UNRELEASED SONGS

Warner Brothers Publishing Demos


The Warner Brothers demos, are a collection of original songs Lightfoot recorded from November 1964 through April 1966.  This period overlaps the recording of his first UA album and certain tracks listed here are certainly out-takes from those sessions. Most of the songs just highlight Lightfoot's voice and guitar, while others have bass guitar and an occasional lead guitar.  These songs certainly show an evolution process taking place in Lightfoot's writing.  There are a dozen or more songs here, that in my opinion at least, would not have seemed out of place on any of Lightfoot's UA albums, and in fact The Lost Children which was done for Sunday Concert, is one of the early songs in this collection.  Lightfoot has said that he didn't start writing really good songs until he was able to develop a focused point of view within his songs.  We see songs here on both sides of that fence and the development is fascinating.  Lightfoot has always said that he has never had a problem coming up with an original melody and that is evident even back at his earliest stages.  The melodies here are always inventive and interesting and are a tribute to his vast talent.

Click on song title for lyrics.

IT'S BETTER THAT WAY
Lightfoot in a country mode here, with good results.

TWO KIDS FROM CABBAGETOWN
Lightfoot spins a nice tale here, although somewhat predictable and
sentimental.  It's carried along on a pleasant melody.

A FEW MOMENTS AGO
A teenage love anthem.  I could imagine Ricky Nelson covering this one.

BETTY MAE'S A GOOD TIME GAL
A pleasant song that Lightfoot played live in those days and even recorded
it for the Canadian Talent Library collection.  See Discography for further
details on that album.

THE GENERAL STORE
Here is a fast paced, fast sung tune.  Lightfoot's ode to The Auctioneer?

THAT INNOCENT LOOK
This melody and lyric finds Lightfoot in a playful, yet defiant mood.

THE LOST CHILDREN
This song of course, was later recorded for Sunday Concert.  Lyrics and
delivery are very similar on this demo.

A LOVE THAT'S TRUE
This one sounds like a song Roy Orbison would have done a good job with, as
the melody line soars in places.

WHERE ARE THE MARTYRED CHILDREN
An early and ambitious attempt at a spiritual.  Very repetitive melodically
and not as catchy as Rich Man's Spiritual, but still it has that authentic
spiritual feel to it.

RED ROSES AND YOU
A weepy and somewhat derivative country tune.  Worthwhile though, as
Lightfoot hits some high falsetto notes here.

PRETTIEST TIME OF HER LIFE
Well folks, a song written about Jackie Kennedy after JFK's death.  An
interesting song for sure, but certainly doesn't rank with his great
topical songs.  Nice contrast melodically between the chorus and verses,
which later would become a trademark.

A RING AND A SECRET
Another teenage love anthem type of song.  Lightfoot would certainly develop
much more interesting insights into relationships in future years.

ROSEY AND ME
A nice bouncing melody carries this simple tale along.

SANDS OF TIME
Another of the standard country weepers.

SOMEBODY TOLD A LIE
Even at this early stage Lightfoot must deal with deceit in relationships,
although I would guess this to be more fictional than, let's say, Sundown.

SWEET TEMPTATION
Interesting how even at the earliest stage of development, Lightfoot makes
no attempt to idealize relationships.  "Ah, the lovin' ain't easy,' as he
would write 20 years later.

THINGS THEY SAY
Another derivative country style song.  Lightfoot is still searching for his
unique sound at this point.

TRY TO COUNT THE TEARS
This song has an almost Memphis R&B feel to it.  One suited to Roy Orbison.

WEEP NOT FOR ME
This one has a brooding melody and delivery.  Would be a good album closer.

YES I WILL
Standard 'country style of the early sixties' song.

NEW DAY
Here's a good one, with a very slippery, evocative melody happening here.

DON'T BE SORRY
A rare fingerpicked tune in this collection.  Most of the other songs are
done flatpick style.  This is a very nice song.

ECHOES OF HEROES
This is probably Lightfoot's earliest anti-war song.  And a good one!

FOX FIRE
Lightfoot uses nature to act as the setting for a tale of love, as he would
continue to do, with outstanding results, in future years.

THE LAST HAND
Lightfoot sings of an independent man who lives life on his own terms,
regardless of the consequences.  This is a theme he would continue to develop
throughout his career.

ANYTHING MY WOMAN DOES
This song wouldn't seem out of place on any UA album.  Great tune and groove
and a great vocal!

AN OLD FRIEND
This is the gem of this entire collection, from my point of view.  An
excellent song that has some of Lightfoot's most lonesome singing ever.  The
lyrics don't tell half the tale here.  This vocal preformance, featuring
Lightfoot ooh-ing to start each verse, sends chills.  And to think, it was
written to a dog!

RIVER GAL
Pleasant melody and a tale of a riverboat gambler.  Nice song.


ROLL ON
This is a pleasant song with a melody that, well, just rolls nicely along.

WHEN SPRING WAS O'ER THE LAND
Nice melody and to quote Pussywillows, Cat-Tails, 'the promise of spring'.

TOO MUCH TO LOSE
This very good song was recorded again around the time of Old Dan's
Records.  This version has additional lyrics and a different melodic ending.