Thread: Sarasota !!
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:50 AM   #14
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Location: Eastern Slope urban corridor, Colo. USA
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Default Re: Sarasota !!

I thought I should clarify my post on the song from the Sarasota concert "Make Way For The Lady", from the DSR album. I have a bad feeling I went off-topic on the thread too far, and also may also have mistakenly lent the impression that I was presumptuously "evaluating" The Man, and his lyrics as to being "Christian". Nope. Whether they are, or he is is none of my business. Not the point of my post either. Just saying that once in awhile, I think he writes some lyrics that might draw from his faith, or other's he envisions, such as our windmill-tilting friend from Cervantes' Don Quixote.

I don't take to Christian music as a genre myself, but I also would not want to offend those out there who do like it. Just no reason why in a secular tune, Lightfoot can't make reference once in awhile to the fact that he simply has some lyrics and thoughts about faith and such. There's no prosthelytizing there.

His lyrics meaning are a matter of opinion of course, except where Gord's been quoted on them, such as in his Songbook booklet, or in concert, etc.elsewhere. All in the mind of the listener, and I certainly was not attempting to elicit opinion on the many ways one might interpret any religous,or spiritual meaning in his songs with such possible lyrics.

I did do that once or twice in years past in corfid, and regretted it, in no big fashion, but enough to not want to emphasize that again. When I did, it struck a chord it seemed, that is generally accepted by most people of faith that I know, because it is for them (and for me) a very private subject, one I don't care to trot-out for public opinion. One I have the impression that Lightfoot doesn't care to either. I just hear enough (myself) in his music to be able to simply relate to it. No more, no less.

It is curious to note on 'Make Way..." that in the Songbook booklet, Gord speaks of at least two possible meanings, one being that of a father, attempting to hand advice on love down to his son. The other he states as roughly being that of a man looking for security in himself via a woman's love, and a little more detail. Ironic that he adds after both, that in the long-run, neither case has proven to work for him.

Most curious to me in my tangential reference to what may or may not be anything to do with Gord's own spirituality at all, and what may lay to rest any question of what he meant to emphasize in the song "Make Way..." is the fact that in neither interpretation does he even refer in the booklet to his intent in singing "Shake hands with the father, the son and the holy ghost The impossible believers and the heavenly host . I won't presume him to be rolling this into either the "advice from a father to son" possible meaning, and to add faith to it (his advice), nor does he state any religous intent, despite the seemingly obvious reference to the Trinity, in the other possible explanation of seeking security in one's self through a woman's love.

In the booklet, references to the song, by virtue of omitting any discussion of the "Trinity" reference, might be that he no more presumes to convey any personal advocacy in belief in the Orthodox Trinity as a spiritual concept, than does he intend the listener to presume his lyrics here to represent any statement about the Trinity per se in either of the two meanings Gord offers for the song. In other words, he's not even attempting to explain the Trinity reference at all, which he doesn't need to. Its not Christian music, its not meant to be, and any meaning in the reference to the Trinity in the song, in absence of explanation, is meant only to be interpreted in the mind of the listener, as he so often has stated is his wish in general; that we take from it what we may, much as an art afficionado's indivual interpretation of a painting, with no convenient absolutes given by the artist to the viewers.

Some people might chose to interpret some of his lyrics as "grazing" the outer edges of at least spirituality, while many others do not, all respected matters of opinion to me. Only Gord knows what he really meant by such lyrics as I mentioned in a few songs including "Make Way For The Lady", except for when he does comment here and there on short overviews of his songs' "meaning", which he of course has expressed that he would rather we chose to interpret them in our own way on most songs. Surely not matters to state as fact, as to presume intent in his meaning by me at all, nor what I meant to convey as my main point.

WHICH WAS: primarily: I think "Make Way For The Lady" simply had strong hit potential. One thing I think is common to many of his hits, where the very popular "voice-over-his own voices" harmony treatment is employed so well. I can't help but wonder: if such production resources had been employed, they might have made "Make Way For The Lady" a hit. I only lack Lightfoot's talent to know if that would have worked well on MWFTL. In fact, far be it for me to speculate on that which I know not, and he does, LOL

No matter what church he was raised in (which is meaningless, and none of my business, only a fact in his bio), nor the fact that some lyrics of Gord's might be interpreted as possibly spiritual, are grounds for speculating if some of his songs might elicit possible interpretation as "religous" by producers, or whether those possible interpretations of "Make Way For The Lady"might have hindered the song's strong hit potential in any way on the DSR album. I meant that as a tangential "I wonder if THAT might have scared the producers away" factor only, and did not mean to present it as fact, and especially not as the thesis of my point. Again, I don't even remotely know if such differences would have made it a "hit". Far more important than that possibility is the fact that he did it the way he wanted to, and it is a damned good song.

I just really dig that song, a LOT. Pure and simple. I had just bought the album when I was just starting to fall in love with my wife, on a Sunday afternoon rainy-day drive down to Fort Collins, where I found the album DSR as a new release on the shelves of a small record store, in that small college-town, where I first went to college, and had also seen Gordon in concert in '75 - at Colorado State. What a fantastic concert BTW. I took Merry back up to Estes Park for dinner, then later went home from what was about our 4th date, floating on cloud-nine. I was at a cross-roads in my life that day in that regard, (getting serious again). As I listened to the whole album, I was so enthused over Gord's seemingly renewed very positive outlook (as I perceived it) in the up-beat sounding music of DSR, and its timely and fitting appearance on the shelves on a very key day for me. A day I made a really big conscious choice in my mind regarding my then wife-to-be, to give it a go.

I liked the album, and the song MWFTL both so much (no doubt further enhanced by my ecstatic mood over the date) that I even said out-loud, (while listening in big old heavy deep-bass Koss very good headphones): "YESSSS, way to go Gordon" to the song "Make Way For The Lady". It hit home at that moment in the song where he sings "you can do it my son". It was the lyrics in that song that caused me to reflect on my newly-developing relationship with Merry, to the point that I could take a chance again, and let loose, and "I could do it". I could risk falling for a lady again, and not be a little ( OK a lot) scared of taking that risk of giving it a go with her beyond the infatuation level, which were my slightly sophomoric feelings thus far, evolving from "damn, she is so cool, so nice, so beautiful, and I got so burned last time"; changing to "I can do it again" (take the risk) of letting my guard down. Such personal meaning in that song for me, because of that moment of actual decision-making, to "go for it".

Isn't it amazing, how many of us have said in a similar vain that Gord's lyrics and music have been a sort of soundtrack to our lives in-progress, as in "how does he know that about me?". "Make Way For The Lady", and those lyrics were just enough to push me over the edge; the good edge.

That's why I really love that song that I noticed was in the Sarasota concert of this thread.

Damn, I dig that song, I really do. That's all I meant to say in my previous post, "Sundown"-style harmony, and a remote possibility of Warner-Reprise studio execs' imagined thoughts of mine about fans' perception of that being a slightly religous song versus hit-potential private theories notwithstanding, LOL.

And the hoot of it is: after all my guessing on how that songs' fascinating lyrics might have effected it's being chosen, advanced, and produced as a potential single, turns out - it was. In the songbook booklet, "Make Way For The Lady" was released as a single. Oh well. There goes the whole shootin' match on my thinking. So much for my theories.
~geo Steve . :"I will leave my footprints there to lie beneath the snow" ~gl
Quote to ponder: "A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed." ~ Henrik Ibsen
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