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Bruce Cockburn — Burden of the Angel-Beast
Album: Dart To The Heart
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1112









Released: 1994
Length: 6:24
Plays (last 30 days): 1
From the lying mirror to the movement of stars
Everybody's looking for who they are
Those who know don't have the words to tell
And the ones with the words don't know too well

[Chorus:]
Could be the famine
Could be the feast
Could be the pusher
Could be the priest
Always ourselves we love the least
That's the burden of the angel/beast

Birds of paradise -- birds of prey
Here tomorrow, gone today
Cross my forehead, cross my palm
Don't cross me or I'll do you harm

[Chorus:]
Could be the famine
Could be the feast
Could be the pusher
Could be the priest
Always ourselves we love the least
That's the burden of the angel/beast

We go crying, we come laughing
Never understand the time we're passing
Kill for money, die for love
Whatever was God thinking of?

[Chorus:]
Could be the famine
Could be the feast
Could be the pusher
Could be the priest
Always ourselves we love the least
That's the burden of the angel/beast
Comments (133)add comment
Could be your public school teacher or your NY attorney general
 rascal wrote:
l'Hibou....  funky little club in the Byward market, Ottawa 1968....unforgettable

 
Le Hibou to put a finer point on it.  Never saw Bruce there despite growing up in Ottawa and going to Le Hibou a few times.  Friends of mine managed to see Bruce at Le Hibou.

First saw Bruce solo at UWO in London, Ontario in 1975.  He was outstanding.  A respectful and enthusiastic audience helped.  During the silent bits, you could hear a pin drop.  

Contrast that to Neil Young who during his acoustical performances has often resorted to telling his audience to shut the fuck up, or who threatened the audience to end the acoustical bit and bring the band out early. 
Dang.
Breathe, breathe in the air. Don't be afraid to care.
So beautiful!
 kenrundel wrote:
He is one of the best songwriters in the last 100 years.
 
That's what William Howard Taft often said.
Perfect segue from James McMurtryNo More Buffalo (live) ... You so rock B and R. Thank you!
 oldfart48 wrote:
Neil couldn't write , play or sing half as good as Bruce on a bad day.....this is just noodling....however if you listen you will not hear the sound of bubblegum poping.....
 
Respectfully but very strongly disagree.  I rarely come in here to trash songs, but this is the worst BC I've ever heard.  Clumsy and forced and sort of meaningless and dumb.

IMHO. 
l'Hibou....  funky little club in the Byward market, Ottawa 1968....unforgettable
He is one of the best songwriters in the last 100 years.
Thoughts go out to Nice. 
Wow!  What a great song!!
Got to see him a couple of years outdoors in the hood.  Sounds guy let me listen on their headphones — I was supposed to be taking pixs — seeing him a dozen feet away with incredible sound was simply amazing.
 ThePoose wrote:
My good bud is a symphony violinist and likes to play guitar to relax.
He played in a group here in Ottawa with Bruce Cockburn in the 1960s.
My bud said that Bruce was always the best guitar player of them all.

 
Interesting. I think BC rocks.
Saw Bruce Cockburn in the early days at the Riverboat and consider myself lucky.
 bon c'est bon

very nice

RickyBel wrote:
a good example of why music is universal n'est-ce pas

 

If this is in your elevator, Ill take the next one.    nothing wrong with it, I know it from the Wall concerts, just not my cup of tea.   5
a good example of why music is universal n'est-ce pas
 MilesW wrote:
Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Bruce Cockburn - good run on a Monday evening! {#Cheers}

 
Amen.  Criminally low rating on this tune.  I played the heck out of this album when it was released.  
 MilesW wrote:
Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Bruce Cockburn - good run on a Monday evening! {#Cheers}

 
Same rotation today (5/1/15) and it's what is great about RP....where else are you gonna hear Willie right after Joni?  Sometimes Beethoven thrown in after some Nirvana.....perfection!
Almost forgot Bruce... Great song!
 Pink Floyd — Any Colour You Like :)

 but much worse...
Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Bruce Cockburn - good run on a Monday evening! {#Cheers}
Few, if any, have Bruce's combination of writing music and lyrics, guitar skills and evocative voice.  He is one of the best!
Truth. And now Jakob Dylan sounds like Bruce.

