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Bruce Cockburn – Pacing The Cage (1996)

Edinburgh, Summer of 2005. Half way between a nervous breakdown and a state of childlike enlightenment I purchased a CD at  record store chain Fopp on Rose Street. It was a Rykodisc: The Anthology compilation disc featuring a selection of artists across several genres and decades, whom the label had either acquired, distributed or re-issued over the years including such musical & cultural luminaries as Nick Drake, Mission to Burma, Frank Zappa, The Replacements, Big Star, Devo, Ry Cooder, Bill Hicks, Yoko Ono, Joe Jackson, Richard Thompson, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Wyatt and John Cale. Amongst them was a lesser known light, a veteran Canadian songwriter guy named Bruce Cockburn and this was the song which left an impression on me at the time for its unadorned simplicity and directness; stripped free of any pretense or falseness, the honest emotion of writer and performer cutting through my bitter heart; capturing my fragile, unguarded state of mind in that period with such ease. How music can find its way to you through the white-hot confusion of living is an occurrence as wonderous and mysterious as the constellations above.