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Old 10-18-2004, 09:10 PM   #1
musicjunkie11
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hello all
I am a university student in ontario, and I'm currently writing an essay on Gordon Lightfoot. However, i know very little about him and his lyrics. My topic is to discuss how he constructed masculinity in his lyrics in the 1960's and 1970's. Any help would be great. Thanks so much
Jess
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Old 10-18-2004, 09:10 PM   #2
musicjunkie11
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hello all
I am a university student in ontario, and I'm currently writing an essay on Gordon Lightfoot. However, i know very little about him and his lyrics. My topic is to discuss how he constructed masculinity in his lyrics in the 1960's and 1970's. Any help would be great. Thanks so much
Jess
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:21 PM   #3
Sidney Freedmen
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well first off, i'd recommend going to a Lightfoot site like Corfid or Wayne Francis' site www.lightfoot.ca or mine (link below). hopefully all of those will help you out.

------------------
Sidney Freedmen

'Sit Down Young Stranger' and visit The Home Page Of Gordon Lightfoot
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:50 AM   #4
titan
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Hello Music Junkie,
Good Luck on your essay. You picked a good topic and I'm sure several people will respond to your question on this web site. It's packed full of Lightfoot fans who know alot about him!!!!
I noticed that you were interested in masculinity in his lyrics and have I got a song for you!!!
Click on home- on this very site, then click on albums and lyrics.
Click on the first album listed, his first; titled Lightfoot! ( 1965 )
Then click on track #4 For Lovin Me
This is a song that will get you started on your essay! Read the lyrics and you'll understand that masculine side of a great songwriter. These lyrics are not by a sissy!! Also, I would try to LISTEN to as much of his music as you are able. Your essay will not be the same if you only read or do research. It would be like trying to appreciate Monet or VanGogh without seeing a painting!! Good Luck, and I would check this site a few times because some other people will have some suggestions too.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:50 AM   #5
titan
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Hello Music Junkie,
Good Luck on your essay. You picked a good topic and I'm sure several people will respond to your question on this web site. It's packed full of Lightfoot fans who know alot about him!!!!
I noticed that you were interested in masculinity in his lyrics and have I got a song for you!!!
Click on home- on this very site, then click on albums and lyrics.
Click on the first album listed, his first; titled Lightfoot! ( 1965 )
Then click on track #4 For Lovin Me
This is a song that will get you started on your essay! Read the lyrics and you'll understand that masculine side of a great songwriter. These lyrics are not by a sissy!! Also, I would try to LISTEN to as much of his music as you are able. Your essay will not be the same if you only read or do research. It would be like trying to appreciate Monet or VanGogh without seeing a painting!! Good Luck, and I would check this site a few times because some other people will have some suggestions too.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:53 AM   #6
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I guess his first album was 1966. I put 1965 incorrectly.
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:53 AM   #7
titan
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I guess his first album was 1966. I put 1965 incorrectly.
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:40 AM   #8
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i hope masculinity would be diferent than chauvenism...this thread link might interest you (and a pile of others at the NG and in the Corfid archives...you can just copy and paste and theres your A+ essay, lol)
http://tipsfromjohn.notlong.com

[This message has been edited by jj (edited October 19, 2004).]
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:40 AM   #9
jj
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i hope masculinity would be diferent than chauvenism...this thread link might interest you (and a pile of others at the NG and in the Corfid archives...you can just copy and paste and theres your A+ essay, lol)
http://tipsfromjohn.notlong.com

[This message has been edited by jj (edited October 19, 2004).]
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:19 AM   #10
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musicjunkie11,
As already suggested scan through the lyrics on this site, you'll get a great start but you should also listen to some CDs. Some of his early work is quite interesting and it's all part of the "big picture". In an age when history is rewritten daily it's nice to know "the song remains the same". Good luck with your essay and have fun with it. Humor helps hide many flaws, LOL.

