Leader Of The Band

Words & Music:

Dan Fogelberg


This is transcribed in the July 2008 issue of Acoustic Guitar.



G7   C   Am   Em   D |  G (C/G) G (C/G) G (C/G) | G


G        (C/G)    G              Bm              C

An only child alone and wild, a cabinet maker's son.

Am                        Em                    Am                 C    D

His hands were meant for different work and his heart was known to none.

G           (C/G)     G                Bm       C

He left his home and went his lone and solitary way.

       Am            Em     Am    D7            G (C/G) G (C/G) G (C/G) G

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 thund'ring velvet hand.

     Am              Em                      Am      D7      G

His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand.



C                  Bm                  C                 G

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old.

        Am                    Em                 Am            F    D

But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul.

C                  Bm              C            G

My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man.

    Am             Em           Am       C        G (C/G) G (C/G) G (C/G) G

I'm just a living legacy to the lea--der of-- the band.


My brothers' lives were different for they heard another call

One went to Chicago, the other to St. Paul

And I'm in Colorado when I'm not in some hotel

Living out this life I 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.





  Am             Em           Am     C  D      G C/G G C/G G C/G G  G7 C Am Em D7 G

I am the living legacy to the leader of--- the band.


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