k.d. lang, Tegan and Sara and Ron Sexsmith

Ron (Ronald) Eldon Sexsmith



Born, 8 January 1964 (age 54), St. Catharines, Ontario. (Vocals, guitar, piano)
Ron has not had some of the huge commercial success (he may have liked) shared by many other Canadian artists, but I think he has made a decent living. He has received accolades from other musicians who appreciate his work including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Chris Martin, Elton John, Ray Davies, Steve Earle, Bob Rock, and Sheryl Crow. At least 35 of his songs have been covered and I’ve enjoyed his music for some years now, though his melancholy sound I find is best in smaller doses.
Secret Heart” written by Ron Sexsmith (1995) and cover at least 10 times
Rod Stewart (1998), Feist in 2004 and my favourite version of this song, Trevor Exeter with a great Youtube cover (2016)
Ron Sexsmith (Feat. Chris Martin) “Gold In Them Hills” (2004), cover by Katie Melua in 2012

Tegan and Sara 

are identical twins born September 19, 1980, in Calgary. They have won Juno awards and were nominated for a Grammy for the video “Get Along” in 2013.
Closer” Written by Greg Kurstin, Sara Quin, Tegan Quin (2013), Covered on Glee 2014. 

k.d. lang


Kathryn Dawn Lang, Born November 2, 1961 (age 56), Edmonton, Alberta
She has won six Juno Awards and four Grammy Awards, her hits include “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine”. She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has collaborated with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray, Ann Wilson, and Jane Siberry and Dave Edmunds. There are not many voices like hers, a multi-million selling artist with great versatility.
Constant Craving” written by k.d. lang, Ben Mink from the album Ingénue(1992)
http://www.ronsexsmith.com/

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Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie

 
 
Born, February 20, 1941 (age 81), Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan. I was a little reluctant to include Buffy in the series of Canadian Artists being covered due to the fact that she has spent little if any time actually living in Canada. She apparently identifies with being Canadian but was adopted by an American couple at just a few months old and raised in Massachusetts. She had a son and raised him in Hawaii and as far as I can tell still lives there at age 77.
She has certainly been well recognized in Canada for her many achievements, she really is a remarkable person, but I will stick with the music here. If she identifies with Canada (she is a dual American and Canadian citizen) I guess that gives me licence to blog about her here. So apart from her obvious vocal talents she plays guitar, mouthbow, piano, ukulele, autoharp, harmonica and some percussion instruments.

She has written some epic songs.
Up Where We Belong”, written by Will Jennings (lyrics), Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie (composers), released in 1982. Covered 57 times
If you recognize the name Will Jennings I mentioned him in the Celine Dion blog as he wrote the lyrics for “My Heart Will Go On”. Jack Nitzsche married Buffy in 1982 (separated in 1992) he is also an accomplished composer/producer.
Originally recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” the song won the Oscar for best song.
Buffy Sainte-Marie recorded it in 1996, Bebe & Cece Winans (1984) A sister/brother gospel duo.
Universal Soldier” written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, covered over 30 times
Originally recorded by The Highwaymen (1963), a folk group from the sixties who had a hit with “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and not to be confused with the supergroup of Johnny Cash et al who would adopt the same name.
Buffy recorded it in 1964 on the album It’s My Way!, Donovan would make this song famous in 1965.
Until It’s Time for You to Go” written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, covered over 100 times originally recorded and released in 1965. Elvis Presley in 1972, The Four Pennies would have a top 20 hit in the UK (1965). Other notable songs from Buffy include; “Cod’ine”, “Take My Hand for Awhile”, “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” and “I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl(Boy) Again”.
Update: I had the good fortune to see Buffy perform in London, Ontario at the Aeolian Hall on November 27, 2021. She was amazing and in great form, certainly near the top of the list for my live music experiences. On Friday September 30, 2022 Canada held its first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.  This was to allow us to reflect on the Residential School system that once existed as well as other past and present wrongdoings resulting in harm and disadvantages to our Indigenous population. A TV special was presented via APTN and CBC featuring and honouring Buffy and I have to say it was quite the experience to watch.
!

