"Song for Duke" as written by and Judy Collins....
I didn't even know the man
I didn't know the man himself
Even though his music filled my life
As it has so many others

I knew that he had died that week
After fighting death a year or more
But I had had a rule before
That funerals were a waste of flowers

But something said I had to go
To be a witness to his gift of love
A man who never once gave up on life
Until death took him in his tracks

The people stood around the church
Ten thousand people there they say, or more
Black and white, rich and poor
Together they were there to say farewell

In New York City it had rained that day
The streets were silver and the sky was gray
But in the church the music soared and sang
And seemed to fill the air with shining sun

The man was a hero
He played the music of our souls
He knew that we all have in us
A place where beauty always grows

Outside in the streets again
The people wandered through the falling rain
They waved their hands and dried their tears
And turned to go about their lives again

But none of us will be the same
If we hear the things his music says
That loving is the gift of life
And making music was his way of love

The man was a hero
He played the music of our souls
He knew that we all have in us
A place where beauty always grows


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

"Song for Duke" as written by Judy Collins

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Song for Duke song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is Judy's tribute to Duke Ellington, who was possibly the greatest American composer. He died in 1974 ("after fighting death a year or more") of pneumonia as a complication of lung cancer.

    Over 12,000 people ("Ten thousand people there they say, or more") attended his funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
    TychaBraheon July 28, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain