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Old 05-19-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
ANTHONY ROBERSON
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Default Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Forgive me if this has been brought up before, but it would be cool to read and example of how Gord's lyrics clearly put the picture in your mind.

For instance, one of the better ones for me is "..The lake is blue, the sky is grey, the leaves have turned to gold. The wild goose will be on his way, the weather's much too cold."

Just TYPING that right now put me right on the shore. Whenever I hear RESTLESS, I make sure to stop whatever I'm doing (if anything) for that lyric. I can see myself on a wintery, stark day at one with nature. For a sunny, Californian near the big city, it's a beautiful thing to imagine.

What about you guys? Which lyric puts a vision in your head? Tell how it makes you feel too!
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Hi Anthony,

to one degree or another they are all evocative for me in this way. When I'm singing the songs especially I feel like I'm there. One song that is particularly evocative for me is Pussywillows Cattails.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
RM
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

From "It's Worth Believin"

"There's a warm wind tonight and the moon turns the tide".... puts me right on the shore.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by RM View Post
From "It's Worth Believin"

"There's a warm wind tonight and the moon turns the tide".... puts me right on the shore.
If I didn't know better I'd say that was hint.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

"The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railin'"

For some reason, that line has always stuck with me. Almost feel the ship pitching and rolling.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

A lotta Gordon's stuff has great imagery. This one gets to my imagination:
"...You know, time doesn't wait for nobody to find what they're after
It just keeps on rolling on down the deep canyons
And through the green meadow
Into the broad ocean
Goodnight...."
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

These lines from 'Now & Then' gives me the shivers every time.

I think this time
That was the best time that we two had ever known
We tried the handle of the house upon the shore and found the open door
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam doing dances on the floor
We were only playing like two children who had stayed away from school

Two of us could not be wrong
Heaven knows who keeps the golden rule

While canoeing Ontario's Spanish River my canoeing partner and I came across a cabin in the woods. Opening the door, I was immediately struck by a scene that seemed somewhat familiar. I then realized it paralleled the lyrics from Gord's tune.

I wrote about that moment in my canoeing blog with the excerpt below;

"To our surprise, hidden amongst the ferns, reeds and saplings stood a weathered cabin. The door moaned in agony as it resisted our attempt to enter. Inside, shafts of light projected through grimy window panes, pierced the musty darkness. Pale trapezoids danced on dusty floor planks as the breeze swayed the trees outside."

Picture of cabin attached or check it out in the story below;
http://missinaibi-yuri.blogspot.com/...ish-river.html

Gord's lyrics have woven themselves into my life in many ways and in many places - that day as my own house upon the shore...
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri View Post
Picture of cabin attached or check it out in the story below;
http://missinaibi-yuri.blogspot.com/...ish-river.html
Yuri,

That's a mighty fine piece of writing. Great imagery. I was taken by this passage :

"Lazing about over steaming mugs of coffee, Brian & I found that we could solve the world’s most challenging problems though somehow they continued to confound, baffle and elude seasoned career politicians."

Do you remember any of those solutions ?
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

That same lyric was the one I almost used in my post. "Now and Then" puts a lot of visions in my head about my ex-wife, and I can see us back then.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

many lines from Restless take me back to the cabin near Timmins where I spent my summers listening to the wild geese, loons, wolves, hunting dogs howling, fish jumping in the lake all while being amazed by the glorious northern lights..
and I also always go back to it being sung at Barry Harvey's memorial.

Every line of Home From The Forest creates vivid images and emotions for me.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

From "Somewhere USA"

"I'd never lie, well you know I've tried"

Just those few words alone carry a whopping punch. I't like he's baring his soul.

It's a line that's always resonated with me and I was so happy to hear the song performed by John Stinson and Paul Bartlett at the recent tribute show in Aurora. Great job guys. It's not one that we hear too often.

Great topic Anthony and there's no reason to ask for forgiveness especially considering the vast numbers of us who sing the songs regularly and never tire of the beautiful lyrics. The topic did surface somewhere in the past but clearly it's one that's always bound to be a huge draw.

Cheers, RJ.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

"Slanted rays and colored days stark blue horizons" (Pussywillows Cattails) always says October to me.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

How about the imagery of Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle.
especially the verse
"Oh then the ship, Bahama Star
Comes steaming through the night
She sees the Castle blazing
And 'tis a terrible sight
"Jump down, jump down" the captain cries
"We'll save you if we can"
Then the paint on his funnels is a-frying "

I can just about feel the heat.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Thanks Lighthead! I'm new to this so it's so refreshing to discuss and read about the wonders of Lightfoot's music and writing. I don't know how many others are like me, in that there isn't a day where I don't play some Lightfoot.

One more that I have to write comes from Shadows: "Please kiss me gently darling where the river runs away. From the mountains in the springtime on a blue and windy day." I can just see a deep blue sky and actually (now I'm getting too deep) get a bit sorrowful that I really never held anyone like that. What a moment that must be.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Hi Anthony.

There are many others out there like you.

I remember well when I discovered a whole new world with the help of another friend, Ed Mullen who introduced me into internet world of Lightfoot fans on the Google Groups network. See alt.music.lightfoot. We are not alone.

If you have the "Songbook" collection of Gordon Lightfoot there is a song on disc # 2 track # 17 called "Stone Cold Sober." It is a "previously unissued" song and a mighty fine piece of work it is IMHO.

check out this lyric:

"We have soared above the clouds, we've heard the angels breathing
While we made love in the morning, there was never talk of leaving
We would lie that way for hours with our arms around each other
It was all so easy, I sure would like to talk to you again.

When I first heard that I practically froze in the position I was sitting. I left the repeat button on and the CD player cranked on bust for the rest of the day!

Try and join us in November when Gord plays his Massey Hall concerts.

Cheers, RJ.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Hi RJ,

Stone Cold Sober is also an absolute favorite of mine...one of my top ten songs ever, from any artist or genre. I especially like these lines:

"I was stone cold sober, it was daylight in October
When you reached across the table, put your hand upon my shoulder
And my lips were warm with kissing while we found the missing pieces
To all the empty spaces
I sure would like to talk that way again"

and

"I hope that we can see each other often
That our points of view will blend into each other,
Like the sea and the horizon
And the sun will shine upon us as we live our lives forever
Having thought it over, I sure would like to talk to you again"

I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it. It contains some of the finest lyrics ever written.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

I have to say that I always get a kick out of reading any thread in which for whatever reason corfiddlers and others quote their favoUrite lines written by the bard. and this particular thread has the immensely laudable intent of highlighting Lightfoot lyrics that conjour up images in one's mind.
For me the most evocative examples are the various images in that masterpiece called "Restless" of schooners flying down an overcast, even ironclad, sky and locomotives (some diesel others steam) flying down railway lines some of cast iron but definitely built to last!!
Note that I deliberately said "and others" above, because I recalled a very fine
November 2002 thread on the now virtually defunct err umm read "vandalised" newsgroup subject "Favorite Lightfoot songs and favorite lines'
the original is at:-
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/alt...c3aa1d7b30c61f

but I adapted it for a webpage linked from the main lightfoot page on my website at:-
http://www.johnfowles.org.uk/Lightfo...etelisting.htm
Two particular postings by Britain's Bruna Zanelli (silverheels) and Texan Mel(l)isa Joe
sum up the general appreciation of that thread
1.Bruna on 14 November 2002
"I am so enjoying this thread.Please don't let's stop. More fave songs and lines.
I can't remember who suggested it.
but THANK YOU.
This one makes my heart weep.
"If time could heal the wounds.I would tear the threads away, that I might bleed some more...(The last time)
Bru
which also brings up powerful images
2. Melissa Joe on 12 November
"But I just wanna say what a great thread.I've enjoyed reading these posts more than any in a long time.I told my husband about this thread and asked him what
his favorite GL lines were. His response was"Are you kidding? Where would I even begin?"
I think that sums it up
Ed Mullen then retorted:-
"Hey Melissa. keep that guy! grin
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Last edited by johnfowles; 06-02-2009 at 10:20 PM. Reason: To avoid me being sent t(w)o hel(l) for misspelling Mel(l)issa's name
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

One set of lyrics I'm experienceing for real right now are from "End Of All Time".

