Saturday, February 14, 2009

song for a winter's night




Gordon Lightfoot's musical repetoire spans forty years and includes many brilliant songs of love and longing. Also known for his social activism and love of the history and terrain of this country, Lightfoot is Canada's version of Pete Seeger. His roots are folk. His songs have been sung by many legendary artists including Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Sylvia and Ian Tyson.

His timeless lyrics and melodies are woven into the fabric of this vast country. Many many people who learned how to play the guitar were inspired by a song, a melody, a story Lightfoot had penned. Sung around campfires, listened to in the warmth of our homes, embraced as the Canadian troubadour, his songs express emotions we sometimes have a tough time finding the words to attach to them....

As a child, I recall many late afternoon drives home from the ski hills after a day of skiing listening to "If you could read my mind...." or Canadian Railroad Trilogy or Sundown....or Early Morning Rain, his beautiful song of yearning for a love. Memories and pictures fill my head whenever I hear him on the radio, or someone else singing one of his classics. A new generation of Canadian musicians have embraced the songs.....I heard Sam Roberts today singing Early Morning Rain and fell in love with the song all over again.

We almost lost him a couple of years ago......very ill and in a coma for 5 weeks, he somehow managed to rally and recover. Since then, he put out his 20th album and toured across Canada....His voice is not as strong. He has mellowed with age too. But, he continues to do what his loves.....and we are all the more inspired by his gutsy determination to carry on sharing his gifts and creative genius.

Song for a Winter's Night, sung here by the ethereal Sarah McLaughlin, is to me the most beautiful Canadian love song Gordon Lightfoot every wrote. It captures the essence of this time of year in the desire to feel the warm intimacy of love.


Enjoy....xo

Happy Valentines Day, even to the miserable f***s out there in blogland.....oh, you know who you are.

ps...please excuse the corny pictures on the video. they are enough to make me gag. It was the clearest version of the song....so, listen with your eyes closed. :)

13 comments:

swile67 said...

I love Gordon Lightfoot. When I went to Ryerson, I boarded in Rosedale around the corner from Gordon. Unfortunately, I never ran into him! I love Sarah's version of this song...beautiful and soothing.

swile67 said...

oops, forgot to say Happy Valentine's Day!

Jannie Funster said...

I have loved Grdon Lightfoot for a long time.

And I remember this Sarah McLauglin version from Jazzercise! I think we did buttock tucks to it, but don't quote me on that, there are a lot of songs a lot of exercise routines at jazzercise.

The House on Big Island said...

Having "growed-up" in similar circumstances as thee, with Gordon Lightfoot songs around every campfire - I find it remarkable that I am today discovering the haunting beauty of his songs more and more. Although I always found them songs of melody, purity, depth and beauty - today they bring me to the edge - caress every emotion that I feel. Few, I must admit, do that.

I have a special Valentine here at home - she has been my love it seems forever - we will see our 30th year of married bliss, this year!

But, if I could have one other Valentine, this year ... and I am sure my bride would approve ... it would be you, my dear friend - dear Muskie.

And my Valentines gift to you is a large bunch of Pussywillows, Catails, Soft Winds and Roses...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJo6m0LsUzg

Independent Chick said...

Oh, good old Sarah...what a perfect person to be singing these lyrics. Thanks and hope you had a nice Valentine's Day.

Awareness said...

Karyne...I had always wanted to see him live at Massey Hall and never had the chance. For some reason I was always away when he played there. Jamie has seen him a handful of times including the infamous Dylan concert that lasted 5 hours in Toronto....he was telling me about it last night. A whole bunch of famous musicians were there, including Bowie...Dylan himself didn't go on stage until 2 hours into the concert. But, when Lightfoot stepped up onto the stage the normally staid Toronto concert goes went crazy and they wouldn't calm down until he played Sundown. It was around the time that song came out.

Jannie....now that would be a heady jazzercise class. I like your sense of humour. You must be a maritimer. ;)

Shasta Daisy...thank you. I'm yours! When is your anniversary? Are you two planning a special trip?

I feel the same way about Lightfoot's music. Its been in the past handful of years I've grown to have a much deeper connection to some of the songs. This one in particular. In fact, I don't even remember hearing Songs for a Winter's night years ago.
Early Morning Rain just about does me in when I hear it. Canadian Railroad Trilogy too especially if I'm in the car driving at night and listening. It's a haunting story....the kids like it too.

Thank you for the link....will have a listen now...

Awareness said...

Stacey...yes, it's the perfect song for her, that and Joni Mitchell's song about skating on the river. Both a hauntingly beautiful.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I've always been a Gordon Lightfoot fan. I'm glad he's still around and doing what he loves to do.

Happy V Day a day late.

Carmi said...

He defines the soundtrack of my childhood. I close my eyes and see myself at the local pool, swimming under the summer sun as his music wafted over the deck from the radio the lifeguards had set up just behind the deep end chair. They went through a ton of batteries that year before someone brought in a pile of extension chords and pulled them across the grass.

Thank you for this memory, Dana.

(Oh, and there's a happy surprise waiting for you over yonder...well, on my blog, anyway.)

Vodka Mom said...

well, I AM out in blogland, but I DON'T think I'm a miserable fuck. Although my husband might see it differently.

Pamela said...

here from carmi's
Loved Gordon Lightfoot forever!
And how beautifully done by Sara M --

Awareness said...

Layla...when I was fishing through Youtube to see which song I wanted to post, I watched a great recent interview with him and he's aged so much...but way more mellow and reflective. His voice isn't as strong, but still distinctively Gordon's

Carmi...it's quite amazing how predominant he is in our Canadian memories. I don't think I realized it until recently.

Vodka Mom...I aspire to be a vodka mom. Great bloggie moniker. Personally I think only males can be described at miserable fucks. I know gender bias...but its how i see it.

Its funny...have received a few inquiries about who I was referring to....like they felt guilty for this crime? i don't know. Anyways....I used the same description as this blogger did on his own site. So, he knows who he is...not liking Valentine's Day....

Pamela...Glad you could drop by. Let Lightfoots songs carry on forever too.

BreadBox said...

oooh... can I be one of the miserable ones out there, can I, can I, huh, huh, huh?


(Can you tell that Boo and Skibo have been being a bit insistent lately?)

Any news?
N.