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 brother's lives were different 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 papa, 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 a living legacy to the leader of the band


Lyrics submitted by Ara Raven

Leader of the Band Lyrics as written by Dan Fogelberg

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Leader of the Band song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe part of this song that strikes me the most is one of the last parts of the song, "and papa I don't think I said I love you near enough". It strikes a definate cord with me personally because I know from personal experience what it is like being close to a family member and all of the sudden getting the news that they have passed on. I picked that line from the song specifically becuase it speaks to anyone who has had a lfamily or loved one die and retrospectively feel that they have come short, even if it is only a perception, of showing the true extent of the love and affection that they had for the person.
    D-Shizniton December 15, 2004   Link

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