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Arranging Bruce Cockburn's songs by creation date was an unexpectedly interesting project to work on. Obviously, songs are released out of their creative sequence as a standard practice, the most obvious example being an album, which is not expected to be a chronological record of songs written. Yet, songs written within a period of a few months are often released on entirely separate albums or with several albums gap between them. When you return them to their original order in the creative flow, the meaning and feel of them is often given a completely new life, as you start to associate them with other songs they were written beside. As another Canadian, the writer Margaret Atwood, once said, "Context is all."
Song titles are sorted by date, with the songwriting location given in brackets where available. All cover versions have been removed from the list. The mark * signifies the date of a song's first release on an album where no other creation date is available. The mark ** signifies an educated guess at when an unreleased song was written, based on notes from available recordings of live performances and/or fan recollections submitted to this website. If you can help narrow a song's creation date down, get in touch.