Life Short Call Now

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Life Short Call Now
Life Short Call Now cover.jpg
Studio album by Bruce Cockburn
Released 2006
Recorded National Treasures Studio, Schomberg, Ontario, February 2006
Genre Folk, pop
Length 58:52
Label True North
Producer Jonathan Goldsmith
Bruce Cockburn chronology
Life Short Call Now
Small Source of Comfort
(2011)Small Source of Comfort2011

Life Short Call Now is the 23rd studio album by Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn. It was released in 2006 by True North Records. The album featured a 27-piece string section and guest appearances by Ron Sexsmith, Ani Difranco and Hawksley Workman on backing vocals.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars [1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[3]
PopMatters7/10 stars[2]
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[4]

In a review for Allmusic, critic Thom Jurek wrote the album "Those who have followed his career over the past four decades wondered where he would go next, or indeed if there was anywhere he could go. The question has been answered in spades on Life Short Call Now... Life Short Call Now is absent of metonymy or metaphor; it reports from the inside what is, and what should never be with balance, as well as yearning for convergence."[1] Michael Keefe of PopMatters wrote Cockburn "continues to grow as an artist and to remain relevant as an observer of this rickety old world in which we live." and summarized there are "several standout songs on Life Short, but a few lackluster tracks keep the album just beyond the reach of the upper echelon of Bruce Cockburn releases."[2]

Track listing[edit]

(All songs by Bruce Cockburn except where indicated)

  1. "Life Short Call Now" – 5:32
  2. "See You Tomorrow" – 4:20
  3. "Mystery" – 5:50
  4. "Beautiful Creatures" – 5:09
  5. "Peace March" – 3:32
  6. "Slow Down Fast" – 3:39
  7. "Tell the Universe" (Bruce Cockburn, Julie Wolf, Ben Riley, Steve Lucas) – 5:14
  8. "This is Baghdad" – 6:21
  9. "Jerusalem Poker" – 5:33
  10. "Different When It Comes to You" – 2:50
  11. "To Fit in My Heart" – 6:06
  12. "Nude Descending a Staircase" – 4:23


  • Bruce Cockburn – vocals, guitars
  • Gary Craig – drums, percussion
  • David Piltch – acoustic and electric bass
  • Julie Wolf – piano, harmonium, wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes, B3, accordion, melodica
  • Jonathan Goldsmith – celeste, glockenspiel, maikotron, piano ("Mystery"), Fender Rhodes ("Nude Descending a Staircase")
  • Kevin Turcotte – flugelhorn, trumpet

Additional musicians

  • Ron Sexsmith – background vocals ("Mystery")
  • Hawksley Workman – background vocals ("Mystery", "Slow Down Fast")
  • Damhnait Doyle – background vocals ("Mystery", "Life Short Call Now", "Different When It Comes to You")
  • Ani Difranco – background vocals ("See You Tomorrow")
  • Julie Wolf – background vocals ("Tell the Universe", "To Fit in My Heart")
  • String Orchestra:
Violas: Parmela Attariwala, Virginia Barron, Caroline Blackwell, Johnthan Craig, Steve Dann, Kathleen Kajioka, Jeewon Kim, Gary Labovitz, Teng Li, Nick Papadakis, Douglas Perry, Anna Redekop, Christopher Redfield, Angela Rudden, Beverly Spotton, Scott St. John, Josef Tamir, David Willms
  • Cellos: Maurizio Baccante, Roman Borys, Matt Brubeck, David Hetherington, John Marshman, Paul Widner, Winona Zelenka
  • Basses: Roberto Occhipinti, Charles Elliot


  1. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Life Short Call Now Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Keefe, Michael (August 31, 2006). "Life Short Call Now Review". PopMatters. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Johnson, Beth (July 14, 2006). "Life Short Call Now". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 1, 2007). "Consumer Guide April/May 2007". Consumer Guide. MSN Music. Retrieved January 14, 2017.