Carefree Highway (song)

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"Carefree Highway"
Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot.jpg
Single by Gordon Lightfoot
from the album Sundown
B-side "Seven Island Suite"
Released August 1974
Genre Folk, country rock
Length 3:45
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Gordon Lightfoot
Producer(s) Lenny Waronker
Gordon Lightfoot singles chronology
"Sundown"
(1974)
"Carefree Highway"
(1974)
"Rainy Day People"
(1975)
"Sundown"
(1974)
"Carefree Highway"
(1974)
"Rainy Day People"
(1975)

"Carefree Highway" is a song written by Gordon Lightfoot and was second single release from his 1974 album, Sundown. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent one week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart in October 1974.[1]

The song's name comes from a section of Arizona State Route 74 in north Phoenix. Said Lightfoot, "I thought it would make a good title for a song. I wrote it down, put it in my suitcase and it stayed there for eight months."[2] The song employs "Carefree Highway" as a metaphor for the state of mind where the singer seeks escape from his ruminations over a long ago failed affair with a woman named Ann. Lightfoot has stated that Ann actually was the name of a woman Lightfoot romanced when he was age 22:[2] "It [was] one of those situations where you meet that one woman who knocks you out and then leaves you standing there and says she's on her way."[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Stop and Smell the Roses" by Mac Davis
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single by Gordon Lightfoot
October 19, 1974
Succeeded by
"Back Home Again" by John Denver
Preceded by
"I Honestly Love You"
by Olivia Newton-John
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

November 30, 1974
Succeeded by
"Country Is"
by Tom T. Hall

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 146. 
  2. ^ a b Naglin, Nancy. "After "Sundown" Gordon Lightfoot makes up for lost time". Crawdaddy (April 1975). Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  3. ^ William R. Weiss (1999-01-04). "Gordon Lightfoot - Songbook Liner Notes / Poems". Lightfoot.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  5. ^ "RPM Top Singles for November 23, 1974". RPM. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary for October 12, 1974". RPM. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for November 30, 1974". RPM. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X. 

External links[edit]