A couple days ago, I got to meet and play with Gordon Lightfoot.
I had a weird sensation come over me as I played “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”…with the guy who wrote it.
Think about a painting that’s been hanging on the wall of your parents’ house since you were born. You’ve seen it so many times that the detail is lost. You’ve been over-exposed to it. You don’t even really notice it anymore. Maybe you never even got up close to check it out. “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” is like that to me.
Songs like this have slipped into another category of song in my brain – something like a nursery rhyme or a national anthem.
Playing it with the man himself brought it back to life for me. It was like that old painting had been spontaneously moved from the living room to the kitchen, and I was allowed to add my own colours to it.
I had a similar experience when I got to play “Four Strong Winds” with Sylvia Tyson on a tour of western Canada. (I know she didn’t write it, but it’s as much her song as it is Ian’s)
Check out some of your Canadian roots…
(photo by James Dean)