Happy Birthday, Gord

The other day, I publicly admitted that I used to listen to the Carpenters and Meat Loaf. But if you looked through my album collection from the time I was about 12 until, well, until I started to buy CDs, the name dominating my collection was Gordon Lightfoot’s.

I know it’s not cool to love Gordon Lightfoot, but I do. It wasn’t cool when I was in high school, either, but I really didn’t care.

I loved the depth of his voice, the distinct guitar style, the folksy (yes, sometimes hokey) lyrics. I loved his name. I loved that he was from Orillia, a small city close to the marina where my family and I often visited during summers in Ontario. I loved him for his “Canadianess” in the same way I loved Burton Cummings and The Guess Who. Even though I wasn’t a Canadian citizen, I felt such a close kinship to Canada and my Canadian relatives, I felt like Gordon was one of my people.

I don’t listen to much Gord these days, but I have many of his reissues on CD, and there are days when no other music seems so right to me. So you can bet that today, after I heard on NPR that it was his birthday, his songs have been running through my head.

No, his voice isn’t strong anymore, and I doubt I’d ever go seem him perform in concert again, but he keeps on singing at 71, and I think that’s pretty cool.


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