Rush & Arcade Fire

Rush

At 34 songs having been covered and some only once and just a few more than five times it seems to be very low number of covers. Also, a bit odd to me anyway that a band (now retired) that lasted for 40 years and had such a solid fan base doesn’t get covered more often.  However, in a recent conversation with my best friend who self declares himself as a “Rush Tourist” he felt their unique sound is something not easily duplicated, and I tend to agree. Further to that the lyrical structure of the songs virtually all written by the drummer Neil Peart are complex and perhaps don’t lend themselves to replication, not to mention the composition and masterful playing as well.  So while not the most covered, never-the-less I would be remiss in not making mention of this iconic (Canadian) rock band.
The line-up that would guide them through a long and sometimes arduous career spanning 40 years would include just three members, the above mentioned and the last addition, Neil Peart, Lead vocalist, keyboardist and bass guitarist Geddy Lee, and lead guitarist (mandola, mandolin and bouzouki)Alex Lifeson who was the founder of the original band. Each recognized as masters of their individual craft. Interesting side note the last concert with original drummer John Rutsey was right here in my hometown of London, Ontario, a concert I nearly attended myself in 1974 as many of my then friends were big Rush fans and apparently, I was not. Subsequently, I’ve only missed out on a band who has released 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (including 3 multi-platinum), placing them fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.
Just to give you an idea of the complexity of Rush’s music here is a clip from their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl – Taylor Hawkins) & Nick Raskulinecz perform “Overture” the intro track from Rush’s ‘2112’ (released in 1976) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2013.
Here is Rush with “Closerto the Heart” covered more than eight times, lyrics written by Neil Peart and Peter Talbot (first time a non-band member was involved), composed by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. From the Album A Farewell to Kings in 1977.
It takes an accomplished band like Fates Warning to do this song justice.
Tom Sawyer” (1981), written by Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Pye Dubois. Nothing to do really with the Mark Twain character as it’s based on a poem by Canadian lyricists Pye Dubois (credited above) who is closely associated with Kim Mitchell, another fine Canadian rocker.
Rage covered it in 1998.
Arcade Fire, from Montreal came screaming onto the international music scene with their debut album “Funeral in 2004. It’s core members are husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with Win’s younger brother William Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara.
They have won Juno’s and a Grammy Award and received many accolades from people who really know music much better than I. The album “Funeral” has been ranked as one of the best from the 2000’s on many lists landing at number six from Rolling Stone. They have a total of 19 songs covered to date and I’m sure this number will grow as the years go by.
Wake Up” written by Win Butler, Will Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Régine Chassagne, Tim Kingsbury. Covered 8 times including two instrumental versions. Arcade Fire & David Bowie –“ Wake Up” appeared on the live album, Fashion Rocks 2005, Macy Gray from 2012
References
https://secondhandsongs.com/,  https://www.rollingstone.com/

