Cockburn, Bruce - Christmas Song Lyrics

Fire-bright faces in winter night
A dog in the distance barks
The sky speaks in patterns of starlight
The fire replies in sparks

The stream is a motionless moment
Salmon in the sea swims deep
Pregnant with force as a prayer is
Spring in the hard earth sleeps

Like the snow on the stark spruce limb
Coated with ice, then stripped by wind
We melt away and return again
Stronger for the tempering flame
Stronger for the Saviour's name

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Cockburn, Bruce Christmas Song Comments
  1. Peggy Worboys

    first heard this on my way to Parry Sound just before Christmas a few years back. Such a catchy tune I sang it all the way to th cottage. Love it.

  2. trey Hightower

    Sad they don't play this on the radio at Christmas time.. great song!

  3. jaslinc

    Clang Nepal!

  4. Kathy Patterson

    Love this Christmas song... Love Bruce

  5. CammieInOz

    Merry Christmas 2019 to everyone!

  6. baldkea


  7. Neale W.

    I heard this song on the radio last year, and I love it

  8. kiwi 4921

    play this first thing when i get up better then a strong coffee

  9. Multifunfunman

    Teletubbies: Christmas in the UK.

  10. Eva Puddick

    “The people keep coming but the train has gone” ?????

    Laura Kearney

    Eva Puddick meaning some didn't stay to follow our Lord.

  11. Neale W.

    It's a month after Christmas but I'm still gonna listen to this

  12. Fly'nn reminds me of Taj

  13. Nilton Borges

    Very, very good!

  14. eric ezaki

    Exposure to the  Son will prevent burning

  15. Pabler Arav

    Just perfect

  16. Sarah Joyce

    I listen to this when I put up the Christmas tree

  17. unfortunatebeam

    I always couldn't wait for this song to come on whenever the Christmas countdown played every year on a local station the last saturday before Christmas.

  18. Ginelle Day

    Love this song. Great job. thank

  19. Conrad Kenneth

    Who likes to party?

  20. NightWing

    Feel good Christmas music

  21. David Goldstein

    Even though i am both Jewish and Atheist i like this song.

    Laura Leblanc

    Is that possible? Mutually exclusive terms?( No malice intended) - pagan😍 Blessings❤

  22. Valerie Nemeth

    ALL ABOARD THE CHRISTMAS PET ADOPTION TRAIN, BUT REMEMBER A PET IS FOR LIFE.............................................................................................

  23. Debbie Jeffries

    One my favorites!!!! Thank you for posting it.

  24. Charlesworth G

    It's the Glory Train!! Get on board with Jesus while you can... When the train leaves it will be too late!

    Harv Potts

    Charlesworth G I listen to great music like this all year round weather it's Christmas or not.
    This is about the blessed Saviour Jesus. You're absolutely right, this song is about the glory train and the conductor is Jesus!
    God bless you. He is the Lord and He reigns on high.

  25. Owen's Sports

    I love this song😀


    if all christian was like this more people would lesson.

    Michael Kayfes

    AMEN ! Did you mean listen ? It's actually true either way

  27. Exodus Pessoa

    It`s still my fav Christmas song (ha ha ha). Merry Christmas Everyone

    Harv Potts

    Exodus Pessoa All year round this is the perfect Christian song. It's very powerful for me actually. God is so good all the time

    Harv Potts

    Exodus Pessoa You too. All the best in 2017

  28. Gisele Kivinen

    That Christmas Train keeps a'coming. Sort of reminds you of Dave and Morley every year.

  29. vince mazz

    What ever you do people; don't miss that train!!!!!!!!

  30. Zawseh

    Mary Christmas everyone

    Harv Potts

    Zawseh Gaming To You as well and all the best!

  31. notgrillo collector/ gamer

    By far my favorite Christmas album.

  32. honeyswagswag

    merry Christmas all!!

  33. Terrance Favero

    merry Christmas everyone

  34. wrestling lovers like me

    Cockburn lol

  35. David Henning

    and there are others how know about this miracle birth
    the humblest people catch a glimpse of their worth
    and it isn't to a palace that the Christ child comes
    but to shepherds and street-people, hookers and bums.

  36. T.D.K. Vids

    i did this for my christmas concert


    i i am not having a chirsmas concert i was going to play this

  37. Grace O'Donnell


  38. Exodus Pessoa

    My new favourite Christmas Song (ha ha ha).

