A New Song: "Fogelberg"

I’ve talked about the Fogelberg Weekend on Facebook, but not here at the blog. It’s a pretty amazing thing that’s fallen in my lap in the past month.

The last weekend of August, the City of Peoria, Illinois will dedicate a memorial to Dan Fogelberg along the riverside there. You can read about it here.

The weekend will feature the dedication of the memorial, followed by a Saturday night tribute concert, with some local Illinois musicians offering their tribute to Dan. But, about three weeks ago, I got a call from Deb Jelinek, who works with Jean Fogelberg. The call was to invite Rusty and me, as members of Connections, to perform at a “welcome party” on Friday night, hosted by Jean and Deb.

The night will feature musicians from all over the country who have done tributes to Fogelberg, along with several members of Dan’s band: Jim Photoglo (who I’ve met at Kerrville and SWRFA) and Michael Hanna.

Wow.

We’re both still a little speechless about it all. It’s an incredible offer and gift to be asked to be a part of this. Just amazing.

So, of course we’re going. Right now, we’re trying to figure out which of Dan’s songs we ought to offer to do. Deb’s asked us to put together a list of five.

So, for all you Connections’ fans who have seen our Fogelberg tribute, let us know:

What songs do you think we should do? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think.

When I got back from Kerrville, I had a song rattling around in my head…a tune, really. It dawned on me about ten days ago that it was a tribute song for Dan. I’ve titled it “Fogelberg.”
There’s a demo below, for your enjoyment.

As a tribute song, this one is dripping with Fogelberg references. The music and production are blunt homage. And so are the lyrics! This song contains twelve distinct references to twelve different Dan Fogelberg songs in the lyrics. I kid you not. Some references involve clear and direct “borrowing. Others are allusions or song titles.

I won’t give them all away here, but I’d love for you to take your best shot at guessing them. (Hint: none of them repeat, and none of them are in the bridge) Some are obvious. Others may take some work. I’ll post the lyrics below to help you out.

Not quite sure what I’ll do with this one, still working out the kinks.

So, let me know what you think, and take your best shot at guessing those lyric-references.

“Fogelberg”
words and music by Eric Folkerth

At home high on the mountain
Or sailing on the sea
A poet from a river town
Who set his spirit free.

A troubadour, a gambler
With his place in the world
And every time he sang his songs
Our lives are what we heard

You once thanked your father,
For giving songs to you
And we’re forever grateful
That you shared your gift too
So may we ever be…
Your living legacy.

A soundtrack for each passing year
Through all the joy and pain
Days that seemed part of the plan
Nights snow turned to rain

Along the road, you gave to us
A wisdom spelled out plain —
Like it’s always gonna to be a day
And that love is not so strange

You once thanked your father,
For giving songs to you
And we’re forever grateful
That you shared your gift too
So may we ever be…
Your living legacy.

But you left us far to soon
Cold tears in our eyes
Wondering ’bout the missing years and
Full of questions why

But maybe in your leaving
You helped us all to see
That death just keeps us honest
And reminds us we are free.

When the weary journey’s ended
And all our days are gone
Time will still our singing
But songs live ever on.
And they will ever be…
They will ever be…
They will ever be…
Your living legacy.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

10 thoughts on “A New Song: "Fogelberg"

  1. Here's my best shot:The ReachForefathersThere's A Place In The World For A GamblerLeader Of The Band… See MorePart of the PlanSame Old Lang SyneTo The MorningGhosts

  2. Thank you, Eric, for your tribute to our amazing Dan….these are the song references most noticeable to me during my first listen to your song:-Netherlands-The Reach-The River-There's a Place in the World for a Gambler-Leader of the Band-Part of the Plan-0ld Lang Syne-Along the Road-To the Morning-Stars-various subtle references to Dan's compositions from Windows and Walls-The Last NailTell me what song references I may have missed. I'm a very loyal, long-time DanFan ('73), and, as is the case with so many others, Dan's music has been a huge inspiration in my life and has touched the very depths of my soul. I will be attending Dan's Memorial Dedication Weekend in Peoria this August, and hope to have the honor of meeting you and hearing you perform.~ Ever On ~Cindy P.Pearl, MS

  3. I think you definitely ought to do "the last nail"… you do it so well. Mostly, I think you ought to do more of the obscure songs, since many if the others will be doing the hits, and you know the "dan heads" will know the obscure just as well as the hits!I will be in Peoria in spirit (got my first music degree from Bradley University, so I felt Dan in the rarified central Illinois air all the time! 🙂

  4. "illinois" might also be a wise choice for the local crowd… do you have a set list from your connections shows, to remind me of the songs you do?I'm sure you will enjoy the experience, and when you see Jim Photoglo, tell him hello from me!

  5. Will do! Looking forward to seeing him again, although I bet he doesn't remember me….it's been years. Apparently, he and Mike Hanna (Dan's road keyboard player) are gonna be playing along with many of us.You are absolutely right: Illinois would be a *great* choice, and we do do it…along with The Last Nail.Good choices, Bill…

  6. Bill: Here's all the songs we've done in our Connections' shows. We rotate out a few of them, and obviously some of them we can't pull off without the full band, but here's the list:IntimidationLove Gone ByIllinoisSame Old Lang SyneHeart HotelsOnly the Heart My KnowOld TennesseePower of GoldRhythm of the RainTell Me to My FacePhoenixLongerCountry Claire/Forever JungNetherlandsHard to SayThe Last NailTo the MorningStarsRun for the RosesLeader of the BandMissing YouThe ReachThere's a Place in the World for a Gambler

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