Gordon lightfoot.jpg

I’ve had several weeks to consider the many compilations I’ve loved over time.  The decision was so difficult that I’m going to list the ones I almost picked:  The Very Best Of The Seekers, The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971, Pretenders The Singles, The Best of Peter Paul & Mary: Ten Years Together, and Best of Bread.  Finally, I settled on ‘Gord’s Gold’ and started writing.  Then I stopped, changed my mind, and started writing about The Seekers.  I bought that CD in the Threshold Records flagship store in Cobham, England.  It was my driving-around-England music in 2010.  I can sing along loudly to the Seekers’ uplifting songs (Georgy Girl, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World of our Own), which will ruin it for anyone except me, because I don’t hear myself; just Judith Durham’s amazing voice. The compilation contains The Seekers’ hits, and covers a lot of great songs from the 1960s.  Seems like it would be perfect for a desert island.

But then I looked back at all of the songs on Gord’s Gold, and considered the fact that Gordon Lightfoot wrote and sang all of those amazing songs.  I can sing along to Gordon’s songs too, in a softer voice, with more reflection.

My favorites for singing along are: Cotton Jenny, Don Quixote, Minstrel of the Dawn, and Carefree Highway.  

Don Quixote’:
“See the drunkard in the tavern
Stemming gold to make ends meet
See the youth in ghetto black
Condemned to life upon the street”

My favorites for listening are too many to list.  It’s the entire rest of the album.  But special mention goes to: ‘If You Could Read My Mind’, for the lyrics; ‘Bitter Green’, for the chorus harmonies; and ‘Canadian Railroad Trilogy’, for being a masterful celebration of railroad heritage.

If You Could Read My Mind’:

Gord’s Gold was released in 1975, so it is not a ‘complete’ compilation of Gordon Lightfoot’s finest works.  Later came ‘Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’, and ‘Daylight Katy’, both of which I would add to Gord’s Gold if I could.  Those two additions would make a truly perfect compilation, I say.

‘Carefree Highway’:
“Picking up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream
I wonder how the old folks are tonight.
Her name was Ann and I’ll be damned if I recall her face
She left me not knowing what to do.”

Gordon still tours and puts on a very enjoyable concert, but has had to suspend his touring for the Covid-19 pandemic.  He is the very definition of a troubadour.  

Gord’s Gold Track Listing:
I’m Not Sayin’/Ribbon of Darkness
Song for a Winter’s Night
Canadian Railroad Trilogy
For Lovin’ Me/Did She Mention My Name

Side 2
Affair on 8th Avenue
Steel Rail Blues
Wherefore and Why
Bitter Green
Early Morning Rain

Side 3
Minstrel of the Dawn
Summer Side of Life
Rainy Day People
Cotton Jenny

Side 4
Don Quixote
Circle of Steel
Old Dan’s Records
If You Could Read My Mind
Cold on the Shoulder
Carefree Highway


  1. Nice! Nice pick, and did me a favor too because this was on my final list of 4 contenders – seriously. Great artist and a terrific package of songs … part of not only my childhood, but as a Canuck, almost part of our cultural DNA… you could walk into any room , it would seem and start “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down…” and if it was people over 30, half the room would join in. So many good songs on it, it’s hard for me to choose one favorite, but “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” probably are neck and neck at the top.

    • Thank you! I’m honored to get the stamp of approval from a legit Canuck. I can imagine your pride in having Gordon as a fellow countryman. In hindsight, I wish I would have added the Canadian Railroad Trilogy as one of the sample tracks. My only personal ‘connection’ to his music is that a few years ago, I was privileged to meet the daughter of ‘the cook who came on deck’ on the Edmund Fitzgerald. Turns out she lives in my state now, and attended the most recent concert Gordon did here. She was in my row, just a few seats away.

    • wow, that’s rather neat! We actually studied that song in class at school in something like Grade 8… surprising it didn’t kill my appreciation of the song, but I still love it.

  2. I like a little Lightfoot now and then- underappreciated I believe. I have Gord’s Gold- and another greatest hits- and the box set.. and I have been able to find some of his old albums recently on vinyl. Good stuff.

  3. Great choice…I’ve liked Gordon ever since I heard Sundown. He is not talked about enough…He is one of the best of the 70s singer songwriters.

  4. I had this one on my list, Diana, and actually wrote it up today for my day on Saturday. Wouldn’t you know I picked the one day not to read DiD yesterday 😦 That’s ok I have another goodn chosen. Gord’s Gold really is Golden. The songs feel like old friends. When I think of how much good music Mr. Lightfoot has given to the world over the years, he really is a godsend. Excellent choice 🙂

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