Tuesday, April 30, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 6


From the 1975 album, Cold on the Shoulder.




Rain Day people always seem to know when it’s time to call

Rainy day people don’t talk

They just listen till they’ve heard it all

Rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell you

They’ve been down like you

Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re crying a tear or two

Rainy Day People, Gordon Lightfoot



Monday, April 29, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 7


Only one week to go! This song is a more recent one (1998) and makes me think of where the singer is at this time in his life. I’m hoping it will be part of the concert line-up next week.

Once upon a time, I was on my own

Once upon a time, like you’ve never known

Once upon a time, I would be impressed

Once upon a time, my life would be obsessed

Once upon a time, once upon a day when

I was in my prime, once along the way

If you want to know my secret

Don’t come running after me

For I am just a painter

Passing through in history

A Painter Passing Through, Gordon Lightfoot



Sunday, April 28, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 8


From the Shadows album, 1982. Love the lyrics.

All I’m after is to be the flame in your tattoo

Be the one girl who can thrill me through and through

This is just a guess but I must confess

It feels better being certain

Please excuse my truthfulness

What I see is worth believing

When you thrill me like you do

So you wonder why my feelings never change

I think I’ve got it made

All I’m After, Gordon Lightfoot





Saturday, April 27, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 9


This is another of my favorites from the Sundown album, 1973.

Seven islands to the high side of the bay, ‘cross the bay

To the sunset through the blue light of a fiery autumn haze

We went walking on the high side of the bay on a chilly morn

And we saw how leaves had fallen on the beds where trees are born

Any man in his right mind could not fail to be made aware

Any woman with a gift of wisdom could not seek her answers there

Seven Island Suite, Gordon Lightfoot



Friday, April 26, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.


Day 10

From 1967. This is such a sad song, I cry every time I listen to it.  This is the first and last verse, but you really have to hear the entire song to know its story of an old man, a long-ago love and the life they once lived.

Oh the neon lights were flashin’ and the icy wind did blow

The water seeped into his shoes and the drizzle turned to snow

His eyes were red, his hopes were dead, and the wine was runnin’ low

And the old man came home

From the forest  

With a mighty roar the big jet soars above the canyon streets

And the con men con and life goes on for the city never sleeps

And to an old forgotten soldier the dawn will come no more

For the old man has come home

From the forest.

Home from the Forest, Gordon Lightfoot


Thursday, April 25, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 11


From 1966, a song that was also recorded by Marty Robbins.

Oh how I wish your heart could see

How mine just aches and breaks all day

Come on home and take away

This ribbon of darkness over me

Yes come on home and take away

This ribbon of darkness over me

Ribbon of Darkness, Gordon Lightfoot



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 12





This was Gordon Lightfoot’s first gold single. It spent the summer of 1974 on the Pop Chart and went to number one. It’s probably one of his best known songs.

I can see her lyin’ back in her satin dress

In a room where you do what you don’t confess

Sundown you better take care

If I find you bin creepin’ round my backstairs

Sundown you better take care

If I find you bin creepin’ round my backstairs

Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 13


From 1993, a song from the Waiting for You album. It’s a little sad, a little haunting, a lot wistful. Gordon Lightfoot sang it at one of the most recent concerts I’ve attended. I hope he’ll sing it this time.

Will ya get that restless yearning when you hear the wicked blast

Of a specter from the past

Of a cold diesel rolling down a road that’s built to last

Still I get that restless feeling when I hear a whistle blast

See an image from the past

Of an old schooner flyin’ down a sky that’s overcast

Restless, Gordon Lightfoot



Monday, April 22, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 14


From the Shadows album, 1982.

Step around and dance a bit

Polish up the dice

Set ‘em loose and let ‘em role

Be as cool as ice

Keep your mind a mystery

Running hot and cold

She’s more than money

She’s 14 karat gold

14 Karat Gold, Gordon Lightfoot



Sunday, April 21, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 15


Another song about ships and the sea from Sundown.

With a lady-like devotion

She sails the bitter ocean

If it wasn’t for lovesick sailors

There’d be nothing left but flotsam

Singin’ why me oh my

Is there a better man than I

I hope you find your way back home

Before you’re lyin’ high and dry

I hope you find your way back home

Before you die

High and Dry, Gordon Lightfoot



Saturday, April 20, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 16



From the 1973 Sundown album, a Christmas song that’s sad, but with a comment on the times that haven’t changed much.

