Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
Over the last few years, I’ve begun to notice a rather strange trend: Music hits me harder. As I’ve gotten older (umm, hi there, 36…), my threshold for remaining stoic when faced with sad, sappy music has gone WAYYYY down. I mean, it’s gotten to the point now where I practically turn into a blubbering ball of feels by just turning on Sirius Music! And, really, no one quite reduces me to tears as much as one Mr. Gordon Lightfoot.
Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind”
From Sit Down Young Stranger
Gordon Lightfoot was one of those musicians my parents introduced me to. They’d tell my sister and me stories of how they used to listen to him “back in the day” and I pictured a bunch of cool cats in the early ’70s sitting around a huge record player — you know, just enjoying the tunes! I quickly fell in love with Lightfoot’s singer-songwriter aesthetic, how he could tell a story with just a few words and a simple melody and how the themes of his music seemed to stand the test of time. After all, if people were grooving to his greatest hits decades after his heyday, he must have been doing something right, you know?
Translation: I’m a Gordon Lightfoot Fan Girl. A proud one, actually. AND…I’m even prouder to admit my fan girl status to the world! #NoShame
If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing 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 you can see
The intrigue! The imagery! I know use the word “haunting” a lot to describe music, but these opening words are haunting, aren’t they? You’ve got old-time movies and castles and ghost; it almost reminds me of a fairy tale. But, it’s a sad fairy tale. Really, imagine feeling like a ghost in your own life — and by ghost, I’m not talking about that dating term all the hipster kids are using these days! A ghost is someone who’s stuck. A ghost is someone who is in limbo and desperately wants to be set free. We all feel like metaphorical ghosts at one time or another, I think. We sometimes even start to feel like nothing we do will ever change how we feel or change where we are in life.
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just to hard to take
Ahh, the inevitable talk of heartache. You knew this one was coming, but your heart still sinks when you hear it. Truth be told, I sometimes think of my life as a book of sorts, divided up into chapters of the different stages. And, really, sometimes I don’t want to read that book because I know how parts of it end, especially where my father’s death is concerned — and, honestly, I don’t want to relive that again. It’s all just too painful to take sometimes.
I never knew I 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
And, of course, with heartache comes lots and lots of confusion! I know Lightfoot was speaking of romantic heartbreak here, but I think confusion can come with any kind of pain like that. With some things in my life, I’ve just been left dumbfounded. How did things come to this? Where did things go so horribly wrong? Can I ever get back to that place I once was? Moreover, do I even want to get back to that place? See where the confusion comes in?
I don’t know about you, but my head is spinning just typing these words! So. Many. Feels. Then again, maybe I’m just overly emotional because of the changing season that’s upon us? Either way, I’ve got a date with the season premiere of This Is Us tonight, which, in thinking about it, might not be the best choice for my heart, huh? Better have that Kleenex on hand…stat!! xoxo