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Old 05-12-2000, 07:49 AM   #1
Florian
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Hi,

I've found the following in an interview (September 15th 1999) with Counry Music People:

Question:
"Is 'If You Could Read My Mind' a personal statement?"

Answer:
"Yes, it was, it's very personal. My marriage had almost ended and my wife took the song very personally, too. I've changed a line in it now. I had written 'the feelings that you lack', which was my chauvinism again.
My daughter took issue with me on that. She's 34 years old now and she said,'Why do you keep saying that about mom all the time?' and so I've changed it into 'the feelings that we lack'."

Has anyone noticed the change at a live performance?
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Old 05-12-2000, 10:40 AM   #2
Chuck Darling
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Hi Florian,

I must admit..I've seen Gordon
numerous times and have never noticed
the change!!!

Chuck....

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Ever Onward...
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Old 05-12-2000, 11:00 AM   #3
charlene
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I've noticed it and wish he wouldn't change it. I wish he would sing "That's What You Get For Lovin Me" again. It's part of who he was and in his fashion he could explain to the audience how he is different than the young man who so full of arrogance that wrote that song. I certainly am not crazy about the lyrics message but it's one part of why I love Gord's music.
"just my opinion - I may be wrong "- Dennis Miller.

Char
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Old 05-12-2000, 12:14 PM   #4
Pirate Queen
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Charlene, I agree with you. My dad and I were looking through the Songbook book together and he made the comment that he wished Gord would stop apologising for the chauvenism of his earlier songs, they are good songs. I agree with that.
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Old 05-12-2000, 03:19 PM   #5
Florian
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Hi Charlene,

I'll have to add another quote from this article:

Like many of his songs, For Lovin' Me was intensely personal. "I didn't know what I was doing when I wrote that song. All I knew was that my marriage was breaking up. It didn't break up until five years later but I knew it was breaking up, and some songs predict your own outcome."
At the time, For Lovin' Me was regarded as a strong folk-song, but now it is loathed in feminist tracts on rock. It is the classic example of the songwriter as a male chauvinist pig - is Gordon amused at the way it has been interpreted?
"Not amused, no. I don't want to come off like a male chauvinist pig at all! Now when I listen to it, I think, 'My god, did I say that?' The line 'I got a hundred more like you' indicates that I was a pretty busy guy. I was known to court more than one women at a time. It led to confusion and deceit and I gave it up when I was 45. You have to tell too many lies when you are going with too many women at the same time."

Personally, I think it is a good song and I like it, but I can understand why Gordon Lightfoot doesn't want to play it anymore.
I guess for him it's part of a chapter of his life that was closed quite a while ago.
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Old 05-12-2000, 04:24 PM   #6
charlene
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i guess being a woman makes me look at it in a way that it does show people can change and mature (especially men LOL) and see themselves as better people now. I like to think that Gord is one of those men - he seems to be, and should be aware that who he is today shouldn't diminish who he was back then in his callow youth. Those are the times and feelings that made him who he is and why his music touches so many hearts. I kinda like to think of Gord back then in all his arrogant swagger and good looks moving around town like the big man he obviously thought he was!! Kinda sexy in a bad boy sort of way! But he seemed to always get his come-uppance sooner or later. Bad boys always do! LOL I knew a couple myself and they eventually got theirs!!
Char
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Old 05-12-2000, 09:03 PM   #7
Dan
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Charlene,

I think your right about the fact that his arrogance made him who he is. Without that arrogance we wouldn't have some of those wonderful songs. He shouldn't apologize for it now.

Forgive my ignorance but what does 'LOL' mean?

Dan
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Old 05-12-2000, 10:38 PM   #8
charlene
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LOL means Laughing on Line. I had to ask a few months ago too!! I guess it could mean Lots of Love also if it were placed in the right context. ROTFLMAO is "Rolling on the Floor Laughing My A.. Off" for future reference! LOL
Char
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Old 05-13-2000, 02:49 AM   #9
Rob Wells
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You know, I've been reading these posts over the last few days and have held back saying anything because it seems like such a touchy subject, the chauvinistic approach to the mating game. I did hear a song the other day, and maybe someone out there has heard and knows who the female artist is. It was from a woman's point of view and the chorus, tho very funny hits the nail on the head because this whole thing can work both ways:

"I'm more man than you'll ever be,
And more woman then you'll ever get."

