Aug 2, 2006

If you could read my mind, love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
'bout a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark, or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I'm a ghost you can't see

When I first listened to the latest Johnny Cash collection I was immediately floored by his tender and vulnerable rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind (excerpted above). I listened to it four or five times straight in a row, marveling at not only Cash's performance but at the song itself. I'd heard it a hundred times before, but until it was recast I never had any reason to actually listen. It's a shame, too, because I'd been missing out. Lightfoot, it turns out, is a hell of a songwriter. iTunes has a five song collection from Rhino available for just $3.99, and I heartily recommend picking it up. You'll likely recognize the songs, but try to forget that. Give it a good, honest listen and see if it doesn't impress.

Plus, look at him. He's cool.

4 comments:

The Transit Nomad said...

So Yeah D00d,

Lightfoot is HUGE in Arizona. Primarily because of the song Carefree Highway, which, as you can imagine, is about the Carefree Highway just north of Phoenix, near my family home. Witman is a fan as well.

geoff said...

I agree (about the Cash and Lightfoot assessments). I'd heard the song a billion times, but not since I was a pre-teen; Cash's aching and fragile rendition brought back memories of shag carpet and eight track players.

Chip said...

My wife hipped me to Lightfoot this past year...and Chip declared it was good.

Elias said...

I can remember a pretty hairy fight my parents got into one Saturday morning when I was a kid, all because my dad played Gord's Gold way more than anyone should. I secretly sided with my mom, though I don't hold anything against Mr. Lightfoot.

It's all true folks.