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Bruce Cockburn — Great Big Love
Album: Nothing But A Burning Light
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 771









Released: 1991
Length: 4:48
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Evening sun slants across the road
Painting everything with gold
I'm headed for home, got a woman there
I can barely wait to hold
Got wind in my hair, got the heat inside
Heart jumping up and down
An empty head and a messed-up bed
I'll be floating just above the ground

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

Seen a lot of things in the world outside
Some bad but some good stuff too
Felt the touch of love in the works of God
And now and then in what people do
Never had a lot of faith in human beings
But sometimes we manage to shine
Like a light on a hill beaming out to space
From somewhere hard to find

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky

I ride and I shoot and I play guitar
And I like my life just fine
If you try to take one of these things from me
Then you're no friend of mine
Got a woman I love and she loves me
And we live on a piece of land
I never know quite how to measure these things
But I guess I'm a happy man

Great big love
Sweeping across the sky
Comments (65)add comment
Always loved the line "I never know quite how to measure these things
But I guess I'm a happy man".  Typical modest Canadian!?
I've often thought of who'd I'd like to go to Burning Man with who has probably never been before.  Bruce, I'd love to show you around. Thanks for all the great music! 
 ciarataylor wrote:
Bruce. We listened to you faithfully in the 70's and you have yet to find some new chords and a listenable voice.  

Would rather listen to nails banged into a wall.  Guess you have outlived limits of acceptable self duplication.

Join the ranks of Neil Young and just retire.  Please. 
 
Up until about 5 or more years ago, there was a commenter here known as "physicsgenius" whose tortured reasoning for why almost every artist who was played here was crap was a constant. Has he been reincarnated in your form? Sad, as a not lamented former imposted president often commented.
saw his performance at Club Franz in Berlin in Dec 2019, had the good fortune of meeting him afterwards very briefly. I remember thinking when I shook his hand that his hands are rather large and long, probably helps with his chosen profession. Saw him a week later in Manchester at a little venue. I've seen him play in L.A., San Clemente & in Atlanta as well. If he is playing live anywhere near me I make it a point to go see hem play. Some nights are better than others and he's no spring chicken. He's one of the greats. Heard a story where Eddie Van Halen was asked what it was like being the world's best guitar player and Eddie replied: "I'm not sure, you'll have to ask Bruce Cockburn"
 ciarataylor wrote:
Bruce. We listened to you faithfully in the 70's and you have yet to find some new chords and a listenable voice.  
Would rather listen to nails banged into a wall.  Guess you have outlived limits of acceptable self duplication.
Join the ranks of Neil Young and just retire.  Please. 
 
You rate virtually every song on RP "Sucko Barfo".
Can't you find somewhere else to spread your negativity?
Just saw Bruce last night for about the 100th time.
His old body is looking pretty crooked and weary, but man he still puts on a great show.
Long live Bruce!
 ciarataylor wrote:
Bruce. We listened to you faithfully in the 70's and you have yet to find some new chords and a listenable voice.  

Would rather listen to nails banged into a wall.  Guess you have outlived limits of acceptable self duplication.

Join the ranks of Neil Young and just retire.  Please. 
 
huh, I'm finding the more recent efforts of BC to be rather enjoyable, this one I have rated at 7 for the cool, laid back feeling it gives me, I might even go to an 8 one day....hope you find something better when you PSD or skip this....Long Live RP!!
Bruce. We listened to you faithfully in the 70's and you have yet to find some new chords and a listenable voice.  

Would rather listen to nails banged into a wall.  Guess you have outlived limits of acceptable self duplication.

Join the ranks of Neil Young and just retire.  Please. 
{#Sunny}  {#Sunny} {#Sunny}  {#Sunny} {#Sunny}  {#Sunny} {#Sunny}  {#Sunny}
I like it. Reminds me a little of John Hiatt's "Big Love" in some ways.
Very likeable.
Very good song from a great album.
 msymmes wrote:
 rocksaltandnails wrote:
heard his lion song and this. i enjoyed. what is a good listening LP of his?

