R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

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Econoline
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R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Econoline »

Posting this now even though he died two weeks ago; nobody else here seems to have noticed.

Arguably one of the most meticulously historically accurate folk songs ever written:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9PoWQVga0
Gordon Lightfoot.jpg

And one of my own personal favorites (which nobody else ever seems to mention)...sad, bouncy, and full of double entendre:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAgSoBQd284
Last edited by Econoline on Tue May 16, 2023 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ex-khobar Andy
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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by ex-khobar Andy »

I was thinking about Lightfoot the other day - probably a few days before he died - in the context of Canadian song writers. I think the best of these is Robbie Robertson (The Band; The Weight and It Makes No Difference) but many would argue with that. Given that the rest of the top five (in no particular order) would be Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot I think any one of them would have said: "I'm in good company."

Interestingly, and IMNSHO, only one of these five would have what I think of as a good voice - Joni Mitchell of course. I always liked Lightfoot's songs but not his voice; ditto Neil Young. And let's face it - Leonard Cohen was OK but only in small doses. So many others have covered Hallelujah! and done a far far better job with it which proves to me what a good songwriter but lousy singer Cohen was. And Robertson never sang his songs but let the others do that job - he knew well his limitations.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by Big RR »

Interesting, while I agree that Joni Mitchell has the best voice of the group, the others have their place: Neil Young was a good singer with CSNY, not so good on his own; Leonard Cohen was a bit like Dylan--not that great a singer, but perfect for most of the songs he wrote/sang; Lightfoot was kind of like Cohen, I really liked If You Could Read my Mind and, while I have heard a number of covers, I like his version the best; i know Robertson's work with the Band, but I'll leave comments on his singing to those who know his solo work.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by Burning Petard »

Ecooline, thanks for posting that. I do indeed think that was pretty cool.

I grew up in the midwest and real water storms were a stranger to me. The US taxpayer sent me to Germany in October of 1960 and we hit a storm in the North Sea. We passengers were not allowed to go on deck, so of course I found a way to sneak out. I boarded the boat in Brooklyn via a gang plank inserted into the side of the ship, with what looked like about three stories of steel hull above the port. Standing on the stern of that ship during the storm, I was looking UP at waves breaking over the boat. (I can call it a boat, I was Army) I was amazed. Did not stay long. But the fresh cold wet air was welcome from the stench of mal de mer that was everywhere inside

Later I married my wife who grew up in central Michigan, with stories of storms on the great lakes as part of the local culture. Heard stories. I did not believe them. I had to research for my self. I found that the bottom shape of the lakes, combined with other factors such as depth and weather from the surrounding geography, makes for local Great Lake storms that are actually BIGGER than those on the North Atlantic. That is a very scary thought.

That all made me very appreciative of Mr. lightfoot and his songs.

snailgate

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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by Bicycle Bill »

ex-khobar Andy wrote:
Mon May 15, 2023 11:39 am
I was thinking about Lightfoot the other day - probably a few days before he died - in the context of Canadian song writers. I think the best of these is Robbie Robertson (The Band; The Weight and It Makes No Difference) but many would argue with that. Given that the rest of the top five (in no particular order) would be Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot I think any one of them would have said: "I'm in good company.
I'd like to throw one more name into the mix — Stan Rogers (1949 - 1983).  He died far too young, at the age of 33, the result of an in-flight fire onboard an Air Canada DC-9 airliner that filled the cabin with smoke. The aircraft made a successful emergency landing at Greater Cincinnati airport in northern Kentucky, and the five members of the plane's crew were able to escape, as did 18 of 41 passengers onboard.  Unfortunately, approximately 90 seconds into the evacuation the oxygen rushing in from outside caused a flash fire which claimed the lives of Rogers and the remaining passengers.
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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Econoline »

Thanks, Bill, for mentioning Stan Rogers. I totally agree.

Snailgate's comments about Great Lakes storms (and of course my own post of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald") put me in mind of this minor gem by Stan Rogers:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRtO3vfUbPY
Last edited by Econoline on Tue May 16, 2023 3:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Econoline »

Gaaak. :oops: I just now noticed my typo in the title of this thread. Is there any way for me to correct it?
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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by Scooter »

Should be able to edit it through the opening post.
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Re: R.I.P. Gordan Lightfoot

Post by ex-khobar Andy »

Thanks for that Econo and BB - I'd never heard of Stan Rogers. Now I have. He certainly has a better voice than (IMO) Messrs Lightfoot, Young and Cohen. I've seen Lake Ontario angry (had friends in Oakville ONT, just down the QEW from Scooter) from the shore and that wasn't fun.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Econoline »

This just showed up in my Facebook feed:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3851085 ... 833394399/ (Yeah, yeah...I know: algorithms...AI...yada yada yada...)

And also too...
IMO "The Mary Ellen Carter" is an absolute fucking masterpiece!
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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Crackpot »

There are quite a few inaccuracies in TWOTEF most of which can be attributed to artistic license (hard to believe but Cleveland is an upgrade from Zug Island). The most notable being the line that stated “the main hatchway gave in” as it did not and this lyric caused considerable pain to the family of the crewmen whose job it was to secure the hatches. (As was later confirmed the hatches are still secured to this day). Lightfoot did change the lyric for his live performances and the families have always been grateful to lighfoot for calling attention to their loved ones.

Current thinking is the EF sank due to running aground and being holed that eventually robbed it of its buoyancy.

Regards to the Lakes while the ocean can have much bigger waves the lakes have what is called “chop” rapid succession non directional waves that ceaselessly pound a ship. And there is a long history and a longer list os ships and lives claimed by the weather pattern known as “The Witch of November.
Okay... There's all kinds of things wrong with what you just said.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

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Okay... There's all kinds of things wrong with what you just said.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Crackpot »

Okay... There's all kinds of things wrong with what you just said.

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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by Bicycle Bill »

Don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but the dock from which the Edmund Fitzgerald took on its cargo of iron ore (taconite pellets, actually, but it's hard to fit that into the meter of the song) before embarking on its final voyage still stands.  Located in Allouez Bay, just south of Superior, it's the one on the far right of the three docks (originally there were four, owned and operated by the Great Northern Railroad; dock #2 was dismantled in 2013), visible beneath the words 'Great Northern' in the image below.

Image

It is not in use any longer and the tracks that brought the ore cars out onto it have been removed, but the dock itself remains and is still clearly visible to anyone approaching Superior on Highway 53 from the south.

And as a side note, the dock to the right of the group, labeled 'BNSF', is still in use and the image actually shows an ore carrier similar to the Fitz berthed alongside it and (apparently) loading its cargo.
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Re: R.I.P. Gordon Lightfoot

Post by TPFKA@W »

Econoline wrote:
Wed May 17, 2023 8:38 am
This just showed up in my Facebook feed:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3851085 ... 833394399/ (Yeah, yeah...I know: algorithms...AI...yada yada yada...)

And also too...
IMO "The Mary Ellen Carter" is an absolute fucking masterpiece!
Awesome post!

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