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Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF THE YARMOUTH CASTLE
BEST YEARS OF HER LIFE
BIG STEEL RAIL
DID SHE MENTION MY NAME
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND
I'M NOT SAYING
IN THE EARLY MORNING RAIN
LOST CHILDREN
THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOVING ME
THE EDMUND FITZGERALD


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GUEST,setledown 05 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,domenico 05 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM
Pene Azul 05 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM
Pene Azul 05 Nov 01 - 09:15 PM
Amergin 05 Nov 01 - 09:33 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Nov 01 - 09:59 PM
catspaw49 05 Nov 01 - 10:14 PM
Sorcha 05 Nov 01 - 10:37 PM
Little Hawk 05 Nov 01 - 11:16 PM
heric 05 Nov 01 - 11:35 PM
Little Hawk 05 Nov 01 - 11:52 PM
Leeder 06 Nov 01 - 12:09 AM
catspaw49 06 Nov 01 - 12:31 AM
vlmagee 06 Nov 01 - 09:27 AM
RangerSteve 06 Nov 01 - 09:36 AM
Gary T 06 Nov 01 - 09:49 AM
Fortunato 06 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM
Jack the Sailor 06 Nov 01 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,maxine 06 Nov 01 - 11:39 AM
MichaelAnthony 06 Nov 01 - 11:48 AM
Little Hawk 06 Nov 01 - 12:11 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM
TonyK 06 Nov 01 - 12:19 PM
SharonA 06 Nov 01 - 12:39 PM
Willie-O 06 Nov 01 - 12:53 PM
TonyK 06 Nov 01 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Steven G. 06 Nov 01 - 01:02 PM
Peter T. 06 Nov 01 - 01:05 PM
mousethief 06 Nov 01 - 01:10 PM
PeteBoom 06 Nov 01 - 01:22 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Nov 01 - 01:26 PM
Amos 06 Nov 01 - 01:32 PM
Leeder 06 Nov 01 - 01:39 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Nov 01 - 01:40 PM
TonyK 06 Nov 01 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,maxine 06 Nov 01 - 02:35 PM
SharonA 06 Nov 01 - 02:49 PM
Little Hawk 06 Nov 01 - 02:51 PM
The Hiker 06 Nov 01 - 03:14 PM
Jack the Sailor 06 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
Kim C 06 Nov 01 - 05:21 PM
Mountain Dog 06 Nov 01 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,frankie 06 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM
SharonA 06 Nov 01 - 07:16 PM
SDShad 06 Nov 01 - 09:24 PM
53 06 Nov 01 - 10:14 PM
robomatic 06 Nov 01 - 10:56 PM
catspaw49 06 Nov 01 - 11:37 PM
vlmagee 07 Nov 01 - 07:34 AM
ollaimh 07 Nov 01 - 05:38 PM
Gypsy 07 Nov 01 - 11:03 PM
CaptainLewis 08 Nov 01 - 12:38 AM
catspaw49 08 Nov 01 - 12:56 AM
vlmagee 03 Feb 02 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,kivatrader 03 Feb 02 - 11:27 AM
Clinton Hammond 03 Feb 02 - 03:09 PM
sian, west wales 25 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 10 - 12:15 PM
Beer 25 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 25 Mar 10 - 01:29 PM
Michael Harrison 25 Mar 10 - 01:45 PM
JennieG 25 Mar 10 - 07:37 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 10 - 07:47 PM
JennieG 25 Mar 10 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Lightfoot Fan 03 Jan 11 - 11:54 PM
Beer 04 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 13 - 09:38 PM
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Subject: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,setledown
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM

I am looking for the words to Gordon Lightfoot's tribute to the men who died on the Edmund Fitzgerald. The song is aptly named "The Wreck ofthe Edmund Fitzgerald" and I am grreatly surprised that the lyrics are not part of the Mudcat's database.

Will someone please add these lyrics as soon as possible? I am working up a new show and need these ASAP

This is the first time the Mudcat has let me down. I won't take you for granted anymore.

THANKS


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Subject: Lyr Add: WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD^^^
From: GUEST,domenico
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM

... ahh yes, the best way to kill a party... :)

It's probably not listed due to copyright law, but here you go...

THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitchigumi
The lady, it's said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
When the wave broke over the whaling
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
'Twas the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM the main hatchway gave in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have gulfed deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Ole Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
The iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitchigumi
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.

Copyright Gordon Lightfoot^^^


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Pene Azul
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:13 PM

Here in the DT.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Pene Azul
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:15 PM

With chords here (as referenced in an earlier thread).

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:33 PM

never heard of this song before...


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Subject: I wish....
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 09:59 PM

Listen to James Keelaghan's "Captain Torrez" for a really GOOD shipwreck song... not just 4 good chords round and around and around over clumsy lyrics...