Kinda says it for me. Touche
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Old 05-13-2000, 09:51 AM   #10
charlene
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Chauvinism is not just a male trait from my experience. Some women can be just as bad. What's good for the goose is good for the gander as my grandma used to say! I myself look at realtionships from a respect of each other attitude and do unto the other as you would have done unto you mentality. I think that when we see someone else's relationship problem relating to chauvinism we have to understand that it's only a problem if one of the people involved think it is. I have some friends who have relationships with men I would never stand for but they are happy and see nothing wrong. More power to them. Their husbands can't figure out why my husband stands for the things I do and say. We don't have a problem so each to his own is my motto - unless it's physical/mental abuse.
When Gord was younger he was a real honey and I think he would have had that same attitude with women even if he hadn't been the talent he was. It was the times and his upbringing that created who he was. I must say if we had ever crossed paths back then I'm sure even I would have fallen for him. LOL
Char
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Old 05-13-2000, 11:24 AM   #11
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Char...I appreciate your comment. What works for some couples does not work for others. I'm for love, and good relationships but let's face it, any relationship worth having is worth working for. Love is a choice and not just an emotion. Given that emotions are temporal in nature I believe we must choose to love in spite of our emotions which might tell us quite the contrary. Thank God for emotions though which can indeed but a result of our choices.

Rob...as for the quote: "I'm more man than you'll ever be and more woman than you'll ever get".

A pretty negative statement that reeks of male bashing in my opinion. I can't name one person who hasn't messed up somewhere along the line including presidents, kings, queens, men/women of God ect.
If all of us would spend more time edifying one another the world indeed would be a much better place. I trust that someday the author of that statement will repent of her attitude and choose to love unconditionally.


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Old 05-13-2000, 03:10 PM   #12
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Sorry, classicmix Dj, but unconditional love is a destructive and unrealistic thing. Unconditional love means you will accept someone no matter how they treat you, no matter what harm they do to you. There are alot of women in the graveyard now, because of unconditional love. They claimed they loved these men that beat them...they felt guilty about the thought of leaving them..till one day those men that they loved so much went one step to far and wound up beating or stabbing or shooting them to death...There is nothing wrong with putting conditions on love so long as those conditions are legitmate. If you beat me...I will NOT love you. If you call me filthy names, I will NOT love you. If you screw around with my best friend I will NOT love you. Unconditonal love is a chauvanist's crutch to guilt someone into accepting their abuse..and it only seems to go in one direction.
Gord should be admired for seeing what he was and trying to change and I think he's more a man now than he ever was in his swagger and screw days.
He can see what he did was wrong..he doesn't rationalize it, it doesn't try and use pretty words to make his acts seem more palatable. He just says what he did was wrong and he's trying to make amends. No one is perfect, everyone DOES make mistakes..but the real measure of decency is whether or not someone accepts the responsiblity of those mistakes like Gord does.
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Old 05-14-2000, 05:35 AM   #13
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Florian,

I don't think the lyric change is a significant improvement. Nor does it hurt.
In the song, "the feelings that you lack" had been echoed by "the feeling's gone and I just can't get it back." He has always been talking about the relationship's mutual deterioration.

Nor do I agree that the original lyric was chauvinistic. He's singing about a personal relationship with unique feelings that once were there but are there no longer. The lyric should not be viewed as some sort of statement that it is inconceivable that any woman would fall out of love with him (unlike "For loving Me").

As for "For Loving Me," there has always been an element of sour grapes and bravado from the narrator. The message that "(I don't care, there's) a hundred more like you" is not the statement of a mature adult, but the statement of one who has distanced himself from true commitment. There are a lot of people like that (of both genders). I like the song because it tells the truth about a relationship, as viewed by a flawed observer, even if it also reveals a truth about a Gord long past that he would rather reinvent today. If Gord himself used to be truly like the narrator, he has done penance by being confronted today with the arrogance of his past. He should sing the song with the apology, "I used to be this way."

Now "in the hot sickly South" is another matter. That was always a bad choice. My revision would be "in the heart of the South." The words "of the" scan better on the eighth notes than the word "sickly," which is hard to sing and an awkward alliteration.

Future topic? Gord lyrics you would edit.


