Dan Fogelberg: Leader of the Band Meaning
Song Released: 1981
Leader of the Band Lyrics
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...
Dan Fogelberg finds it both amusing and exasperating that many people think this is a song about Jesus (perhaps because Jesus was the son of a carpenter named Joseph, and the lyrics refer to "a cabinet maker's son").
In reality, the song is a tribute to Dan's father, Lawrence Fogelberg, who was a music teacher and band director (hence, he was literally "leader of the band") at an Illinois high school. Lawrence Fogelberg had tried to make a living as a musician and composer, before settling down to raise a family... but he taught Dan to play several instruments, and inspired Dan to try to become a professional musician himself.
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