Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind


Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian singer-songwriter born on November 17, 1938, in Orillia, Ontario. He has been performing and recording since the early 1960s. Although his appeal is international, his music heartfelt, his style is distinctly Canadian. (More biographical information can be found here.)

For Mr. Lightfoot, the song is a personal one, in this case about the moral failings of a individual, which is all too common and understandable. It's the human condition to fail, as it is the human condition to eventually triumph over the failure. What happens in between is the interesting part, the story or tale that bonds us humans together.

If You Could Read My Mind 
By Gordon Lightfoot

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 that you can't see. 
                                        
If I could read your mind, love,
What a tale your thoughts could tell.
Just like a paperback novel,
The kind the drugstores sell.
Then you reached the part where the heartaches come,
The hero would be me.
But heroes often fail,
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take!
                                        
I'd walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script.
Enter number two:
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me.
But for now, love, let's be real;
I never thought I could  feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feeling's gone
And I just can't get it back. 
                                        
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.
But stories always end,
And if you read between the lines,
You'd know that I'm just tryin' to understand
The feelin's that you lack.
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feelin's gone
And I just can't get it back!

©1969 By Gordon Lightfoot

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