Carefree Highway (song)

Last updated
"Carefree Highway"
Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot.jpg
Single by Gordon Lightfoot
from the album Sundown
B-side "Seven Island Suite"
ReleasedAugust 1974
Genre Folk, country rock
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Gordon Lightfoot
Producer(s) Lenny Waronker
Gordon Lightfoot singles chronology
"Carefree Highway"
"Rainy Day People"

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

Gordon Lightfoot Canadian singer-songwriter

Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. is a Canadian singer-songwriter guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He is often referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and is known internationally as a folk-rock legend.

<i>Sundown</i> (Gordon Lightfoot album) 1974 studio album by Gordon Lightfoot

Sundown is Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot's tenth original album, released in 1974 on the Reprise Records label. It reached #1 in the US on the pop chart, the only Lightfoot album to achieve this. In his native Canada, it topped the RPM 100 for five consecutive weeks, first hitting #1 on June 22, 1974, the same day it reached the top on the south of the border.

<i>Billboard</i> Hot 100 Song chart in U.S

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.


The title 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]

Arizona State Route 74 (SR 74), locally known as the Carefree Highway, is a state highway in central Arizona that stretches east to west from its junction with U.S. Route 60 (US 60) just south of Wickenburg to its junction with Interstate 17 (I-17) in North Phoenix. It serves Lake Pleasant Regional Park and serves as a northern bypass around the often congested stretches of US 60 through the northwest suburbs of the Phoenix metropolitan area. From end to end, it is 30.4 miles (48.9 km) long.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city of Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city in Arizona, with 1,660,272 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

Chart performance

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  1. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 146.
  2. 1 2 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". 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". Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  9. Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN   0-89820-142-X.