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Shania Twain

Shania Twain

Born; Eilleen Regina Edwards, August 28, 1965 (age 52), Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Most of you will know a bit of her story I’m sure, she grew up and in Timmins, Ontario and from an early age worked very hard at her singing, guitar and songwriting. She was not an overnight success but when it came it has put her into a class with very few others. Given the title of “Queen of Country Pop” because we seem to really like to label people, she has had over 100 million in record sales making her second only to Taylor Swift for a female in the Country genre and who knows, had she come on the scene when social media and streaming were popular how much better she would have done.
She is the 25th best selling artist of all time (US sales) so trying to pin down what to talk about is difficult and she’s had so many #1 hits; 13 in Canada, 7 in the US and one of the most successful crossover (Country) artists showing up on the pop charts in Canada, US and around the world. Not to mention all the songs that made into the top ten or top 40 charts as well. She was back at it again in 2017 with another #1 hit.
No One Needs to Know Right Now” written by Shaina Twain and Mutt Lange released on the The Woman in Me album in 1996. Charted #1 in Canada and the US. Not widely covered but hey its my favorite ST song!
Crystal Bowersox from American Idol 9 Top 6, Brandon Ray an up and coming Country singer, Niamh McGlinchey, a lovely young singer from County Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
You’re Still the One” written by Shania Twain and Mutt Lange, released on the Album ‘Come on Over’ in 1997, was nominated for four Grammy Awards in 1999, winning two. It won Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance and lost Record of the Year and Song of the Year to fellow Canadian, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”. Covered over 20 times including 7 instrumental versions.
A nice jazz version from Austria, Simone Kopmajer
It was also ranked number 46 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s. Harry Styles performed a cover of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” alongside Kacey Musgraves during a recent concert at Madison Square Garden.
From This Moment On” written by Shania Twain and Mutt Lange released in 1997. #1 in Canada #2 in Australia. Covered more than 20 times to date. Not the smash hit like many of her other songs but a very lovely tune for sure.
This song lends itself very nicely to a duet and was originally recorded with Bryan White, an American Country singer, however White was unable to tour with Shania due to scheduling conflicts so she re-recorded the song. Most of the covers of this song are done as duets.
If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!
References;

Bryan Adams, The Band

More Canadian Artists being covered
It’s a lengthy list for me to make my way through the rest of it but over the next few blogs I will highlight a few more covered songs written or originally performed by Canadians.

Bryan Adams

“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams, Written by; Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen, Robert John “Mutt” Lange. You likely know this song was written for and featured in the (1991) film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
To say this song was a mega hit is a bit of an understatement, it peaked at number one on every documented music chart in the world. It broke the record for most consecutive weeks at number one in the UK and was the song of the year in Canada for 1991.
An Article by Henry Yates July 27, 2016 tells the story about this song.
Released in June 1991, here is Bryan Adams in 1992 (covered 68 times).
Julia Westlin (2017) a cleverly done Acapella version, you might think some of the background to be instruments or electronic sounds but I’m pretty sure it’s all voice. This song is really a tough act to follow and therefore I think hard to cover it well, here are a couple more versions;
Remember Clay Aiken? (2006), Brandy (1998), Kenny G with Leann Rimes, a very nice version from 2005. Charice (2013)
Also performed in Czech, Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish. There are 17 instrumental versions.
If you are a Family Guy fan you might remember Stewie doing this song.

The Band

I’ve already talked about some of The Band covers but this next one was a huge song for them;
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” written by Robbie Robertson, released on the album “The Band” in 1969, covered over 60 times. You will never run out of Johnny Cash here (released in 1975). Joan Baez covered this in 1971 and I believe it was her biggest hit song, here is a clip from a great music show “The Midnight Special” which aired in the 1970’s.The Sheepdogs from a live performance and not an ‘official’ documented cover. Also covered by John Denver, the Black Crowes, Jerry Garcia and most recently in 2016 by Luis Prado from Spain.
If some of the comments on YouTube are any indication this song continues to spark debate about the American south v. north during and after the Civil War and a whole lot of other stuff as well and a lot of crap that comes from social media in general. Although the verses in the original song were sung by a ‘southerner’, Levon Helm being from Arkansas the song was written by a young man who was born in Toronto (1943) and a true songwriting and guitar playing genius. Not to mention the rest of The Band-all Canadians. I’ve read that Robertson put a lot of thought into writing this song and it shows, he was also heavily influenced by Levon Helm and if not writing it for him he was certainly top of mind.
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about the song;
“It was #245 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Pitchfork Media named it the forty-second best song of the Sixties. The song is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” and Time magazine’s All-Time 100.
Ralph J. Gleason (in the review in Rolling Stone (U.S. edition only) of October 1969) explains why this song has such an impact on listeners:
Nothing I have read … has brought home the overwhelming human sense of history that this song does. The only thing I can relate it to at all is The Red Badge of Courage. It’s a remarkable song, the rhythmic structure, the voice of Levon and the bass line with the drum accents and then the heavy close harmony of Levon, Richard and Rick in the theme, make it seem impossible that this isn’t some traditional material handed down from father to son straight from that winter of 1865 to today. It has that ring of truth and the whole aura of authenticity.”

