Friday 5 May 2023

The Best

Canadian songwriter, singer, guitarist and international performer Gordon Lightfoot died last Sunday, May 1.

Other folks have written better tributes to him and his music than I could, but as I read those tributes and recognized almost every title listed, I knew there was one missing, one I had always found unusually captivating.

Stray bits of the tune floated in and out of my head but I couldn't remember enough of it to identify it. Finally I searched online for his complete body of work, and the title jumped out at me.

"Beautiful" is a haunting, lyrical love song which I first heard when I was in senior high school. It faded into the back of my memory as I moved on to university and became interested in other genres of music.

Although my husband always said we met at university (and in fact we did), he didn't enter my consciousness until we met again at my first job after graduation. So I associate other music with him, through our early days together and the many years that followed until his death a little more than two years ago.

Listening to "Beautiful" now, I realize it encapsulates perfectly my feelings for him and for the best of our relationship, and I wish he was here for me to tell him so.



anonymous said...

Thanks ever so much for the "Beautiful" video, you have good taste - Mary

Terra said...

I like that song too, and I wish my hubby was still here so we could listen to it together. We had a happy marriage of 47 years until his death 6 years ago. Gordon Lightfoot was so talented.

Elephant's Child said...

A misty-eyed thank you.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

A wonderful tribute to a new-to-me artist and to your husband.

dinthebeast said...

Gordon Lightfoot was an excellent musician and a top flight storyteller. Every musician I keep up with has written about the respect they had for him. That he could reach into your life and touch you from afar just speaks to his mastery of his craft. Gonna miss him.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

PS. I only thought I did not know him. Shortly after listening to "Beautiful" here, I started humming Early Mornin' Rain. It is him, I know him well! Only I was never big on naming artists, maybe as a silent protest to my contemporaries who plasterd their rooms with posters of one group only. My taste were more diverse, which made me many enemies, being a "betrayer" to the group/artist in question. But he - and his songs - was the background of much of my youth as well,
Thank you for the songs, Gordon Lightfoot.

kylie said...

A very poignant post and song. I'm sure he knew how you felt but it would be nice to be able to say it again (or say it in a new way)
They say grief is all the love we can't give and you express that well.

jabblog said...

Very touching post, Jenny. I listened to the song - it says everything that needs to be said.

37paddington said...

Darling Jenny, I think you just told him so. I think he heard you. Hugs my dear friend and birthday twin.

Marie Smith said...

What a wonderful memory associated with Lightfoot! I really enjoyed reading and listening.

Sending a hug across the Strait this morning!

John said...

I love his music. It affects me so emotionally.

Diane Henders said...

A lovely tribute to your husband, and to Gordon Lightfoot. Thanks for sharing it. :-)

baili said...

dear Jenny this is beautiful sharing indeed
video is written "unavailable" to me for some reason but when i searched the song i know i have listened it many times on radio and than later on tv .loved the lovely lyrics .
i can imagine your feelings when you hear this because it belong to times that are so special to you !

music and lyrics specially have power and beauty to make us relive those moments that mattered most once .

dinthebeast said...

Here's something you might enjoy: Chris Thile and his band Punch Brothers, who are ostensibly a Bluegrass outfit, but are so damn good that they can and do play literally everything, covering "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" back in '22.
The passion and energy they bring to this song is breathtaking:

-Doug in Sugar Pine

jenny_o said...

Mary: Everyone seems to have a different favourite from Lightfoot's work. I'm glad you like this one too.

Terra: Yes, that's how I feel too (wanting to listen to it with my husband). Lightfoot was indeed a talented musician.

Elephant's Child: I've cried every time I've listened to it. It speaks so strongly to me. Thank you for liking it too.

Charlotte: I'm glad you connected the dots and that you were reminded of his other songs. He was a prolific songwriter and his music appealed to so many.

Doug: You've nailed it. Another tribute, succinct and accurate.

kylie: Yes, you understood perfectly - I'd like to do both of those. Thank you for that summing up.

jabblog: It's deceptively simple, isn't it? But it's the simple things that mean everything, to me at least.

37p: I wish that were so. Hugs to you, too. I hope you are feeling lighter today.

Marie: Thank you, neighbour :) You are my nearest blogger buddy and I feel your presence just across the water.

John: He'll be missed; thankfully his music will live on.

Diane: And thank you for reading. It seems like another chapter is closed, doesn't it?

baili: You are so right - music holds a special key to unlocking memories. For me, it's more powerful than words or pictures. I'm glad you could find the song when you couldn't listen to it here. Thanks for your kind comments, always.

jenny_o said...

Doug: Thank you for that version - lots of talent there. I kept waiting for more bass to kick in but it was not to be!

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks for sharing, jenny_o. I wasn't aware of this song but I am glad I am now. Gordon was kind of a big deal. He will be missed.

River said...

I'd never heard this and don't know many of his other songs either. I only remember Sundown.

Steve Reed said...

I've long been a fan of Gordon Lightfoot and have many of his songs (including "Beautiful") on my iTunes. He was a monumental figure for those of us who lived through the '70s.

messymimi said...

I'm trying to catch up on blog reading after a run of very long workdays.

This is a beautiful song, and a lovely tribute to the love you shared with your husband. Again, i am very sad for your loss.

jenny_o said...

Mr. Shife: He'll be missed, indeed.

River: Sundown is another good one.

Steve: That was his biggest decade, I think.

Mimi: Thank you, friend - there are good days and bad days, which is to be expected, I think. I don't know how you keep up with everything with the schedule you have!

Cherie said...

I'm invigilating an exam right now so will have to listen at lunch time. I loved Gordon Lightfoot music back in the day so it's sure to be a nice reminder.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Beautiful" is indeed beautiful Jenny. I had not heard it before. Gordon Lightfoot could write songs about love that were not mushy but rooted in reality. It must be nice to think of your husband while listening to that song even when tears form in your eyes.

jenny_o said...

Cherie: Thanks for dropping by; I hope you liked it.

YP: I agree - this song is not sentimental but it IS full of feeling. I still feel raw and this song is heartbreaking to listen to, but it suits my emotions right now.