Wondering Where the Lions Are

This week, it’s a cover from the great Canadian guitar player and songwriter Bruce Cockburn (pronounced Co-Burn). He’s an absolute wizard with the guitar, and most of his stuff is pretty far beyond my modest skill level. I can just about handle this one. It’s played in an alternate tuning with the bass string dropped to a D instead of an E which allows for the thumping bass rhythm of the song. It’s one of Cockburn’s most popular and enduring tunes–it was even covered by Jimmy Buffett a few years back.

Cockburn wrote the song in the late 1960s at a time when the Soviet Union and China were in the midst of their diplomatic split. Some intelligence analysts at the time believed that a nuclear war between the countries was imminent. Cockburn recounted that he had been having dreams about lions prowling around outside his door, dreams that left him terrified. One night, after hearing the news about the troubles in the world, he was visited by the same dream, but this time he realized that the lions weren’t actually menacing or frightening. They were a benign, even benevolent presence. He woke in the morning knowing that everything would be okay. I think the message is as valid today as it was in 1969.

As always, share, enjoy, and comment!

Sun’s up, mmm hmm, looks okay
The world survives to another day
And I’m thinking ’bout eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

I had another dream about lions at the door
They weren’t half as frightening as they were before
Got my mind on eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

Up among the firs where it smells so sweet
Or down in the valley where the river used to be
Got my mind on eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

Walls, windows, trees, waves coming through
You be in me and I’ll be in you
Together in eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

And I’m wondering where the lions are . . .

Huge orange flying boat rises off the lake
Thousand year old petroglyphs doing a double take
Pointing a finger at eternity
I’m sitting in the middle of this ecstasy

Young men marching, helmets shining in the sun
Polished and precise like the brain behind the gun
Should be. They’ve got me thinking ’bout eternity
And this ecstasy got a hold on me

And I’m wondering where the lions are . . .

Freighters on the nod on the surface of the bay
One of these days were gonna sail away
Gonna sail into eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me

And I’m wondering where the lions are . . .

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