Rest In Peace, Gordon Lightfoot (1939-2023)

When I saw Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. live for the first and only time about 15 years ago, I thought he was a goner!  He looked so thin and frail, and when he tripped over a cord onstage I feared, “Well, that’s it.”  The air went completely out of the room.  Fortunately and obviously it wasn’t the end, but it was also obvious that Lightfoot had been battling health issues.  His voice was thin and whispery; very different from those booming old 1960s folk records.

Gordon Lightfoot and I bonded over “Edmund Fitzgerald” like many others did.  The nautical theme struck a chord, and of course that guitar riff was unforgettable.

Even more than that unmistakable voice, Lightfoot might be better recognized for his songwriting.  “Early Morning Rain”, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and “If You Could Read My Mind” are prime examples of perfect songwriting.  Elvis, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan all knew it.  That’s why they covered his songs.

Gordon Lightfoot will forever remain not just one of my favourite Canadian artists, but one of my favourite singers, period.  His lyrics will forever remain poems with dusty, buried layers of story that some of us will never even notice.  He educated me. Without Lightfoot I would have been ignorant of the name gichi-gumi, and possibly much of Canada’s history.  His records will be played infinitely.  He will live forever.

Rest in peace, Gordon Lightfoot.



  1. Nice tribute. I stopped (generally) posting RIP posts a long while ago, but Gordon deserves one. I will say Me & Bobby McGee was a Kristofferson song, but just more proof positive that Lightfoot had the power to make it his own. Truly a sad day, a real blow to Canadian music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard the Lightfoot version of Me and Bobby McGee on the radio yesterday and I was thinking that his version of that song is my favourite.


  2. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I remember in grade school when my teacher put The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald on for us.
    Such a haunting song.
    It instantly made me a history buff and the music lover I am today.
    I’ll miss you Gordon.


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