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Old 05-14-2000, 11:41 AM   #14
charlene
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Lacking feelings and having feelings that are gone represent two different things to me. The feelings that you LACK gives me the impression that the person CAN'T give them for whatever reason. Feelings that are GONE hints that the feelings WERE there (and not lacking) but are now gone. Some people can't give to people the thing they may want the most - this can lead to an eventual break-up of the relationship. It doesn't make the person a bad or uncaring person - just not right for the one wanting more. Having been in a relationship at the time this song was released and having those very same thoughts as the lyrics made me realize that what I wanted and needed from my partner he completely lacked and would never be able to give me. Because of that my feelings were gone and I never got them back. We moved on.
Char
I wouldn't edit any lyrics or written word of anyone. I may not agree with their words but they reflect the thoughts and times of the writer. I have the choice of not listening to them if I don't agree with them however. I love that words give us an insight into people we would not otherwise know - even if it is just a bit. And we all are free to interpret them how we as individuals wish. It's a wonderful dynamic to life - the written word. My name is Charlene and I am a "readaholic"! LOL
Char
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! You know who you are!!
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Old 05-14-2000, 09:05 PM   #15
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Water Bearer, if you'd make a few alterations to your definition of unconditional love I'd be inclined to agree with you. Certainly, there is no logic involved in staying with someone when they are beating on you whether the beater is male or female (don't assume all beaters are male) however choosing to love unconditionally does not necessitate being a moron. Leaving someone who is beating you does not mean you don't love them. It does mean that you don't want to continue to take a beating. You can forgive someone for whatever they do to you but it doesn't mean you have to stick around and continue to take a beating.

Water Bearer if you are the victim of beatings I recommend you seek help through many of the shelters available for battered people. Furthermore I recommend that you forgive the person responsible and suggest to them, if possible, that they seek help. I certainly don't advocate you staying in a situation that is dangerous or potentially so but you do need to forgive or live with the bitter root that will most certainly harden your heart and taint your futurerelationships with others.

Again, seek help if needed. I wish you well.
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Old 05-15-2000, 06:26 PM   #16
chris
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This discussion has gotten pretty involved. I'm going to go back to Florian's original post. I first noticed the change in the lyric during the Much More Music special and figured it was made in much the same way he has changed lyrics to get away from the "chauvanism" in a few of his songs - which I have no problem with. I figure they are his songs so he can change a word or phrase if he wants to. But to read that quote from the article and see that he made the change to IYCRMM because of a request from his daughter, well that's just downright admirable! Reaffirms my belief in the basic goodness of GL!

chris

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"It took most of my time to do what never was done" -- GL
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Old 05-16-2000, 12:27 PM   #17
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Many of the posters on this board have had personal experiences with Gord's work. And therefore have personalized it. But I don't think that we have to personalize every song. With that in mind, I have always loved hearing "For Lovin' Me". It's a great tune, and I think that the lyrics are clever EVEN IF I DON'T AGREE WITH THEM OR WANT THE IDEA EXPRESSED TO REPRESENT THE PERSON THAT I WANT TO BE.

Also, I think that most of us have conflicting emotions or feelings when things are going on like a relationship breaking up. On different days , "For Lovin' Me" and Ribbon o' Darkness" could probably be written about the demise of the same relationship--especially if you see indignance or defensiveness, or maybe indignant defensiveness!, in the former(as I do) instead of indifference and vanity, IMHO.

Last point-I wouldn't want Gord's body of work to be restricted. I want to hear all that he has to say, and then consider the body of work as a whole. Hope that makes sense-Don't know that I expressed that thought as well as I should.


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HELP FOR LOVE

Last edited by jay; 05-03-2011 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 05-16-2000, 02:35 PM   #18
charlene
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I agree with you on the point of personalization. The songs that I can take to my heart are obviously the ones that touch a personal emotion in me. I have never been on a sailboat but I love Gord's sailing songs. Christian Island is a remarkable piece of work and can only set me to wondering what it's like to sail - it can't evoke my own personal feelings because it is not my personal experience and I love it just as much, but in a different way! Everyone's emotional dynamic is coloured by age, circumstance, relationships and are what weave the tapestry of our lives. The written word is a very large influence in all of my life and I am thankful for the likes of a Gordon Lightfoot who shares his poetry with the world.
Char
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Old 05-16-2000, 10:32 PM   #19
Paul J B
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As far as personalizing songs I feel you really don't need to have had the experiance yourself. Even if you've never been sailing if you close your eyes and listen to Gord's words you can picture yourself there on the water. That is part of the beuty,and genius of writing in most of Gord's songs. So not only can his songs relate to our experiances in a way they can give us new ones. Just wanted to throw that out there.

