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Old 05-17-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
ANTHONY ROBERSON
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Default What does the song mean?

Hey, I'm not too good at interpretation, so I thought maybe some people here knew what Gord was writing of when he wrote:

MY PONY WON'T GO- Honestly..Is she leaving him due to impotence (resulting from drink), thus is the title a euphonism?

UNCLE TOAD SAID-Is it just a cranky old man watching the world pass him by?

I'll ask more of the ones I'm not sure of later.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:18 PM   #2
Don Quixote
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

Gord has often said that it's up to each of us to do the interpreting.

My take on the first song is that you're partially correct. "My pony won't go" is a euphemism. My take is that it means he's been "shut down" sexually by his partner, who is leaving him for someone else ("Lookin' for the man who stole my love from me,/I gotta know the reason why my baby's leavin'/My pony won't go where I want him to go no more").

In the second song, although I doubt that he's referring literally to a "cranky old man" (since you won't find many people "tucked in the compost pile"--not that that wouldn't make someone cranky). What is going on, I think, is some personification--a toad that looks like a cranky old guy. Frogs and toads have often been part of folklore (think of several of Aesop's fables that involve them), and it makes sense if you think of it--noisy, funny-sounding, ugly-looking, and absolutely harmless to humans. Don't we all have an uncle that fits that description? At our ages, haven't many of us slipped into that role?
"Those gosh-darned kids, when I was their age, croak, croak, ree-deep..."
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded a song at around 1963 called "Pretty Mary" - and the lyric goes: "My horses ain't hungry/They won't eat your hay...". That and Gord's "My Pony Won't Go", I think, has to do with a lack of will anymore to keep trying in a dead-end releationship.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

Yeah Don (Quixote), he said that, but then he lets you know that SUNDOWN'S about his torrid relationship with Kathy Smith. That's what made me wonder if this was another song that could be interpreted directly with a life experience.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

True enough. If you listen to most of the songs on the "Old Dan's Records" album, you get a kind of polarity: songs of breakups and troubled relationships (Annabel, Obsession, Can't Depend, Pony, Worth Believin') and sort of idyllic escapism (Old Dan's Records, Lazy Mornin', You Are What I Am, Hi'way Songs, even Miner's Child to some extent). This would make all sorts of sense in the context of what was going on in his life at this time (I believe his divorce was finalized in 1973, so '72, when the songs were written, must have been turbulent times). Of course, he's writing music, not autobiography, so just how much is personal detail and how much is inspired by life circumstances, and how much is just making up melodies and rhymes is always unclear, as it is with most types of art.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

How about helping me out with COBWEBS AND DUST? (What is this, Lightfoot 101?)
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANTHONY ROBERSON View Post
How about helping me out with COBWEBS AND DUST? (What is this, Lightfoot 101?)
Well Anthony that is a relatively easy one
As this housekeeping ditty is on Songbook you can for once read what Gord himself actually had to say about it in the booklet:-
"Breakup of a marriage due to a third person. Then at the end it says, "Run to her side," as if someone else would rush in to take my place. Very chauvinistic. It was a habit I tried to break as time went by. I never intended to be sexist, but some of the earlier songs have a little of that in them. Gloria Steinem and others back then accused men of being sexist, and they were right! I realized that and tried to keep an absence of a chauvinistic attitude from then on. I finally grew up"
I did not have to transcribe that text because it was at one time online on the Rhino website and I was able to see it today and copy directly thanks to the archived copy of the songbook booklet text at:
http://www.songbook.notlong.com
the link
If You Could Read My Mind: Gord Speaks Out About His Music
will open this page:-
http://web.archive.org/web/200307290...5802lin5.lasso
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfowles View Post
Well Anthony that is a relatively easy one
As this housekeeping ditty is on Songbook you can for once read what Gord himself actually had to say about it in the booklet:-
". Gloria Steinem and others back then accused men of being sexist, and they were right! I realized that and tried to keep an absence of a chauvinistic attitude from then on. I finally grew up"
Err Umm Gloria who??? Wiki to the rescue!!
Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the Women's Liberation Movement in the late 1960s and 1970s
Perhaps Gord does read things other than Newsweek after all?!
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:38 PM   #9
charlene
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

or he watched the news on the TV?...or listened to the radio or read the papers or Canada's weekly Macleans news magazine..?
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
or he watched the news on the TV?...or listened to the radio or read the papers or Canada's weekly Macleans news magazine..?
Very true,but I can tell you one fairly certain fact Gord did not read it on the internet!!
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Old 05-22-2010, 03:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: What does the song mean?

this is fun to read!

http://www.songfacts.com/artist:gordon_lightfoot.php
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