Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lyrics of the Day

I've been listening to some Bruce Cockburn concerts this weekend. Cockburn (long "o", silent "ck") is a brilliant Canadian songwriter whose work is under-appreciated in the U.S. Not coincidentally, his songs are often politically at odds with U.S. policies. Since he has over 35 years of material to draw from, let's do "Bruce Cockburn week" for LotD...

Our first selection is one of my all-time favorites, "The Trouble With Normal." It was written in the scary days of Ronnie and Maggie, but it's eerily topical in the post-9/11 world:
Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it's repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs -- "Security comes first"
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse
Those words capture the essence of the USA PATRIOT Act, wiretapping, Guantanamo, etc. so well. And the person in the street is the average American, naively accepting it all in the name of safety. All three verses of "The Trouble With Normal" are packed with meaning like this one, but I don't want to over-quote.

Note: The second album below is a compilation of many of Cockburn's most popular songs. Although I don't have that particular CD, most of the songs I'll feature this week can be found there. One song on that disc that I haven't heard is "My Beat," which is about riding his bicycle around Montreal.

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