Tag Archives: Last night of the world

Last Night of the World: Bruce Cockburn

“I‘m sipping Flor de Caña and lime juice, it’s three a.m.” sings Bruce Cockburn in the first line of “Last Night of the World”. So am I, but it’s not quite that late…yet.
This iteration of “Songs I love” was in part prompted by discovering that Sainsbury’s now stock Flor de Caña, a Nicaraguan rum that in Bruce Cockburn’s opinion is the finest in the world. I decided to buy a bottle to see if I agreed. I don’t know if it is actually the finest, but it is pretty good, especially over ice, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a drop of Angostura Bitters.

The song was released in 1999 on the album “Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu”.  “Last Night of the World” became our Millennium theme song. Not so much because we thought that the world was going to come to an end on the 31st of December 1999 but because we loved the sentiment of “What would I do that was different, Unless it was champagne with you?”

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

We did hope, along with most of the rest of the human race, that in the new millennium the world would change for the better. Sadly we were disappointed. But at midnight on the first of January 2000, as Grace and I sat on top of Epsom Downs, drinking champagne, it felt as if anything were possible.
Even more sadly, since Grace passed away in April, if it does turn out to be the last night of the world, I no longer have anyone to drink champagne with. So I shall listen to Bruce and sip my Flor de Caña and lime juice and remember all the happy times we had together, especially Millennium Eve on Epsom Downs

I’m sipping Flor de Caña and lime juice, it’s three a.m.
Blow a fruit fly off the rim of my glass
The radio’s playing Superchunk and the Friends of Dean Martinez.
Midnight it was bike tires whacking the pot holes
Milling humans’ shivering energy glow
Fusing the space between them with bar-throb bass and laughter

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

I learned as a child not to trust in my body
I’ve carried that burden through my life
But there’s a day when we all have to be pried loose

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?

I’ve seen the flame of hope among the hopeless
And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all
That was the straw that broke me open

If this were the last night of the world
What would I do?
What would I do that was different
Unless it was champagne with you?