DigitalJer wrote:

You got that right!

Bruce sounds like Bruce; and no other.  An original, to be sure. 

 


My good bud is a symphony violinist and likes to play guitar to relax.
He played in a group here in Ottawa with Bruce Cockburn in the 1960s.
My bud said that Bruce was always the best guitar player of them all.
nice song.
 mrstyke wrote:
very under-rated artist....
 
Not where I'm from. This guy is an icon.
This guy hits home every time.
 RedGuitar wrote:
Bruce - Neil Young called - he wants his "Down By the River" riff back!  ;-)

  Neil couldn't write , play or sing half as good as Bruce on a bad day.....this is just noodling....however if you listen you will not hear the sound of bubblegum poping.....



Bruce - Neil Young called - he wants his "Down By the River" riff back!  ;-)
BC on this song: "It's an observation of an aspect of the human condition. The inability to grasp where we are at any given moment and go with it. Which is unfortunately too common a problem."
very under-rated artist....
 ziakut wrote:
My comment is stupendously mediocre at best.

 
Fixed that for you... 
stupendously mediocre at best.
 martinc wrote:
Terrific songwriter, story teller, singer and guitarist.

I remember seeing him at Bottom Line in NYC back in early 1990. He did an extended version of Rocket Launcher where he took the guitar solo and played the hell out of it. One of my work colleagues that I dragged along noted that Bruce was literally smoking. The room was little cold and he was working so hard on the solo that steam was coming off him. He had a great band with him that included Richard Bell on keyboards, Colin Linden of guitar and local guy from Ottawa on drums. Great show.

 
He did the same thing warming up before the show in the old Senator Theatre in Towson, MD, father and I had snuck in the back a bit (I was trying to pull him back, thought we were going to get thrown out..ha).  Never heard that version during the show, so it was neat to get to hear it even as a warm up...
Terrific songwriter, story teller, singer and guitarist.

I remember seeing him at Bottom Line in NYC back in early 1990. He did an extended version of Rocket Launcher where he took the guitar solo and played the hell out of it. One of my work colleagues that I dragged along noted that Bruce was literally smoking. The room was little cold and he was working so hard on the solo that steam was coming off him. He had a great band with him that included Richard Bell on keyboards, Colin Linden of guitar and local guy from Ottawa on drums. Great show.
 meloman wrote:

Yes! Have been for many years now.
 
"Those who know don't have the words to tell.
And the ones with the words don't know so well."

I can find no better way to sum up wisdom juxtaposed against stupidity.  Same as it ever is, too.

Highlow
American Net'Zen
 Sasha2001 wrote:
Wow, terrific song. I'm always impressed by this prolific and truth telling songwriter.
 
Yes! Have been for many years now.
8 → 9. Great, great song and feels just right on this stormy Oregon Monday.
Wow, terrific song. I'm always impressed by this prolific and truth telling songwriter.
I like this song it's good conversation music
 lwilkinson wrote:
Not sure why but sometimes this guy reminds me a little bit of Warren Zevon in some of his calmer, more introspective works.
 
I absolutely agree. I love both for their words and voices. Great tunes from both.

 keller1 wrote:

Very Neil Young-y.

C'mon, Bruce is a great writer, a decent vocal stylist, and a kick-ass guitar player!
Did you mean the preachy bits? Okay, you have a point.


Dylan's "Man of Peace" comes to mind when I hear this.
 Mugro wrote:

I get Pink Floyd but I also got Rolling Stones "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" for some reasons. Call me crazy.

 

crazy
{#Angel}
 Whirlpool wrote:
I always enjoyed his music and like hearing it on RP. Very underrated artist.
 
You got that right!

Bruce sounds like Bruce; and no other.  An original, to be sure. 
 lwilkinson wrote:
Not sure why but sometimes this guy reminds me a little bit of Warren Zevon in some of his calmer, more introspective works.
 

