The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Leader of the Band

As some of you know my husband and I spent a week in the Philadelphia area for my Hubby's baby sister's wedding. As some of you also know, we've had a rough couple of months after my husband's illness and hospitalization - for a while it looked like we might not be able to make it to the wedding!

Because of this, and maybe because I've been more introspective than usual for who knows what reason, several things during the wedding and its preparations caught my attention and I'll probably write about them periodically.

Today I'm writing about the Father-Daughter dance at the wedding. First a little background about my father-in-law. He - like Hubby's entire family - is a musician. He's also a retired music teacher. Throughout his career he taught all ages and directed school bands and chorales, and even today he is the choir director at his church. In short, he's always been, in one way or another, the "Leader of the Band"., which is the song my SIL chose for the father-daughter dance.

Besides being a talented musician and beloved teacher, my FIL is one of the kindest men I know. He welcomed me into his family from day one, and has always made me feel loved and cared for, I am very, very lucky. Yet another reason the song choice was perfect!

As for the dance itself, it was beautiful but I can't fathom how SIL managed to not bawl her eyes out! I am so impressed by people who can do that. I of course was crying like the dork I am along with a bunch of other people, but FIL and SIL kept it together, although I think FIL got a little was, after all, his little girl, his only daughter.

I don't know how my SIL came to choose this song, as it was popular when she was very young, but it is really apropos for FIL and the family since all of them are musicians and music is such an important part of thier lives.

It is one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite singers, Dan Fogelberg. Because the words are so beautiful, I wanted to share them with you, and wish that you all have at least one "leader of the band" in your life.

Leader of the Band
Dan Fogelberg

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet makers 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 brothers lives were
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 Ive 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 the living legacy
To the leader of the band

At my wedding my father-daughter song was "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong - what was yours?

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Blogger IslandPearl said...

My wedding(s) tended to be somewhat non-traditional, so we didn't have the dance. Which is too bad; Dad was a fabulous dancer. We'd always dance on our family cruises...when I could steal him away from mom. Watching them was like watching professionals. They were so beautiful together.

Can't hear that Fogelberg song without crying -- that one and 'Dance With my Father Again.' What I wouldn't give for that chance.

1:01 PM  
Blogger maria said...

Welcome back Hilda! Weddings are such beautiful events, full of hope and promise. I also didn't have a father-daughter dance because my dad was shy and didn't like to dance. He passed away over two years ago and I miss him very much.

Maria Eugenia

2:21 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Oh isn't that song just so touching? It really was a perfect choice for the father-daughter dance. I'm so happy you have such a terrific father-in-law.

6:30 PM  

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