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:14 PM

I have no idea why you had a problem finding these, but next time use the "Digitrad and Forum Search" at the top of the main page, just above the threads on the left. It does a great job......Forget the DTsearch.....Try the DT and Forum Search right now by entering Edmund Fitzgerald and see what you get.

Far out huh?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:37 PM

Truly phar out. Spaw, ya know ya gotta spell "phar" correctly........


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:16 PM

People love to criticize this particular Lightfoot song (which does contain a few clumsy lines in the lyrics), but I have always found it very atmospheric and dramatically effective, both in the storytelling sense and in the music, simple as it is.

Interestingly enough, it remains the single most rapturously received song in most of Lightfoot's live performances in Canada, from what I've seen...so obviously I'm not the only one out there who likes it.

Then too, long songs don't bother me, since I grew up on Dylan.

I was once at a festival where I met a veteran folky who really pissed me off by complaining about Buffy Sainte-Marie's song "My Country 'Tis of thy People You're Dying". He had 2 reasons for not liking it: 1. He didn't identify with the theme (I can't imagine why...he was a Scot, and they had their land invaded and occupied, after all) 2. He thought it was WAY TOO LONG.

This pompous gent then went up on stage later in the evening and had the gall to play a supposedly funny song he had written that had at least 35 verses and lasted over 20 interminable minutes.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

I suspect that the real reason he didn't like Buffy was merely because she is world famous and he is not. That means she's just gotta be a big commercial sellout, right? (sarcasm)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: heric
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:35 PM

Many years ago Saturday Night Live did a spoof of an infomercial selling Gordon Lightfoot's "Every Song Ever Written." As the titles scrolled up the screen, samples of songs as diverse as Stairway to Heaven and some Pavorotti stuff I don't recall, etc. were played, each sounding exactly the same as the prior ones. It was a hoot.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:52 PM

The funniest thing of that sort I ever heard was a Neil Young parody called "Southern California Brings Me Down". Utterly hilarious, because it sounded exactly like Neil...the whiny off key vocals and the typical themes (fear of turning into an "old man", depression, being wasted, etc...). They grabbed every Neil Youngism possible and crammed it all into one song.

This parody should be required listening for all inmates to the NYCFTTS on a daily basis.

(By the way, don't get me wrong, I LIKE Neil, but it's still a great parody...)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Leeder
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:09 AM

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" has a lot of raw energy to compensate for the occasional clumsy wording. It's the closest thing to a traditional-sounding song that Lightfoot ever wrote, and to me came as a welcome surprise at that point in his career, when he'd discovered what a "Gordon Lightfoot" song sounded like and started writing the same song over and over. The "Fitzgerald" was a refreshing departure.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:31 AM

Ya know Guys, while I mught even tend to agree with you about a "Lightfoot Song," it's way too common for a lot of songwriters to fall into that and I agree that Fitz was a departure and for me, very haunting, very foreboding...you can hear the storm.

As far as the it's a "So and So Song"..........Lightfoot and everyone else is way behind and cannot hold a candle to James Taylor. You can sing the lyrics to "Fire and Rain" to ANY of JT's songs. Arlo once was talking about a song he wrote which sounded like a JT song and he realized that he wrote it whilr the two of them were living together in either London or Paris...don't remember which.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: vlmagee
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:27 AM

There is a mistake in the third line in both copies of the lyrics included above. It is:

"The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead"

not "lady".

I didn't read through the entire song, so you may want to double check with my copy, linked from the main page of my http://gordonlightfoot.com web site.

As far as the accusation that his songs sound the same, I won't get into the fray, simply because as a "devoted" fan, I am perhaps not considered objective. BUT, I find it hard to see how people can say this about his music. It certainly isn't true of his biggest hits (If You Could Read My Mind, Sundown and "Wreck"), and when you consider some of his other great songs (Early Mornin' Rain, Canadian Railroad Trilogy, Song For A Winter's Night), the argument becomes even weaker.

What is consistent is the sound of his rhythm guitar - unmistakable - and his voice, also unmistakable. But his originality is really quite amazing considering how many songs he has written and - if you listen to a lot of them (like on the boxed set Songbook) - I think you will agree that his songs do NOT sound alike. You might not love them, as I do, but I think his creativity is pretty well proven in that collection.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: RangerSteve
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:36 AM

Apparently, some people are unfamiliar with folk music. Edmond Fitzgerald is short compared to a lot of traditional ballads. And clumsy lyrics are also part of a long tradition.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Gary T
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:49 AM

Not too long after the success of this release, I saw Gordon in concert. He mentioned that of everything he had written, this was the last song he thought would be a top 40 hit. He said he got thousands of letters about it, then "I answered twenty-nine of them."


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Fortunato
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:50 AM

vlmagee,

I agree with you. I don't think it is a lack of diversity in his material that is at the root of the criticism, though that is how it is framed. I believe it was that his songs became ubiquitous. They put Lightfoot in the elevators and in the supermarkets and everywhere. Familiarity breeds contempt, and contempt is expressed in a myriad of ways. One of these being the charge of homogeneity. IMHOP of course.

