Godspeed Gordon Lightfoot

The cover of Gordon Lightfoot's early 70s album Sundown. | 

Growing up in Motown in the 1960s, in the days before F.M. became the dominant musical influence on radio, there was a powerhouse radio station from across the river in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. That powerhouse was CKLW 800 A.M., The Big 8.

As it was a Canadian station, Canadian artists regularly made it into the rotation. Along with Neil Young, Joni Mitchel, The Guess Who, and others there was Gordon Lightfoot. It was with sadness today that we learned the Canadian folk music icon passed at the age of 84

Aside from his most well-known songs, such as Sundown, If You Could Read My Mind, Carefree Highway, Beautiful, Rainy Day People, and The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald, Lightfoot had a huge catalog of fantastic songs. One of his earlier compositions, which is a folk standard covered by everyone from Elvis to Johnny Cash, was Early Morning Rain.

A few months ago, I watched a documentary on Lightfoot, a longtime resident of Toronto. When asked what music he was currently enjoying and listening to, without hesitation, he said he was listening to and enjoying fellow Toronto-native, hip hop artist Drake.  

Even though he was a folk musician, it never hurts to expand your horizons because you might find something you may not have otherwise discovered. It's a lesson for all of us, and it doesn't just apply to music. 

As a long-time fan of Gordon, on this day of his passing, we will introduce you to a few more songs that, while not as widely known, are wonderful. If you enjoy folk music with heartfelt lyrics, take a few minutes and have a listen.

Early Morning Rain

As noted, this was one of Gordon's first compositions and is a folk standard.

Summer Side of Life

Some people describe this as the ruminations of a young man going off to war and given the time it was written, presumably Vietnam.

The Watchman's Gone

My personal favorite Lightfoot song, and in fact is one of my favorite all-time songs, this is the tale of a person, maybe a hobo, hassled throughout life who asked to be left alone when he passes. 

It has also been noted there are references to the death of Robert F. Kennedy

The Circle is Small

Anyone who has ever had the experiences described in this song will understand the emotions expressed.

Circle of Steel

A socially conscious Christmas song written before other atrist had their commentary on the holiday season. This song was used by EGN for our 2014 Seasons Greetings.

Black Day in July

Lightfoot became popular in Detroit early in his career and wrote this song about the 1967 riots.

Here is a YouTube playlist of some other Lightfoot songs. We hope you enjoyed this tribute to Gordon Lightfoot. 

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