  39. Caroline Lewis

    I love to play it in July as well as December. That rollicking, joyful zydeco beat. What song!

  40. Jeff Garner

    In San Francisco? See Christmas with Cockburn live this year (2015).

  41. Bercelia Comlanvi

    tank you krismes

  42. Eva Teresa Buyco

    Merry Christmas everyone...

    Exodus Pessoa

    +Eva Teresa Buyco Same To You Merry Christmas

  43. deweypug

    My favorite Christmas song... Just sayin'

  44. Allissa Empson

    love this song and sad that did not hear any of our radio stations play it this past Christmas Season!

  45. P. M. Adamson

    Great stylistic version.

  46. Madeleine Hague

    Great, uplifting Christmas song!  Cockburn's memoir just came out: "Rumours of Glory". Should be a good read, the guy CAN write!  

  47. Hobie Arsenault

    oh I love this song! reminds me of going to my grandparents house on Christmas eve :)

  48. Jen Davies

    Is it too early to play the Christmas CD?   I hope not!  

  49. matt hanson


  50. matt hanson


  51. Piggle Pig Swillbucket


  52. pamela wilson

    Bruce Cockburn's never sung a song that I wouldn't love to hear.  Great choice for a cover--and very interesting.  According to album notes quoted on the website "The Cockburn Project," which gathers comments he's made about his songs: "This call-and-response song appears to have originated on the South Carolina coastal island of Saint Helena in the last century. The verses follow a fairly predictable pattern till you get to 'moving in the elements...'" And that is the most intriguing aspect of this traditional song...there's a lot of mystery in that area of the world, and I want to learn more.  With love, Namaste and Merry Christmas, Pam

  53. Kirk Brewster

    Same here, Joyce. Love this song.  "Moving in the elements...."

  54. TedTV

    The train has gone?

    Kevin Wingler

    yep dont over think it bro

  55. Mark Meed

    One of my Christmas faves from a fellow Ottawan. This songs has more hooks than the average tackle-box.

  56. Melanie Alexader

    I love his music:) I always wondered what "the people keep coming but the train is gone"meant they did not have trains in those days. Can anyone give me a answer ?

    Laura Kearney

    Melanie Alexader it means...don't lose sight of the Lord once you find him. Don't miss the train to truth and true love of the Father.

  57. Ellen Baartmans

    nice song eastern here now

  58. D&B Gaming

    well he is my step grandfother bruce cockburn

    Laura Kearney

    D&B Gaming love his songs and his voice!!!

  59. Colleen Dawson

    Love theses songs where can i buy the cd. and are all those songs on the same cd.

  60. cbjdcmarvel

    We listened to this on Christmas eve at my aunts house and everybody clapped their hands so much fun

  61. Wood Groove

    One of the very best Christmas albums ever.

  62. P S

    A nice, easy tune for young families to sing together. It's fun to have the kids playing the spoons or a washboard.
    Merry Christmas!

  63. casualtrucker

    great song!

  64. icewolfbc

    Great tune! Thanks for posting this! This album goes is going to be added to my Christmas collection!

  65. dogmaticus

    Glad I made you chuckle :) and yes it is a great song! a favorite in my house this time of year.

  66. David Chipman

    Thanks for that background on the song. However I'm LMAO at your "I'm about as religious as a toaster" phrase. This is a greats song.

  67. jimwalsh2001

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful...

  68. Hawkee316

    toe tapper

  69. allarff

    @rco20 Fascinating! ... in a weird kind of way. One can't help but wonder where people like this come from.

  70. traininvain1979

    @rco20 I'll quote Warren Zevon on this one, "Enjoy every sandwich", you can even enjoy your dogshit sandwich. I can only imagine with your taste in films what kind of music you like. Avatar, really? What are you 15? At least the public wasn't subjected to Dances with Wolves Part II!

  71. VeltioAvrio

    Wait... so let me get this straight... Jesus is a train? Would that make Casey Jones "Saint Casey of the Cocaine"?!

    (By the way, I love all of Bruce Cockburn's stuff.)

  72. dogmaticus

    This thread is too funny! Bruce Cockburn didn't write this song, it's a traditional negro spiritual hence the lyrics. The "train" is Christ. Now I"m about as religious as a toaster but it was genius on Cockburn's part to take a black spiritual and marry it to an uptempo cajun/zydeco melody...

