Tracks

Gordon Lightfoot releases single from upcoming album

Gordon Lightfoot

I’m Not Sayin’

WB Records

Release Date: June 6th, 1965

Words by: Elizabeth Izzo
June 6th, 2015

Listen:

There’s a line in The Catcher in the Rye that reads, “… how do you know what you’re going to do until you do it? The answer is, you don’t. I think I am, but how do I know?” Oddly enough, this is the same sentiment that permeates Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’”.

Gordon Lightfoot releases single from upcoming album

On this track Lightfoot is telling a girl - a girl he hasn't met yet - that he can't promise her anything. He won't promise her anything. Not that he’ll be in love, not that he’ll stay true, not that he’ll even care. It’s "how do I know until I do it,” but it’s also... decidedly un-romantic. He’s going to try, but hey, if you see him with someone else, that’s totally fine. Right? Right. "I won't deny or mistreat you / baby, if you let me have my way." Needless to say, the lyrics don’t translate well post-feminist movement, but if nothing else, the way he performs them is phenomenal. Lightfoot possesses the sort of sincerity that makes folk music so meaningful.

"I'm Not Sayin'" peaked at #12 in Lightfoot’s home country, Canada, but failed to make much impact internationally. This is a trend that would continue for years to come. He would become an immensely popular songwriter, covered by acts like Nico, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. His career as a performer, however, is very much a slightly obscure part of folk history. Through all the folk revivals over the years, some musicians have resurfaced over and over - Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Dylan -- while some, for one reason or another, get buried. Unfortunately, Lightfoot is one of those guys. A fantastic musician, but somehow overlooked by the vast majority of new listeners.

Listen:

His vocals are on point here and "I'm Not Sayin'" has an infectious quality to it. Other songs he has written will, if new audiences give them a chance, inevitably stand the test of time. That being said, though - I’m not sayin' this is where those listeners should start.

Support Gaslight Records and the artists by looking for this record on vinyl or cd or MP3.