I hear that.  Basically, Bruce be fine by me.
 spaceman wrote:
I don't get the David Gilmour comments below. The picking near the end reminds me more of Mark Knopfler (though not too much), and his voice makes me think that he's trying to sound like the other Bruce. All in all, not a bad track, but far from great.
 
I get Pink Floyd but I also got Rolling Stones "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" for some reasons. Call me crazy.

Not sure why but sometimes this guy reminds me a little bit of Warren Zevon in some of his calmer, more introspective works.
Every time I hear this guy I wonder why I haven't purchased his music yet. It is time to start.
Angel-beast?  You mean like Lucifer?

 
ugly wrote:
One of my dearest friend has the middle name Angel and I call him Angel-boy sometimes. But he can be a real Angel-beast on occasion. I think I will call him Angel-beast now when there is an occasion for it. (He is a dear friend but can also be a pain. I guess everybody has one of those in their lives.)
 


I always enjoyed his music and like hearing it on RP. Very underrated artist.

...And I'm wonderin' where the lions are...


This song and CD are not among Bruce's best, IMO.
Sounds very similar to Pink Floyd's "Breathe"....
One of my dearest friend has the middle name Angel and I call him Angel-boy sometimes. But he can be a real Angel-beast on occasion. I think I will call him Angel-beast now when there is an occasion for it. (He is a dear friend but can also be a pain. I guess everybody has one of those in their lives.)
ouch, this song hits the mark.
 inmanart wrote:
I've caught him live a few times, If you like him try and see him live. He's a gifted artist with some really wonderful songs. Yes, you do need to be in a certain mood to be receptive to his music.....he chooses his own path....a true artist
 
Truly a good performance live. I saw him recently, he played a benefit concert to help bring awareness to a proposed ski resort in an ecologically sensitive area. Bruce played solo to about 500, his music and words spoken reflected on the environment and the importance of such a diverse wilderness. One of the best concerts I have ever experienced. https://www.keepitwild.ca/

 inmanart wrote:
I've caught him live a few times, If you like him try and see him live. He's a gifted artist with some really wonderful songs. Yes, you do need to be in a certain mood to be receptive to his music.....he chooses his own path....a true artist
 
Good recommendation. I have seen him lots of times as he plays here a lot. No mater what the line up or even if solo it is a night of great music. I have dragged friends along a couple of times and all have told me after what a treat it was.
I am glad RP plays Bruce. He doesn't get much airplay in conventional air waves. His music deserves to be heard. Good guitar player, a poet (like it or hate it) and some great compositions. His speechless cd has some great work for those who don't like his voice. 
I've caught him live a few times, If you like him try and see him live. He's a gifted artist with some really wonderful songs. Yes, you do need to be in a certain mood to be receptive to his music.....he chooses his own path....a true artist
Like Neil Young, his voice often sounds out of tune.
Far and away his best!

keller1 wrote:

Very Neil Young-y.



Hardly. But very nice, nonetheless.

Very Neil Young-y.


 horstman wrote:
This guy really, really rocks! And he's Canadian.
 
No. No he doesn't rock. Not even a little bit. He rocked back when he wanted a rocket launcher, and even then, only a little bit.
This song is lame.

