Monday, November 17, 2008

Who can this brave young horseman be?

Today is Gordon Lightfoot's 70th birthday.
Here's to you, Gord.
You were never "cool." But yet, you're soooo cool.
In fact, even though you are not loved by the great unwashed throngs, you are loved by the coolest of cool, Bob Dylan.
I have loved you for a long, long time.
Long before "The Wreck of the Edumund Fitzgerald," a song that always gives me chills, but surely not your greatest song.
In fact, I am so uncool that I have "Alberta Bound," "Cotton Jenny," and "10 Degrees and Getting Colder," among others on my workout MP3 program.
There are few things that make me feel better than driving along in my car singing along to a Gord song. I was driving through that long stretch between Albany and the Mass. border in a rainstorm a couple years ago -- you know where I'm talking about? (Maybe you don't Gord, since you live in Canada) -- anyway, I was listening to crummy Sunday morning radio and what came on but the Canadian Railroad Trilogy. It was a Sunday morning religious experience.
When I drove to Minnesota from New Hampshire last summer, you better believe there was a healthy dose of Gord on my MP3 player. How can you hang out on the shores of Superior, the big lake they call Gitchee-gumee and not listen to Lightfoot?
Your songs want to make me laugh and cry and be back in 1977 all at the same time.
I wish I could give you something for your birthday, Gord, to pay you back for all you have given me.
Folk on, man. Folk on.


izzy said...

I bet Gordon knows that stretch of road between Albany and the Mass border. Thanks for reminding us of the this great unsung hero of folk music!


J.D. Enright said...

"At 7 p.m., the main hatchway gave in/he said, "Fellas, it's been good, to know yaaa. . ."

Almost as good as,
"If you could read my mind/
what a tale your thoughts would tell/
just like a paperback novel/
The kind that drugstores sell . . ."

Happy Birthday to the great Canadian troubadour. His stuff is better looking back on it, especially since there was so much crap in the 70s (yeah, and the 80s, I know).

And I know that stretch between Albany and the Mass. border. I always seem to get caught in a downpour there.


Maureen Milliken said...

You quoted my favorite line from Edmund Fitzgerald!