Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Black Day in July... Previous Next
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Crazy_pete
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Username: Crazy_pete

Post Number: 20
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 72.138.178.249
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anybody know this song by Gordon Lightfoot (later re-done by The Tragically Hip)??

Its one of my all time favourites... The first time I ever heard it, the lyrics were so chilling that I had to find out what he was talking about... that is what started my interest in Detroit/the 1967 riots.

I was always curious if it was a well known song to Detroiters, I heard it was banned from US radio because people thought it would re-kindle racial tensions...

If you havent heard it you should DL it ASAP.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 41
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 9:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is Gordon from the area? He also does a few Great lakes songs
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Crazy_pete
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Username: Crazy_pete

Post Number: 21
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 72.138.178.249
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 9:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think hes from Orillia... Southern Ontario.
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 277
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 70.28.0.156
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 12:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mr. Lightfoot is a Canadian from Orillia, Ontario.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G ordon_Lightfoot

"Black Day in July" is powerful song about the '67 Detroit riots. The following passage reminds me of how my mother described the tour my grandfather (born and raised in Detroit) gave my her and her brother shortly after the riots:

The streets of Motor City now are quiet and serene
But the shapes of gutted buildings
Strike terror to the heart
And you say how did it happen
And you say how did it start

However, my favourite passage of the song strikes at the key question surrounding the riots:

The printing press is turning
And the news is quickly flashed
And you read your morning paper
And you sip your cup of tea
And you wonder just in passing
Is it him or is it me

Indeed, Gordon, "Is it him or is it me?"
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Motorcitymayor2026
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Username: Motorcitymayor2026

Post Number: 645
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 68.79.94.2
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 11:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

very cool song...hadnt heard that one before, though I have his greatest hits cd. That, and the sinking of the edmund fitzgerald are my favorites
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Crazy_pete
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Username: Crazy_pete

Post Number: 22
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 72.138.178.249
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 11:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It isn't one of the better known songs... It was his only political song, and after all the controversy he stopped playing it at concerts and doesn't talk about it much.

He's a bit of a Bob Dylan type guy like that...

Here are the full lyrics:
http://www.ocap.ca/songs/black day.html
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 512
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 66.189.188.28
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 3:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the problems you may have in finding "Black Day In July" is that Gordon Lightfoot recorded on United Artists from '66 until 1970 ("Black Day" is on the 1968 release "Did She Mention My Name"), and on Warner Bros. from then on, with his biggest hits coming on Warner, overshadowing the UA releases to the point when Warner released a greatest hits package, they had Lightfoot re-record some of his UA stuff.

You might have better luck looking for "The United Artists Collection", a double CD containing all his UA studio LP's. And yes, it is a powerful piece of music....
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Motorcitymayor2026
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Username: Motorcitymayor2026

Post Number: 647
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 68.79.94.2
Posted on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was able to find it.

Very powerful, indeed.

thanks
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Aarne_frobom
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Username: Aarne_frobom

Post Number: 16
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 162.108.2.222
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 10:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't recall ever hearing this song played on Detroit radio, not even on the old WQRS radio show that introduced me to Gordon Lightfoot and folk music in those years. Maybe it was too serious to be entertainment, and maybe there was a bit of self-censorship about a sensitive topic. Or maybe the DJ's just didn't care for a song that didn't fit any convenient genre. I always thought the phrases were a bit strained, but capturing the interplay between Cavanaugh, Romney and Johnson in a rock-and-roll lyric was quite an achievement.
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Mrsocks2002
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Username: Mrsocks2002

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 69.212.46.136
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's on the playlist on Classic Gold AM 630 CFCO, where they're legally obligated to play Gordon Lightfoot several times a day.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3536
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 1:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Incredible memories, incredible song.
Thanks.

jjaba.
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Upinottawa
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Username: Upinottawa

Post Number: 278
Registered: 09-2005
Posted From: 198.103.184.76
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mrsocks2002 -- legally obligated to play Gordon Lightfoot! The CRTC only requires mandatory Brian Adams, that explains why he gets so much Canadian airtime despite the fact he has not had a good song since the Summer of '69.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1258
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 140.244.107.151
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 3:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow....can't believe that I have never heard of this song. Thanks Crazy_Pete for bringing up this song and for posting the link to the lyrics. I definitely will follow up!!!
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Jams
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Username: Jams

Post Number: 3051
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.218.157.85
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 4:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

erghhhhhh.

This thread has reminded me, that in the early 70's, a dormmate of mine at UofM passed by my room while I was playing Lightfoot. He was a Vocal Music major and had never heard Gordon Lightfoot before. He begged me to loan him the albums (the first five), I reluctantly agreed.

Of course, he never returned them and I'm still pissed about it.

"Black Day in July" and "Did She Mention My Name" still resonate through my head Lo these many years.
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Collective
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Username: Collective

Post Number: 336
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 70.8.68.113
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 4:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just dl'ed the song on bearshare in case anyone is interested in finding it quickly.

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