Bill
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:55 AM   #11
Auburn Annie
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Maybe this will help:

"Gordon Lightfoot may never seem to be doing anything all that unusual *- his melodies tend to be simple, his subjects seldom original, his voice is nice enough but rarely lends itself to anything fancy, and in fact the whole genre he works in is anything but new. But Lightfoot, unlike virtually all other folk artists who started out successful in the early Sixties, has managed to mellow so gracefully (and without any need for a current comeback, or any gratuitous shots at rock and roll) that he's at his absolute strongest right now, as Don Quixote and the album before it bear witness. Even though * or perhaps because *what he doesn't isn't nearly as unusual as the fact that he does it so well.

Lightfoot's music has gotten so tight and polished, all the while sustaining a deceptive sense of effortlessness, that the weaker strains of his early days have virtually disappeared. His sentimentality now seems genuine but controlled, and it is less dominant than in the past. He has learned how to avoid sounding self-indulgent in love songs, or affected when he sings about being on the road. His key to sidestepping the obvious pitfalls of his
subject in the tough, quietly understated masculinity he's able to maintain throughout whatever situation he cares to describe. The toughness is something of a surprise, coming hand-in-hand with a relatively gentle sound, and the incongruity undoubtedly accounts for a good part of his mystique.

The rest of his appeal must certainly stem from his considerable gift for songwriting, which is easy to underrate. He combines the kind of voice that never seems to do his material justice with deceptive simplicity, a highly sophisticated ear for clever rhyme structures, and a unique knack for elevating subjects that could easily have been mundane. And, prolific as he's been over the past ten years, Lightfoot has never degenerated into hackdom. His writing, like the rest of what goes into his recordings, has improved steadily with age.

Starting around the time of his first and only hit single ("If You Could Read My Mind"), Lightfoot has assembled three albums of unassailable quality. The first, originally titled Sit Down Young Stranger but retitled for the hit it contained, linked the excesses of his earlier work with a toned-down, more studied new sound that marked an enormous improvement. The
next album, Summer Side Of Life, had a first side that should have been minted in gold, although side two never quite measured up. While Don Quixote is too evenly paced to match the best moments or dazzling versatility of its predecessor, it has no such noticeable lapses either. It is consistently good, beautifully produced, as well-played as ever (Lightfoot has added
guitarist Terry Clements to his fine bass-guitar team of Rick Haynes and Red Shea), and a fitting next step in a career of steady improvement.

Certain structural strains from the past two albums tend to repeat themselves here, such as his use of the opening cut to present the album's dominant image of a romantic, mysterious traveler (here he's Don Quixote, last time the hitchhiking minstrel of "Ten Degrees And Getting Colder"), and the long, ambitious conclusion ("The Patriot's Dream"). In between, he seems to have shifted away from the straight storytelling he handles so well, using more mood pieces than usual (up for "Alberta Bound," down in "Looking
At The Rain," and somewhere in between with the slow, dreamy "Christian Island"). The album has its closest thing to weak moments with the slightly mawkish "Beautiful" and melodramatic "Susan's Floor," which Lightfoot didn't write (Shel Silverstein did). But they are more than made up for by "Ode To Big Blue," a terse little ecological-style number about a whale.

"Ordinary Man" has a fine melody and sounds like a possible single. So does "Second Cup Of Coffee," indirectly telling a story of broken marriage with a typically clever refrain about reaching for the phone. It's the kind of song that sounds so immediate and familiar that you're certain you must have heard it before, the only question being where. But still it's as original
as everything else he does, fresh and unique behind a familiar-sounding facade. I just don't know how he does it.

The fact is I can't quite figure out how he does any of it, really, but I do know that his material never wears out, just gets more interesting all the time. Gordon himself keeps getting better and better, and that's one knack I hope he never loses."

- Janet Maslin, Rolling Stone, 4/27/72.


[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited October 19, 2004).]
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:55 AM   #12
Auburn Annie
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Maybe this will help:

"Gordon Lightfoot may never seem to be doing anything all that unusual *- his melodies tend to be simple, his subjects seldom original, his voice is nice enough but rarely lends itself to anything fancy, and in fact the whole genre he works in is anything but new. But Lightfoot, unlike virtually all other folk artists who started out successful in the early Sixties, has managed to mellow so gracefully (and without any need for a current comeback, or any gratuitous shots at rock and roll) that he's at his absolute strongest right now, as Don Quixote and the album before it bear witness. Even though * or perhaps because *what he doesn't isn't nearly as unusual as the fact that he does it so well.

