Fanshawe." 
https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Fanshawe 

As for Bruce...well, even the British don't quite agree. 
https://www.forvo.com/word/cockburn/ 

Next to Neil, Bruce is my 2nd favorite Canadian musician, and like Neil one of my ultimate favorites.  I was separated and took my estranged wife to see Bruce in Eugene, OR and we ended up together again after this show.


reminds me of upstate NY and a boy who met a tragic ending saving the life of a deer. 
 sfoster66 wrote:
I know as a right-thinking Canadian I am supposed to love him, but he's just too meh for anyone still breathing I think.  And yes, I know he is a guitar genius...I've had it explained to me ad nauseum...
 
perhaps if you were a left-thinking Canadian...

Cool this is why I listen to RP, to hear shit I can't hear on the FM band... unless you live somewhere cool like Santa Cruz to have a radio station as cool as KPIG. I'll bet they don't play Adele though.
 alux wrote:
Everything off Charity of Night is sheer brilliance.  
 
Agreed, one of his best albums.

I used to love listening to "Night Train" after my night shift at work, on the way home,  years ago....seemed so fitting to be driving empty roads at 2am with this song blasting...it just fit.

I love this song - it's so mesmerizing...
 fredriley wrote:

There's no good reason, just the perversity of English which regularly mangles pronunciations. "Coburn" is a standard pronunciation of "Cockburn" in the UK. On a par with other manglings, such as Belvoir ("Beaver"), Beaulieu ("Byooley"), Cholmondely ("Chumley"), and many more. Now that I think of it, most of the mangled pronunciations look to be of upper-class person and place names... {#Stupid}
 
In all cultures, pronunciations blur and morph over centuries. In literate cultures, spellings tend to persist unchanged, even as the pronunciations evolve. I would add "Worcestershire" ("Wooster") to that fascinating list. :-)

Did not know that about Cockburn = "Coburn". Makes me curious how James Coburn got that spelling. Ellis Island, perhaps?

Not liking this one much.
 Giselle62 wrote:

Good chugging music and his lyrics are almost always thoughtful. But why is he pronounced "Coburn?" It's not like he's French or anything, eh?
 
There's no good reason, just the perversity of English which regularly mangles pronunciations. "Coburn" is a standard pronunciation of "Cockburn" in the UK. On a par with other manglings, such as Belvoir ("Beaver"), Beaulieu ("Byooley"), Cholmondely ("Chumley"), and many more. Now that I think of it, most of the mangled pronunciations look to be of upper-class person and place names... {#Stupid}
I know as a right-thinking Canadian I am supposed to love him, but he's just too meh for anyone still breathing I think.  And yes, I know he is a guitar genius...I've had it explained to me ad nauseum...
Another cool Canadian Night Train:


Ice cube in a dark drink shines like star light 
Starlight shines like glass shards in dark hair 

 Simply Beautiful.
 


it sounded like a train, that bass and snare riff
{#Angel} BlueHeronDruid wrote:

Yep. Digging on the bass....

 


 huebdoo wrote:
That bass ... that snare ... perfect
 
Yep. Digging on the bass....

That bass ... that snare ... perfect
Like the bass and drums...an easy rhythm {#Motor} {#Drummer}


A Bruce Cockburn Minute by ~cathmads
Cathie  ©2010 ~cathmads

Our area Folk Festival was honoured to have this wonderful musician perform!




Everything off Charity of Night is sheer brilliance.  

Was super Lucky and saw Bruce Cockburn in Bozeman Montana a few years ago ..................WOW in the top three shows of my lifetime, he had a smokin band with him and he can rip it up on the G string !


wow
Night Train
This is my absolute favorite train tune!!! it can take you away...
Talking bass and the trash can lid percussion. Love it.  This song sounds like a train.  
 Giselle62 wrote:
Good chugging music and his lyrics are almost always thoughtful. But why is he pronounced "Coburn?" It's not like he's French or anything, eh?
It just is, that's all. Why aren't you pronounced as 'Guy-sell-ee"? 


 LuvWilloughby wrote:
Night train streaking across the sky this Christmas Eve.
 
Good chugging music and his lyrics are almost always thoughtful. But why is he pronounced "Coburn?" It's not like he's French or anything, eh?

Night train streaking across the sky this Christmas Eve.
 EssexTex wrote:
I love the talking bass...reminds me of the teacher in Charlie Brown
 
Yup, the bass definitely makes the tune

 TheKing2 wrote:
the song title brings back Steve Winwood's "Night Train"...
 
Actually, it takes me back to TV ads in the early 70s for a cheap fortified wine named, you guessed it, Night Train.

Like this song along, but the title always makes me laugh a little.

