Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums



Recommended Posts



Not sure if this is proper but I like to live dangerously.


Gordon Lightfoot is perhaps one, if not the best Canadian Folk Artist. In his website




is listed with chords and lyrics most, if not all of his songs. I can not vouch for the accuracy of the chords and lyrics but it is a good place to start.


I have no association with Gordon Lightfoot or his website - just like his music.


P.S. He is playing a 12 string Gibson in Sundown so he must be ok


Canada Eh!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Rooftop Singers and the New Christy Minstrels made me want a Gibson 12 string when I was little, then buying the Sundown album in '74 sealed it. I do have a B45-12 now so all is good.


Fred, where in NB are you? We may cross paths sometime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Live in LeTang which is on the way to Deer Island from St. George, St. George is about 1/2 way from Saint John and St. Stephen. I work in St. Stephen a town which borders Calais, Maine.


Frequently visit Calais where the gas, comes from the same refinery in Saint John is 60 Cents per Canadian Dollar Litre and in St. Stephen it is 84 Cents a Litre. Have not figured out that one yet other than us Canadians are taxed to death.


Love to get together some time - have visited your site and marveled at your repair work.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Gordon Lightfoot! I've been on a Lightfoot kick of late. I've got tickets for his concert here in Calgary this coming April!


I'm now note perfect on "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" and hope to play it live at an open mic in the near future.


I recently recorded "Song For a Winter's Night"* for the annual CD I make for family and friends each Christmas. I played it on my new Gibson Songwriter. The bass is my Rickenbacker.


* turn of your popup blocker

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Working on "The Pony Man" easy GL song to play and currently tabbing notes for singing.




I've been wearing out "Gord's Gold" lately. I really like the "I'm Not Saying/Ribbon of Darkness" medley. So I've been working on that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever I want to see my wife flinch and gag, I say two words: "Gordon Lightfoot". Yes, I know that's cruel, but remember- It's my wife who's being cruel in this instance. Not Ol Hoss.

I used to bait her by bringing up for discussion all the song titles for his hits-- quite a few.


But really, Gordy went a little over the top with the voice and puffy shirt routine. I liked him up till @ 1969.

True story: he did kiss my cousin Cindy's hand when he met her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Took up the guitar again about 7 years ago and the first song I subsequently played in public, about 4 years ago, was The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, on my old Yamaha 12 string. Was a duet with my teacher who played his J185 12. (Probably deserves a mention in the Best Acoustic thread.)


I'm going to have a crack at Paul Weller's version of Early Morning Rain at the next open mic I do, in a couple of weeks - on the Tak I think although I like to simplicity of a 6 string on that song.


Sundown is a great song. I've promised myself some GL as I don't know too much. Suggestions for an introductory album would be welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok now you've got me going... suggestions? Here we go...


12 string Lightfoot musts:


Sundown (don't forget to capo 2 and play the E5 chord like this)









Early Morning Rain

Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Carefree Highway

Alberta Bound

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald


6 string fingerstyle



Song for a Winter's Night

If You Could Read My Mind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in Canada's capitol, Ottawa, and met and chatted with Gordie (as we called him) Lightfoot at his first appearance at a "coffee house" (remember those?) called Le Hibou (the owl) where previous week's entertainers included Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee and an up-and-coming singer/songwriter (before "Me & Bobby McGee" fame) Kris Kristofferson (introduced to us as a "Rhodes Scholar," I remember!)


Anyway, at this, my first meeting with Gordon Lightfoot, I enthused to him how much I liked his "sound" and he kindly showed me, on the spot, after we set down our coffees, how he tuned his E-string down to D. What a revelation! The big open sounding chords you hear on the songs "Drathburn" lists above.


I was accomplished at playing "open-D" tuning when next he came to town, performing in the 1,000 seat auditorium of my older sister's high school "Glebe Collegiate" (whose stage saw matinee performances for 25 cents a seat, during the 1930s by the likes of violin great Yasha Heifetz and (if you can imagine) Rachmaninoff himself, trying to pay the bills, post Great Depression.


On that same stage, 30 years later, there was Gordie, playing to his first large audience, introducing us to his new song, none of us had heard -- not yet released on an LP: "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." There was a moment of stunned silence (of appreciation) before a standing ovation (something rarely seen in those days -- not like today when it's expected at the end of ANY concert by ANYONE, right?)


It's just possible some of you have never tried open-D tuning. Do it, and play your D and A chords, then work up and down the neck with some three-note major chords above D. Suddenly you're playing "Early Morning Rain" and "Railroad Trilogy."


Like everyone else in those days I was in a band and the first to discover how the "new" Beatles tune (the highlight of the "Rubber Soul" album I thought) -- "Norwegian Wood" was MADE to be played in Gordon Lightfoot D-tuning. I taught it to one of my sons who quickly mastered it -- playing it as well as I ever did, and when he spent a few years in Japan, teaching English (and meeting his new bride "Eriko") and discovered how much his students loved the Beatles, he thanked me profusely for introducing him to that one, in that open-D tuning.


At age 18, I taught myself J. Fred Coots "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in open D-tuning, then learned to switch to the key of A for the second chorus, using my thumb to close off the E-string (tuned down) as required for complete six-string chords. Clear as mud? I don't read music, and don't know which augmented and diminished chords I'm playing! But now and again, at Christmas time, someone will kindly say, "that's nice, Mark!"


Oh yes, a friend from those days, who played better guitar than I ever did (but borrowed my "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" arrangement and showed me how to play it in A (where the bridge is different -- better) a friend now living in Halifax Nova Scotia went to see Gordon Lightfoot live-in-concert last year, and said he was hugely impressed!


If "Gordie" ever comes to Winnipeg again, I'll have to go there. It would be seventh time I've seen him perform since . . . oh, 1966.


Trivia: Gordon Lightfoot was one of the square-dancers on Canada's prototypical "country western" hour, "COUNTRY HOEDOWN" whose host, Gordie Tapp went on to be one of the comic hosts on the American "Hee Haw" program. And for a time, the staff guitarist on Country Hoedown (back when Gordie was one of the square dancers) was Winnipeg's Lenny Breau -- the greatest all-round guitarist who ever lived. Chet Atkins told me when I interviewed him the summer of 71, when he performed at our "Exhibition" (glorified state fair) that "Lenny is the greatest guitarist in the world."


I saw Lenny perform for the first time at that same Ottawa coffee house, when he drove up between "Country Hoedown" shows to play. Between sets, he asked me "what do you think of Chet?" (then stared at me intently to see what this young stranger would say.


"I have everything Chet's ever recorded," I said. "But I have to say your technique is even more amazing!"


Lenny cut me short: "Oh no. There is only ONE Chet Atkins," he said.


Did I thank you for starting this Gordon Lightfoot thread? Well, there, I said it again!


Mark Blackburn

Winnipeg Canada

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poor Mans 12 String Sound for Sundown


Capo 2nd Fret - tab referenced to 2nd fret.


Main Verse


I can see her ...................








In a room where .....









Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listened to GL religiously in the 60's and 70's and saw him live from the front row, center in 1975 at the local University in my town. Loved him. I have to admit I haven't been listening as much but I think I will now that he's been revived here. Drath, sorry I couldn't get your song to play. I like almost all his stuff, and the Railroad Trilogy is a good one. I still have two big songbooks of his from the 70's. Best hits and Gord's Gold I think. Albertjohn, Gord's Gold is a great one to get your feet wet on. He had a very talented young guy playing backup with him on acouctic guitar, lots of lead stuff. I think his name was Terry Clements or something like that. I think his long time acoustic side-kick was a guy named Red Shea. As I recall, it was a great concert. Thanks for the website also!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doug-thanks' date=' good stuff! Did you do all the background, bells etc.?[/size']


Thanks! =D>


I bought a set of sleigh bells from a local music shop just for this recording. It was just before Christmas so they came in handy at the Christmas party too!


I play most of the instruments in my recordings (guitar, bass, harmonica, simple piano) and do all the vocals with the assistance of my wife and daughter, but everything else is done with MIDI samples (drums, organ, orchestral instruments).

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...