Mudcat Café message #2615419 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120299   Message #2615419
Posted By: Little Hawk
21-Apr-09 - 01:59 AM
Thread Name: Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson
Subject: RE: Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson
"Can any of you write like that?"

On the right day? Well, yeah, I think I can now and then, actually, though that doesn't mean I think I'm as good as Bob. I'm not. Anyway...as to Tyson, Cohen, and Lightfoot...

I think all three of them are brilliant songwriters. And Dylan is too, needless to say. So are Joni Mitchell and Mary Chapin Carpenter. By the way, Bob Dylan has the highest opinion of Lightfoot's songwriting. He recently mentioned some of his favorites as being "If You Could Read My Mind", "Shadows", and "Sundown", and he said he can't think of a single Lightfoot song that he doesn't like.

I pretty much agree with Bob's view on that, though I'm not that fond of "That's What You Get (For Lovin' Me)"...still, I'd say it is an effective song, I just don't like it much. I can't identify with the sentiment.

"Edmund Fitzgerald"? For what it sets out to do, which is to tell an epic story of a shipwreck, it's perfect. It needs no apologies.

One of the things that's really striking about Lightfoot's songs, quite aside from the lyrics which are usually quite good, is this: they are often surprisingly sophisticated in a musical sense, very skillful and imaginative chording and melody lines in some of those songs. He makes a lot of use of suspended chords, for instance, which lends a much more interesting sound than sticking to the standard major and minor chords.

As for Tyson, he's written some of the most classic cowboy songs of all time, plus a few others that really stand out.