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Living Legacy to the Leader of the Band

I have always been a music enthusiast and listening to songs is one of my favorite pastime. I was so grateful when my brother DL (now a renewed Cholo as he may call himself) brought me an Ipod Nano. He gave it as "pasalubong" when he came back from Minnesota. Having a gadget like that is not in my list of priorities as a mother of course. So when I got it, I immediately organized my playlist and synced into my Ipod. I only have 81 selected hits with categories: mye music, mye top-rated and mye fast songs.

Music is a universal language. It is the most prominent element in our lives and it connects our souls to our inner nature, our society and the world around us. It has a healing power that lifts our spirit and change our moods into a lighter state. It is a way of self- expression, a source of entertainment. The art of touching humans' deepest emotions is in the art of music itself. Songs bring meaning and significance in our daily life. Music reminds us of our past, inspires our present and influences our future.

There's this particular song in my playlist that somehow moved me whenever I hear it. I love the beat of guitar chords playing and the notes inside the song. Before, it's just an ordinary tune for me until I came to know the singer and the story behind the song. I was even more thrilled to learn that I love two more songs in his discography. December of 2007, while I was on a shuttle service on my way to Platinum where I worked, I heard a breaking news over an FM station that he died due to cancer of the prostate. It was such an unhappy Christmas for his family and friends, even for his countless fans around the world.

Dan Fogelberg was an artist who started his musical career at age 14. He was the youngest of three sons of Margaret and Lawrence Peter who were then a classical-trained pianist and high school band director respectively. He was born 13th of August 1951 at Peoria, Illinois.

"Leader of the Band" was released in October 1981 in his album, "The Innocent Age". This song has helped him raise his career to peak level and gave him a name. He made the song in his father's memory which basically the reason why he chose to excel in this field. He had 20 albums from 1972 to 2003. The contents of its lyrics somehow depict his life and the humble family where he came from. He even said this passage in a live performance in 2003:

"I think if I had been only allowed to write one song in my lifetime... It would have been this one."

"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
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, pap, 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 the living legacy
To the leader of the band."

Some of Dan Fogelbergs hit songs are:
Captured Angel in 1975
Nether Lands in 1977
Twin Sons of Different Mothers in 1978
Same Old Lang Syne jn 1981

Longer in 1980

Believe in Me - 1984

And now that he's gone, this is my own way of giving him the tribute he most deserved. His songs will live forever in my heart.



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