Cockburn emerged out of the Canadian folk scene with Joni Mitchell and Valdy. He was a devout Christian who often tended to write lyrics with Biblical overtones. During the 1980s, he toned down his Christian viewpoint in an effort to disassociate from the conservative Christian music movement, which was just starting to gain popularity in America and other markets in the world.
Cockburn reach #21 on the Billboard charts with "Wondering Where The Lions Are" in 1979. His popularity in the U.S. declined sharply after this time period, although he has remained a massive superstar act in his native Canada.