Song of the Day, January 11: Tie Me At the Crossroads

BlackieCrossroadsToday’s song is a rousing example of a cover that outperforms its source. Bruce Cockburn wrote Tie Me At the Crossroads for his 1994 album Dart to the Heart. He turns in a stirring performance, creating one of his most energetic songs. It’s a smart lyric that looks at making the most of life and leaving no regrets behind. It also reflects Cockburn’s awareness of his role as a “serious” singer-songwriter.

Although I want to be taken seriously, some people take it too far and start investing my insights with greater power than they ought to. At that point, you have to chuckle. It’s great for other people to take you seriously, but you’d better not be guilty of doing it to yourself.

His sense of humor shines through the lyrics and the driving acoustic performance.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings — Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden, and Tom Wilson — frequently cover other Canadian folkies on their albums. Their finest record, BaRK, includes a  searing version of the song. With each singer taking his turn on the verses and a perfect blend of vocals on the chorus, they make the song their own. That’s quite a feat, given Cockburn’s strong version and the personal nature of the lyrics. That kind of inspiration marks the finest of writers and performers.

Enjoy this amazing cover today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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