Corby's Orbit

Corby's Orbit
Listening in All the High Places illustration by John Kricfalusi

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Black Day In July ~ Canada's 150th Birthday This Year ~ Our 17 Best Songs ~ Second Post

Gordon Lightfoot gets well-deserved acclaim for his strong suits in classic Canadiana (The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald & Canadian Railroad Trilogy), his love songs (If You Could Read My Mind & Pussywillows, Cattails) and his enduring bar-band standards (Sundown & Early Morning Rain), but the power of his scathing, percussive hit, Black Day In July, remains unique 

Strongly stung by the intensity and proximity of the 1967 Detroit riots, which lasted five days and caused unprecedented death and destruction, Lightfoot voiced the growing frustration that was igniting songwriters all over the free world as racism, poverty and the Tet offensive dominated the media. The song tracked strongly in Canada and the U.S., until it was pulled from airplay after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Its poetry is steeped in the blood and anger of Detroit, but continues to ask questions of Ferguson, Paris, and whatever tragedies next week's news may have in store.

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