Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bruce Cockburn: Lord of the Starfields

It’s Spiritual Sunday and today’s feature song is by Canadian Bruce Cockburn (pronounced Co-burn). For the past 25 years, Cockburn’s music has taken a political twist; however, in his earlier recordings, he frequently alluded to his Christian beliefs. This is one of those songs, “Lord of the Starfields.”

While other songs intimate his Christian beliefs – which at times he has gotten defensive about his faith because people expected him to be a Christian musician and not what he considers himself a musician who happens to be a Christian. Roger McGuinn, formerly of the Byrds, has the same leanings. Their vocations are musicians – their commitments are to Christianity.

This is not unlike a plumber, teacher, or physician that also is a Christian. Sometimes Evangelicals can understand this with other professions; however, they (we) wish contemporary musicians to conform to a Christian only content because they wear the Christian moniker. The same standard is not held for country musicians who happen to be Christians (i.e., Ricky Scaggs, Vince Gill, and others).

OK, off the soap box and back to the song. I first heard this on Pandora last year and was pleasantly surprised as I was unaware of this 1976 recording. Cockburn admitted that he was attempting to write something that was psalmic in nature. It certainly fits that modality well and this is one of those tunes in which Cockburn is not intimating his faith, he is broadcasting it. It has a great message – enjoy.


Lord of the starfields
Ancient of Days
Universe Maker
Here's a song in your praise

Wings of the storm cloud
Beginning and end
You make my heart leap
Like a banner in the wind

O love that fires the sun
Keep me burning.
Lord of the starfields
Sower of life,
Heaven and earth are
Full of your light

Voice of the nova
Smile of the dew
All of our yearning
Only comes home to you

O love that fires the sun
keep me burning

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