Life Short Call Now

by Bruce Cockburn

from the album Buffet Hotel


Billboards promise paradise
And tattoos done while you wait
Possible futures all laid out
On the sweeping curve of the interstate

Got no city, got no land
Got no lover, got no wife
How many ways to say goodbye
Can one man fit in a nomad life?
Life short, call now

Lone car waves, then it wanes
Leaves only voices in the hall
And in the room next door to mine
The bed is banging on the wall

You’ve no idea how I long
For even one loving caress
For you to step into my heart
Without deception or duress
Life short, call now

Jimmy’s Note:

I do believe there is order in the universe. All you have to do is occasionally put your eye to the lens of a telescope and peer out into the night sky. My first feeling, when I look out the window past our world, is wonder at how it all works. The second is humility. I can’t help but feel how absurdly our self-importance is blown out of proportion on this planet. The third thing I think about is that gin clear line from Charles Lindbergh about who we are and where we come from, that I have quoted before and will again: “We are of the stars”.

Well, since we are all stars made from the same molecules in some form or another, one of the great things about being a star is that other heavenly bodies seem to like to orbit around them. There are moons and meteors, but comets are my favorite. They are the rock stars of the universe residing outside the orbit of Neptune in the Kuiper Belt until they decide to put on their flashy shows.

In my little corner of the universe, I am blessed with many wonderful comets which pass through my orbit. When it comes to songs and songwriters, it seems the region from which my melodic meteors arrive is just across the border in Canada, where when album creation time comes due, the words and melodies of Jesse Winchester and Bruce Cockburn come flashing my way.

To me, Bruce Cockburn can take the sideshows of life, give them meaning and movement and put them on center stage. Bruce writes songs I wish I had written, and I think the way to honor those kinds of songs is to sing them as honestly as you can.