'spaw, as to who's songwriting is better, Lightfoot tells a better story, but Taylor expresses human emotions and relationships more successfully. Lightfoot's characters are stylized or archetypal, while Taylor's, like Carol King's (remember Tapestry?) are full round human folks, quite warm and real. (IMHOP)


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:27 AM

ClintonHammond, I usually agree with what you write but not this time. The four chords, especially the Em to Asus4? is meant to suggest the rolling of a ship at sea during a storm. I think it does this very well as does my friend who spent 20 years in the merchant marine. There is no doubt that Mr. Lightfoot knows more than 4 chords. I am sick to death of Edmond Fitzgerald, But I believe it is easily one of the best shipwreck songs ever written. Millions of people indentified with it and loved it.

I am reminded of a quote I heard about the Police (Stings band)

"In their songs they only play 4 chords, but it is always the right 4 chords."

BTW I believe that Lightfoot's "Don Quixote" is certianly one of the best written songs I have ever heard. The guitar work is at times evocative of horses galloping and echoing voices. All while carrying the narrative.

Yeah many of us, especially Canadians over 35, are well tired of hearing Mr. Lightfoot. But I always enjoyed his songs the first couple of hundred times I heard them.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,maxine
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:39 AM

When my husband decided to learn to play the guitar, a great friend of ours, taught him 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.' This friend was ruthless in as much as he jumped on my husbands foot each time he got the rhythm wrong and banged him on the head with a tambourine each time he had to change chords! Hence, my husband now gives a very good rendition of Edmund Fitzgerald, (he was too scared not to get it right!) This friend of ours died in August,aged just 37, and now to hear this song played with the same passion he played it, is both wonderful and extremely emotional. Cotton Jenny, Rainy Day People, Sundown, his version of Bobby Mcgee is the best I've heard (perhaps I'm biased.) He can do no wrong in my eyes. We've many a happy memory singing Gordon Lightfoot songs - amongst others - well into the early hours. Unfortunately, memories are all we have of our friend now - but the Edmund Fitzgerald will always remind us of him.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: MichaelAnthony
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:48 AM

Songs are supposed to have lots of chords?


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:11 PM

Inexperienced and ambitious young songwriters are much given to the habit (and the conceit) of writing songs with a large variety of odd chords in them, hoping that this will produce a superior song. It generally doesn't. Most of the better songs have a pretty simple chord structure.

And yes, there are some exceptions to that, but it goes fairly well as a general rule.

People think Lightfoot's songs all sound the same mainly because his voice has a very distintive quality, and his voice is in all of them (duh!). People think the same of Leonard Cohen's songs for precisely the same reason. Hell, Ian Tyson's songs all "sound the same" too, and he's a superb songwriter, as are Cohen and Lightfoot.

For a truly unique Lightfoot song, how about "Ghosts of Cape Horn"?

- LH

p.s. Some more corrections to the lyrics in Edmund Fitz: "they'd have made Whitefish Bay if they'd PUT fifteen more miles behind her" "with a crew and GOOD captain well seasoned" "they may have BROKE deep and took water" "Superior sings in the ROOMS of her ice water mansion" (that's what I think the words are, anyway...)


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM

"And clumsy lyrics are also part of a long tradition."

ya... the tradition of BAD songwriting...

And Jack... if you re-read my post, you'll notice I said "4 good chords"... When I have to play wreck in my solo show, I cut a verse and the song is still way too long... I then, most likley play either "Marry Ellen Carter" to wake people back up, Or I play "Captain Torrez", to show whoever requested "Wreck" that there are much better shipwreck songs out there...

I thik you'd really like Captain Torrez...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: TonyK
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:19 PM

Does anyone know how Lightfoot is doing these days? TonyK


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: SharonA
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:39 PM

Seems like he's okay, apparently; he has a full tour schedule for March-November 2002 listed on his website (www.gordonlightfoot.com). Lyrics to his songs are also there!!!

For other seagoing ballad-songs by Lightfoot, with haunting chord progressions, check out "Ode to Big Blue" and "Ballad of Yarmouth Castle".


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Willie-O
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:53 PM

Clinton, I think it's inappropriate to compare "Edmund Fitzgerald" with "Capt. Torres". They both concern real-life modern shipwrecks, but the subject is approached completely differently.

Lightfoot commemorated the loss of the Fitz and its crew by writing a very traditional style, straightforward narrative with reference to the past (native legend, etc.) People relate to it on that basis, because it sounds like history, and are often surprised that it refers to an event that happened in 1975. The only thing non-traditional about the song is the electric guitar lick.

Keelaghan, who works a bit harder at innovative literary devices, wrote a masterpiece in "Captain Torres". It examines the irony of modern day technology that allows the shorebound wives to receive "phone calls from young men dying", but cannot save them from their fate.

