While Lightfoot's magnum opus is almost certainly "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - a folk song that could well be termed epic in the literary sense - his more common observations on life and love in the hundreds of songs that he wrote and recorded are the true measure of his artistry. Like all great songwriters and poets, Lightfoot was able seemingly effortlessly to find combinations of words and matching melodies to express all the universal human emotions, from hope and joy to grief and despair, and most everything in between.
Lightfoot's writing and recordings are quite a legacy to leave behind. The saddest thing is that he won't be adding to it and there won't be any more new Lightfoot tunes.
Or as Bob Dylan expressed it, "“Every time I hear a song of his, it’s like I wish it would last forever.”
Right on, Robert. Right on.