"One day time will tell,when you're living in yesterday,
thinking of things to do,thinking of things to say.....
thinking of things devine,find the bottom line."

I used to live in yesterday a lot,sometime a little still but only in realtion to music.

The rest,is true in getting older,it's not as easy for things to feel new or that are new to talk about.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

What a great thread. There are so many incredible lyrics, many already noted. But I’m going to cast my vote for one entire song – Home From the Forest. The whole piece is so poignant. I also like the fact that it is one of Lightfoot’s more obscure songs.
This one is the only Lightfoot song for which I think a cover version may be better than the original version. I am totally awed by the arrangement Murray McLaughlan did on the Beautiful tribute CD. He slows the tempo down alot, accompanied by basically just a piano and penny flute. Unbelievable . . . “And he wondered how it happened, that he ended up this way, getting lost like a fool in the forest”.

Brian
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:20 PM   #20
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

The lyrics that I can see clearly in my mind are from 7 Island Suite, which leave me feeling as if I am talking a walk in the woods on a cold & clear morning. Beautiful beyond words. Also, Wreck Of the edmund Fitzgerald leaves me feeling as if I was actually there, experiancing the same terror that those men had to have felt that day.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:38 PM   #21
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmouse View Post
Hi RJ,

Stone Cold Sober is also an absolute favorite of mine...one of my top ten songs ever, from any artist or genre. I especially like these lines:

"I was stone cold sober, it was daylight in October
When you reached across the table, put your hand upon my shoulder
And my lips were warm with kissing while we found the missing pieces
To all the empty spaces
I sure would like to talk that way again"

and

"I hope that we can see each other often
That our points of view will blend into each other,
Like the sea and the horizon
And the sun will shine upon us as we live our lives forever
Having thought it over, I sure would like to talk to you again"

I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it. It contains some of the finest lyrics ever written.
You're right mnmouse. Pretty melting stuff!

Kenyon was here recently and it's also a fav of his and he cranked it out beautifully on all twelve strings of the B45. He's one talented guy. Also he hopes to join us this year at the pub jam sessions in McVeigh's pub. So Dan, if you read this and you can make it, chances are "Seven Island Suite" will be included the show as well. That's one you requested and we didn't have it ready at the last session if I recall.

Cheers, RJ.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

"See the soldier with his gun who must be dead to be admired" from "Don Quixote."

That's another one that knocks me off balance.

RJ.
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:03 PM   #23
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

"Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion"

Ice-water mansion...wow...that always makes me stop and think.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:21 PM   #24
Unsettled 1
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Default Re: Seeing It Through His Lyrics

As an avid viewer and occasional contributer, I respectfully offer some of my favorites.
The lamp is burning low upon my table top, the snow is softly falling...

Roses are waiting for dew drops to fall, climbing your windows and walls..

And lest we forget; Last of all you old Sea Dogs, who travel after whale, you'd storm the gates of hell itself, for the taste of a mermaids tail... (How the heck does he do it?)

I do agree that the previously mentioned line from Now and Then is one of the most descriptive, he is truly a Painter of pictures through his lyrics.

BE
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formerlylavender View Post

Ice-water mansion...wow...that always makes me stop and think.
It is a descriptive phrase. There's even a book that uses that as a title,
"Ice Water Mansions". Gordon is thanked in the forward, but that's the only reference to him.
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