Dan Fogelberg – River of Souls

Peoria Riverfront Park Dan Fogelberg Memorial Site

“To every man the mystery
Sings a different song
He fills his page of history
Dreams his dreams and is gone.”

Below is a music video of the most thoughtful 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 story 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 talented singer-songwriter.


Very Best of Dan Fogelberg


Dan Fogelberg: Greatest Hits


Phoenix


Box Set Series

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

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4 thoughts on “Dan Fogelberg – River of Souls

  1. Did not know of Fogleberg’s passing. He was three years my junior. The lyrics posted here remind me of a series of sci-fiction books, the riverboat works, by Phillip Jose Farmer. Had not thought of those books in sixty years. Anyway, wherever Fogelberg got the inspiration for a river of souls, I like to think part of it came from reading Farmer. How’s that for a trip down one memory lane? We like to think something exquisite lies beyond corporeality. If some of us are like Pascal, who can blame us for hedging our bets?

  2. I’m no music expert but he is the best lyricist of all the singer-songwriters of the 1970s in my opinion. He’s almost always trying to say something profound.

  3. This is a lovely poem put to song by Mr Folgelberg, a very thoughtful and sensitive person. My first impression was that he was imagining standing before the river Styx, awaiting the ferryman. Was this an early intuition of the cancer diagnoses to come? A terminal diagnoses does focus the mind. I know that when I received such a diagnoses, some decade ago, I dreamt of waiting stations and a train that picked up numbers of unknown persons . All got on, silently. No one got off. It was a one way trip.

    Thank you for sharing this. Poems/songs such as this renews my faith in the Nobel Committee’s award to Bob Dylan’s for his works.

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