You learn a lot from the Edmund Fitzgerald, if you study the lyrics, of what happened, where, and maybe why. Very little of this information is present in the Keelaghan song.

They are both great songs that have moved many, although of course the Edmund Fitzgerald has been overplayed. You don't have to like 'em both, but it's not a case of one good, one bad.

Respectfully, on dry land,
W-O


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: TonyK
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:57 PM

I once knew what song 'The Wreck...' was based on, or rather what melody it used but I have forgotten. Anyone know?
TonyK


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,Steven G.
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:02 PM

I think the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald of the best song that Lightfoot ever written. I really like playing this song with a 12 string guitar, and doing a little picking in it.

Like Valerie, I am a big fan of Lightfoot music. All of his songs are timeless classics, to "If You Could Read My Mind to Sundown, they are all great songs. And I find that Lightfoot uses alot of different or variation of chords, than other performers.

As for Lightfoot, he is still playing his classic songs anywhere he goes. Valerie Magee site, http://www.gordonlightfoot.com has nearly all the tour dates for next year, lyrics, news, you name it, its there.

Anyway that's my .02 cents worth.

Steven G.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Peter T.
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:05 PM

I am amazed that people think that there is clumsiness in this song. It is a piece of extraordinary writing: it is deliberately written in a kind of archaic, heroic storytelling language (note the Longfellow feel to the opening), full of rough "telegraphed news", mingled with modern terminology. It is completely and utterly brilliant writing. Lightfoot has written a lot of bad quasi-poetry: this is not. My hat is off to him.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: mousethief
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:10 PM

It's not so much the clunky lyrics or lengh I mind, but the gawddawful drone melody. If ever a song would benefit from a bridge....

Alex


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: PeteBoom
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:22 PM

Actually, I remember the storm the sank the Fitzgerald. Even tho I was a LONG way away from Lake Superior, and 50 miles inland from Lake Michigan late that night. That afternoon I'd been along the lakeshore doing a photographic shoot. Trying to anyway - Even though it was the fringe of the storm, there were massive breakers pounding the beach and harbor entrance. Waves towering over the breakwater guarding the entrance, with white water crashing as high as the top of the lighthouse (Holland, Michigan). I found out that night that a couple of kids were washed off the walkway on breakwater. One washed up a few days later, the other, if I remember right, washed up a month or so after. The next morning, or course, came word that a freighter was overdue - something that hadn't happened on the Great Lakes in years - even the Carl D. Bradley (1958 or 1959) had a chance to send a distress call that saved 2 crewmen out of 30+.

The first time I heard the song, I thought the rolling feel, complete with the odd "jerk" in the lyrics, touched really well the feel of a ship in trouble. Lake Superior is a strange thing - Ships designed to handle her have trouble when she's riled - Those just designed for the North Atlantic have no chance at all.

Ah well - time to work -

Pete


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:26 PM

" it is deliberately written in a kind of archaic, heroic storytelling language"

Gord the Board himself has admitted it's not very well written...


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:32 PM

GUEST setledown:

Have ye not heard of common manners when visiting?

Have ye not heard of spelling?

This is the first time you have let us all down.

Don't let it happen again!!

We aren't taking you for granted hereafter...

Regards,

A.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Leeder
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:39 PM

TonyK, "The Wreck..." has the same melody as the Irish song "Back Home in Derry". I'm not sure which song came first.

StevenG, the songs you mention are ones I think of as around the end of GL's "early period", before I started getting bored with his stuff. I agree with you entirely on those songs, and much of what he wrote previously.

Not that it matters, but I remember the Country Hoedown TV show when they announced that a young backup singer was leaving the show to go out on his own, and they gave him a solo spot. Yes, it was GL. I also remember "The TuTones", Gordon Lightfoot and Terry Whelan. Wish I'd bought their LP, it'd be a collector's item now. Lastly, my aunt, a music teacher in Orillia, prided herself that she gave Gordon his first music lessons. So much for name-dropping...


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:40 PM

"Wreck" came first, Leeder....


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: TonyK
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:00 PM

Thanks, Leeder. That's the one I was thinking of.

I'm surprised to hear (read) that 'Wreck' came before 'Derry', Clinton. Thank you.
TonyK


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,maxine
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:35 PM

Have been reading this thread with interest. Pete, your account is fascinating. It's lovely to hear from someone who has some sort of geographical knowledge of the whole thing. When I first heard this song, I imagined it to be from the 1920/30 period, whereas it actually happened 74 ish (I hope I'm right). I just wanted to thank you for adding your 'piece' it makes it even more real to me.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: SharonA
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:49 PM

I agree with Maxine. Thanks, Pete, for telling us about your experience.

BTW, I use the one verse where all five Great Lakes are described ("Lake Huron rolls; Superior sings...") to remember their names!


