Mudcat Café message #2616542 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120299   Message #2616542
Posted By: Willie-O
22-Apr-09 - 05:42 PM
Thread Name: Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson
Subject: RE: Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson
Me too LH. It's not a contest, folks.

Lightfoot just gave a long and very interesting CBC radio interview with Jian Ghomeshi, where he acknowledged that "Sundown" is not the song he'd like to be remembered for. (He cites If You Could Read My Mind, Edmund Fitzgerald, and Beautiful).

Not all of his songs are great, but his catalog is extensive, rich and varied. Canadian Railroad Trilogy isn't a bad little ditty, for a CBC-commissioned work. I really love "Did She Mention My Name", a masterfully subtle romantic-nostalgia lyric.      

As for Cathy Smith, a bit more info: she lived with him for three years, was indeed the "Sundown" femme fatale, and, long after she dumped him and Toronto for the LA fast lane and got herself into a whole lot of trouble, Lightfoot ended up paying a bunch of her legal bills--he helped her when no one else would (and doesn't volunteer this info, it seems). Pretty classy, I think.

And Midchuck, the Edmund Fitzgerald was a God Damned true story that happened the year he wrote the song. Lightfoot wrote a classic shipwreck ballad about a contemporary tragedy, and made millions of people feel the experience that took 29 lives. I think that's what God Damned folksingers are supposed to do, we should all hope to do so well.   

All worthy.