Lightfoot's music has gotten so tight and polished, all the while sustaining a deceptive sense of effortlessness, that the weaker strains of his early days have virtually disappeared. His sentimentality now seems genuine but controlled, and it is less dominant than in the past. He has learned how to avoid sounding self-indulgent in love songs, or affected when he sings about being on the road. His key to sidestepping the obvious pitfalls of his
subject in the tough, quietly understated masculinity he's able to maintain throughout whatever situation he cares to describe. The toughness is something of a surprise, coming hand-in-hand with a relatively gentle sound, and the incongruity undoubtedly accounts for a good part of his mystique.

The rest of his appeal must certainly stem from his considerable gift for songwriting, which is easy to underrate. He combines the kind of voice that never seems to do his material justice with deceptive simplicity, a highly sophisticated ear for clever rhyme structures, and a unique knack for elevating subjects that could easily have been mundane. And, prolific as he's been over the past ten years, Lightfoot has never degenerated into hackdom. His writing, like the rest of what goes into his recordings, has improved steadily with age.

Starting around the time of his first and only hit single ("If You Could Read My Mind"), Lightfoot has assembled three albums of unassailable quality. The first, originally titled Sit Down Young Stranger but retitled for the hit it contained, linked the excesses of his earlier work with a toned-down, more studied new sound that marked an enormous improvement. The
next album, Summer Side Of Life, had a first side that should have been minted in gold, although side two never quite measured up. While Don Quixote is too evenly paced to match the best moments or dazzling versatility of its predecessor, it has no such noticeable lapses either. It is consistently good, beautifully produced, as well-played as ever (Lightfoot has added
guitarist Terry Clements to his fine bass-guitar team of Rick Haynes and Red Shea), and a fitting next step in a career of steady improvement.

Certain structural strains from the past two albums tend to repeat themselves here, such as his use of the opening cut to present the album's dominant image of a romantic, mysterious traveler (here he's Don Quixote, last time the hitchhiking minstrel of "Ten Degrees And Getting Colder"), and the long, ambitious conclusion ("The Patriot's Dream"). In between, he seems to have shifted away from the straight storytelling he handles so well, using more mood pieces than usual (up for "Alberta Bound," down in "Looking
At The Rain," and somewhere in between with the slow, dreamy "Christian Island"). The album has its closest thing to weak moments with the slightly mawkish "Beautiful" and melodramatic "Susan's Floor," which Lightfoot didn't write (Shel Silverstein did). But they are more than made up for by "Ode To Big Blue," a terse little ecological-style number about a whale.

"Ordinary Man" has a fine melody and sounds like a possible single. So does "Second Cup Of Coffee," indirectly telling a story of broken marriage with a typically clever refrain about reaching for the phone. It's the kind of song that sounds so immediate and familiar that you're certain you must have heard it before, the only question being where. But still it's as original
as everything else he does, fresh and unique behind a familiar-sounding facade. I just don't know how he does it.

The fact is I can't quite figure out how he does any of it, really, but I do know that his material never wears out, just gets more interesting all the time. Gordon himself keeps getting better and better, and that's one knack I hope he never loses."

- Janet Maslin, Rolling Stone, 4/27/72.


[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited October 19, 2004).]
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:56 AM   #13
bjb
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Hi musicjunkie11,
as you can tell, everyone loves something different about Gordon!

Why don't you try to contact Gordon himself -- it would be cool to hear what he would say. You can send email to <nanci.malek@linusentertainment.com> or a letter to
Nanci Malek
Linus Entertainment Inc.
100 Broadview Ave. Suite 404
Toronto,ON M4M 3H3
========================


PS May we read your essay when it's complete? please please please???

[This message has been edited by bjb (edited October 19, 2004).]
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Old 10-19-2004, 08:26 PM   #14
titan
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Wow!! Wow!! Auburn Annie just rattled of an essay like she was cooking a seven course meal. My gosh, what talented writers and intelligent people we have here.

