-- Big Circumstance (1988) & (2005)--

Track Listing:
Click song titles to see lyrics, other albums the song appears on, and known comments by Bruce Cockburn on the song. Track lengths are not guaranteed as they occasionally change with format (i.e. CD/vinyl) and release version. * Denotes bonus tracks on the remastered CD version released by Rounder Records in June 2005.

[1] If a Tree Falls (5:43)
[2] Shipwrecked at the Stable Door (3:38)
[3] Gospel of Bondage (5:45)
[4] Don't Feel your Touch (4:49)
[5] Tibetan Side of Town (6:59)
[6] Understanding Nothing (4:26)
[7] Where the Death Squad Lives (4:28)
[8] Radium Rain (9:22)
[9] Pangs of Love (5:18)
[10] The Gift (6:04)
[11] Anything Can Happen (4:31)
[12] If a Tree Falls * (new acoustic version)

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Album Info:

People who fed, or found their way onto these songs:

e.e. cummings, Bob and Gracie Ekblad, Tom Kellyji, Brennan Manning ("Lion & Lamb"), Dan Russell and Alison Ottman, Lewis Hyde ("The Gift"), Heather MacAndrew, Ursala LeGuin ("Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight"), USC Canada, Susan Walsh, Nirmala Pokharel, the plant manager at Chernobyl...

That's all. If anyone's missing, thank you too. Bruce

All songs written by Bruce Cockburn
© 1988 Golden Mountain Music Corp. (SOCAN)
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Produced by Jon Goldsmith for True North Productions
Recorded at Manta Sound, Toronto, July-August 1988.
Engineer: John Naslen
Assisted by Mike Colomby
Mastering: Bob Ludwig, Masterdisk, New York

The musicians are:
Bruce Cockburn - vocals, guitars and harmonica
Jon Goldsmith - keyboards and electric auto harp
Fergus James Marsh - stick and bass
Michael Sloski - drums and percussion
Background vocals: Judy Cade, Margaret O'Hara (appears courtesy of Virgin Records), and Mose Scarlett
Hugh Marsh - violin (appears courtesy of Duke Street Records)
Myron Schultz - clarinets

Art direction: Bart Schoales
Photography: George Whiteside

Known comments by Bruce Cockburn about this album, by date:

  • Spring 1993

    James Jensen: The album "Stealing Fire" saw acoustic guitar creep back into prominence on several tracks what brought that about?

    BC: Some of those pieces I wrote on acoustic guitar, if I happen to be holding an electric guitar in my hand when I get an idea it'll probably end up on the record. A lot of the songs on my current album (tentatively titled "Dart to the Heart") were written in hotel rooms and dressing rooms on the last tour so they're written on acoustic guitar because that's what I had at the time. When I'm at home and I have my stuff all set-up and plugged in I might write more on the electric. A lot of "Big Circumstance" was written traveling and that's why the acoustic had a bigger role again on that record.
    -- from an Interview by James Jensen at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, circa Spring 1993.

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    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.