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Old 04-11-2009, 07:23 AM   #1
joveski
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Default (potentially stupid) grammar question

i was wondering about the phrasing on the last words of this verse of Betty called me in. he has a weird way of phrasing the words and it comes up in a lot of his songs. is this a typical canadian accent or a noval Lightfoot creation?.. i dont hear it in american singers, but it happens the most in the song and a lot of his others? especially of the last word of a verse


Betty my true love do what you do 'tonight'
Where she goes I hope she knows she's 'right'
The worst of 'times' and the best of 'times'
She was never the 'kind' to kick and bitch and 'fight'


help out someone from the other side of the world!

Last edited by joveski; 04-11-2009 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
charlene
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Default Re: (potentially stupid) grammar question

I'm not sure I understand what your asking.
Perhaps it's for rhyming effect..seems 'normal' to me tho..
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:00 AM   #3
joveski
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i guess i'll never be canadian then

maybe Dave or Sydney Steve can back me up!
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: (potentially stupid) grammar question

fine observation, jove

if i "hear" you right, i wouldn't call it a canuck accent thing but i know of other singers that naturally bend a one syllable lyric ..or take a 2 syllable word and ride it into 3 or 4

but what you're really talking about might be the phonetics of the "i"....there is the soft "i" as in pIck, there is the hard "i" as in mIke and then there's what i call the lightfoot "i" (aka, the maritime "aye")...there's also the lightfoot "a" "e" "o" and "u"...and always "y"

aside: Betty is used in a few GL tunes....i imagine it was a special gal or just a common name surrounding him growing up in those parts....anyhow, my middle sis (Betty-Ann) moves to Orillia decades ago...much to my surprise, years later everyone up there calls her Liz...anyhow, i wasn't really going anywhere with that
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: (potentially stupid) grammar question

in my 31 year old years, he changes the "i" into "ae"

i thought it might be a canadian thing

is an:

Betty my true love do what you do 'toonate'
Where she goes I hope she knows she's 'rate'
The worst of 'tames' and the best of 'tames'
She was never the 'kaind' to kick and bitch and 'fate'

just like "allright" becomes "all-rate" (maybe cunuck accents think its the same thing!)

if i sit here and listen to every album, i can probably flood the board! i thought it might be a canadian thing


Last edited by joveski; 04-11-2009 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #6
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i thought it might be a canadian thing
it's not actually a maritime thing, i should have said it's Gord's Irish coming out...it's spelled "i'ye"


but in the rural areas, like Orillia, we do talk "Fargo" too...it's a blend
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:01 PM   #7
charlene
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I still don't hear it mate. Must be your Aussie ears..


hey JJ - Elizabeth can be shortened to Liz, Betty, Lisbet, Lillibet, Eliza, Beth, etc..
and Gord is Scottish..not Irish..

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Old 04-11-2009, 02:50 PM   #8
Brian 57
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Default Re: (potentially stupid) grammar question

I knew a girl from Long Island where "quarter" and "water" rhyme. (Quoahtah and Wuoahtah"). I also understand that a welsh accent causes broad and road to rhyme.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:03 PM   #9
jj
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I still don't hear it mate. Must be your Aussie ears..


hey JJ - Elizabeth can be shortened to Liz, Betty, Lisbet, Lillibet, Eliza, Beth, etc..
and Gord is Scottish..not Irish..

oh that's right, it's YOU who's Irish! lol

i made a Gordian slip
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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I'm Canadian of Italian and Scottish heritage..No Irish at all..

was it a full slip or half slip?
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:39 PM   #11
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I knew a girl from Long Island where "quarter" and "water" rhyme. (Quoahtah and Wuoahtah"). I also understand that a welsh accent causes broad and road to rhyme.
When I lived on the east coast I got a brand new name. Many words ending in "a" get changed to "er" so I became Linder. My British friend Howard calls me the same thing. So does my Australian friend Annette.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:02 AM   #12
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Mende, I know of what you speak. I think it is a Gord/Canadian thing.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:31 AM   #13
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Mende, I know of what you speak. I think it is a Gord/Canadian thing.
phew!.. someone understands
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:44 AM   #14
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Mende, I know of what you speak. I think it is a Gord/Canadian thing.
happy bunny day to you and yours, deb (that's a bunny hopping and listening to Gord, his ears are just bunched up under those phones)

just to clarify, not an overall Canuck thing but a dialect more rooted and on the east coast and you can hear it when they speak whereas not when Gord speaks but when he sings

isn't interesting how British singers often lose their accents when they sing? in this case, Gord picks one up when he does...hope that's clear as mud

char...yeah, i fully and completely slipped! i'm scot/wales/eng, no 'rish
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:23 PM   #15
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Thanks JJ, Happy Day to you and Harry too.

I have noticed that talking to Gord he has a different pronunciation than when he sings. Interesting too that people that stutter often lose the stutter when they sing, i.e. Mel Tillis.

