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Gordon Lightfoot (2003)
The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame is pleased to honour Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot with its 2004 “Annual Special Award.”

The induction of Gordon Lightfoot into the Canadian Railway Hall of FameBorn on November 17, 1938, at Orillia, Ontario, Gordon Lightfoot wrote and recorded the classic folk song “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” in 1967. This original ballad tells the tale of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and is one of 400 songs that have been written and recorded by Mr. Lightfoot.

Mr. Lightfoot has had a very successful music career and he has sold over 10 million albums and 5 million singles all over the world since his career began in the mid-1960s. He is well known and respected by folk music fans for his unmistakable style and voice. Many top artists have covered his songs — including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, George Hamilton IV, and Barbara Streisand.

Mr. Lightfoot has received 16 Juno Awards and is a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1986, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and in 2001, to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Gordon LightfootThe Canadian Railway Industry is pleased to recognize the musical contribution of Gordon Lightfoot in telling the story of its past by including this talented Canadian in the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame.

 

 


Canadian Railroad Trilogy ©1967 by Gordon Lightfoot

There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
But time has no beginnings and histry has no bounds
As to this verdant country they came from all around
They sailed upon her waterways and they walked the forests tall
And they built the mines the mills and the factories for the good of us all

And when the young mans fancy was turnin to the spring
The railroad men grew restless for to hear the hammers ring
Their minds were overflowing with the visions of their day
And many a fortune lost and won and many a debt to pay

For they looked in the future and what did they see
They saw an iron road runnin from sea to the sea
Bringin the goods to a young growin land
All up through the seaports and into their hands

Look away said they across this mighty land
From the eastern shore to the western strand
Bring in the workers and bring up the rails
We gotta lay down the tracks and tear up the trails
Open er heart let the life blood flow
Gotta get on our way cause were movin too slow

Bring in the workers and bring up the rails
Were gonna lay down the tracks and tear up the trails
Open er heart let the life blood flow
Gotta get on our way cause were movin too slow
Get on our way cause were movin too slow

Behind the blue rockies the sun is declinin
The stars, they come stealin at the close of the day
Across the wide prairie our loved ones lie sleeping
Beyond the dark oceans in a place far away

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swingin our hammers in the bright blazin sun
Livin on stew and drinkin bad whiskey
Bendin our old backs til the long days are done

We are the navvies who work upon the railway
Swingin our hammers in the bright blazin sun
Layin down track and buildin the bridges
Bendin our old backs til the railroad is done

So over the mountains and over the plains
Into the muskeg and into the rain
Up the st. lawrence all the way to gaspe
Swingin our hammers and drawin our pay
Drivin em in and tyin em down
Away to the bunkhouse and into the town
A dollar a day and a place for my head
A drink to the livin and a toast to the dead

Oh the song of the future has been sung
All the battles have been won
Oer the mountain tops we stand
All the world at our command
We have opened up the soil
With our teardrops and our toil

For there was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run
When the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun
Long before the white man and long before the wheel
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
When the green dark forest was too silent to be real
And many are the dead men too silent to be real



 
    © 2006 The Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. All registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.