 
I would recommend this album but I am sure that real fanatics would go further back in his discography.

 
He is a great guitarist. "Speechless" is an effort of all acoustic tunes...quite good...
 rocksaltandnails wrote:
heard his lion song and this. i enjoyed. what is a good listening LP of his?

 
I would recommend this album but I am sure that real fanatics would go further back in his discography.


heard his lion song and this. i enjoyed. what is a good listening LP of his?
Sounds great at high sound pressure levels {#Bananajam}
Bruce brought the Hammond and Leslie on tour in support of the grand album.
T Bone Burnett produced.    A TEN for me imho.
 
...somehow reminds me of the Wailing Souls, 'Heartbeats Accelerating' 
For a spiritual, deep guy who can be almost depressingly serious, Cockburn sure can crank out some fun songs.

Feel privileged to have caught him twice live:  once in his acoustic phase and once in his electric rockin' phase.  Superb performances both of them.  I particularly liked his acoustic concert in London, Ontario in the mid-1970s.  Everybody was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
His biography focuses more on his political activism than the music. Huge respect for this man/artist.
What an amazing portfolio of musical art...
I'm lucky to have lived in the era of Mr. Cockburn.
 hschlossberg wrote:
OMG, I did it again.  I must really dislike this song!
 
Maybe it's time for a hobby?
 hschlossberg wrote:
There might be only one or two songs each day that are worth interrupting what I'm doing to come here and rate them.  This is one of them, which I came to give a low score to.  But it appears that I've already been here on this song, which I gave a '2'.  Ugh.  Make it stop.

 
OMG, I did it again.  I must really dislike this song!
Way to go Bill !!!!! {#Bananapiano}
One of my favourite songs of all time.  All artists.   Definitely My favourite Bruce Cockburn tune.

 "I ride and a I shoot and I play guitar".     Boy, can he ever play guitar.
Ottawhere ???????? HEH ?
 jhead wrote:
Cockburn is a true uncommercialized original and an acoustic guitar impresario.
 
Also electric guitar—one of the unsung masters of the instrument.
 martinc wrote:

Come back again. We have a great Blue Festival in the summer. It always looks like Bill selected the artists. This time of year we also have the longest skating rink in the world to challenge you. (It 's been an unusually warm winter so far so it isn;t open yet. But it will) Winterlude is centered around the canal and lots of things to do around it. Make it in early Feb and you can see Kathleen Edwards at the Bronson Centre!
 
I'm from California. Ice skates are something Hans Brinker wore. But I'll travel leagues to see Kathleen Edwards. {#Lol}
Cockburn is a true uncommercialized original and an acoustic guitar impresario.
There might be only one or two songs each day that are worth interrupting what I'm doing to come here and rate them.  This is one of them, which I came to give a low score to.  But it appears that I've already been here on this song, which I gave a '2'.  Ugh.  Make it stop.
 Cynaera wrote:
I really love this song, as I do most of Cockburn's music.  I can't wait for him to write his biography - imagine his words, describing his childhood, his adulthood, his visions... Yep, I'd spend money for that one. And then I'd block a week to just sit in my garden and read until I felt like taking a nap...
 

That's so funny....came on here to comment as Bruce is one of my all-time favourite artists....when I was in music school 20 odd years ago, I found out that his birthday is the same day as my wife's...so I sent him a B-day card and offered to write his biography with him ;)  I would definitely like to read his biography.
 WonderLizard wrote:

The first time we went to Ottawa, you couldn't get arrested. Utterly dead town after dark. Went to Hull for fun. This was 1982. Went back a couple of years ago. What a change! Walkable streets, great restaurants, fun.  We went to Hull for the Canadian Museum of Civilization—walked from the National Gallery—but went back to Ottawa for dinner.
 