While not as significant I think as “The Weight” which I plan to blog about, this song has clearly made a lasting impression on those who choose to listen carefully or those who just think ‘hey’ it’s a great tune to listen too.

Some interesting stuff here;
There is always more to making a song than the singer, but sometimes the singer makes the song. Thanks for reading my blog!
References: Wikipedia, https://secondhandsongs.com/, https://www.youtube.com/, https://www.bryanadams.com/, image from https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/entertainment/james-corden-bryan-adams-walked-out-of-carpool-karaoke-843809.html

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Celine Dion

Celine Dion

…continuing the Canadian artists being covered theme


My Heart Will Go On” (Love Theme from ‘Titanic’) by Celine Dion
Written (lyrics) by Will Jennings, here are some highlights of songs he has written or co-written;
Steve Winwood:  “Higher Love” (#1, nominated for Grammy Award for Song of the Year 1987)
Eric Clapton: “Tears in Heaven” (#2, nominated for a Golden Globe award, 1993 Grammy for Song of the Year, 1993 Ivor Novello award from British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors)
Barry Manilow: “Looks Like We Made It” (#1)
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes: “Up Where We Belong” (#1, American Academy Award, British Academy Award, Winner Tokyo Song Festival)
Whitney Houston: “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” (#1)
Tim McGraw: “Please Remember Me” (#1 Country)
The other writer (composer) is the late James Horner and here is a sample of his work accomplishments:
Just Grammy Awards alone;
1988: An American Tail – Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television
1988: “Somewhere Out There” (from: An American Tail, Winner) – Song of The Year
1988: “Somewhere Out There” (from: An American Tail, Winner) – Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television
1990: Field of Dreams – Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television
1991: Glory (Winner) – Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television
1996: “Whatever You Imagine” (from: The Pagemaster) – Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television
1999: “My Heart Will Go On” (from: Titanic, Winner) – Record of The Year
1999: “My Heart Will Go On” (from: Titanic, Winner) – Song of The Year
1999: “My Heart Will Go On” (from: Titanic, Winner) – Best Song Written for A Motion Picture or for Television
2003: A Beautiful Mind – Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
2011: Avatar – Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
2011: “I See You” (from: Avatar) – Best Song Written for A Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
Add to that Celine Dion’svoice and her accomplishments to that point in 1997;
1990: “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” number one in Canada, number two in the US,
1991: “Beauty and the Beast” (duet with Peabo Bryson), Number one in Canada, three in the US
1992: “If You Asked Me To“, number one in Canada and the US
1992: “Nothing Broken but My Heart“, number one in Canada and the US
1992: “Love Can Move Mountains”, number one in Canada, eight in the US
1993: “When I Fall in Love“(duet with Clive Griffin), number 2 in Canada 6 in the US
1993: “The Power of Love“, number one in Canada, US, Australia and number 3 in France and 4 in the UK
1995: “To Love You More” number one in Canada and the US
1995: “Because You Loved Me“, number one in Canada, Australia and the US
1996:  It’s AllComing Back to Me Now“, number one in Canada, Belgium and the US
1996: “All by Myself“, number one in Canada and the US
1996: “Tell Him” (duet with Barbra Streisand), #1 in Canada and the Netherlands, 3 in UK, 5 in US.

Sorry for the extensive list but I imagine you get my point, these are just highlights of the accomplishments of the people assembled for this song, so apart from being associated with the most successful film of all time to that date (directed, written, co-produced and co-edited by Canadian James Cameron) it was no mistake it peaked at number one on almost every chart on the planet and finished the year as number one or in the top ten of the year on a dozen or more.

An interesting fact about the development of this song, the original track was recorded by Sissel Kyrkjebø an accomplished Norwegian soprano who did record other tracks for the movie’s soundtrack. In the end however it was decided to go with Celine in large part to her voice, prior working relationship with James Horner and her success with movie songs.