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"If people could look into each other's eyes
What a wonderful place this world would be"
GL
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Old 07-08-2004, 11:22 AM   #20
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Just some comments on the critisism of " For Lovin' Me".

I like " For Lovin' Me " and " I'm Not Saying" just because they are chauvanistic.
I can't say that I share the attitude of the song but as a guy I kinda like hearing someone voice it once in a while. It gives the album a little " bite " and nastiness which I appreciate after hearing about robins flying, pumas calling, and peaceful waters. Besides I think chauvanism was a small part of the folk scene back then.

Harry Chapin sings one of his old songs on his Gold Medal Collection called " Dirty Old Man " which he admits his completely chauvanistic. It actually is a clip from an apperance on the "The Tonight Show " with Johnny Carson. He sings it and the audience has a good laugh. Now who could possibly question Harry Chapin's commitment and love for his wife and his family which he often wrote about?

I think we should recognize these songs for what they are and appreciate them in there original context ... folk songs from the sixties. If Gord wants to change the lyrics slightly to IYCRMM on his daughter's suggestions I can respect that. It being a personal matter between him and his family.
However,I wish he wouldn't worry about the political correctness about some of his earlier songs (I gather from other posts that he doesn't play " For Lovin' Me " anymore).

If we can hear Tom Jones sing " She's A Lady" on any AM goldies radio station then surely we can hear Gord play whatever one of his beatiful songs he chooses as he oroginally wrote it.

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Old 07-08-2004, 09:32 PM   #21
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Chauvanism is great for when your having love problems too!
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Old 07-09-2004, 01:33 AM   #22
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Oh yeah. Nothing helps your romantic problems more than that self-imagined feeling that you're better than the opposite gender. Not to mention that subtley arrogant,"aaah...who needs huhr?"

Since Gord wrote it about his failing marriage at the time he wrote the lack part to vent his feelings about her while not really thinking of his own part in it. I see nothing wrong with him changing it live. Besdies,he can't change the recording (even for a GG 3!) Later!

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"A knight of the road,going back to a place where he might get warm." - Borderstone
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Old 07-09-2004, 06:41 AM   #23
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hmm, i'd like to have seen more of Gordon's recent tunes have a good dose of 'attitude', those types of songs by any artist give me a chuckle and was a big part of my initial appeal for Gordon (+Dylan, etc)

some other faves are I'm Not Sayin' and You'll Still Be Needing Me... i don't appreciate lyric changes (even when I know the intentions are well) and really get disturbed by melody changes, thanks for not changing those, Gordon... with that said, oddly enough, I sure love new arrangements, especially stripped down ones

must be tough letting loose and writing tunes when trying to be conscious of children's, relatives, etc perceptions... standup comics must struggle with that too

yeah, it goes both ways for sure, some of my fave recent female performances are by new country gals (sara evans, lisa brokop, wynia, shanonna, lol) doing songs that give us males some of their attitude, no offense taken here... i aint in it for love
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Old 07-09-2004, 08:04 AM   #24
charlene
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I don't find those songs chauvinistic. I think that when anyone tells another person the truth up front about themselves and their attitudes about things is just being honest. Lightfoot wrote them in a sort of way that seems chauvinistic but in reality telling the truth and being honest about yourself and your feelings is the lesson I learned from the songs....and eventually in my own personal life these lessons came to fruition. Not being honest in a relationship is a killer.

Char

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Old 07-09-2004, 01:03 PM   #25
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Hi!
I enjoyed reading about this topic, but I was feeling kind of funny -- I always thought this song was written and sung in an ironic spirit -- like there's lots of guys out there like this, and here's the situation that can happen...

I never would have connected Gordon with chauvinism, but since he sees it in his younger self, I guess it was true. It just shows that no matter how sensitive someone can be to others' feelings in the big picture, sometimes face-to-face we're pretty dumb...

BJ


[QUOTE]Originally posted by charlene:
[B]I don't find those songs chauvinistic.
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