Bruce Cockburn: Vigilant, Outspoken, Dark.

If it wasn’t for his brother, Bruce Cockburn wouldn’t be the activist he is today. Years ago at his sibling’s request, Cockburn went to El Salvador, witnessing the injustice there first hand. Starting out as a Buddy Holly clone, he’s become one of the most literate poets in social music today. He’s seen the stacks of skulls in Cambodia, hes’ been mugged in Mozambique, and he’s continually disappointed by the complacency of the West. Still, his songs are inviting, because he can instill an awakening in you. We share in his disgust during Postcards from Cambodia. We identify with his impatience in Wait No More. We consider delaying our own birth listening to Messenger Wind. Cockburn warned us that You’ve Never Seen Everything would be dark, but there is a glimmer of relief as he reminds us to take a moment to enjoy what goodness we have in Don’t Forget About Delight. I admire him so deeply that I became speechless when I met him backstage during the Landmine tour. He doesn’t know it, but since that meeting he’s given me the courage to speak up when I see that something’s wrong. You don’t have to meet him to gain that edge, because his message is waiting in dozens of his songs.

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