Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Leader of the Band

Today’s poem is in the form of a song. Song lyrics have the same impact as poetry. They either move the listener to tears, anger them, make them think or reminisce. 

For me, this song has always brought me to tears, and I have never figured out why. Maybe the lyrics with the melody make me sad. Who knows? Anyways, here are the lyrics to Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg.

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 brothers' 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


I am a living legacy to the leader of the band

Lyrics and Poetry,


  1. Hadn't thought of this song for a long time. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I love finding the old things that flood me with memories.