Friday, July 04, 2014

Guest post by Don Berg: Evolution of Bruce Cockburn lyrics Part 6: Joy Will Find a Way

by Don Berg:

Joy Will Find a Way (1975)

Bruce’s first three albums form a trilogy of sorts of folk songs centered around a nature-centered spirituality. Joy completes a second trilogy that I see as a document of his conversion to Christianity. The moment of surrender coming in the dark songs of Night Visions, then Salt, Sun and Time transforming his nature-based spirituality to be more Christ-centered. With this third album of the trilogy, even death cannot dampen the joy that Bruce has found in Christ, the subtitle of the song “Joy will find a way” is “a song about dying.” There is a joyful quality throughout all the songs of this album. Bruce sings:

Lament For the Last Days

But when death comes in to call
He don't care about it

Oh, Satan take thy cup away
For i'll not drink your wine today
I'll reach for the chalice of light
That stands on Jesus' table


In “A Life Story” images of nature are paired with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

A Life Story

Far cry
Christ is born for you and me

Wind rush
Reed bend
Storm tossed sea
Christ is nailed upon a tree

Mists part
Shining key
Christ is risen to lead us free

I will conclude with one last song from this album mostly because on it Bruce plays mountain dulcimer.

Arrow of Light

Arrows of light, come
Pierce my soul
Pierce my soul

Breath of the bright wind
Make us one
Make us one

Life is singing
Like a great bell ringing

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