Gordon Lightfoot: Song For A Winter's Night - Song Lyrics

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Song For A Winter's Night

About Song For A Winter's Night

Song For A Winter's Night (song clip), by Gordon Lightfoot, is one of his most beautiful love songs. Lightfoot recorded Song For A Winter's Night in the studio twice: the first, original recording is on the United Artists album The Way I Feel; the rerecording is on the Warner/Reprise album Gord's Gold.


Unlike all his other rerecordings, Lightfoot uses a different guitar and playing style in the rerecording: the original is finger-picked, Travis-style, on his 6 string Martin; the rerecording is strummed on his 12 string Gibson. Both are exquisite, and you will probably have trouble choosing your favorite.

Interestingly, Song For A Winter's Night was not written during the winter with the snow falling; instead, it was written in July, during a thunderstorm, in Cleveland, OH! Lightfoot enjoys telling this story, and occasionally does so as an introduction to the song in concert.

The clip here is from the United Artists album, The Way I Feel; you can listen to a clip of the Gord's Gold version at Amazon.

Find Lightfoot's Song For A Winter's Night on:

Covers of Song For A Winter's Night

Available for Download @ Amazon

Over the years, there have been many beautiful covers of Song For A Winter's Night. Although only the sleigh bells in Lightfoot's version hint at a holiday theme, this song has become one of the anthems of Christmas, and is included on many Chrismas compilations. One of the best recent holiday albums was Sarah McLachlan's 2006 release, Wintersong (reviewed here on the Home page).

Other notable covers include:

  • Harry Belafonte's recording of Song For A Winter's Night under its original title, The Hands I Love; it appears on his 1967 live album Belafonte On Campus, sadly not available on CD.
  • Tony Rice's recording of Song For A Winter's Night from his album, Me & My Guitar. Tony is an amazing bluegrass guitar player whose cover of this song (as well as many others) is surely among the best. An album of all of his Lightfoot covers is available too: Tony Rice Sings Gordon Lightfoot
  • International artist Nana Mouskouri's recordings in both English and French (the latter under the title "A La Porte Du Jardin", literally, At The Garden Gate).
  • Quartette (with Sylvia Tyson of Ian & Sylvia) recorded a lovely version of Song For A Winter's Night, in a style reminiscent of McLachlan's rather than Lightfoot's. You can find this recording on the fine album, Beautiful, a tribute to Lightfoot, also previously reviewed here.

    Also, I would be remiss in not mentioning my friend Cathy Cowette's cover of the song on her debut CD aptly named Songs For A Winter's Night! You'll notice that Cathy's recording has the guitar riffs of the original Lightfoot version; she based her arrangement on the lead played by the late Red Shea, combined with the rhythm part played by Lightfoot. Cathy's CD includes a total of six Lightfoot songs making it very nice gift idea for any Lightfoot fan.

    Available for Download @ Amazon

    Song For A Winter's Night, ©1967 by Gordon Lightfoot

    The lamp is burning low upon my table top
    The snow is softly falling
    The air is still in the silence of my room
    I hear your voice softly calling
    If I could only have you near
    To breathe a sigh or two
    I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
    On this winter night with you
    The smoke is rising in the shadows overhead
    My glass is almost empty
    I read again between the lines upon each page
    The words of love you sent me
    If I could know within my heart, that you were lonely too
    I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
    On this winter night with you
    The fire is dying now, my lamp is growing dim
    The shades of night are lifting
    The morning light steals across my windowpane
    Where webs of snow are drifting
    If I could only have you near, to breathe a sigh or two
    I would be happy just to hold the hands I love
    And to be once again with you
    On this winter night with you 

    Song: Song For A Winter's Night


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