  73. FushroomMuck

    love this song.. just saying :)

  74. toniko1

    I heard this for the first time on the radio today, I love it!

  75. Andrew Schofield

    please check out my cover of it? Im 15 and trying to make it as a musician:) merry xmas

  76. Cory Morrissette

    Heard this on the radio and was totally surprized its Bruce Cockburn....Great Tune !!!!

  77. Murr Stevens

    for cryin' out loud. can anyone not just enjoy a song with out having a debate?

  78. rco20

    @217mikeo It's not "last century" it's "FIRST" century. You must be blind as a god damn bat or you don't know how to read. Do you know what know what an abbreviation is? example: 1'st, 2'nd, 3'rd fucking 4'th!?! No matter what you say it isn't goinng to change my mind this song still blows!

  79. Big_BearDiesel

    a dislike rly how messed in the head is this person? how can u not like this song?!?

    Laura Kearney

    There are many who decide not to be christians and to believe. So sad to know this. They would rather turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, and more. We need to pray for them.

  80. 217mikeo

    @rco20 and to clarify 'last centruy' the cd is copyright 1993, So 'last century' would be the 1800's.

  81. 217mikeo

    @rco20 according to the liner notes on the CD, "this call and response song appears to have originated on the South Carolina coastal island of Saint Helena in the last century" So much for an artist jamming in some random story and a catchy melody to make a hit.

  82. rco20

    @217mikeo to a future time when "the train has died and gone but people keep coming to the cause" Your stretching on a longshot if you think that's the meaning. Who knows what he meant, people like you look into music to hard, have you ever thought an "artist" just jams in some random story makes a catchy melody and it makes it a hit by chance? It happenes more often then you think I bet. So go ahead and feel sorry for me that's fine. I don't feel sorry for you, I don't feel anything for you.

  83. rco20

    My guess is that Bruce Cockburn heard the train mentioned in the bible and thought it would sound good in his song since it's "A good old fashioned country melody" hey why not put a cowbell in that song too...! I think your looking into to this song way too hard. Thanks....for the history lesson but it is irrelevant. Christ was born in the 1'st century or somewhere close to it, the concept of the train was not around then, and even if you believe he is refering

  84. 217mikeo

    @rco20 furthermore: There is also the historical image of the Underground Railroad, which took passengers from station to station on its way to physical freedom...."The phrase may constitute a spiritual warning. Mary's baby represents freedom, salvation and deliverance. "Oh my LORD!" Do not miss your opportunity to worship him. Jesus is the way out of sin and death."
    rco, I feel sorry for you. You have no understanding of the history of music. And no tolerance.

  85. 217mikeo

    @rco20 Trains were a new reality in the newly emerging industrial age of the early nineteenth century. They connected places that had been previously isolated. Trains represented a way out, whether physical spiritual, or imaginative. Train imagery figures prominently in Africa American lore. In the spiritual 'Get on Board, Little Children' 'the gospel train is coming, the cog wheel is a-moving' and rumblin' through the land." "Get on board" to reach the land of spriitual freedom.

  86. Barbara C. Smith

    I love this song. Love the beat of the music. I play it any time I need an up lift.

  87. rco20

    Bah Humbug! lol Merry Christmas

  88. Holly

    Love it!

  89. RandomBattleXP

    @rco20 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

  90. rco20

    @2babybirds Why'd you get rid of your comment? huh?!

  91. Quaalude Charlie

    Thank You for your fine Work :) QC

  92. lionking

    one of my son's favorite Christmas songs!

  93. banbud684

    Look forward to this song every Christmas. Just the kind of song that makes you happy.

  94. Tim Bartholomew

    Love this! Give a listen to Bruce's Early on One Christmas Morn. You'll absolutely love it! Merry Christmas!

  95. Brenda Anderson

    @MegaAnointedone I wonder if you're looking for the same "Mary had a baby" song that I am... with lyrics like "The Angel said “Mary, you’re gonna have a baby.
    The world will call Him Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, and the Prince of Peace.”

    I found out that it was written in 1976 by Kathy McGovern and released by the group Ekklesia. If you google those names, you can find sheet music and MP3 for purchase.

  96. Jety Lefr

    this is mt favorite christmas song of all time. It's really too bad no one knows it.

  97. deweypug

    My favorite Christmas song EVER!