You know, if you're going to sing a chorus that consists of the same note over and over and over again, it should be a note that you can sing without sounding so incredibly strained.
Lyrics:
From the lying mirror to the movement of stars Everybody's looking for who they are Those who know don't have the words to tell And the ones with the words don't know too well (CHORUS:) Could be the famine Could be the feast Could be the pusher Could be the priest Always ourselves we love the least That's the burden of the angel/beast Birds of paradise -- birds of prey Here tomorrow, gone today Cross my forehead, cross my palm Don't cross me or I'll do you harm (Chorus) We go crying, we come laughing Never understand the time we're passing Kill for money, die for love Whatever was God thinking of? (Chorus)
I think it's beautiful, and my interpretation is that it addresses, with wonderment, the predicament of our own consciousness as we grapple with the angel and beast in ourselves & in others... They're quite interesting lyrics that could provoke a lot of contemplation with some fine music in the song.
Excelsior wrote:
This guy really, really sucks.
This guy really, really rocks! And he's Canadian.
I don't get the David Gilmour comments below. The picking near the end reminds me more of Mark Knopfler (though not too much), and his voice makes me think that he's trying to sound like the other Bruce. All in all, not a bad track, but far from great.
Not a big Bruce Cockburn fan but I like this one, especially the guitar work
Excelsior wrote:
This guy really, really sucks.
Excellent point.
This guy really, really sucks.
js5280 wrote:
Is there an instrumental version? The guitar works salvages this from a one, but the lyrics are so bad and cheesey that it only gets a 2.
The good reader makes the good book, and the good listener makes the good lyrics
Is there an instrumental version? The guitar works salvages this from a one, but the lyrics are so bad and cheesey that it only gets a 2.
andyjmr wrote:
i think i've heard this song a thousand times before... different artists, different tunes, but always the same dreary pseudo 'meaningful' slog.
That just sounds cynical. Put things in context by listening to the rest of Bruce's albums, and you'll hear that his lyrics are consistently thoughtful, insightful, and sincere, not to mention "beautiful". If a thousand songwriters sound smug and sappy when they reflect on how shitty the human race can be, it shouldn't be held against Bruce when he goes at it with a pure heart. If you've truly got experience and character (as Bruce does) you've earned the right to wear it in your art.
bdwelch wrote:
Bruce and colen linden - maybe one of bruces best albums
Colin has actually been on quite a few of Bruce's albums, I believe. Him and Ben Riley (drums) have played with Bruce quite a bit.
Rip of Floyd? If I queue this with Wizard of OZ, what'll happen?
You mean "cue". To "queue" is to form a line.
...no, no, you're presuming too much there - if one queues this with wizard of oz, one gets one hundred eight minutes and twenty eight seconds of continuous entertainment...
Bruce and colen linden - maybe one of bruces best albums
Cockburn..ha
Really wonderful guitar, makes the song.
awful lyrics
Zweiblumen wrote:
Man, I hate this guy's music. And the problem with these self important singers that think they have profound stuff to say is that their songs are too damn long.
I was thinking a birthday of '81 or so. Yup--'79. Teevee attention span. Concentrate, man. . . .
A good reminder that Bruce can hold his own with any other guitarists out there. Canadian soul.
CruzanBits wrote:
This is great. Very reminiscent of David Gilmour, imo.
I agree :)
wideasleep1 wrote:
Rip of Floyd? If I queue this with Wizard of OZ, what'll happen?
You mean "cue". To "queue" is to form a line.
Small Minds. BC's music is Genius!!
Zweiblumen wrote:
Man, I hate this guy's music....their songs are too damn long.
LOVE his music...tolerate his writing....do not care for his voice.
Makes my heart flutter...
mig7 wrote:
At least it doesn't drag on
It doesn't?
Rip of Floyd? If I queue this with Wizard of OZ, what'll happen?
Saw Bruce at the Fine Line in Mpls last month (08/2006). Great venue, great night. I'd go again.
i think i've heard this song a thousand times before... different artists, different tunes, but always the same dreary pseudo 'meaningful' slog.
Saw Bruce Cockburn in a tiny bar in Eureka, California that used to get some great bands and artists passing north. He was great. That was about the time "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" was out. Man, he was great. Awesome on the guitar. And social commentary inbetween songs and sets. Great musicians backing him. Wish I could remember the name of that bar. Something like "E" Street Bar & Grill. I think that was it! Saw John Lee Hooker there. Robert Cray Band. Some great reggae... Eek-A-Mouse, Toots & The Maytals, others. Ahh... the days of my youth. Humboldt State University and Arcata. Bartending at Marino's Club. Cruising the rest of the bars on the Plaza with the statue of President McKinnley in the middle that looked like he was holding his willie and taking a whiz from a certain angle. (He'd passed through the area once, thus the naming of the town just north, "McKinnleyville.") When I could drink and drug all night long, and get up and do it again. :cheers: Before the blackouts. :drunk: Great to be clean now. Who would have thought? :motor:
