Shipwrecked at the Stable Door

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Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Douglas Cockburn OC ( /ˈkoʊbərn/ KOH-bərn; born May 27, 1945) is a Canadian folk/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter. His most recent album was released in March 2011. He has written songs in styles ranging from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll. more »


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The man who twirled with rose in teeth
Has his tongue tied up in thorns
His once expanded sense of time and
Space all shot and torn
See him wander hat in hand
Look at me, I'm so forlorn
Ask anyone who can recall
It's horrible to be born!

Big Circumstance comes looming
Like a darkly roaring train
Rushes like a sucking wound
Across a winter plain
Recognizing neither polished shine
Nor spot nor stain
And wherever you are on the compass rose
You'll never be again

Left like a shadow on the step
Where the body was before
Shipwrecked at the Stable Door   

Big Circumstance has brought me here
Wish it would send me home
Never was clear where home is
But it's nothing you can own
It can't be bought with cigarettes
Or nylons or perfume
And all the highest bidder gets
Is a voucher for a tomb

Blessed are the poor in spirit
Blessed are the meek
For theirs shall be the kingdom
That the power mongers seek
Blessed are the dead for love
And those who cry for peace
And those who love the gift of earth
May their gene pool increase

Left like a shadow on the step
Where the body was before
Shipwrecked at the Stable Door

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Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc., CARLIN AMERICA INC

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"Shipwrecked at the Stable Door Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Jul 2019. <>.

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