Yet more Christmas Music


Another song for Christmas that is neither twee nor lame.

I came late to Bruce Cockburn’s music and am still feeling my way through his work. I like his willingness to plough his own furrow, his anger and his artistry.

I love how this song retells the story through his own eyes and doesn’t rely on worn cliche. Plus, you can’t knock these lyrics:-

Redemption rips through the surface of time

In the cry of a tiny babe’


For it isn’t to the palace that the Christ child comes
But to shepherds and street people, hookers and bums.’


Friday Music


Someone on Facebook put me onto this, following a poster I borrowed that said ‘A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for’.

I have a couple of Bruce Cockburn albums. I had heard him namechecked by one or two artists that I respect, so following a push from another friend I began to listen to him. I like what I hear: songs that have the ring of authenticity, someone who is musically brilliant and someone who has been willing to go his own way.

I had some plans to see him a couple of years back when he was due to play in Stockton, however, the same night ‘Africa Express’ rolled up in Middlesbrough. I live in a musical desert, so 2 gigs of stature in the same night is almost unique. Unfortunately Bruce lost out, but if he ever comes here again…

This is an early recording: if I am pushed I prefer him now- his voice is more ‘lived in’. I looked up the chords and had a go at playing it but could not manage it, but now the guitar virtuoso who who put me on to it has promised to do me a duffer’s guide to this song. Can’t wait….

A week of Christmas:1


‘There are others who know about this miracle birth
The humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth
For it isn’t to the palace that the Christ child comes
But to shepherds and street people, hookers and bums
And the message is clear if you’ve got ears to hear
That forgiveness is given for your guilt and your fear
It’s a Christmas gift you don’t have to buy
There’s a future shining in a baby’s eyes

Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe’


I could have just stuck to the imagery of ‘Redemption rips through the surface of time in the cry of a tiny babe’, but I included much, much more. Wonderous…

(Bruce Cockburn ‘Cry of a tiny babe’ from nothing but a burning light)

Another Friday music thingy

You know the score for holidays: what shall I take, what shall I leave? What shall I read?

For me it is also ‘what shall I listen to?’

Anything too esoteric and my family won’t have it played. Anything too safe and I get bored. So this year, it is the familiar but still interesting (step forward the Beautiful South and Martyn Joseph), some home made selections, some esoterica and something to explore….although sadly the new Arcade Fire won’t be with me until I get home.

Under the latter category is this:-

I’m having a Bruce Cockburn phase right now…(HT:

I may be doing a lot of cooking and washing up so I can listen to music (my safe haven during our holidays)

All I need is the French sun, a glass of read and some washing up liquid…

Sunday Morning Devotional

I don’t generally do ‘Christian Music’. However I ‘do’ music played by Christians who cut it out there in the market place.

This one has been on heavy rotation on my car CD this week:-

Somebody touched me
Making everything new
Somebody touched me
I didn’t know what to do
Burned through my life
Like a bolt from the blue
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Deep in my bones
Turned a key in the hole
There was somebody home
Some would say that I’m dreaming
But I swear that it’s true
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Somebody touched me
Like the rain on the wind
Left me alone
Feeling like I’d been skinned
But I know you’re with me
Whatever I go through
Somebody touched me
I know it was you

Some righteous sounds for Friday…

Bruce Cockburn. Someone I have heard namechecked by many people and have always meant to check out but never had done.

That is until last weekend. Someone was selling CDs for charidee. It would be a sin not to support charidee so I did.

A little bit 90s in sound (although with T Bone Burnett twiddling the dials, the worst excesses of that decade are avoided) but very good. The kind of guitar playing that makes me want to burn mine and never play again. The kind of lyrics that make me never want to attempt to write songs (I’ve started by the way. That is as bad as it sounds. I can only play them in front of myself with embarrassment).

Just good, well written songs with a heart. I steer away from ‘Christian music’ very fast. I can listen to and like good musicians who are Christians but don’t sing songs like ‘Well there may be pain, but ignore it ‘cos God is great and he’s my mate’.

‘I believe it’s a sin to try and make things last forever

Everything that exists in time runs out of time some day

Got to let go of things the things that keep you tethered

Tke your place with grace and then be on your way’