Zweiblumen wrote:
Man, I hate this guy's music. And the problem with these self important singers that think they have profound stuff to say is that their songs are too damn long.
Go listen to some Cake why don't you. :arghhh:
Zweiblumen wrote:
Man, I hate this guy's music.
I'm not quite at that point, but I'm getting there.
Man, I hate this guy's music. And the problem with these self important singers that think they have profound stuff to say is that their songs are too damn long.
Sounds like another one from Trey Parker and Matt Stone to me!
Great song on a great CD from a great artist!
Mmmm, good song for today. And that barbeque idea sounds about right for a 666 dinner. Time to burn some meat.
i wonder what the mark of the Angel Beast is.
Door wrote:
:fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire:
Are you making a barbeque there, buddy? :think:
OK - so we'ere having a little Canadian interlude. Nothing wrong with that - as long as we have her majesty Joni M lined up next/soon.
tlong9396 wrote:
timc wrote:
I don't care what anyone else says, Bruce's guitar rocks. And the vocals aren't too shabby either. As for the naysayers: :chillpill:
I am enjoying this too. :good-vibes:
I agree. I didn't think I liked this at first, but it really grew on me as the music progressed. :music:
Amazon.com Customer Reviews Mellowness from a mellow guy, February 14, 2006 Reviewer: R. J MOSS (Alice Springs, Australia) If Canadian, Bruce Cockburn has ever released a weak collection, I've yet to hear it. He holds a position similar to Australia's, Paul Kelly: respected within his own country, revered as a musician's musician. Their work is varied, always with lyric interest, topical, tight and well considered. The common comparison is the Dylan, Thompson pairing, similar folk rock grooves, and three to four decades of production. But it is immediately apparent that the first mentioned pair fare less well as singers than writers. Bruce's vocals express a dry world weariness that is entirely appropriate for his ecological concerns. These are politically astute, but have the least reach, a common fault of sermonizers. His love songs are every bit as richly nuanced as anything from Dylan or Thompson. His heart is in the right place, and though neither pious or smug, a little humour might elevate the texts. When Cockburn visited these shores in the late 70s, about the time of his first Oz distribution,'In The Falling Dark', he filled a sizeable auditorium and pleasured us with a marathon set from his already, prolific catalogue. How his fingers danced over that cobalt blue acoustic guitar! A remarkable musician who seems able to draw from a limitless well.
Angel and Beast. They were in the original Kirby X-men. :dance:
At least it doesn't drag on
This totally reminds me of Welcome to the Machine or Delicate Sound of Thunder I never thought of Bruce and Pink at the same time before... interesting Maybe we should call this Bink Cloyd music or Bruce Floyd or Pink Cockburn (well actually that is something that happens to naughty boys) I like Bruce Floyd Yes Its Bruce Floyd
I am enjoying this to. timc wrote:
I don't care what anyone else says, Bruce's guitar rocks. And the vocals aren't too shabby either. As for the naysayers: :chillpill:
:good-vibes:
have good, get give babyarm
GREAT guitar work - manages to not be boring despite being quite jammy.
Not too pumped about this one, but maybe I need to hear it a few times. Interesting comments, though.
I don't care what anyone else says, Bruce's guitar rocks. And the vocals aren't too shabby either. As for the naysayers: :chillpill:
Can anyone upload "If I had a rocket launcher"?
:fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire:
CruzanBits wrote:
This is great. Very reminiscent of David Gilmour, imo.
i was going to say.. dark side of the moon much? :) - i like it.
I love this guy - have since Dancing in the Dragons Jaws. He's amazing live. I'm also not any kind of christian (pls note the small "c") and I love that Bruce regularly irritates the religious right who want him to tow their reactionary line. He has no use for their collective bullshit. And they also grill him on the fact that his wife is NOT a christian, as though that has anything to do with people loving each other.
Nice guitar, but I could really do without the vocals.
Bruce is one of the best!
trancefussion wrote:
can this guy play the guitar or what? Is it just me? :clap:
This is great. Very reminiscent of David Gilmour, imo.