Early Morning Rain

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There may well be a hundred-and-fifty reasons to be cynical about Canada 150, but it is totally groovy that Gordon Lightfoot will be performing in Ottawa on July 1. Now 78, Lightfoot is one of the last surviving troubadours of the halcyon pre-Cancon era, when hearty tunes about Canadian railroads wafted first out of Carnegie Hall and then onto the CHUM Charts. Like many of his peers, Lightfoot bristled at being a Canadian icon—even during the 1967 Centennial. "I really dig Canada," he said, "but I'm not going to bring out any flags." Yet here he stands, all these years later, the voice of a country that continues to apologize for its success.