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Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. (November 17, 1938 – May 1, 2023)

May 2, 2023

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. (November 17, 1938 – May 1, 2023) by Ron Wells

Gordon Lightfoot songs came to me the same way so many singer/songwriter’s songs came when I was young: through Peter, Paul and Mary who just had a knack for picking great songs written by great songwriters, and I always looked at their albums to see who the writers were. 

I was late getting to Gordon Lightfoot, but when I heard “Early Morning Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me,” I was hooked. Oh, perhaps I didn’t like him as much as I liked Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen, but so many of Lightfoot’s songs still burned into my soul. He just had a way of saying what I felt at a particular moment in my life, and yet years later, those songs still resonate.

It seems everyone has his or her own favorite Gordon Lightfoot song, but I certainly was swept away by “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” and “Rainy Day People.” For many people, it was “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” To be honest, there were just so many wonderful songs, each carrying a magical moment that connected to me and so many others.

Do yourself a favor and listen to one of the many songs I’ve listed here, or any others you might know. Listen to them sung by Gordon or the many other performers who covered his songs. It will be time well spent. And you will understand the simple pleasures and profound power of Gordon Lightfoot songs.

In His Own Words, Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr.:

To a man whose songs read the minds of what people needed to hear: Rest In Peace, Gordon Lightfoot!
Singer Songwriter legend of the 1970s Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. died Monday May 1, 2023 at the age of 84.  He was born, raised and died in Canada, and some consider him Canada’s greatest songwriter. According to his Wikipedia entry
  • Robbie Robertson of the Band described Lightfoot as “a national treasure”.[9]
  • Bob Dylan, also a Lightfoot fan, called him one of his favourite songwriters and said, “I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever…. Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day”.[10][11]

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2023 7:04 pm

    He was a wordsmith who painted Canada with his lyrics and his songs. He will be missed.

  2. May 4, 2023 10:53 pm


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