As a fan of artists who eloquently express righteous anger about things that are actually important, I don't know why it took me so long to become a Bruce Cockburn devotee. It probably has something to do with the strange forces that relegate some Canadian musicians to cult status in the United States almost in spite of their rare combination of quality and accessibility. Of course, a leftist diatribe against Third World governments and the richer nations who sometimes inexplicably support them may not play as universally as a love song or a tune about partying, but is it wrong for me to think that sometimes it damn well should?
"If I Had a Rocket Launcher" bristles with energy and pure emotion while also laying down a new wave groove that should have made it a worldwide hit. Alas, in one of the countries responsible for too often siding with Third World oppressors (guess who I'm talking about?), this modern rock and roll protest song jumped all the way to a whopping No. 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1984. To paraphrase someone I bet Cockburn has never much cared for, "there I go again" expecting too much from people.
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Rounder