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Bruce Cockburn at Toronto Live 8

July 4th, 2005 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized |

Finally – been looking for this all day, waiting for it to come round on the AOL stream of the Toronto Live 8 gig.

He started with ‘If I Had A Rocket Launcher’, then went into ‘Call It Democracy’, followed by a fantastic lil’ speech, into ‘Waiting For A Miracle’.

His speech bit started with him mentioning that so much of the nay-saying about dropping debts and providing aid revolves around discussion of corrupt despotic leaders,

“Those corrupt leaders have been historically propped up in the position they’re in by the same countries, the G8 countries, that we’re addressing today, so now is the time to make ourselves heard,”

Anyway, here’s the lyrics to ‘Call It Democracy’ – an hymn to the death of the IMF, if ever there was one. It would’ve been great to have Bruce in London singing this as the centre-piece to the whole gig. Ah well.

Call It Democracy – Bruce Cockburn

Padded with power here they come
International loan sharks backed by the guns
Of market hungry military profiteers
Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
With the blood of the poor

Who rob life of its quality
Who render rage a necessity
By turning countries into labour camps
Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
Idolatry of ideology

North South East West
Kill the best and buy the rest
It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
You don’t really give a flying fuck
About the people in misery

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt

See the paid-off local bottom feeders
Passing themselves off as leaders
Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
Open for business like a cheap bordello

And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy
And they call it democracy

See the loaded eyes of the children too
Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
They call the revolution

IMF dirty MF
Takes away everything it can get
Always making certain that there’s one thing left
Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt
Notes

Commenting on the song, written in the early 80s, at a gig in 2000, Bruce said:

“That song came from the time of neo-conservatism, when governments supported business at the cost of lives and nobody gave a shit. We have since moved on to neo-liberalism, when governments support business at the cost of lives and nobody gives a shit; and I see we’re moving on to neo-feudalism, that’s the service economy coming at you. We will all serve. I’m not quite sure who we’re serving. There’s a sort of mystery there; are we serving Bill Gates? I think not, he’s too visible. Somebody else? Maybe you’re sitting right here (in the audience). Are you out there? Fuck off, if you are. (positive audience response) And if you’re not, well we missed a grand opportunity to level with each other.”

If you want to get the song, it was originally on World Of Wonders, was also on Bruce’s late-80s best-of ‘Waiting For A Miracle’, but my favourite version is on his late-80s live album, just called ‘Bruce Cockburn Live’, on Cooking Vinyl.

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