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Old 02-24-2004, 09:35 PM   #1
david.krah@schenker.com
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Can someone give me an explanation of this song? I enjoy the song, but have not been able to get the meaning.
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:35 PM   #2
david.krah@schenker.com
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Can someone give me an explanation of this song? I enjoy the song, but have not been able to get the meaning.
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:21 PM   #3
2Much2Lose
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quote:Originally posted by david.krah@schenker.com:
Can someone give me an explanation of this song? I enjoy the song, but have not been able to get the meaning.

There was a discussion about this song a few years back on alt.music.lightfoot. I did a quick Google search and found the post by Derek that I was looking for. I thought at the time it was quite eloquent, and now all these years later find it even more so.

Try this link to go there.
http://tinyurl.com/3xhkk

[This message has been edited by Jenney (edited February 24, 2004).]
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:21 PM   #4
Jenney
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quote:Originally posted by david.krah@schenker.com:
Can someone give me an explanation of this song? I enjoy the song, but have not been able to get the meaning.

There was a discussion about this song a few years back on alt.music.lightfoot. I did a quick Google search and found the post by Derek that I was looking for. I thought at the time it was quite eloquent, and now all these years later find it even more so.

Try this link to go there.
http://tinyurl.com/3xhkk

[This message has been edited by Jenney (edited February 24, 2004).]
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:33 AM   #5
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Great song. That link really hit the nail on the head.
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:13 AM   #6
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mmmmm, well, that post by Derek was from before my time (on the newsgroup). I'm afraid I can't completely agree, however; the interpretation of the individual lines is much as I would have said (but I hadn't thought of that brilliant reference to King Lear), but I always thought of "Race" as about only one person not two. The "you" is not a second person but himself. Try it that way and see what you think. Doesn't change the message at all, but maybe that is the way he meant it? "You" is often used to refer to oneself philosophically, and I happen to think that the description fits him to a "T". He always was the "restless" one. I think it is Lightfoot reflecting on his own life.

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Valerie Magee

Visit my GL fan site at gordonlightfoot.com and Cathy Cowette's web site at cathycowette.com
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Old 02-25-2004, 12:59 PM   #7
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I thought the meaning of the song was obvious. As we go along in life we think we have a perfect plan and direction,as well as feeling like we have it all figured out. In reality,you never know what to expect from one day to the next.
Also,"if you plan to face tomorrow do it soon",means look life in the face and deal with it before time passes by you. I think that sums it up best but i know others have a different take. Been me,later.

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Borderstone,gonna post some lines tonight!

[This message has been edited by Borderstone (edited February 25, 2004).]
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Old 02-25-2004, 01:11 PM   #8
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I always thought it was about a man telling a former loved one that she hasn't had the last laugh and she will be the one in bad shape in the long run.
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Old 02-25-2004, 01:11 PM   #9
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I always thought it was about a man telling a former loved one that she hasn't had the last laugh and she will be the one in bad shape in the long run.
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Old 02-26-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
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I was under the impression that the song was about starting over, even thriving, when the world crashes around you. Your personal world may be "in ruins," but you can still operate and "race" to see how well you can function amid all the debris. It's about not giving up.

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Old 02-26-2004, 11:40 AM   #11
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I was under the impression that the song was about starting over, even thriving, when the world crashes around you. Your personal world may be "in ruins," but you can still operate and "race" to see how well you can function amid all the debris. It's about not giving up.

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"Pickin' up the pieces of my sweet, shattered dream..."
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Old 02-26-2004, 12:02 PM   #12
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For what its worth, I think - like with all poetry and art - it is personal to each of us. Whatever we read into it, is what it is.
Just my opinion.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:37 PM   #13
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I just heard the song on a live 365 sttaion for the 1st time in years.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:37 PM   #14
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I just heard the song on a live 365 sttaion for the 1st time in years.
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:52 AM   #15
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There's often a bit of melancholy in Gord's songs and this one is no exception. Plainly I think it's about taking life seriously, not being overly optimistic, because there is always potential failure or sadness that goes with it. The "race" part I can't explain, unless his suggestion in the allegory of the title is that you can run from, but can't escape some eventual ruin. I mean, if nothing else you have to die regardless of your status, so - "if you plan to face tomorrow do it soon". At least the the melody is upbeat! It's one of my favorites of his, despite the soberness of the lyric. And now for a change of pace, how 'bout a discussion of "Cotton Jenny"!

[ June 18, 2006, 02:44: Message edited by: rickv ]
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