Music Monday: Pacing the Cage – Bruce Cockburn

Posted By on July 24, 2017


Although I’m partial to Jimmy Buffett‘s recording of Bruce Cockburn’s 1996 song Pacing the Cage, it is time to give credit where credit is due … to the multi-decade career of Canadian folk songwriter, performer and activist. PacingTheCageLyricsHe wrote the song in 1996 and recorded it on his album The Charity of Night. Although like most artists focused on political action and environmentalism, he is likely a political liberal and I do find it difficult to agree to "their" solutions to the many problems Cockburns‘ songs address.

  Pacing The Cage
  Bruce Cockburn – 1996

On the other hand, his talent for the guitar and writing heartfelt song is admirable. We each have our balance as to progress and prosperity and how it impacts the environment and the people who are many times left behind — often the indigenous peoples of an area impacted by those capitalizing on the resources … many times the focus of his songs (mining, deforesting, etc)

Since I mentioned Jimmy Buffett recording Pacing the Cage, thought I would include another Bruce Cockburn song that JB recorded as well … All The Ways I Want You from his 2002 album Far Side of the World.

  All The Ways I Want You
  Jimmy Buffett – 2002


  • Fixed – Thanks for the email Raymond!

  • flamingolady

    This is one of my favorite songs that Jimmy Buffett ever recorded, and he at no point took credit for writing the song, just singing it beautifully. The lyrics of the song spoke to Jimmy, and he wanted to record it, and now the lovely lyrics and beautiful music speak to many of his fans. Bruce Cockburn, thank you for your song that resonates beautifully through Jimmy Buffett!

    • I agree totally. Great observation. Having been a Jimmy Buffett fan well before the “Parrothead” craze, I have enjoy both his own writing (music and prose) and him performing the music of other artists. I think he has had an influence in my avocations and written a few songs and books that speak to me.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.