If You Could Read My Mind (1995) – Don Williams

The ‘gentle giant’ Don Williams was one heck of a country artist who would do community service when he got bored. You can read more about that in the I Recall a Gypsy Woman article. Here he covers the classic Gordon Lightfoot If You Could Read My Mind. Lightfoot wrote the lyrics while he was reflecting on his own divorce saying they came to him as he was sitting in a vacant Toronto house one summer. I have heard both versions many times, but I remain most fond of Williams’ version which appeared on his 1995 album Borrowed Tales. This is a song I have never grown tired of.

If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
‘Bout a ghost from a wishin’ well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost you can’t see

When Don Williams covers a song, he seems to do them some serious justice! There is something so tranquil hearing his voice. It’s soothing and he seems to get to the heart of the matter without any fuss or bitterness. I can see why my father was fascinated by his voice. He is one of the best country singers I have heard. You can read more about Don William’s biography in my previous two articles on him. Don passed away in 2017, but his music will be greatly remembered. He amassed 17 number one country hits! And yet I couldn’t find one article about his rendition here or the album it came from. Maybe ’cause he kept a low profile according to my friend Max who lived in his vicinity in Nashville and had even met him!

I am into the weeds of internet searching. This CD gets its title ‘Borrowed Tales‘ because Don ‘covers’ well-known pop/country hits of others. The other thing I found was a comment ‘My cassette copy of this music melted together long ago and I’ve had trouble finding a copy of any form. I ordered a used copy in cd form and it is perfect‘. So now, that just goes to show ya how useful internet surfing can be.

1. If You Could Read My Mind – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
11 comments on “If You Could Read My Mind (1995) – Don Williams
  1. randydafoe says:

    Had not heard this cover before. I do like Williams so I’ll give this a couple more listens to see if it grows on me. It’s hard when a song is so ingrained in your mind to be open to another version. Great post!

    • Hello, I know what you mean about a version of a song which is so entrenched. A lot of Don’s music are covers; so, he seemed a specialist at it. Thank you for your kind words and I look forward to reading your posts as well.

  2. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Thanks Matt…I never heard this before…of course it’s great.

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