Some of you (me) may still be sick of this song and avoid it due to it being overplayed and in some people’s opinion, over sung. Celine herself I’ve read never liked the song. Nevertheless there have been few songs that have made such an impact, selling over 30 million copies and covered at least 148 times to date.

Neil Diamond in 1998, Switchblade Kittens in 1998 (yes what you might expect from the name, a punk version), Big Daddy in 2000 (and you thought the last one was different!), Jessie J – from the Chinese show “Singer” 2018
Celine Dion is one of the most accomplished singers on the planet period. There is plenty more to talk about with Celine with at least 46 other songs having been covered but for now I will leave it here. Just another music icon to add to the list of Canadian artists being covered. Thanks as always for reading my blog.
If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Born Roberta Joan Anderson, November 7, 1943 (age 74) Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada
I have included some covers of Joni’s songs in previous posts but there is more to be said about her amazing talent and song writing ability. Firstly, her guitar playing is superb and what makes it all the more remarkable is the fact she had polio as a child (age 9) and as a result has weakness in her left hand in particular. Despite this she learned ukulele, piano and then guitar creating her own tunings to compensate, resulting in a very unique sound. While standard tunings (determining the string pitch) were then commonly used, Joni turned to open tunings which reduced the dependency on her left hand. If you research guitar tunings Joni Mitchell comes up frequently and remains a guide and influencer in this area. Rolling Stone ranks her at #75 of the world’s best guitarists and she (along with fellow Canadians Sue Foley and Liona Boyd) ranks in the top female guitarists on just about any other authoritative list you can find.

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Paul Anka

Paul Anka



Paul Anka has written and recorded some monster songs. A total of 52 of his songs have been covered. He wrote the theme song for Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show”, there is a link at the end to the story about it. He wrote the English words to “Comme d’habitude” (written by Claude François, Jacques Revaux, Gilles Thibault) sung by Claude François (1967), titled “My Way” for Frank Sinatra, recorded in 1968. This song of course you may know went on to be his (Sinatra’s) signature song. Paul himself would record “My Way” in 1969 one of 75 versions of the song.
Paul Anka wrote and recorded the chauvinistic yet catchy tune “She’s a Lady” in 1969, Tom Jones would have a smash #1 hit with this song in 1971. This song has been covered 30 times, including a re-written version by Anka cutting out some of the more chauvinistic lyrics.
Paul Anka, the original version, the big hit was from Tom Jones
Paul’s first big hit that reached number one or two on charts around the world was “Diana” written and recorded by Anka in 1957. Covered 70 times.
Conway Twitty, who could sing just about anything in 1961
Recorded by Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell , Frankie Avalon and The Pete Best Band. If you’re Australian and likely from New Zealand as well you will remember the version by Ol’ 55 (1975)
Also recorded in German, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French.  Here is a Portuguese version by Carlos Gonzaga
He would follow that up with another number one hit “Lonely Boy” in 1958, covered (18 times) most notably in 1964 by Freddie and the Dreamers (I’m Telling You Now).
Put Your Head on My Shoulder” released in 1959 a number two hit on the Hot 100 , reaching near the top of the Charts in many countries. The Beach Boys’ “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulders) clearly took inspiration from this song in my opinion.  BTW how does one put their head on both someone’s shoulders? Covered 49 times.
Paul Anka from the Ed Sullivan show in 1959. Fellow Canadian Michael Bublé in 2003, Rex Gildo in German (1959)
Some Kind of Friend”, recorded in 1972 written by Paul Anka. It was also recorded by the Gospel Group the Edwin Hawkins Singers (1973) of “Oh Happy Day” fame (1967) they would also record “Jubilation” written by Anka. I include these to show the breadth of Paul Anka’s talent.
(You’re) Having My Baby” (1973) by Paul Anka was another smash number one hit and that is all I have to say apart from it being covered mercifully only 6 times. He is an amazing talent, composer, writer, bona fide Teen idol, vocalist and another living musical legend. 
References, Wikipedia,  https://secondhandsongs.com/, http://www.megalyrics.net/paul-anka/some-kind-of-friend, https://www.youtube.com/ image from: https://tidal.com/browse/album/76282078

