Gordon Lightfoot!

Now I remember him from the early days of my (ex-) marriage. My husband brought home an LP from a boot sale and we listened to it a lot. Gordon had a good voice and I liked his songs: they were atmospheric…haunting; especially the one about the gales of November coming early to the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’*.

Childhood memory:

By the shores of Gitche Gumee / By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, / Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis…

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

Many years ago our friend the Engineer invited us to spend a day with him on the River Thames, in a steam launch – barge – oh, some sort of boat with a funnel. He had been working on it and looking after for an employer. I can picture him now, our friend the Engineer, in his beard and green overalls, coal-y and oil-besmeared. Also somewhat stressed. My husband and I, in combination,often seemed to have that effect.

My husband happened to mention Gordon Lightfoot. Oh, snapped the Engineer, that Canadian git!

Unfortunately this has had the effect that now I can’t hear or read the name Gordon Lightfoot anywhere without mentally appending – that Canadian git!

 * The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down / Of the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’/ The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead / When the skies of November turn gloomy / With a load of iron or twenty-six thousand 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. From: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: Gordon Lightfoot (1976)

Argh! I only meant to insert a link to Gordon Lightfoot (‘that Canadian git’) singing on YouTube and the whole video popped in. How exciting!!!

Edmund Fitzgerald photo attrib: Greenmars (Wickimedia Commons)

‘I’ll make a good Gordon, Gordon’. From the film ‘Local Hero’ (1983)

 PS: If anyone wonders why I’ve taken to employing the / symbol instead of setting out lyrics or poems in the traditional way – it’s because this ready-made blog design, although pleasant to look at, will insist on putting acres of space between each line, whether you type direct into the blog or type first in Word, remove all formatting and paste the post in. This sprawls the quotation down the page in a most unseemly and distracting fashion. There are buttons for Italics, Bold, Bulleted Lists, Left Align, Right Align, Centre Align and Strikethrough – a button for almost everything one’s little word-processing heart could desire, but I can’t find the commonest button of all – Line Spacing/Remove Space After Paragraph.

If my lone Reader (hung-over/Penge/New Year’s Afternoon) does happen to be a techno-wizard, perhaps he or she could advise? But if you’re going to tell me it’s a widget and I need to inject this tiny piece of code into this inaccessible portion of WordPress’s entrails – best give up, dearie, and open that second bottle of eggnog, thanks anyway. I’m not going to be able to do it.

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