“I can’t think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don’t like. Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.”
That is high praise, coming as it does from the legendary Bob Dylan. The Canadian, Mr. Lightfoot, passed away last week, leaving behind a legacy of beautiful music. This blogpost focuses on Gordon Lightfoot love songs that work well at weddings.
Younger readers may not be familiar with his songs. And yet Gordon Lightfoot love songs are beautifully crafted, both musically and lyrically, to withstand the test of time.
Take a listen to his tender love song, “Softly, She Comes:”
The haunting melody is enhanced by lyrics that express how timeless love is:
“Softly she comes,
Whispers the breeze with her passing.
In secret love she is laughing,
Softly she comes in the night.”
Too many contemporary song writers dash off the lyrics as an afterthought to fill out overproduced, banal melodies. Lightfoot demonstrates how an underproduced, but beautifully-crafted love, song (by today’s standards) is effortlessly carried by simple acoustic guitar and light percussion.
As is often the case with successful singers, Gordon Lightfoot cut his musical teeth singing in a church choir, where he was taught how to sing with emotion. His rich, baritone voice was the perfect instrument to express the emotional depth of his music.
That depth was on full display on his #1 hit song from 1970:
“If You Could Read My Mind.”
As you listen to the lyrics, you realize this isn’t a love song, it’s a break-up song, so it won’t work as a wedding song:
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,
But heroes often fail,
And you won’t read that book again,
Because the ending’s just too hard to take.
Lyrics like these, though, are a cut-above the lyrics you hear in contemporary break-up songs.
When you’re in the wedding entertainment business, like Columbus Pro DJs is, you become familiar with all the great love songs, whether they were written last year or last century.
Our clients appreciate that we can introduce them to artists of yesteryear with whom they’re not familiar, such as Gordon Lightfoot love songs. Here’s another:
Here’s another …
Again, Lightfoot’s lyrics are tender and properly sentimental:
At times I just don’t know,
How you could be anything but beautiful,
Think that I was made for you,
And you were made for me.
As the troubadours from another generation continue to die off, it’s worth revisiting their body of work to uncover new gems to add to our playlists, or to play at your Columbus wedding. Columbus Pro DJs can play the Gordon Lightfoot love songs of your choice on high-end equipment with controlled, clear sound.
Take a minute right to check us out and see if we’re available for your wedding date.