If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot

It does not surprise me that this song has been covered 85 times, a finer piece of music mastery you’ll rarely find. Few artists have had the international reach that Lightfoot has obtained.
Early Morning Rainwritten by Gordon Lightfoot, recorded December 1964, released in 1966 on “Lightfoot”.
Pavel Bobek from the Czech Republic. Here is an out take version from some guy named Elvis.
And if you like Bluegrass here are New Shades of Bluegrassfrom 1980
As he had a job as a songwriter before he had much success as a singer many may have thought he covered Peter, Paul and Mary (1965). Other notable versions are; Bob Dylan (1970), Paul Weller (2004), very few female artists did this one but Judy Collins did in 1965 and Julie Felix (1969).
If You Could Read MyMind” written by Gordon Lightfoot and recorded in 1969 is for me the quintessential Lightfoot song, there are 122 versions of this song. Ok this one surprised me! Viola Wills from 1980 with a Disco version!
Johnny Cash, fellow Canadians; Diana Krall feat. Sarah McLachlan (2015) Wow! And most recently a young Bailey Pelkman in 2017.
Other versions feature a who’s who of music; Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell, Andy Williams, Jeannie C. Riley, Liza Minnelli, Don Williams and Neil Young.
So, this next song puzzles me a bit, as it’s only been covered 8 times. Beautiful” written by Gordon Lightfoot and recorded in 1972.  So “Beautiful” written by Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera song) is about something else altogether and a lovely and meaningful song in its own right. However, the James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful” is apparently a popular wedding song, which is odd, clearly not too many people pay attention to lyrics cause it’s a little stalkerish and he professes his love for someone he hasn’t met or will never see again, but hey what’s not romantic about that? If you want a wedding or anniversary song look no further than this. Here is a nice rendition from Glenn Willow
Sundown” written by Gordon Lightfoot and released on the album “Gordon Lightfoot” in 1974. It peaked at #1 in Canada and the U.S. in June of 1974 and would be his only US number one hit song. There has been much said about this song and Gord himself has made comments about its meaning over the years. You can listen and decide for yourself what the song is about. I think it’s highly likely it relates in some way to Cathy Smith, his (at that time) sometime girlfriend and for that matter the girlfriend of many musicians (The Band) and other celebrities. She would later find the height of her notoriety when sentenced to prison for injecting John Belushi with an overdose of drugs in 1982. But I digress.
The song clearly resonated with a lot of people and while none of his songs enjoyed the chart success of this one he has made a very good living I suspect and he is still playing today. He himself has been through a lot of heartbreak and health problems. A true musical living legend. 
Recorded in November of 1973, this song has since been covered 22 times.
Toby Keith covered it on the album Bullets in the Gun 2010. This is a live performance. Not an official cover but here is Eric Church in concert March 2017. L’amour c’est commel’été by Nana Mouskouri, 1974. Elwood in 2000 if you are in the mood for something different!

Blackie And The Rodeo Kings with “Summer Side Of Life” from the  album ‘Beautiful, A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot’ 2003 on Borealis Records.


Sources, Wikipedia, Secondhandsongs.com, BillBoard.com, Songfacts.com, YouTube, http://www.lyricsfreak.com/
If you like my blog, please consider filling in the follow by email link at the top right hand of the page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Confidentiality is assured unless you are a close friend or family member then all bets are off. While I can compile data from my blog it’s not tracking in terms of anyone’s identity. For past blog posts click on the menu at the top right corner. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well or post it to your timeline on FB or other social media. And many thanks as always for reading my blog!

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

What can one say about the late and great Leonard Cohen that hasn’t already been said. If you didn’t know who Cohen was and you are under the age of 30, someone need only say “Hallelujah” (250 cover versions) and the Shrek movie (a much-sanitized version of the song) takes over from there. If ever there was a song that’s been co-opted, then this one in my mind comes first. Although Cohen himself has changed up the lyrics when performing the song and has written many different verses.

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