I don't know--is "American Pie" a ballad? I'm too young to remember Buddy Holly but I love all references to Dylan as the jester in it, and of course the Beatles tho I'm not a huge Beatles fan. Classic rock is my thing, 60s and 70s--rock, not pop.
As for "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" I have to admit I don't like the song all that much (maybe I heard it one too many times when it was popular), but the story it tells IS haunting. And, unfortunately, once I hear it, it gets stuck in my head forever--or when I even think about it, like now. . .
Alright, another Tom Russell fan, he really does write some good ones and some great songs too. We have a singer here in Texas nanmed Brian Burns who does a lot of Tom's songs and that's how I found him. Brian also does the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and he even sounds like Gordon Lightfoot. On his website he thanks Gordon for his voice hmmm! Anyway I like Brian's version better than Gordon's and like how he reads the names of each of the sailors at the end of the song.
As for the song that started the thread, Lightfoot merely wrote lyrics and set it to an old Irish tune, like so many songs in the Civil War were. The song before his that used the tune was a song called Back Home in Derry, which was created from a poem by Bobby Sands an Irish Revolutionary from the early 20th century who ultimately starved himself to death in prison. It is also a ballad about the Irish Rebels of '98 who were sent to Australia on prison ships.
Well, I do like the Beatles, but I have to admit my favorite playlist includes The Hollies (Long Cool Woman), Santana (Black Magic Woman), Thin Lizzy (The Boys Are Back in Town), The Guess Who (No Sugar Tonight), Derek and the Dominos (Layla) and Eric Clapton (Cocaine), not the Beatles. . .
If I had to pick a favorite Beatles song, it'd be "Penny Lane" because it never fails to remind me of a trip I took to Manchester, England in my senior year in high school to visit a long-time pen pal there.
And now I have "Edmund Fitzgerald" in my head again!
When I traveled across the USA the first time after I retired. I had my cds with me in order of the trip. I played Take it Easy all the way though Winslow Ariz, El Paso in El Paso , Oklahoma Hills in Oklahoma. and Ballad of the Alamo when I entered San Antonio. I played the Battle of New Orleans as I drove around that Battlefield. and so on and so on. Actually I had the Cds on both trips. So you could say I had a soundtrack for my trips across America. Driving though the Mississippi Delta listening to Mississippi John Hurt looking for his cabin which I could not find. I was in Avalon though .
David as to Tom Russell I am a big fan. I have all the albums on my ipod . I want the new one that just came out . Everytime I listen to his songs I decide another one is my favorite. I have seen him a couple of times in very small coffee houses. He is good.