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:51 PM

Alex - Naw. Putting a bridge in that song would be as unworkable as putting a bridge across Lake Superior. Bad idea in either case. :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: The Hiker
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 03:14 PM

The lyric to back Home in Derry is attributed to the republican hunger striker Bobby Sands if this is true then it dates the melody to The Wreck as being much earlier.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 03:32 PM

ClintonHammond, I'm getting a feel gfor your point of view.

I think I would Like Captain Torrez.

Mary Ellen Carter is one of my favorite songs.

Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald was. But like you, I've heard it way too many times. Gordon Packed a lot of information into an admittedly long song. I've read entire books with less information.

If Lightfoot said it was poorly written he was wrong. Through the media I've heard him on occaision denigrate his own songs and abilities. He rerecorded "Early Morning Rain" among other songs for "Gord's Gold" because he thought he couldn't sing well when he first recorded the songs. Millons of his fans would disagree.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

Jack... Ya know how to find me if ya want an mp3 of "Captain Torrez" eh??

;-)


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Kim C
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 05:21 PM

Isn't it "the WAVES turn the minutes to hours"?

The event, and the song that followed, all happened when I was a wee lassie. I loved the haunting eerieness of it then, and now.

There are a lot of epic songs which have words that don't rhyme exactly, and sometimes sound clumsy. Maybe sometimes it's the telling of the tale that's more important than having all your words scan perfectly.

I followed with interest the retrieval, replication and return of the Edmund Fitzgerald's bell a few years back.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 06:23 PM

While I honor the shades of those who went down with the Edmund Fitzgerald and I appreciate the song and its writer, I confess I do so strictly in the abstract, thanks to my initial (over)exposure to the tune.

I'd caught it on the radio once or twice when it first came out and found it powerful and haunting. (As a former DJ, I also pegged it as a instant favorite among on-air types, as its prodigious length allowed plenty of time for taking care of the necessities of life that often go begging when you're chained to a pair of turntables in a small room, forever spinning 3-minute tunes...)

Things got ugly for me when my stepfather discovered the tune and brought it home...on 8-track! Seems that TWOTEF was just the right length to get its own program on the tape...which meant all that step-dad had to do to "hear it just one more time" was to pass by the stereo, punch swiftly through the other three programs and, voila!, there was Gord whanging away again, off for another spin around the lake!

The *#$@! tape didn't leave the player for the next 48 hours and things grew dank and bilious throughout the house. "Evokes the sense of a ship in distress", you say? "And how!," says I! Cats yowled, bilge sloshed, grown women and stripling youths chewed the carpets, alas, to no avail. Never before or since have I experienced anything with the power to render the far better part an entire family, landlocked and housebound in the hintermost Midwest, seasick, green and heaving with nary a scupper to wretch in! And all the while, our cruel captain stayed faithful to his rounds, punching the damnable button thrice in succession each time he passed the stereo by, howling above the ceaseless storm: "This is his'try, y'know! This really happened! Gawdamahty, whatta great sowng!"

At last, in desperation, having lashed myself to a dining room chair for stability, I staggered by dark of night to the stereo where it pitched queasily atop its particle-board stand (which, now thoroughly waterlogged, had begun to swell and split, its faux-walnut laminate hanging in limp and glistening tatters) and with clammy, numbed fingers prized the tape from the heartless beast's tireless maw. Mom saluted me weakly from beneath her dripping sou'wester whilst I danced a vigorous hob-nailed hornpipe on the plastic cassette, scattering the shards like chaff as the grateful sobs of siblings and neighbors rose to fill the air.

Over the years, I have recovered to the point that instead of breaking furniture or committing random acts of road rage when I chance to hear "The Wreck", I slip peaceably into a semi-catatonic state and gibber quietly to myself until the storm has passed. Yes, all things considered, I take it pretty well on the outside these days, but, oh, if you could read my mind, love...


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,frankie
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 06:42 PM

I was a big fan of Lightfoot early on and then I kind of lost interest when he seemed to take a sort of commercial turn around the time of "Sundown", I think. Tony Rice frequently does Lightfoot tunes and even released a compilation of them. When I got this last year and heard all those songs it made me realize once again how good a writer GL is. Tony also does an excellent solo version of "The Edmund Fitzgerald" imho. f.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: SharonA
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 07:16 PM

He "lost" me for a time when "East of Midnight" came out. By that time, his Lightfoot-song-that-sells style had evolved to the point that not only did all the songs sound the same, but so did all the lyrics: he mumbled his way through each song, and I couldn't understand a word! It was like listening to the chorus of "The Auctioneer" on every track!

Now I'm trying to catch up with those latest CD's of his that I did not buy at the time they were released, and I'm about ready to see him in concert again.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: SDShad
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:24 PM

"Fitz" is a song I've enjoyed a lot, and found greatly entrancing at times, but I do suffer from the syndrome of having heard it just a few too many times.

However, the problem I have with it is that it seems to be the only Gord song that some random yobbo at every open mike in the known universe has ever heard of (that, and maybe "Sundown"), a yobbo who feels compelled to yell out "sing Wreckadaedmundfitzgeeeeerrraaaalllld!", whenever I say "this next song is by Gordon Lightfoot now," or words to that effect, before singing "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," or "Early Morning Rain," or my personal favorite, "Ten Degrees and Getting Colder."