Come back again. We have a great Blue Festival in the summer. It always looks like Bill selected the artists. This time of year we also have the longest skating rink in the world to challenge you. (It 's been an unusually warm winter so far so it isn;t open yet. But it will) Winterlude is centered around the canal and lots of things to do around it. Make it in early Feb and you can see Kathleen Edwards at the Bronson Centre!
 ThePoose wrote:
I'm wonderin' where the lions are. Don't bother: they're here. Sent from Bruce's hometown: Ottawa (capital of Canada for all you Americans who don't know any better.)
 
The first time we went to Ottawa, you couldn't get arrested. Utterly dead town after dark. Went to Hull for fun. This was 1982. Went back a couple of years ago. What a change! Walkable streets, great restaurants, fun.  We went to Hull for the Canadian Museum of Civilization—walked from the National Gallery—but went back to Ottawa for dinner.

I really love this song, as I do most of Cockburn's music.  I can't wait for him to write his biography - imagine his words, describing his childhood, his adulthood, his visions... Yep, I'd spend money for that one. And then I'd block a week to just sit in my garden and read until I felt like taking a nap...
 Yellowstone40 wrote:
Sweet - Two Bruce Cockburn songs in less than 4 hours .... Good job RP !
 
psychic even !

Sweet - Two Bruce Cockburn songs in less than 4 hours .... Good job RP !
I really enjoy Bruce Cockburn lyrics.

{#Kiss}My heart is ready for more love!

This prompts me to think of Lindsey Buckingham's 'Big Love,' a song that, while a little self-indulgent, is pretty exciting, I think ... Not on the RP playlist, I see.
 greyfin10 wrote:
Curious as to what this means... I get the reference to his infamous "anger at Yankee interference in Central America" song... but what's the rest of this about?  Not being sarcastic... I just don't get it and I'd like to know where this is coming from.

Edit:  Looking through the posts for this day, I see that this is most likely a stream of conciousness thing... nevermind, carry on (well, you did, regardless :))

 ndad47 wrote:
Bruce has got a great big love for us.  big enough to chase the remaining indigenous people swimming across the bering strait for safety as he goes after them with his great big rocket launcher.
 
 

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

 

  • Circa 1992 -

    Johnny Walker: The next song we're going to play, "Great Big Love", you sort of seem to say, "Well, I've got lots of things I should be pleased about. I guess I'm a happy man."

    BC: Well, basically, people used to ask me, when I was getting known for songs like "If I Had A Rocket Launcher", for the politically engaged kinds of songs, it seemed as though people, a certain type of person anyway, seemed to think that in order to write songs like that, you had to be depressed, or that you had to be a basically unhappy person looking for some sort of outlet for this, you know. People used to ask me, "Are you a happy man?" when I was writing those kinds of things. How can you answer that, you know? "I'm not happy you just asked me that question because I don't know how to answer it, but otherwise, I'm doing fine, thankyou."

    JW: Well, you and I were born in the same year, 1945, so we've had seven years of being in our forty's, and I think one of the things that bought me anyway is that you relax a bit more, and you're quite a bit more content with the way things are at.

    BC: Yeah, that certainly happens. Well, content? I think I would tend to describe that as a sense of perspective that kind of allows you to be..., to get worked up over the things you can actually do something about, and to not bother with the things you can't, you know. At least, not be so affected by them. Because I don't feel entirely content. I'm a restless person by nature and I've been involved, on and off, with things that don't go away, really.

    JW: There's lots of work ahead.

    BC: There's lots of work ahead and there's a lot of vivid images from the past that won't go away either. Some of them are not so nice, so that's kind of a good stimulus, a healthy stimulus, I think, in a way. It keeps you from getting complacent.

    JW: But there's been one or two happy moments too.

    BC: Oh yes.
    — from Radio Interview, BBC Radio 1, 1992, Interviewer is Johnny Walker. Transcribed and submitted by David Newton.

