Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown

I first noticed  Candian Gordon Lightfoot riding in the car with my sister …with the AM radio station playing this song. Sundown got a lot of airplay back then. It peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #33 in the UK in 1974.

The inspiration for this song was his girlfriend Cathy Smith who would later have a romantic relationship with Richard Manuel of The Band and a fatal encounter with John Belushi.

Hard to believe but Gordon turned 80 last month. 

 

From Songfacts.

The inspiration for this song came from Lightfoot worrying about his girlfriend, who was out at bars all day while he was at home writing songs. He recalled during a Reddit AMA: “I had this girlfriend one time, and I was at home working, at my desk, working at my songwriting which I had been doing all week since I was on a roll, and my girlfriend was somewhere drinking, drinking somewhere. So I was hoping that no one else would get their hands on her, because she was pretty good lookin’!”

“As a matter of fact, it was written just around Sundown,” he added, “just as the sun was setting, behind the farm I had rented to use as a place to write the album.”

Lightfoot most likely wrote this about the stormy relationship with his one time girlfriend Cathy Smith, who was later sentenced for delivering a lethal dose of heroin to John Belushi.

 

Sundown

I can see her lyin’ back in her satin dress
In a room where ya do what ya don’t confess
Sundown you better take care
If I find you beenn creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown ya better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs

She’s been lookin’ like a queen in a sailor’s dream
And she don’t always say what she really means
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain

I can picture every move that a man could make
Getting lost in her lovin’ is your first mistake
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again

I can see her lookin’ fast in her faded jeans
She’s a hard lovin’ woman, got me feelin’ mean
Sometimes I think it’s a shame
When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sundown you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs
Sometimes I think it’s a sin
When I feel like I’m winnin’ when I’m losin’ again