Okay, so I don't always handle hecklers/requesters/heckling-requesters too well. I am, after all, the guy who once said "no, I sing real country" when asked to sing Garth Brooks....

Shad


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: 53
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 10:14 PM

gordon is all right in my book. BOB


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 10:56 PM

Gordon Lightfoot wrote a great song with 'The Wreck of...' but he has some godawful lyrics out there. My housemates used to torment me with 'Alberta Bound'

'Oh the Skyline of ToRONto is something you'll get ONto'

'And if you've got the MON-ey, you can get yerself a HON-ey'

which is right up there with Neil Dimond's 'and no one made a sound, not even the chair'

Meanwhile, try Stan Rogers 'The Flowers of Bermuda' for a good shipwreck song

And I've never heard of the Capt. Torres song. Where would one be after finding a recording of that?


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:37 PM

The true problem is the song was way overplayed. It has some wonderful or hateful qualities which tun some off and other on. Do you hear a drone or 75mph of wind in the rigging? Lots of facets to it and still, for my money, one of GL's best works. BTW, it had a very mixed effect on the surviving families too.

There are probably as many opinions about this song as there are opinions as to why the Fitz went down. There are actually THREE "OFFICIAL" Reports with three different conclusions. Even after finding the wreck and diving on it, there is still no definitive answer. Perhaps none of the 29 men who lost their lives that night off Whitefish Point knew either.........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: vlmagee
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 07:34 AM

Yes, Kim C, it's "waves". I suggested going to my copy of the lyrics because I had carefully proofread it, comparing it to the sheet music as well as to what he sings. I know that sometimes published sheet music is wrong, but in this case, it isn't. I used the individual single sheet music, which is still in print. The song also appears in several "anthology" songbooks.

As far as the confusion over "Derry", let me add that for reasons known only to them, the Rheostatics either created or intentionally popularized the claim that Back Home In Derry was the source of the music. The Rheostatics yell out "Remember Derry" or something like that at the end of one of their versions of Wreck, and their web site actually says that Derry is the original. I have read that they retracted that statement and say it is only a joke (a joke?), but the claim remains on what I believe is their official web site.

Back Home In Derry was recorded by Christie Moore, who attributes the lyrics to Sands and the music to Lightfoot. Moore's recording was released in 1984 on his "Ride On" album. Wreck, as you all know, was released in 1976.

The shipwreck, by the way, was on the evening of November 10, 1975 - the 26th anniversary is just days away.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: ollaimh
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 05:38 PM

the melody to back home in derry is hundreds of years old and has a b part and a chorus, which are not in the wreck.

lightfoot may have borrowed the main melody but it's isn't exactly a complicated or unusual one so it's just as likely he co-discovered it. there are nmany old irish and scottish ballad melodies that keep turning up.

when lightfoot was young he was in a toronto irish band which did did quite a bit of traditional ballad music so maybe he got it there ., or just got the feel there, in any case it seems quite within folk tradition to me. can anyone count how many folk melodies woody guthrie borrowed, or dylan for that matter.goodnight irene has been rewritten so many times it amazes me


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Gypsy
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 11:03 PM

my 2 cents are still for Gord. Remember when the actual wreck happened, cuz i was living in the area at the time. We still play the Wreck on a regular basis. Of course, we play it with no guit, just mando, banjo, hammered dulcimer, and fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: CaptainLewis
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 12:38 AM

As a native Minnesotan, having sailed Superior many times, I have a profound respect for that "lake"! The gales can blow up right quick and without warning. I heard of the wreck when it happened. I had a friend in Duluth who had lost his uncle on the wreck, and spent the remaining time that I knew him, getting drunk at a local bar and sailing out in storms recklessly, he was eventually lost in one.

As for the melody I dimly recall a simiar song associated with an Irish or English shipwreck from the turn of the century or earlier and labelled traditional.

As for the song itself, I've heard similar complaints about Stan Rogers. Pity about all that commercial success - spoils the enjoyment of good music. ;-)

CLB


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 12:56 AM

Hey Gypsy! When I did school programs with Hammereds, I'd tell the kids that one of them could play a duet with me right away and ther was always a big deal to see who it would be and I'd generally do it with 3 or 4 by the time it was over. I'd give them a pair of hamers and have them beat a quarter note D and G "drone" while I played the "Wreck" melody line. Always a winner.

Spaw


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Subject: Latest News on Gordon Lightfoot
From: vlmagee
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 09:57 AM

Just thought I'd write a quick note mentioning that Gord's Live In Reno video (DVD and tape) was released this past Tuesday. It's from a concert in April, 2000. I think it is a beautifully done video, and I especially enjoy watching how Gord plays; there are lots of great close-ups of both him and the band. The music is wonderful and he plays just about all the great songs (well, 22 of them).

