♫ Gordon Lightfoot — A Brief Tribute ♫

I had another song in mind for today, but it left my mind about 10:30 last night when I got a ‘breaking news’ notification that one of my favourite musicians, Gordon Lightfoot, had died.  NOT GORDON … NOOOooooooooo  😭

This is but a small tribute to the man and his music, but I couldn’t simply let his death go unremarked.  As I have said about so many others before him, he left us a legacy of beautiful music that will live on long past his death.

A few things I learned last night about Gordon Lightfoot:

  • To Canadians, he was a legend, a hero. But his response to that was down-to-earth: “Sometimes I wonder why I’m being called an icon, because I really don’t think of myself that way. I’m a professional musician, and I work with very professional people. It’s how we get through life.”
  • He wrote his first song while still in high school, about the Hula Hoop craze with a catchy last line: “I guess I’m just a slob and I’m gonna lose my job, ’cause I’m Hula-Hula-Hoopin’ all the time.”
  • A consummate entertainer to the end, Lightfoot doggedly refused to give up live shows. He toured the U.K. for the first time in 35 years in 2015, and two years later was part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in Ottawa. He released Solo in 2020, a collection of studio recordings that he had kicking around in the vaults for several years. In 2010, he vowed to keep playing up to 70 gigs a year “because I love doing it.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted …

“We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters. Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever. To his family, friends, and many fans across the country and around the world: I’m keeping you in my thoughts at this difficult time.”

And even horror writer Stephen King weighed in …

“Gordon Lightfoot has died. He was a great songwriter and a wonderful performer. Sundown, you better take care/If I catch you creepin’ ’round my back stairs.”

In 2010, reports of his death were greatly exaggerated but believed even by his friends.  Turns out it was a Twitter prank that went viral.  When he was finally contacted, Lightfoot responded:  “I’m fine, everything is good. I’m in great health.  I was quite surprised to hear the news myself … I haven’t had so much airplay on my music now for weeks.”

There is so much more I could write about the man, but I think that for tonight I prefer to let his music do the talking.  If you’re interested, I did come across a fairly comprehensive bio on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) website.  And now … the music.

R.I.P. Mr. Lightfoot … thank you for all the wonderful music!

40 thoughts on “♫ Gordon Lightfoot — A Brief Tribute ♫

  1. We saw him at the beginning of his career, in Kingston, Ontario, at Queen’s University, and then at the end, several years ago, here in Ottawa, Ontario at the National Arts Centre. He was a poet and wrote the stories in his songs that were meaningful for Canadians. He will be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not only was he a wonderful singer/songwriter, but a humble man who represented Canada well. I love his music and have been singing it for the last few days. Great share, Jill.

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  3. Pingback: ♫ Gordon Lightfoot — A Brief Tribute ♫ | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  4. Jill, many thanks. We are of like minds today to honor Gordon Lightfoot. You did clarify something for me. My wife and I saw him about a dozen years ago, but a key reason was with thought he had died. You noted the death hoax back in 2010, so that may have reeled us in. His concert was wonderful, as he took time between songs to share insight. He altered one song the way Elvis covered it and he was appreciative of Peter Paul and Mary singing another. His body of work is extensive with something for every one. Thanks, Keith

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    • Indeed we were, and not surprisingly. I wasn’t aware of the death hoax in 2010 until I read about it last night, either. Apparently some woman posted it on Twitter, it went viral, and even the media picked up on it. The woman was booted from Twitter (that was back when they had a few standards) but never punished by the law. Yes, he was a versatile talent with, as you say, something for everyone! He will live on through his music, though.


  5. When my wife read and related his passing last night, I asked her, “What song immediately came to your mind?” Her song was “If You Could Read My Mind”. Mine was “Sundown.” Spent a worthwhile hour last night reading about him and listening to his music. Another one gone. Sigh. Hugs and cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In my mind, he reached perfection when he wrote and sang Black Day in July. I thought he captu4ed the horror of racism extremely well. Unfortubately, no one listened… And look where we are today. One step forward, five steps back!

    Liked by 2 people

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