Christmas dawns and the snow lets up

And the sun hits the handle of her heirloom cup

She hides her face in her hands for awhile

Says look here child

Your father’s pride was his means to provide

And he’s servin’ three years for that reason

Rows of lights in a circle of steel

Where you place your bets on a great big wheel

Circle of Steel, Gordon Lightfoot



Friday, April 19, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 17


Also from the East of Midnight album.

Even if the best of dreams must end

Even so it grieves me

Stay loose, don’t fight it

Let it take you all the way and

If it’s wrong, you will right it

Do not waste these hours away.

Stay Loose, Gordon Lightfoot



Thursday, April 18, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 18


Another song from the East of Midnight album.

Remember when Mr. Barnum presented Jenny Lind

They named a candy after her, a circus after him

End of my story, the rest is history

She in all of her glory, he lived quietly

He needed her, she needed him, as sure as the sky above

In a way it was for them

A lesson in love, a lesson in love.

A Lesson in Love, Gordon Lightfoot



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 19


This song is from the 1986 album of the same name. I call it the jazzy album, as the songs all have a bit of a different sound than the more folksy ones, but I like it just the same. Perhaps because it is a little different.

Put me somewhere east of midnight, west of the turnpike

Anywhere I wander is where I’ll take my rest

As I lie down, toss some thoughts around

Dreams I’m told will come true if you

Believe in those who love you right now

Sea of dreams I long for you

Forget about the others

This is my hike, you can come if you like

To feel good, I would help you if I could

East of Midnight, Gordon Lightfoot



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 20





It’s ironic that I chose this song for today when making my list. I hadn’t listened to it in a very long time. It is only on the Sundown album and while that was one of my favorite albums, I only have it in vinyl and no turn table to play it on. A friend reminded me about it as one of her favorite Gordon Lightfoot songs. I was able to download a digital copy of Sundown and listen to a number of songs for the first time in a long time. Why they were not included in the Gord’s Gold or Greatest collections I’m not sure. They should have been, but thank goodness for the digital age that puts music at our fingertips.

Thank you to my friend Patt for seeing Gordon Lightfoot with me in 1975 and for reminding me of this song that seems as appropriate and heart-rending today as when he wrote it in 1974.

It was only yesterday

When I heard the teacher say

Patiently, one and two make three

We were children, you and me

Let us pray for the ones they call

The children of today

Nothin’ left but promises

Nothin’ much is certain

All we see is want and need across the board, why thank you lord

For livin’ in the glory of your care

Skies of blue have all turned brown

To the sound of sighin’

Lord abide, let us stem the tide

Of broken dreams

Sometimes you seem to tell us

It’s too late for prayin’

Too Late for Prayin’, Gordon Lightfoot



Monday, April 15, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 21



A song from the sixties, about trying to get home and losing chances.

Well here I am with my hat in my hand

Standing on the broad highway will you give a ride

To a lonesome boy who missed the train last night.

I went in town for one last round and I gambled my ticket away

And the big steel rail won’t carry me home to the one I love.

Steel Rail Blues, Gordon Lightfoot



Sunday, April 14, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 22




Another song about shipwrecks, but this one rollicking with a sense of humor.

From Bermuda on down the Triangle around us

Will teach us a lesson or two

There’s many a mate who unevenly stated

The course he had charted was true

“Don’t worry ‘bout me,” he said, “Go down below

Give a certified sailor a turn.

Just sip on your rum, or I’ll give you a thumb and say,

Son you got something to learn.”

Triangle, Gordon Lightfoot



Saturday, April 13, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 23




A song from the Dream Street Rose album from the early 1980s.

I don’t want to own the key

To some ghostly mansion where souls are set free

I don’t remember where she said she would go

Straight for the highway or down the low road

I don’t remember where she said she would be

Back in the city or on the high seas.

On the High Seas, Gordon Lightfoot



Friday, April 12, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 24




I love, love, love this song. What more can I say. It is from what is probably the second Gordon Lightfoot album I ever bought; The Very Best of Gordon Lightfoot.



There are a lot of good songs on that album, but this one has remained the song that has always given me chills. The good kind. You just have to listen to it to understand.



The last time I saw her face

Her eyes were bathed in starlight

And she walked alone

The last time she kissed my cheek

Her lips were like the wilted leaves

Upon the autumn covered hills

Resting on the frozen ground

The seeds of love lie cold and still

Beneath a battered marking stone

It lies forgotten

The Last Time I Saw Her, Gordon Lightfoot



Thursday, April 11, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 25



A song from the mid-sixties.


The way I feel is like a robin

Whose babes have flown to come no more

Like a tall oak tree alone and cryin’

When the birds have flown and the nest is bare

The Way I Feel, Gordon Lightfoot



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 26—Halfway mark


Lake Superior never gives up her dead.

