-- Handwritten lyrics by Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young part of new National Music Centre exhibit --
-- by Eric Volmers - Calgary Herald --

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23 January 2018 - (originally published 13 December 2017) - It’s a small battered notebook, filled with scribbled lines, multiple revisions and the frayed edge of a page that has been mysteriously ripped out.

Bruce Cockburn - photo Darren Makowichuk/PostMedia

It also represents the inner workings of one of Canada’s most beloved songwriters and the early glimmers of one of his most beloved songs. Bruce Cockburn’s handwritten lyrics for Lovers in a Dangerous Time are currently on display as part of The National Music Centre’s temporary exhibit in Studio Bell to honour Cockburn’s 2017 induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

"You can see things have been scratched out and ideas are written around," says Adam Fox, director of programs for the National Music Centre. "You can almost get a sense of their compositional method; just how they are crossing things out and putting things in different order."

The notebook, which also includes handwritten lyrics for Cockburn’s politically charged hit If I Had a Rocket Launcher, is on display, as is his lyrics from 1988s If A Tree Falls. They are both on loan from McMaster University, where many of the songwriter’s archives have been housed since he donated them in 2013.

The temporary exhibit, which will be on display on the fifth floor of Studio Bell until the fall of 2018, celebrates a new batch of inductees to the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Both now have a physical home at the National Music Centre, as does the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

This year, Cockburn joins fellow Canuck icon Neil Young and Quebecois rockers Beau Dommage and French-Canadian composer Stephane Venne.

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The exhibition will be on display at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, until the fall of 2018.

~from Calgary Herald - by Eric Volmers. Photo Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia

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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.