Bruce Cockburn

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I wear my shadows where they're harder to see, but they follow me everywhere. I guess that should tell me I'm traveling toward light.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Light
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There's so many ways in which Canada and America are inextricably connected politically, economically, socially. There's no stepping away. But at the same time, we don't have a say. Canada is a different country. Sometimes I think of it as Finland in the Soviet era. We're totally free, but we're totally free to agree, basically. If we disagree too heartily or over too sensitive an issue, then we pay a price for that.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Country
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I've been accused of being a little pedantic here and there, but I don't buy that criticism. I'm telling it like I see it. You don't have to buy it. You don't have to like it. You don't have to listen to it at all. I'm not trying to convince people of things, other than the fact that I'm trying to make as vivid as I can my own feelings and experiences.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: People
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The trouble with normal is it always gets worse, fashionable fascism dominates the scene.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Normal
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Most of the time, our deeper, stronger feelings are things we all have in common.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Feelings
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My overall responsibility is to be truthful. If people pay money to come and see me, looking for something other than that, then they've made a mistake.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Mistake
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We all grow up with anger. It's part of the human condition. But what do you do with that? It seems obvious to me that you've got to use it for something, but you have to separate it from your ego.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Growing Up
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Once you tie anger and ego together then you're a monster, at least a latent one. So you have to be able to separate those things before you are going to be able to do anything useful with your anger.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Ties
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Anger is energy, and you've got to find a place to put it that works for you.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Energy
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Music itself isn't enough to completely wear down my stash of anger. And I don't have all that much more to be angry about than anyone else. It's not like I was abused as a kid or anything. I had a pretty comfortable childhood with parents who took good care of me. But resentment exists, and some of it goes into the music. Some of it goes into physical activity.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Kids
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The people who have impressed me most - and the closest I've come to having heroes - are the people who have devoted their lives to making things better for others. These are people whose names you never hear, people who work for Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and other humanitarian groups. They're just out there in the world, doing stuff.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Hero
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Sometimes I catch myself doing something that I've already done. The more I've done, the more that's likely to happen. Then I just throw it away. I wait until I've got the right way of getting a thing done, which means my songwriting proceeds at a very slow pace. But it's the only way I can really work.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Mean
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There are so many people I love in the United States, and I've had such great adventures in this country and have been so well received by people here.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Country
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Going to places like Honduras, Nicaragua, and various African countries you get to see very clearly what the cause and effect is. We finance the obnoxious elites in those countries and they exploit their people so we don't have to say that we're doing the exploiting but nevertheless we are benefiting from it.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Country
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Everything that makes a society run is broken in Iraq. The only real structure is the people's own sense of themselves as Iraqis, which was very strong. They're a proud people, and they trace their historic roots way, way back.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Running
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Abu Ghraib, as bad as it was, can't be compared to what Saddam was doing to people.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: People
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Almost all the military personnel were wearing sunglasses. No Iraqis wear sunglasses. They really want to see your eyes. So immediately they can't trust the Americans.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Military
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I always write the lyrics first. There are one or two exceptions over the years, but that's pretty much the way it's been. The process of applying music to words is a bit like scoring a film. You've got imagery.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Writing
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I'm particularly attuned to lyrics, and very often a bad set of lyrics will ruin a song for me, while my friends will be just grooving on the music. I don't mean that it has to be about anything in particular, but there has to be some art applied to it, simple or otherwise.
- Bruce Cockburn
Collection: Song