Lovers in a Dangerous Time

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"Lovers In A Dangerous Time"
Single by Bruce Cockburn
from the album Stealing Fire
Released 1984
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:06
Label True North
Writer(s) Bruce Cockburn
Producer(s) Jon Goldsmith
Kerry Crawford

"Lovers in a Dangerous Time" is a song by Bruce Cockburn, originally released on his 1984 album Stealing Fire. The song was a Top 40 hit for Cockburn, peaking at No. 25 on the Canadian charts the week of August 18, 1984.[1]

According to Cockburn, the song was inspired by seeing teenagers expressing romantic love in a schoolyard.[2] In the song, he contrasts the hopefulness and joy of new love with the despair of a wider Cold War world where notions of the future often carried a sense of foreboding and doom. However, especially in light of Cockburn's next single "If I Had a Rocket Launcher", the song has also been interpreted by listeners and critics as referring to the same Guatemalan refugee crisis that inspired the later song, or to the then-emerging HIV/AIDS crisis. Cockburn stated in later interviews that he was pleased by both of these alternate interpretations.[2]

U2 alluded to "Lovers" in their 1988 single "God Part II", with the lyric Heard a singer on the radio late last night/He says he's gonna kick the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

In 2005, "Lovers" was named the 11th greatest Canadian song of all time on the CBC Radio One series 50 Tracks: The Canadian Version.

Dan Fogelberg cover[edit]

"Lovers in a Dangerous Time" was covered by Dan Fogelberg on his album The Wild Places, which was released in August 1990 by Epic Records.[3]

Barenaked Ladies cover[edit]

The song was subsequently covered by Barenaked Ladies on the 1991 Cockburn tribute album Kick at the Darkness. Their rendition became their first Top 40 hit on the Canadian charts, reaching No. 16 the week of February 15, 1992.[4] It also appeared on their greatest hits compilation Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits.

Additional covers[edit]

Additional covers have been recorded by the Canadian singer Frazey Ford, Canadian duo "The Royal Oui",[citation needed] Canadian jazz trumpeter Michael Occhipinti,[citation needed] the Jamaican reggae band Third World,[citation needed] Samuel Bowen[citation needed] and Daniel Kovac.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Bruce Cockburn - Songs - Lovers In A Dangerous Time". Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  3. ^ ""The Wild Places" Info". Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-01-23.