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Gordon Lightfoot — If You Could Read My Mind
Album: Sit Down Young Stranger
Avg rating:
8.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1290









Released: 1970
Length: 3:43
Plays (last 30 days): 0
If you could read my mind, love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old-time movie
'Bout a ghost from a wishin' 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 that you can't see

If I could read your mind, love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstores sell
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

I'd 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, let's 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 feeling's 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
'Bout a ghost from a wishin' well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
But stories always end
And if you read between the lines
You'll know that I'm just tryin' to understand
The feelings that you lack
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
Comments (52)add comment
timeless
A solid 10!!!
RIP Gordon
 vandal wrote:

When I was young, pre-teen, my Mom used to play nothing but Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Carly Simon, and Kris Kristofferson on our old JVC receiver. This was my intro to the whole immersive singer/songwriter thing. 

It's not what I listen to on a daily basis today, but it forms some of the underpinnings of my musical heritage and I'm deeply grateful for it. Oh, and this is wonderful stuff. 



What wonderful musical memories to have 😊
Love his voice! RIP and thanks for all the beautiful music. 
I’m one of those genetic anomalies that actually doesn’t love Gord Lightfoot’s voice, and even I have to give this a 10. If this song is not enough n that realm, not sure what is. Love Me Do?
We miss you so much already, Gord.
Monday evening 5-1-23
Gordon Lightfoot died today. He wasn't my favorite but penned some mighty fine stuff. Thank you Canada!

Wednesday morning 5-4-23
Dropped his CD into the player to visit the memories and skipped ahead to my favorite on the disk:
Beautiful”
At times I just don't know
How you could be anything but beautiful
I think that I was made for you
And you were made for me.

And I know that that I won't ever change
Cause we've been friends
Through rain or shine
For such a long, long time

On this morning, the song wrenched open my heart and reduced me to tears. This morning I left the room to hide my pain and fear, to feign strength for my Melody. But she found my secret place, again. Through hot tears she said her love for me is always. I reminded her, she had me at hello. Through a desperate hug we sobbed a wordless goodbye.

Tomorrow morning we go to the cancer center to burn a twenty years demon. We rush to days of chemo and a stem cell transplant. Funny how we counted down the days. Please, no last days, these. Hers deserve days of grandchildren.

The same small town street saw us as kids but not until twenty years later did our stars align under a grown up sky. For 45 years, as a day, her beauty was as the first when she broke open my heart. We were made for each other and have been friends for such a long, long time. Oh, for the rain and the shine.








Gordon, on this morning you captured us in tears. May you go with a Lightfoot to rest with your fathers. If you see my Melody bid her homeward with my heart.  


Rest in Peace Gord/Friend. Always appreciated!
RIP Mr. Lightfoot!! Rick Beato gave a great remembrance of your music, you're missed already. 
Long Live RP and memories of Gordon Lightfoot!!
 gregskrtic wrote:

It has been 20 years since my daughter passed and everytime I hear this song I am moved to tears, because I never got the chance to see her grow into the woman that haunts my dreams.  Gordon Lightfoot knows how to tell a story that pulls at the heart-strings !



I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my sister just over 20 years ago. There are a couple of songs that do the same thing for me. Not this one, but yes, he does know how to tell a story that opens so many wounds
Rick Beato dissects this song and why it’s so amazing. Mesmerizing. And a 10 in my world.
(Bento’s series is binge-worthy).

Check  it out:
Well this one almost instanty turns my heart inside out, it feels like time is slowing to an ultimate minimum and you see and feel a glimpse of pure love ❤
It has been 20 years since my daughter passed and everytime I hear this song I am moved to tears, because I never got the chance to see her grow into the woman that haunts my dreams.  Gordon Lightfoot knows how to tell a story that pulls at the heart-strings !
About once every 7 or 8 years, a song gets played that I've never heard and even before it's over, I'm gobsmacked by its brilliance.  Straight away, a divined song of this magnitude is being placed in my for-forever greatest songs cache.  
That was 45 years ago.  I think maybe, at most, another 4 or 5 songs have impacted me right between the eyes since then, like this one did.  
Interestingly, I've heard a few others just up and mention, when it gets played, that they reacted in similar fashion the first time they heard it. 
I had this at a 10 - I downgraded it to a 9 for about 30 seconds then remembered how much I love it and upgraded it again. 
one of my late Dad's favorites
Gordy...A Canadian cup of feeling better...
DR. British Columbia
The arraignments of the strings, the guitar, the chord changes, the imagery, the dynamics of the accompaniment, the lyrics, the story.  Just fabulous!  A master class on song writing!
On the list of most brilliant songs ever written. 
Whenever I hear a Gordon Lightfoot song, I immediately think of my father.
 vandal wrote:

When I was young, pre-teen, my Mom used to play nothing but Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Carly Simon, and Kris Kristofferson on our old JVC integrated. This was my intro to the whole immersive singer/songwriter thing. 