If you live in Michigan, or anyplace that touches on this northernmost Great Lake, you’ve heard this expression and you know what it means. Those who perish in the depths of Superior are usually trapped “in her ice-water mansions.” (Gordon Lightfoot)

I remember the first time I heard this song played on the radio. I knew right away what it was about, as I recalled the night and the storms that had ravaged the Great Lakes. Even though we lived hundreds of miles away, we had also experienced their force. (I wrote about it here, November 10, 2010 blog.)

Written as a tribute to the ship and the 29 crew members who lost their lives on November 10, 1975, the song has become one of Gordon Lightfoot’s best known songs, climbing to number 2 on the Billboard charts, and is played at the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

of the big lake they call “Gitche Gumee.”

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

when the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

That big ship and true was a bone to be chewed

when the “Gales of November” came early.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 27

A song about having left the hometown behind but still wondering what's happening there, and if someone still remembers.

It's so nice to meet an old friend and pass the time of day
And talk about the hometown a million miles away
Is the ice still in the river, are the old folks still the same
And by the way, did she mention my name

Did she mention my name just in passing
And when the morning came, did she drop a name or two
Is the home team still on fire
Do they still win all the games
And by the way did she mention my name

Did She Mention My Name, Gordon Lightfoot


Monday, April 8, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 28


Anyone who lived through the 1960s knows the events that led Gordon Lightfoot to write this song. It was a time of tumultuous change and evolution for the country, and no one seems to understand better how such events affect people than a folk singer.

Black Day in July

Motor City’s burning and the flames are running wild

They reflect upon the water of the river and the lake

And everyone is listening and everyone’s awake

Black Day in July

Black Day in July, Gordon Lightfoot



Sunday, April 7, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 29





Another very romantic song but with a touch of sadness.

The perfume that she wore was from some little store

On the downside of town

But it lingered on long after she’d gone

I remember it well

And our fingers entwined like ribbons of light

And we came through the doorway somewhere in the night

Affair on 8th Avenue, Gordon Lightfoot



Saturday, April 6, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 30


From the album of the same name, another beautiful and romantic song that you could listen to forever. This one’s for Rachel!

Let me reach out love and touch you

Let me hold you for a while

I’ve been all around the world

Oh how I long to see you smile

There’s a shadow on the moon

And the waters here below

Do not shine the way they should

And I love you just in case you didn’t know

Shadows, Gordon Lightfoot



Friday, April 5, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 31


From the album by the same name.

Down in the dark of a burnt out soul

There’s a few good second hand dreams

Deep in the dark of a heavenly night with you

Down in the black of a bottomless hole

There’s a few good second hand scenes

Deep in the dark of a heavenly blue

Where the sea runs green

Endless Wire, Gordon Lightfoot



Thursday, April 4, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 32


A song from the Endless Wire album about playing music all night and having a pretty good time of it.

I believe in magic, a little monkeyshine

But the kind of row I can really hoe is playin’ in tune on time

With rhythms all around us we’re like weavers at the loom

So pass the jar and that old guitar in this hangdog hotel room

Oh Lord it feels so good to sing a nighttime tune

So pass the jar and that old guitar in this hangdog hotel room

Hangdog Hotel Room, Gordon Lightfoot



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 33


One of Gordon Lightfoot’s “story songs,” from his Cold on the Shoulder album. Like many folk songs, it deals with injustice and prejudice and how one small boy survives tragedy.

His father was a man who could never understand

The shame on a red man’s face

So they lived in the hills and they never came down

But to trade in the white man’s place

Early in the spring when the snow had disappeared

They came down with a bag of skins

In the fall of the year of 1910

Daddy died by the rope down in Cherokee Bend

Cherokee Bend, Gordon Lightfoot



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 34


From the Summertime Dream album, a song about love left behind, changing your mind, and taking a chance.

Spanish moss a-hangin’ down

Sweeter than the southern love we’ve found

Spanish moss keeps on followin’ my thoughts around

Georgia pine and Ripple wine

Memories of Savannah summertime

Spanish moss, wish you knew what I was sayin’

So I’m rollin’ north thinkin’

Of the way things might have been

If she and I could have changed it all somehow

Spanish Moss, Gordon Lightfoot



Monday, April 1, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert

Day 35


A song from the Don Quixote album. One that is very romantic and just plain lovely….and beautiful.

At times I just don’t know

How you could be anything but beautiful

I think that I was made for you and you were made for me

And I know that I won’t ever change

‘Cause we’ve been friends through rain or shine

For such a long, long time.

Beautiful, Gordon Lightfoot