ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dan Grayling Fogelberg: A Tribute to His Life and Music (1951-2007)

Updated on April 1, 2020
alahiker28 profile image

Ms. Carroll is a freelance writer who enjoys writing poetry, flash fiction and non-fiction on a myriad of topics.

by Vicki Parker

If you’ve ever heard the music of Dan Fogelberg, you soon realize that you don’t just hear his music -- it courses through your veins. He was probably one of the most talented songwriter/singers of his life time. And he wasn’t just talented. He was smart. He was an Illinois State Scholar born to a classical pianist and WWII veteran who inspired his song "Leader of the Band (which he said if he could have written only one song in his life, this would have been it.") He had two brothers, one an attorney and the other a graphic artist. Indeed, Fogelberg "opened the curtain[s] and let the rest wait." (lyrics from "Illinois.") He traveled throughout his life from Illinois to California to Tennessee to Colorado, and to Maine where he died. He was an avid skiier and a sailor. He called Jimmy Buffett and Joe Walsh friends.

But as smart, talented, and well-traveled as he was, Fogelberg was no stranger to pain. He was married three times, the first time for only 2 years. Again later for 14 years. And then to his wife Jean to whom he was married when he died of prostate cancer at the young age of 56.

The lyrics to his music openly share his love, his passion, and his pain for the women of his life. "Ghosts," suggests he was "lost in love and found in reason." "Wysteria" is about a woman lost to the ways of the world. He sings, "did you change your face again? Those of us who loved you can’t even find you." Some of the greatest testaments to the power of love can be traced in the lyrics of Same Auld Lang Syne, Longer, Believe In Me, Missing You, Hard to Say, Go Down Easy, To The Morning, and The Face of Love. It seems Fogelberg knew the pain love would bring him even before he experienced multiple marriages. In "Changing Horses," he sang, "Changing horses in the middle of a stream gets you wet and sometimes cold; Changing faces in the middle of a dream gets you old."

Love seemed to be the face of Fogelberg’s life, yet he wrote and sang about much deeper matters than love. It is obvious that he reflected heavily on war, ecology, the purpose of life - past and present, and that he genuinely sought to understand the meaning of suffering. Some of the most powerful lyrics of his career can be found in his first albums, Part of the Plan and Home Free. "Souvenirs" has strong sentiments about the past:

"And down in the canyon the smoke starts to rise; it rides on the wind till it reaches your eyes. When faced with the past, the strongest man cries" ... And here is a sunrise to set on your sill; the ghosts of the dawn moving near. They pass through your sorrow and leave you quite still... sitting among souvenirs."

"Long Way Home" hints of the personal meaning he found in life:

"Running in the wrong direction, isn't it a long way home. ... I'm gonna fly to where the sky meets the land and the living is not planned and the children can laugh just cause they're living."

"Part of the Plan" is probably my all time favorite by Dan Fogelberg.

"Love when you can; Cry when you have to, but be who you must, that's a part of the plan" ... "Your conscience awakes and you see your mistakes; ... "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."

Perhaps the greatest testament to Fogelberg’s life were his own words about death. In "Ghosts" he said, "and through the gates of time run the ghosts of days that we left behind."

But the song that Fogelberg sang that coursed most often through my veins was "The River." On the news of his death, I made a small mantle of candles on my hearth and lay in silence all night long playing each and every song I had collected for years. It was my private tribute. As the last wick of the last candle flickered in the darkness and the sound, "The River" played.

"I was raised by a river weaned upon the sky; And in the mirror of the waters I saw myself learn to cry. As my tears hit the surface I saw what had been done. I gave feet to my freedom and I did run...

Someday later I saw the writing in the dust; It told me how I should travel; It told me who I was. I ran far from the river, far as I could see and as the sun hit my shoulders, I felt it burning me. How I longed for the waters as the fire raged; How I longed for the river as I aged."

"I will die by a river as it rolls away; Bury me in the nighttime; Do not waste the day."

May he rest in peace. He did not waste the day.

from the album, High Country Snows

thank you Texas for the only video of "The River" I could find

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Bill Leonard 

      11 years ago

      Vicki Thanks for the Dan blog. I always enjoy listening to his songs. I play Old Tennessee, The Sand and the Foam, Ghosts, and The River (plus a few more) on the guitar. I sang These Days at a private party the other night. He will be missed dearly as a songwriter and performer. His talents on the guitar and piano are so spectacular and warming to the heart.

      Thanks

      peace

      Bill

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 

      11 years ago from North Texas

      I always liked Dan Fogelberg's music. I have an old LP of his music, and actually, need to obtain some CD's.

      On one of his albums, the one with the doll on the cover, there is a song "The Sand and the Foam" that I especially like.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)