If You Could Read My Mind

Gordon Lightfoot Buy

About If You Could Read My Mind

"If You Could Read My Mind" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. It reached number one on Canadian music charts and was his first recording to appear on the American music charts, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in February 1971. Later in the year it reached number 30 in the UK. The song also reached number one for one week on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, and was the first of four Lightfoot releases to reach number one. This song first appeared on Lightfoot's 1970 album Sit Down Young Stranger, which was later renamed If You Could Read My Mind following the song's success. Lightfoot has cited his divorce for inspiring the lyrics, saying they came to him as he was sitting in a vacant Toronto house one summer. At the request of his daughter, Ingrid, he performs the lyrics with a slight change now: the line "I'm just trying to understand the feelings that you lack" is altered to "I'm just trying to understand the feelings that we lack." He has said in an interview that the difficulty with writing songs inspired by personal stories is that there is not always the emotional distance and clarity to make lyrical improvements such as the one his daughter suggested. In 1987 Lightfoot filed a lawsuit against the writer of "The Greatest Love of All", alleging plagiarism of 24 bars of "If You Could Read My Mind". Lightfoot has stated that he dropped the lawsuit when he felt it was having a negative effect on the singer Whitney Houston, as the lawsuit was about the writer and not her. The song is in A major and uses the subtonic chord. 


Year:
2010
140 Views

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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

If I could read your mind, love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take

I'd walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two, a movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now, love, lets be real

I never thought I could act 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

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
The story always ends
And if you read between the lines
You'll know that I'm just trying to understand
The feelings that you lack

I never thought I could 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

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Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. CC OOnt (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and internationally as a folk-rock legend. more »

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Written by: Gordon Lightfoot

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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"If You Could Read My Mind Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 7 Aug. 2020. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/23060543/Gordon+Lightfoot>.

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