It's not what I listen to on a daily basis today, but it forms some of the underpinnings of my musical heritage and I'm deeply grateful for it. Oh, and this is wonderful stuff. 




In Chicago, WSDM (Smack Dab in the Middle) first FM station to listen to, preteen. Mom listening to it getting ready for work. Gordon, Joni, Simon and Gar.....such good, times then. Still love hearing Gordon-
 cosmiclint wrote:

O Canada, actually.

Eh, Canada?
I know he looked like he does in the album cover on the left when this came out, but it seems like it was written and sung by the wiser, more experienced man pictured on the right.
ah...the era of the singer/songwriter
 cosmiclint wrote:

O Canada, actually.


eh surely?

While going through my divorce it brought tears to my eyes, it still does.

The first 4 albums I ever bought for myself were all Gordon Lightfoot, Don Quixote, Sundown, Cold on the Shoulder and Summertime Dream. I didn’t discover this song until later. 
Stunning song - utterly faultless
Great song... Featured on the soundtrack of the movie "Paperback Hero" (1973), set in Saskatchewan. Not the movie's original title, it was actually re-titled to reflect the lyrics of this song.

Lightfoot is a true treasure. Play more of him if/when you get the chance, please.
 Jelani wrote:

Wow, a blast from the past!!! When I was ten(in '72) I had the lyrics memorized - even though I didn't know what they all meant - but I loved this song.



I still don't get the part about the old time movie about a ghost from a wishing well. After all these years
Classic , always good to hear.
 tnt_thomas wrote:


"Oh" Canada... FTFY



EH!
I grew up with Gordie's music.
His lyrics are so straightforward and real. When you combine the wonderful melody, the result is incredible.
 tnt_thomas wrote:
PeterMcClelland wrote:

Ah Canada



"Oh" Canada... FTFY
 
O Canada, actually.
Fucker still puts on a GREAT, GREAT show. Saw him in San Jose in 2019. He captivated; CAPTIVATED; wobbly voice, and all, at 80.

Best line I ever heard in an interview was with the thrice-married Gord, was when he said:

"There's no such thing as an ex-wife".

That's a class act; as he always was.
 tonyinnj wrote:


Or, for something completely different...Nico covering Lightfoot's I'm Not Sayin'...

Tony in NJ
W.A.S.T.E.

Or The Slits doing, "Heard It Through The Grapevine", yeah.
This is a song that nobody in their right mind would not adore. It speaks to the heart of human experience.
 ddbz wrote:

ooops, I thought this was 'the National'



Or, for something completely different...Nico covering Lightfoot's I'm Not Sayin'...

Tony in NJ
W.A.S.T.E.
I am seeing Gordon This coming August 12th in York PA.  Should be a cool show.  
Wow, how I missed this song for many decades. Very nice to hear it again.
 PeterMcClelland wrote:

Ah Canada



"Oh" Canada... FTFY
One of his true classics (of many).  Lightfoot has a fascinating history and amazing musicianship.  There's been a few documentaries on him lately; man the stories he has.  And he is still playing, performing shows (well, pre pandemic anyways).Thanks for this RP.
Wow, a blast from the past!!! When I was ten(in '72) I had the lyrics memorized - even though I didn't know what they all meant - but I loved this song.
Love the photo on the sleeve.

Thanks RP.
Ah Canada
When I was young, pre-teen, my Mom used to play nothing but Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Carly Simon, and Kris Kristofferson on our old JVC receiver. This was my intro to the whole immersive singer/songwriter thing. 

It's not what I listen to on a daily basis today, but it forms some of the underpinnings of my musical heritage and I'm deeply grateful for it. Oh, and this is wonderful stuff. 
ooops, I thought this was 'the National'

Too beautiful to be played so rarely.  10, in my book.  Thanks again, RP.
More Gordon Lightfoot please! 
10 😎