Funny how some songs change their meanings as one gets older. I have always liked this song. I now see the lions as the great prophets, like Gandhi, King, Emerson, Parker, and others whose words challenge us to live our lives differently. “They were not as frightening as they were before. Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me”… Once we know and understand their message, the fear of their challenge fades away. Where are they now? Who will be seen as the prophets of this age?
But then Bruce Cockburn says the song was in reference to a nuclear war threat between China and Soviet Union but every good poet knows, that the reader / hearer adds their own meaning to the words. BLessings,