#SLS — 2nd song — The Leader of the Band — Dan Fogelberg — Happy Father’s Day


song lyric sunday

Jim Adams is the appreciated host of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
our prompt for this week is Dad/Father/Barbecue.  Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

Dan Fogelberg

image link

I’m adding a 2nd song to Song Lyric Sunday in honor of Father’s Day. My father passed away over 20 years ago. It seems like forever. He was a highly intelligent man who dropped out of school after 6th grade and started working early in life as a pin setter for a bowling alley. His parents divorced when he was young, and when they did all of his siblings went with their mother – except him. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, who came to the USA from Germany. She spoke no English. He joined the military as a young man and served in World War II as an infantryman in Italy. He sat in the courtroom of Goring’s war crimes trial. He came back from the war with a German flag and a Nazi bayonet. He never said how he got them.

When my parents got together, my dad still lived with his grandmother, and my mom took on the responsibility of taking care of her when she moved in. My dad was a quiet man for the most part but he did have a wry sense of humor. I remember him joking around on a reel to reel tape. He loved nature and took us all over the area to walk, swim, bike, and boat. He loved animals and treated them well. He loved his children and he did the best job he knew to raise us. We were never wanting for food, clothing, and shelter. He was dependable and he was consistent, which meant everything when a child’s mother is an unstable chaos junkie.  He was not a drinking man. Dad, I wish you would have stuck around a little longer.

Daniel Grayling Fogelberg (August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007) was an American musician, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for his 1980s songs, including “Longer” (1979), “Leader of the Band” (1981), and “Same Old Lang Syne” (1981).

“Leader of the Band” is a song written by Dan Fogelberg from his 1981 album The Innocent Age. The song was written as a tribute to his father, Lawrence Fogelberg, a musician and the leader of a band, who was still alive at the time the song was released. Lawrence died in August 1982, but not before this hit song made him a celebrity with numerous media interviews interested in him as its inspiration.

An only child alone and wild, a cabinet maker’s son
His hands were meant for different work
And his heart was known to none
He left his home and went his lone and solitary way
And he gave to me a gift I know I never can repay

A quiet man of music denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once, but his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love through discipline, a thundering velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band

My brother’s lives were different for they heard another call
One went to Chicago and the other to St Paul
And I’m in Colorado when I’m not in some hotel
Living out this life I’ve chose and come to know so well

I thank you for the music and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band
I am a living legacy to the leader of the band

Songwriters: Dan Fogelberg


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Li it was good to hear this again today, thanks for adding it. Your father’s blood runs through your stories. The Grateful Dead have a song Ramble on Rose where they say take me to the leader of the band and in a few weeks I will write about this song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I appreciate your thoughts, and yes, it does ❤ I think I've heard Ramble on Rose before. Looking forward to your take on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my all time favorites Lisa. Love this so much. I miss Dan Fogelberg 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it, Christine. He wrote so many excellent songs! I miss him too 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s funny, I used this same song a couple of months ago when Jim’s prompt was occupation.Fogelberg referred to his dad being cabinet maker and a musician in this song. It is so versatile! 🙂💕

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LydiaA1614 says:

    I totally forgot about this gem though it had always been a favourite. I also didn’t know that Dan Fogelberg passed away 12 years ago! He was a great talent and this was one of his best. Thanks for the wonderful memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You are very welcome, Lydia.


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