Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Album: Stealing Fire (1984)


  • Love and danger are two of the most intense states of being, which makes the concept of "lovers in a dangerous time" a striking image - one that is often used in books and movies. Cockburn sees the song as relating to everyone, as on some level we're all in love and all in danger. It's really about living in the moment and absorbing the experience, which can seem mundane, but can be quite powerful when you are immersed in it.
  • Cockburn drew from an image of children on a schoolyard when he wrote this song, picturing a boy and girl with a case of puppy love looking ahead to their future despite the dangers ahead. "It was kind of an attempt to offer a hopeful message to them," Cockburn said in SongTalk. "You still have to live and you have to give it your best shot."
  • Cockburn's songwriting is a big influence on U2 frontman Bono, who lifted a line from this track for "God Part II," a track from the Rattle and Hum album. "Heard a singer on the radio late last night says he's gonna kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight," is a reference to Cockburn and the line in this song, "Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight."
  • The Barenaked Ladies (like Cockburn, a Canadian act) recorded this song for the 1991 tribute album Kick at the Darkness. Their rendition was released as their first single, and it became their first hit, peaking at #16 on the Canadian chart the week of February 15, 1992. They later included it on the album Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits (1991-2001).
  • Dan Fogelberg recorded this for his 1990 Wild Places album. This version is a little more up-tempo than the Barenaked Ladies version and Fogelberg played all of the instruments on this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Shawn - Lisbon, ME

Comments: 7

  • Keith Vanevery from Paris, Ontario, Canada I just heard this song in the radio, and for once, kind of paid attention to the actual words. Especially:

    Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
    Gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight

    I’m in a relationship with a wonderful lady who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. When I heard this part, I thought for sure it was inspired by Bruce Cockburn being involved with a partner with the same condition
  • Kevin Mccluskey from Boston, MaWith all due respect, there are Canadian accents, but no pan-country accent that makes everybody sound the same. The closest thing to a "Canadian" accent is, ironically, the American broadcaster Peter Jennings, who was born and raised in Canada. People working in Mass Media are told to "get an FM voice or get on out of here." I find all of this kind of stuff very, very inneresting, eh?
  • Susan from Airdrie, -I'm a Canadian. Yeah, there is something different about the music. I can't put my finger on it, either, though. Maybe Americans put it out there more somehow? I don't mean that in a mean way, I just mean more showy.
  • Nighthawk from Marble Falls, ArCanadian songs, like a Canadian accent, sound different. I don't know why, they just do.
  • Pierre from Madbury, NhHow does Canadian sound? No sure, eh.;-)
  • Cailie from Flin Flon, MbJust does canadian sound???
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArI like a lot of BNL songs, but I actually like this one the best! It's even better than Cockburn and Fogelberg's version. It's more Canadian than their other songs, if that makes sense (no, I'm not Canadian).
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