Sunday, December 16, 2007

In Memory of Dan Fogelberg

I was shocked to learn of Dan Fogelberg's death from cancer this morning. While I had not played his music in a while, and in fact only had owned one of his first albums, "Souvenirs," many of his songs had a huge impact on me. Dan was a true poet, both inspired and inspiring. Songs like "The Leader of the Band," (see video), "Auld Lang Syne," and "Longer" are about emotional attachments that worked and didn't work, but are written without sentimentality. Quite the contrary, Fogelberg succeeded as a writer by following the cardinal rule of writing: to write what you know, and to provide the detail needed to communicate the experience to others. He succeeded as a musician by creating haunting rifs and vibrant choruses. To use the word "catchy" would be an understatement. I lived in Boulder, CO, during the summer of 1982, and it didn't take long for me to learn that Dan lived in nearby Nederlands. I'd had the song "Part of the Plan" swirling around me all that year, singing it to myself every chance I got. I had the idea one day to try to visit him, maybe leave him a note, or just see where he lived. He seemed like the kind of person who would have at least waved hello, or thanked me for coming by. Having read over the story of his life, on the day of his death, I regret not going that day.

I lit a candle for Dan tonight through his web site,, and fans of his mourning his passing can do the same. Rest in peace, Dan.

Part Of The Plan

I have these moments all steady and strong
I'm feeling so holy and humble
The next thing I know I'm all worried and weak
And I feel myself starting to crumble
The meanings get lost and the teachings get tossed
And you don't know what you're going to do next
You wait for the sun but it never quite comes
Some kind of message comes through to you
Some kind of message comes through
And it says to you...
Love when you can
Cry when you have to
Be who you must
That's a part of the plan
Await your arrival with simple survival
And one day we'll all understand
One day we'll all understand
One day we'll all understand
I had a woman who gave me her soul
But I wasn't ready to take it
Her heart was so fragile and heavy to hold
And I was afraid I might break it
Your conscience awakes and you see your mistakes
And you wish someone would buy your confessions
The days miss their mark and the night gets so dark
And some kind of message comes through to you
Some kind of message shoots through --
And it says to you...
There is no Eden or Heavenly gates
That you're gonna make it to one day
But all of the answers you seek can be found
In the dreams that you dream on the way

~DF, Tennessee 1973~

No comments: