Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind”

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This is one of my favorite songs. When I am having a bad day, I listen to this song and it puts me in a much better place. Gordon Lightfoot’s voice and his Canadian accent truly compliments each lyric and makes me feel as though I am actually there bearing witness to what he is singing about.  This man is such a great story teller and this song tells a story. It carries me away to a place so lovely, filled with soft, gentle breezes of fresh air…somewhere in time! Timeless, beautiful, sad, yet tasteful, and will always be a huge part of my life and listening pleasure.

One of Lightfoot’s most personal songs, this is about the breakup of his first marriage – a common theme in many of his songs. In the liner notes of his boxed set “Songbook,” he describes it as “A song about the failure of marriage.”

Written in 1969, the song has been recorded more than 100 times, first by Lightfoot himself for “Sit Down Young Stranger.” The album was not a commercial success, but after the song reached #5 on the US singles chart in 1971, the album was renamed after the song and re-released, reaching #12 in the pop charts.

This song was used in the Canadian feature film “Paperback Hero” in 1975.

Other recordings include those by Carroll Baker, Glen Campbell, The Bells, Johnny Mathis, Liza Minelli, Barbara Streisand and Andy Williams. Instrumental arrangements have been recorded by Herb Alpert, John Arpin, James Last, The Boss Brass and others. 

This song is part of the Series 1 soundtrack for Channel 4 TV’s Trigger Happy TV which is a quick-fire comedy show featuring prank calls and celebrity gags.

Johnny Cash covered this song on his last album before he died: American V: A Hundred Highways

 

SONG LYRICS – 

If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About 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 see

If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take

I 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 lets be real

I never thought I could act 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 feelings 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 about a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
The story always ends
And if you read between the lines
You’ll know that I’m just trying to understand
The feeling that you left

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

Writer/s: GORDON LIGHTFOOT

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind”

      1. Oh me also!
        Oh…I got that job but I ended up turning it down. When you are on call…you have to go out in the middle of the night and og to the place…which is crazy now days…you cannot connect in from home…so I said a big no.
        I used it as leverage against my current job and I’m better off now…but I’ll still look a little later on.