Monday, December 17, 2007

Rest in Peace Dan

I got home from a busy day at work to learn that Dan Fogelberg died today. I'm so sorry to hear of this loss. Dan's been one of my favorite singers for a long time.

I remember back in the early 80's I was in grad school in southern California. After final exams a bunch of us went to a see Fogelberg. Turns out it was an acoustic concert. I'll never forget leaving all the stress of fullt-time studies and two part-time jobs behind, slinking down in my chair, and letting Dan take me to another peaceful world.

I have the "Innocent Age" cd and listen to it regularly. Its great music, but there's one song on there that I listen to over and over again. It's titled "The Reach" and isn't to be found at any online free music source. But if you want to hear some great music, I'd suggest buying it. Here are the lyrics:

It's Maine...
And it's Autumn
The birches have just begun turning
It's life and it's dying
The lobstermen's boats come returning
With the catch of they day in their holds
and the young boys cold and complaining
The fog meets the beaches and out on
the Reach it is raining --

It's father and son
It's the way it's been done since the old days
It's hauling by hand ten miles out
from the land where their chow waits
All the days get so lonely and long
and seas grow so stormy and strong but
The Reach will sing welcome as homeward
they hurry along.

And the morning will blow away
As the waves crash and fall
And the Reach like a siren sings
as she beckons and calls
As the coastline recedes from view
And the seas swell and roll
I will take from the Reach
all that she has to teach
To the depths of my soul --

The wind brings a chill
There's a frost on the sill in the morning
It creeps through the door
At the edge of the shore
ice is forming
Soon the northers will bluster and blow
And the woods will be whitened
with snowfall
And the Reach will lie frozen
for the lost and unchosen to row --

And the morning will blow away
As the waves crash and fall
And the Reach like a siren sings
as she beckons and calls
As the coastline recedes from view
And the seas swell and roll
I will take from the Reach
all that she has to teach
To the depths of my soul --

2 comments:

  1. This is sad news. I've never been much of a fan of his, although I loved his song called Longer Than, but it's always a shame when a gentle soul like his is lost too soon. The world needs more love above all else and his songs were full of love....

    These lyrics above are beautiful and evocative of the New England seafaring culture that keeps me here on eastern Long Island, which is more New England than NY. It reminds me of my short time working on a small fishing boat one winter in the mid 80's. 100 miles offshore for three days at a time and completely at the mercy of the Mother. And his way of expressing what it is that can draw someone to be out there touches the deep feelings of love and respect for the Sea that I've always had and especially those 4-5 months I spent out there on that boat. These lyrics, his poem, evke all of those feelings again for me. Excitement, trepidation, the awe of witnessing the raw power and magnificence of a Nor'easter, the whales and dolphins, how good a hot cup of coffe smells and tastes after a 12 hour shift in 20 degree winds and snow, the anticipation of home as we turned for shore after the last lines were hauled, even though it was a 10 hour steam to get there...all of it, captured in his words.

    Thank you for posting this.

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  2. You know, I always think of you super, when I hear this song. You're the one that educated me months ago about "the reach" and what it means. And I've always known that you have learned "what the reach has to teach to the depths of your soul."

    I hope you can find some way to listen to Fogelberg sing it too. The music sways and gives the feel of being out on that boat - its an amazing piece of work.

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