Few secrets in Canadian history have been as closely guarded as the Cockburn-Moranis connection. Here now, after minutes of research and groundless speculation, I make the stunning claim that songwriter Bruce Cockburn and actor Rick Moranis are in fact the same person!
I offer as evidence the following:
1. Just look at them! These images have not been altered.
"Bruce Cockburn" "Rick Moranis"
2. Have you ever seen them together? I have not, and so I conclude that my premise is sound. Furthermore, should photographic evidence surface of the Canadian icons together, rigorous analysis will be necessary to establish authenticity. Deep fake technology and simple image editing programs could easily alter such documentation. Even if a photograph surfaces of the two together, I have made up my mind already.
3. “Rick Moranis” plays guitar! Look no further than this
recently uncovered document of Moranis –
or is it Cockburn in his Moranis persona – playing with The Recess Monkeys at a high school dance. It is curious that Cockburn has never acknowledged his tenure as lead singer of The Recess Monkeys.
One might challenge the video evidence: “Wait. I’ve seen Bruce
Cockburn play guitar. He plays right-handed, while ‘Moranis’ is playing
Good point, but consider that Bruce Cockburn is in fact left-handed. He claims to have never learned to play left handed. Witnesses attest to seeing Cockburn sign autographs with his left hand. Add to this anecdotal evidence, the fact that he wears a watch on his right arm, which is common among sinistral people.
Furthermore, "Moranis" uses two fingers for his G-chord in a manner similar to Cockburn, by placing a thumb over the top of the fretboard.
Observe Cockburn/Moranis displaying his left-handedness in public. Photo by Brent Reid.
4. “Rick Moranis” plays guitar about as well as Cockburn might left-handed after playing right-handed for 60 years. But Moranis is playing, like Elizabeth Cotten and so many other lefties, a guitar strung for a right-handed player. The high strings are on top. Jimi Hendrix played a guitar made for a right-handed player but strung it traditionally with low strings on top. Left-handed guitars were hard to find and players adapted.
5. When given the opportunity to respond to these allegations, Cockburn did not deny the likeness. I phrased the question slyly,
so as not to reveal that the charade has been exposed, by asking who might play him
in the movie of his life: “Back when SCTV was on the air, everyone hoped that
Rick Moranis would do a Cockburn impression,” I said.
The vagueness of Cockburn’s response is telling: “I seem to recall that having happened. It’s a hazy memory, which I don’t fully trust, but I have a mental picture of Moranis wearing a white leisure suit with a trio of female backup singers, singing a kind of lounge version of 'Wondering Where the Lions Are' against a hokey 'nature' backdrop. In my memory it was very funny. I wonder if I actually saw that or dreamt it...”
Notice his careful choice of language: “seem to recall,” “hazy memory, which I don’t fully trust,” and “I wonder if I actually saw that or dreamt it…”
I am willing to consider, based upon Cockburn’s obfuscation around the Moranis inquiry, that he may be unaware or only partially aware of his alter ego. Perhaps the songwriter enters into a fugue state in which he becomes Rick Moranis. Could this be the information that Cockburn suggests CSIS has on him at the end of the song “Slow Down Fast”? The investigation continues.
Photo as published in The Globe and Mail, credit unknown