Also, Junkie..........I would like to read your essay when you finish it. Can we?
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Old 10-19-2004, 08:26 PM   #15
titan
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Wow!! Wow!! Auburn Annie just rattled of an essay like she was cooking a seven course meal. My gosh, what talented writers and intelligent people we have here.

Also, Junkie..........I would like to read your essay when you finish it. Can we?
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:19 PM   #16
MWalker
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I once did a report on the Edmund Fitzgerald. That was in the 8th grade. Boy, those were the days. Then again, I woulnd't go back to school for anything in the world.
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:19 PM   #17
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I once did a report on the Edmund Fitzgerald. That was in the 8th grade. Boy, those were the days. Then again, I woulnd't go back to school for anything in the world.
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:29 AM   #18
Auburn Annie
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quote:Originally posted by titan:
Wow!! Wow!! Auburn Annie just rattled of an essay like she was cooking a seven course meal. My gosh, what talented writers and intelligent people we have here.

Also, Junkie..........I would like to read your essay when you finish it. Can we?


LOL - bless you, it's just a reprint of a Janet Maslin review in Rolling Stone (see bottom of article.)
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:29 AM   #19
Auburn Annie
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quote:Originally posted by titan:
Wow!! Wow!! Auburn Annie just rattled of an essay like she was cooking a seven course meal. My gosh, what talented writers and intelligent people we have here.

Also, Junkie..........I would like to read your essay when you finish it. Can we?


LOL - bless you, it's just a reprint of a Janet Maslin review in Rolling Stone (see bottom of article.)
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:11 AM   #20
titan
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I see that now. I thought you wrote that.

Music Junkie,
Keep in mind on your report that Gordon Lightfoot also has a "feminine" side. As to not get blasted by some, allow me to explain.
Lightfoot, much in the same way Lennon or John Denver wrote music, used lyrics that brought people closer to nature. Lightfoot used lyrics that promoted family and relationships. ( The House you Live In, will never fall down ) Lightfoot's music has a special quality that allows the listener to remember children ( Pony Man) and believe in
a higher power. It's not all masculine. Of course I believe that a real man must have these instincts internally anyway. The ability to love and care for someone are important for any man. You will find his music to be fullfilling at the HUMAN level.
It's not always just a masculine or a feminine thing.
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:11 AM   #21
titan
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I see that now. I thought you wrote that.

Music Junkie,
Keep in mind on your report that Gordon Lightfoot also has a "feminine" side. As to not get blasted by some, allow me to explain.
Lightfoot, much in the same way Lennon or John Denver wrote music, used lyrics that brought people closer to nature. Lightfoot used lyrics that promoted family and relationships. ( The House you Live In, will never fall down ) Lightfoot's music has a special quality that allows the listener to remember children ( Pony Man) and believe in
a higher power. It's not all masculine. Of course I believe that a real man must have these instincts internally anyway. The ability to love and care for someone are important for any man. You will find his music to be fullfilling at the HUMAN level.
It's not always just a masculine or a feminine thing.
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:00 PM   #22
fowlesjohn
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well said titan.
musicjunkie11, why did you choose gordon lightfoot? have you listened to his music previously? why delve into the masculine aura?
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Old 10-20-2004, 06:00 PM   #23
gwen snyder
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well said titan.
musicjunkie11, why did you choose gordon lightfoot? have you listened to his music previously? why delve into the masculine aura?
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Old 10-24-2004, 04:20 AM   #24
ELizabeth
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Hi musicjunkie11,
I think that 'Crossroads of Time' (Album - 'The Way I Feel') portrays the kind of masculinity GL valued at that point in his life. Men were best off doing 'manly' things. It seemed to me that his view of women (surely a part of his masculinity) was as romantic objects that either broke his heart ('The Last TIme I Saw Her Face') or objects to be used and discarded (too many songs to be listed) Over the years he has moved more toward paying less attention to stereotypical masculinity and seeing women as important to his emotional life. Just my .02 cents. I too would love to read your essay.
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