Actually one of the few BC songs that I don't really like.
That's Rob Wasserman on bass.  I'm glad Cockburn is getting more play on RP.  Always welcome. 
Bruce's music takes me to my quiet, happy place. {#Sunny}
 EssexTex wrote:
I love the talking bass...reminds me of the teacher in Charlie Brown
 


love those drums.  {#Drummer}
I love the talking bass...reminds me of the teacher in Charlie Brown
One of many great songs from Bruce.

 huebdoo wrote:

Bruce is simply amazing - I saw him years ago with just a 12 string at the Stein River festival north of Whistler - he was magical and probably one of the best finger pickers I have ever seen - I remember him doing "Wondering where the Lions are" and the entire crowd singing along under the stars - it was amazing ...
 
Yeah, I saw him recently here at the Ottawa Folk Festival. Similar situation, him alone on stage completely carrying the crowd with some brilliant playing on the acoustic. And yes, everyone singing along to "Wondering Where the Lions Are". It was incredible, he's a brilliant musician.

Nice bass!! Always liked Bruce Cockburn...
Still a solid 8.
. . . and in the absence of a vision there are nightmares
and in the absence of compassion there is cancer . . .

 andrewimft wrote:


Bruce Cockburn (vocals, acoustic, electric & resophonic guitars, dobro); Bonnie Raitt (slide guitar); Colin Linden (mandolin); Joe Macerollo (accordion); Janice Powers (keyboards); Gary Burton (vibraphone); Rob Wasserman (bass); Gary Craig (drums, tambourine, percussion); Bob Weir, Ani DiFranco, Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin, Bob Weir, Maria Muldaur (background vocals).

Info from CD Universe website, pretty reliable.

Bruce is an outstanding acoustic guitar player, one of the best just playing the acoustic guitar. I've seen live acoustic solo, absolutely stunning playing both technically and with feeling.
 
Bruce is simply amazing - I saw him years ago with just a 12 string at the Stein River festival north of Whistler - he was magical and probably one of the best finger pickers I have ever seen - I remember him doing "Wondering where the Lions are" and the entire crowd singing along under the stars - it was amazing ...

I had no idea the backup group on this song though - holy cow -

 coy wrote:
whoa
poetry on a nightrain
And everyone's an
island edged with sand
A temporary refuge where somebody else can
stand
Till the sea that binds us like the forced tie of a blood oath
Will
wear it down, dissolve it, recombine it

Anyone can die here they do it
every day
It doesn't take much effort though it goes against the
grain
And the ultimate forgetfulness of violence
Sweeps the landscape
like a headlight of a train


 

He is a great poet, I like the words from If I Had A Rocket Launcher.
 tupicetti wrote:
It actually has powerful lyrics, something that usually goes overlooked and I would like to remark as a BC's signature

... And everyone's an
island edged with sand
A temporary refuge where somebody else can
stand
Till the sea that binds us like the forced tie of a blood oath
Will
wear it down, dissolve it, recombine it

Anyone can die here they do it
every day
It doesn't take much effort though it goes against the
grain
And the ultimate forgetfulness of violence
Sweeps the landscape
like a headlight of a train Night Train...
 
Those are impressive lyrics! {#Yes} Lyrics = 10, Music = 6 - So the song gets an 8.
 WonderLizard wrote:


Amen to that. Listened to this CD and "St. Mary in the Woods" BTB on the way in this morning. Yum.

I turn this cut up 'cos of the guy cookin' on fretless. Yowsuh!
 
Self-correction. Since it's Rob Wasserman on bass, I'm pretty sure he's playing a stand-up. Duh moment.

Rolls along nicely
 Krispian wrote:
luv, luv, LUV the bass in this song!
 
Me too!

I dont think the voice matches the music in this one.
the song title brings back Steve Winwood's "Night Train"...
whoa
poetry on a nightrain
And everyone's an
island edged with sand
A temporary refuge where somebody else can
stand
Till the sea that binds us like the forced tie of a blood oath
Will
wear it down, dissolve it, recombine it

Anyone can die here they do it
every day
It doesn't take much effort though it goes against the
grain
And the ultimate forgetfulness of violence
Sweeps the landscape
like a headlight of a train


 eman wrote:
.......
 

{#Iamwithstupid}
luv, luv, LUV the bass in this song!
 nate917 wrote:

Helluva lineup. You don't usually get to hear both Bob Weirs singing backup on the same album.
 
LOL. Actually, I been to a few Dead shows where I've seen several Bob Weirs singing backup. But that was a long time ago.

no comment  -   8.
{#Puke}
I like most of Bruce's stuff, but this one isn't one of them. 
 EssexTex wrote:
Pino Paladino..I suspect.
He's a bleedin genius!

 
It's Rob Wasserman. I have the album.