Also, I just got an update to his tour schedule this week. There are 50 dates so far for 2002 (he generally aims for 50 to 60 a year) including a tour in Eastern Canada (6 concerts) for the first time in quite a number of years. The tour ends up with 4 nights at Massey Hall in Toronto in November. The other 40 concerts are around the US.

There is other news at my web site if you are interested. The web site is at gordonlightfoot.com . The direct link to the tour schedule is: here .


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: GUEST,kivatrader
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 11:27 AM

I grew up in the early 60's in Northwestern Washington State. We got a lot of Canadian television in those days, and from the time I became interested in folk music, I heard Lightfoot's music regularly. They still pay the soundtrack in my mind regularly. To my way of thinking, I've always believed that the songs that became true folk classics WERE the ones that people played and heard a lot, not the obscure ones listened to by groups of literati gathered around an old victrola listening to Library of Congress recordings (not that there's anything wrong with that!)Just because a song is popular and reaches a large audience, it shouldn't be relegated to the "light and fluffy" category. Lightfoot's music has always inspired me and I now play over 30 of the tunes (adequately -- not well)and they never fail to move the listener. I guess I'm a fan -- ohmygod! I also agree that the Tony Rice compilation is a must to hear. His arragements and voice are fresh and accessible and point out just how gret the writing really is. Gord is a treasure of at least two nations!


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Subject: RE: Have you not heard of Gordon Lightfoot?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 03 Feb 02 - 03:09 PM

Hey robomatic !

"And I've never heard of the Capt. Torres song. Where would one be after finding a recording of that? "

James Keelaghans cd "Road"

His web site,

http://www.keelaghan.com/

.-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: sian, west wales
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:03 PM

The Canadian media seems to be interested in Lightfoot changing the lyrics

From what CKTB has been saying it sounds like a very small change: "at 7 p.m. the main hatch gave in" to "caved in". Can't see that it changes the story ...

sian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 12:15 PM

It absolutely does change the story. It has long been the contention that the crew erred, which released the owners and operators of the vessel from liability for the sinking. The evidence now seems to show that the crew acted exactly as they were supposed to, and were not at fault. Whenever I hear "pilot" or "crew" error, I am a bit suspicious, especially when this is publicized even before extensive research is done. It generally says to me that someone is trying to limit their liability. Take the example of the commuter jet that went down over Buffalo. Sure the crew was in error, but the extensive investigation showed that crews are being allowed in the cockpit who, by reason of lack of hours and training, have no business in there. And lost lives are the result. Corporate interests consider this "acceptable risk". But the families that have lost loved ones have no recourse.

Bravo to Gord for making a small change that acknowledges that this crew did what they were trained to do. I hope it brings solace, at least, to the families.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: Beer
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM

Very well said Mick.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 01:29 PM

What an odd mix of disdain, praise, admiration, envy, literary criticism, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

I was just trying to put myself in the shoes of someone, such as a Gordon Lightfoot, who had a stellar early career and quite a measure of fame. At some point, in order to keep pace with changing tastes and commercial pressure (not unlike in writing)there is the need or, at least, the temptation to experiment with new song styles, techniques, different instruments, overlays of orchestration - real or electronic - and different backup performers. As in the old Ricky Nelson song, "Garden Party," in the end, "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."

I have always admired Lightfoot's songs, among many others, but I have my favorites. The ones I tend to like are those which are evocative of mood or place, both in lyric and instrumental accompaniment, something at which he excelled. The late, great Red Shea contributed powerfully to his earlier work, most of it acoustic. With a few exceptions, those are the songs I prefer.

I saw Gordon last year in San Diego. He has been much affected by the prior years of excess and the illness which nearly took him. He looks a bit gaunt. But, he is still a trouper. His voice has lost some range and smoothness and he would be the first to tell you he likely is done recording. But he put on a good show and most of his key backups are still with him, notably guitarist Terry Clements.

By the way, I don't much care whether others share my admiration for Gordon or any other particular musician, but I tire of comments from some that sound like sour grapes or are simply arrogantly dismissive of someone else's music or success. Think Karma.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: Michael Harrison
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 01:45 PM

Of those I admire, Lightfoot is near the top - long may his songs survive. harrison


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Subject: New doco on 'Edmund Fitzgerald' loss
From: JennieG
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:37 PM

Have just read that there is a new doco made on the sinking of the "Edmund Fitzgerald", link here . Gordon Lightfoot has changed the words when he sings the song in live performance, but recordings will stay as they are.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: New doco on 'Edmund Fitzgerald' loss
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:47 PM

Jennie, there is already another thread on this HERE.
    Threads Combined. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: New doco on 'Edmund Fitzgerald' loss
From: JennieG
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 08:04 PM

Sorry Mick....I must have missed it! My brain isn't working well lately.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: GUEST,Lightfoot Fan
Date: 03 Jan 11 - 11:54 PM

