A Timeless Gordon Lightfoot Track: "Circle of Metal"

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is finest identified for writing hits together with “Sunset”, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, “Carefree Freeway”, “Early Morning Rain” and “If You Might Learn My Thoughts”. In a profession spanning 5 many years, twenty studio albums and several other “better of”, “biggest hits” or “Gord’s Gold” compilations there’s a bottomless properly of lesser-known Gordon Lightfoot songs which meet the excessive songwriting requirements set by his well-known hits. On this first of a collection of articles devoted to this sensible songwriter’s not-so biggest hits we are going to check out “Circle of Metal” and study what makes this piece so timeless and vital.

Recorded for Gordon Lightfoot’s breakthrough album “Sunset” in 1974 the music “Circle of Metal” represents one other aspect of Lightfoot’s songwriting. Whereas Gordon’s subject material usually includes love, misplaced love, nature, journeys, self-realization and so on., “Circle of Metal” takes us to the interior metropolis at Christmas time. And what we discover just isn’t precisely what one expects to listen to throughout the vacation season. Sure, there are some “sounds of the season” and there may be snowfall and there are even references to Christmas morning and household heirlooms. However this explicit “vacation music” paints a extra reasonable image of what some Christmases are like in sure locations.

The music’s stunning opening options Lightfoot’s recognizable finger-picking on acoustic guitar to the sound of a recorder blowing the melody of the music’s impending verses. The lyrics present the right temper for a Christmas music as Lightfoot sings “Excessive home windows flickerin’ down by means of the snow. A time you already know. Sights and sounds of the individuals goin’ ‘spherical, all people’s in keeping with the season.” Nevertheless it doesn’t take lengthy for the temper to shift as Lightfoot cleverly brings us into one residence specifically. The house of a “welfare case” the place Gordon notes “the rats run round like they personal the place…”

So we discover ourselves within the residence of a household struggling on welfare at Christmas time. However apparently the subsequent door neighbors aren’t having a straightforward time both. Lightfoot paints the image of the music “Deck the Halls” coming by means of the partitions of “the flat subsequent door the place they shout all day. She ideas her gin bottle again until it is gone. The kid is robust. Per week, a day they’ll take it away for they learn about all her dangerous habits.”

The music’s ultimate verse finds the mom explaining to her baby why their father is in jail: “Your father’s pleasure was his means to offer and he is serving three years for that purpose…” earlier than the music resolves by repeating the opening verse. As listeners we discover ourselves a bit shocked (for lack of a greater time period) as we now have simply been handled to a really catchy melody, an-almost “blissful” temper, sounds of the recorder (courtesy of wind-player Jack Zaza) and a vacation “vibe”. But these musical “treats” are balanced by the lyrics which paint a really actual (and gloomy) image. In essence, Lightfoot has musically “tricked” us into excited about one thing actual throughout the holidays.

By taking sincere and actual subject material and juxtaposing it in opposition to an upbeat, blissful or “constructive” melody Gordon Lightfoot is ready to ship Circle of Metal’s severe and intense message and make the listener really take pleasure in receiving it. Subsequent time you take into account burning a Christmas “combine” CD take into account including “Circle of Metal.” This music’s message is vital, actual, common and would most actually trigger anyone (with a soul) to take pause. The important thing to nice songwriting…

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