I think I shall go to Bah-ham-a.

Last edited by brink-; 04-13-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:15 PM   #16
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I think I shall go to Bah-ham-a.
That reminds me......his pronunciation of Salinas in 'Me And Bobby Magee' use to drive me nuts. When he recorded it, he sang Sa lye nas, Thankfully, when I saw him perform that song last year, the correct Spanish pronunciation of Sa lee nas was in place.

I say po-tay-toe, and you say po-tah-toe.

Last edited by RM; 04-12-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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That reminds me......his pronunciation of Salinas in 'Me And Bobby Magee' use to drive me nuts. When he recorded it, he sang Sa lye nas, Thankfully, when I saw him perform that song last year, the correct Spanish pronunciation of Sa lee nas was in place.

I say po-tay-toe, and you say po-tah-toe.
Lots of his geographic pronunciations are peculiar . . .

CaliFORN' EYE ay

North Ontar EYE' o

. . . for example

I like this thread a lot. Something tells me it'll go on for quite some time. I might have to go by Oh, Linder....

Last edited by Oh, Linda; 04-12-2009 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:26 PM   #18
joveski
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Originally Posted by Oh, Linda View Post
Lots of his geographic pronunciations are peculiar . . .

CaliFORN' EYE ay

North Ontar EYE' o

. . . for example

I like this thread a lot. Something tells me it'll go on for quite some time. I might have to go by Oh, Linder....

i always thought they were so that the can fit the beat of the song.. it seems like it, but it might be an accent thing
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:14 AM   #19
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Is it an Aussie "thing" to spell the word novel..."noval"?
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:51 AM   #20
joveski
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Is it an Aussie "thing" to spell the word novel..."noval"?
no, more like bad spelling!

why do americans spell COLOUR as COLOR?. dont the keyboards have a U key?
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:58 AM   #21
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why do americans spell COLOUR as COLOR?. dont the keyboards have a U key?
We're just very efficient folks.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:26 AM   #22
Dave, Melbourne,Australia
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Joveski,

I think the answer to your question is that Gord emphasises the consonant at the end of a line. A good example is the song "Much To My Surprise". (James Taylor, on the other hand, emphasises vowels and pronounces "a" and "the" as "ay" and "thee".)

Hey, yesterday I met a Canadian-born winery owner at Panton Hill, just north-east of Melbourne (near the fire-devastated Kinglake area). He said he once went ice fishing at Lake Simcoe and the fisherman next to him turned out to be Gordon Lightfoot!
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:53 PM   #23
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Joveski,

I think the answer to your question is that Gord emphasises the consonant at the end of a line. A good example is the song "Much To My Surprise". (James Taylor, on the other hand, emphasises vowels and pronounces "a" and "the" as "ay" and "thee".)

Hey, yesterday I met a Canadian-born winery owner at Panton Hill, just north-east of Melbourne (near the fire-devastated Kinglake area). He said he once went ice fishing at Lake Simcoe and the fisherman next to him turned out to be Gordon Lightfoot!
And how small is the world??? That is incredible.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #24
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in my 31 year old years, he changes the "i" into "ae"

i thought it might be a canadian thing

is an:

Betty my true love do what you do 'toonate'
Where she goes I hope she knows she's 'rate'
The worst of 'tames' and the best of 'tames'
She was never the 'kaind' to kick and bitch and 'fate'

just like "allright" becomes "all-rate" (maybe cunuck accents think its the same thing!)

if i sit here and listen to every album, i can probably flood the board! i thought it might be a canadian thing

Actually what you're hearing is the Scottish influence in Canadian English.

In Canada's early days, Scots accounted for approximately 25% of the population. Today, amongst native English-speakers in Canada, about 35% are of Scots ancestry, 55% are of English heritage and the remaining 15% or so are Irish. Part of the reason why there was an influence at all is that the Scots back then ran the schools, the banks, the churches and played a large role in government (hell, our first Prime Minister was a Scot!!) In short, they played a huge role in shaping Canada's language and culture.

To most Canadians what you hear in Gord's accent is pretty subtle and passes without notice. But to Americans and other non-British speakers of the language, it's often quite noticeable. Listen to a speaker of Scots English say the words 'tonight', 'times' and 'right' and you'll hear what I'm talking about. The pronunciation may not be exactly the same but you'll hear unmistakable commonalities.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:42 PM   #25
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Lots of his geographic pronunciations are peculiar . . .

CaliFORN' EYE ay

North Ontar EYE' o

. . . for example

I like this thread a lot. Something tells me it'll go on for quite some time. I might have to go by Oh, Linder....
The pronunciations of 'California' and 'Ontario' you noted are not the way Canadians pronounce the words. Gord deliberately mispronounced the words for stylistic reasons.

Hope that helps.
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