The song is not an example of songwriting craftsmanship. It was so shoddy that explaining the examples, I don't know WHERE to begin.
How many listeners are songwriters? I'm sure that Gordon knows what I'm talking about.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: Beer
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 12:03 AM

You don't know where to begin???????
After saying what you have just said, nor do I.
So reveal yourself guest if you know or are so close to Mr Lightfoot. And yes there are many writers on this site.
I say all of this in appreciation of one of Canada's premiers songwriters.
But you need to explain yourself a lot more.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Lightfoot
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 13 - 09:38 PM

Here's an obituary dated August 29, 2013 from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

EDMUND B. FITZGERALD
Fitzgerald led Cutler-Hammer, helped bring Brewers to Milwaukee



Edmund B. Fitzgerald, who led Cutler-Hammer for 15 years and was a key player in bringing major league baseball back to Milwaukee, died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Nashville, Tenn., his family said. He was 87.

Fitzgerald was sometimes called "young Ed" to distinguish him from his father, an influential civic leader and former chairman of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

His name — and his father's — also was synonymous with one of the most famous shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, the 1975 sinking of the iron ore ship Edmund Fitzgerald in a nasty storm on Lake Superior. Commissioned as part of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.'s holdings, the massive carrier bore the name of the company's president. The tale of the storm that took the lives of 29 men was made famous by a Gordon Lightfoot ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in 1976.

In a 1970 news story, "young Ed" was identified as one of four men who led the long fight to get another baseball franchise for Milwaukee. One of the other four, Bud Selig, was Brewers president.

Fitzgerald was by then Brewers vice president. His Milwaukee roots, the story noted, ran deep: One grandfather was pioneer shipbuilder William E. Fitzgerald; another grandfather, Frank R. Bacon, founded Cutler-Hammer.

Edmund Bacon Fitzgerald grew up in Milwaukee. He joined Milwaukee-based Cutler-Hammer Inc. in 1946, where he worked as a sales manager for a time. A year later, he married Elizabeth McKee Christensen of Milwaukee.

Fitzgerald served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and again during the Korean War.

His civic work in Milwaukee over the years included heading what was then known as the Community Chest campaign in 1956, as well as work with the Milwaukee Boys Club, Goodwill Industries and Children's Service Society. He also served on the board of trustees for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., First Wisconsin National Bank and Beloit College.

"He was an exceptional leader," Bob Whitaker, former director of corporate relations for Cutler-Hammer, said Thursday. "He moved the company forward dramatically."

Fitzgerald's task in helping to bring a baseball team back to Milwaukee amounted to a sales job, he said in 1970. He served as the team's chairman of the board until 1982. He also served for several years as a member of the Executive Council of Major League Baseball and chaired the player relations committee.

"I like to sell," he once said.

Selig, now commissioner of Major League Baseball, said Fitzgerald "played a crucial role in bringing baseball back to Milwaukee."

"I can't tell you how determined he was," Selig said. "He and I traveled from one end of the country to the other."

"He was a community leader who really dug in," Selig added. "I have such great admiration and respect for him. He was a brilliantly successful businessman."

Fitzgerald was chairman and chief executive officer of Cutler-Hammer, the electrical products manufacturer, when the firm was purchased by Eaton Corp. in 1979.

A news story a few years later described Fitzgerald as "a casualty of sorts in the great American takeover game." Fitzgerald had fought to keep Cutler-Hammer an independent company, and resigned less than six months after Eaton took over.

After working for a year as a consultant, he was tapped in 1980 to lead Northern Telecom, a Canadian telecommunications company that became a multibillion-dollar global leader in its field.

Fitzgerald served on President Ronald Reagan's National Telecommunications Security Advisory Council.

A 1984 business story said Fitzgerald "is credited with speeding up the decision-making process to capitalize on Northern's technological lead, and with wedging open markets in the United States. He had the contacts, credentials and Yankee know-how that helped the Canadian firm overcome its unfamiliarity with more free-wheeling U.S. business practices."

Wary of the unfriendly takeover and its impact on a company, Fitzgerald noted in the 1984 story that the majority of Northern Telecom's stock was in steady hands. "Nobody's going to jump us on the blind side while we're making long-term decisions," he said in an interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel.

For many years, Fitzgerald and his wife lived in Toronto and Nashville, where the firm had its U.S. headquarters. He retired in 1990, taught management courses for a time at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and founded a business advisory service firm. His wife died in 2012.

As for the legacy of the shipwreck — it was never far from his mind. The launch of the ship was the happiest day of his father's life, he once said. And the day of the wreck was "probably the worst day of my father's life."

Fitzgerald ran into Lightfoot, the singer, at a dinner hosted by the Canadian prime minister in the 1980s.

"I told him what my name was, and he looked rather surprised," Fitzgerald recalled in 2005, on the 30th anniversary of the wreck. He called the artist's 1976 hit a "fine song."


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