Father’s Day

Today is “Father’s Day,” and as with most days songs come to mind.

A few songs that remind me of Father’s Day. First, perhaps the tough stuff. Because we must admit that being a Dad is not always a fond memory for anyone. This is perhaps not only one of the great songs of fatherhood, but just plain one of the best story-songs every written:

We do this song as a band, and I have the high honor of singing it. Full string section behind the core band…it’s awesome. And I sometimes play this live too, just in solo settings. I have never played this song where a man in the audience did not cry. Just saying.

Then, on the positive side of the ledger, perhaps the best-known song of my favorite singersongwriter, Dan Fogelberg:

As you may remember, last summer I was deeply honored to be a part of the “Fogelberg Weekend” in Peoria, Ill, where we got to honor Dan’s memory by playing music for his biggest fans, his childhood friends and even his mother and family. Saturday night’s show of that weekend featured a concert by Peoria All-Stars, playing Dan’s music in a great concert venue in the city there. But everyone wondered who would play “Leader of the Band.” When the time came, it clear: none of us would. Dan did. They showed a video of Dan doing the song that he wrote for his father, the Peoria High School band leader, who had given him so much.

What an incredible tribute to the love of a father.

But then, finally, there’s not just what we think about being a father –good, bad or ugly– there’s being one in the world today. And the best song about fatherhood, and manhood, that I’ve heard in years and years is Andy Gullahorn’s “More of a Man.”

I found all sorts of versions that weren’t very easy to hear, so please go here and click the “More of a Man” link.

Isn’t that an amazing song?

Happy Father’s Day, everybody.

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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...)

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