Dan Fogelberg’s Most Profound Song About Death

Yesterday I mused on the occasion of my friend mother’s death. I concluded the post by rejecting metaphysics and appealing to the commonplace in our search for meaning,

 … we must always come back to the commonplace for meaning, to what surrounds us, to what we I call the ordinary extraordinary. No theory or abstract truths mitigate existential realities, only our complete engagement in our lives can temporarily do that. …

Still even the most rational have their mystical moments. Below is a music video of the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard about death, one that appeals to me in my occasional mystical moments. The words, music, and vocals are by the American musician Dan Fogelberg (1951 – 2007), who is best-known for his hit songs such as: “Longer,” “The Leader of the Band,” and “Same Old Lang Syne.” (The stories of each of these songs is itself fascinating, just follow the links.)

The song about death is titled “River of Souls” and is from an album of the same name. Below you’ll find its sublime lyrics.

   River of Souls (Original Recording Remastered)

I take my place along the shore
And I wait for the tide
It seems I’ve passed this way before
In an earlier time
I hear a voice like mystery
Blowing warm through the night
The silent moon embraces me
And I’m drawn to her light

I follow footprints in the sand
To a circle of stone
Find a fire burning bright
Though I came here alone
And in the play of shadows cast
I can dimly discern
The shapes of all who’ve gone before
Calling me to return

There are no names
That fit these faces
There are no lines that can define
These ancient spaces
The spirits dance across the ages
And melt into a river of souls

Lo que es de mio ~~ what is mine ~~
Lo que es de dios ~~ what is god’s ~~
Lo que es del rio ~~ what is the river’s ~~
Melt into a river of souls

I take my place along the shore
And I wait for the tide
It seems I’ve passed this way before
In an earlier time
To every man the mystery
Sings a different song
He fills his page of history
Dreams his dreams and is gone

There are no names
That fit these faces
There are no lines that can define
These ancient spaces
The spirits dance across the ages
And melt into a river of souls

Lo que es de mio ~~ what is mine ~~
Lo que es de dios ~~ what is god’s ~~
Lo que es del rio ~~ what is the river’s ~~
Melt into a river of souls

(There are links to his other music below.)

I highly recommend the music of this wonderful singer, songwriter, and artist.


Very Best of Dan Fogelberg


Dan Fogelberg: Greatest Hits


Phoenix


Box Set Series

Thank you Dan for your contributions to the world. I hope you have melted into a river of souls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *