If You Could Read My Mind

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read my Mind

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

artist: Gordon Lightfoot

songwriter: Gordon Lightfoot

date released: 1970

*teacher's alert:  This song is a good one to review unreal conditionals; in other words, "If you could read my mind..." of course you can't, so it is a hypothetical condition.   You would use:  would for will; and could for can; in present unreal conditionals.  

Gordon Lightfoot was born on November 17, 1938. The Canadian singer-songwriter is well-known for his work in the folk, folk-rock, and country music genres. He has more than five decades of experience in the music business and is regarded as one of Canada’s most significant artists. Early on, Gordon’s skill was recognized, and he frequently sang in both the school and church choirs. Before beginning to compose his songs, he later joined several ensembles. His songwriting career took off when well-known musicians performed his work. He then entered into a contract with United Artists and worked with them to make several albums. Later, he joined forces with Warner Bros. Records, where he enjoyed enormous success and notoriety. Despite numerous physical obstacles, Lightfoot continued to tour worldwide and made fans everywhere. Today, we celebrate him and his accomplishments.

Lightfoot received the Order of Canada in 2003, the highest honour for the citizenry of Canada. In 2007 Canada Post honoured Lightfoot and three other Canadian music artists (Anne Murray, Paul Anka, and Joni Mitchell) with postage stamps highlighting their names and images.

In his lyrics for this song, we see that Lightfoot is in revisionism over a relationship that has soured. He has modified the lyrics several times but the key line: ” from “the feelings that we lack,” to “the feelings that you lack.” indicates a kind of personal redemption from the outcome of the separation. The song is about one of Lightfoot's divorces, and his daughter reminded him that such things are seldom about just one party in the marriage.