Gordon Lightfoot

The daily run on the treadmill offers ample time to really listen to music. One song that came up today was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night.”  Always liked the song, which is why it’s on the old school (big) Nanopod.  Today, I heard the song with fresh ears.

The arrangement is what hit me. Of course the sleighbells set the winter mood; but the strings sound like walls of champagne powder hoisted by the wind. The most interesting part of the arrangement though, are the horns. They start out in an almost call and response role. As the song progresses, the horns become the voice of the singer’s lover, echoing his lament. The horns’ line rises in grace and intensity through the last stanza as the narrator’s longing becomes more intense and intimate. Lightfoot’s voice and the horns intertwine as the evening in the song ends.

It’s the kind of ending that requires Kleenex; musical or real.

The song appears on Lightfoot’s 1967 album “The Way I Feel,” and also on the 1975 compilation, “Gord’s Gold.” A video for the song, created by a fan, is posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d70G3AFhE5Q. (It was hard to find one that wasn’t a cover version.)

Mr. Lightfoot performed in Little Rock not long ago at Robinson Auditorium. It was a pleasure to hear him live.