     


     

  • November/December 1999 -

    "...the ninties have had a lot less of that kind of travel and a lot more touring and work . And involvement in other things. I lived on a horse farm for seven years, and that was a different experience for me. Great Big Love, for instance, is a product of that atmosphere."
    — from "Fire in an Open Hand" by Susan Adams Kauffman, The Other Side magazine, November/December 1999. Submitted by Nigel Parry.

  • ...this reminds me i absolutely HAVE to upload his acoustic version of
    "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" from Dutch radio's "2 meter sessies"!

    (in case anyone knows that cut, you'll know why...)
    Hey it's one world dudes...and neither country has a corner on the ignorance market...as shows plainly in some of these posts.
     ThePoose wrote:
    I'm wonderin' where the lions are. Don't bother: they're here.

    Sent from Bruce's hometown: Ottawa (capital of Canada for all you Americans who don't know any better.)
     

    As if it matters what the capital of Canada is.  Except when playing Trivial Pursuit, of course.

     ThePoose wrote:
    I'm wonderin' where the lions are. Don't bother: they're here.

    Sent from Bruce's hometown: Ottawa (capital of Canada for all you Americans who don't know any better.)
     

    Ottawa - been there a dozen times, maybe more.  Gorgeous place - especially winter. Patina copper roofs on the Parlament building - people ice skating to work in the winter?  Love that place.   We are not all complete morons down here!

    Personally, I think Canada puts out more real musical Talent per capita than any other country on the planet.   Just saw one of your bands last night!
    Curious as to what this means... I get the reference to his infamous "anger at Yankee interference in Central America" song... but what's the rest of this about?  Not being sarcastic... I just don't get it and I'd like to know where this is coming from.

    Edit:  Looking through the posts for this day, I see that this is most likely a stream of conciousness thing... nevermind, carry on (well, you did, regardless :))

     ndad47 wrote:
    Bruce has got a great big love for us.  big enough to chase the remaining indigenous people swimming across the bering strait for safety as he goes after them with his great big rocket launcher.
     
    Bruce has got a great big love for us.  big enough to chase the remaining indigenous people swimming across the bering strait for safety as he goes after them with his great big rocket launcher.
    ThePoose wrote:
    I'm wonderin' where the lions are. Don't bother: they're here. Sent from Bruce's hometown: Ottawa (capital of Canada for all you Americans who don't know any better.)
    Hey, I was thinking of a blanket on Parliament Hill. Funny, eh? Poose, I didn't know you were a Canuck. Churs, mate.
    Perfect music for a hot summer day on a blanket in a public park. Now only if it was summer....
    I'm wonderin' where the lions are. Don't bother: they're here. Sent from Bruce's hometown: Ottawa (capital of Canada for all you Americans who don't know any better.)
    superfido wrote:
    AAAARGHHHH! The Cover!!! Bruce Willis gone bad. :skull:
    as if that's possible...
    Surely there's a cowbell in there somewhere?
    .....yeah, but his early stuff is GREAT!...."Arrows of Light", "Joy will find a way", "Blues Got The World By The Balls", and so many others....Bruce has been a treasure for decades
    Pretty much anything from Bruce works well most any day :crown:
    Sweet :cheers:
    :sunny:
    more Bruce...his Stealing Fire album is my fav.... :cheers:
    meydele wrote:
    Yet another Cockburn song I have never heard before, but really like. I'm gonna have to catch up.
    Check out Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbucktu, one of my faves
    Yet another Cockburn song I have never heard before, but really like. I'm gonna have to catch up.
    So its Co-burn. It is duly noted. Nice catchy tune. :dancingbanana:
    AAAARGHHHH! The Cover!!! Bruce Willis gone bad. :skull:
    GBL is a great song - but there are SOOOO many others in his catalog. The more BC you play, the better I\'lll like it :D ... especially from his \"Dancing..\" and \"Humans..\" phase. Namaste!
    Popmusic at its best.
    Terrific song!
    There are quite a few really good songs on this album. Anyone who likes this song may want to check it out.