Loretta's Millinery & Fashion Salon

"Run For The Roses" Song

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"Run For The Roses" Song
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Website Notice

"Run For The Roses"
The Kentuckey Derby is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of 554 roses draped over the horse in the Winner's Circle.*
In 1981, singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg wrote & recorded "Run for the Roses" for his album The Innocent Age.  Fogelberg re-released the tune as a single the following year.  It peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since been used as an unofficial theme for The Kentucky Derby. The song alludes to "the chance of a lifetime, in a lifetime of chance."
The opening lyrics describe a foal as "Born in the valleys/And raised in the trees/Of western Kentucky/On wobbly knees." 
"Mecca" for the Thoroughbred horse breeding industry is Lexington KY, referred to as Bluegrass region. Lexington is east of Louisville which is mid state, on the northern border.  Therefore, some people content that Fogelberg reference to western Kentucky is wrong.  Not the case!  Derby winners come from all over the United States and other countries. 
Moreover, The Kentucky Derby is not a "restricted race" for Kentucky breds only.  However, it is a race restricted to 3 year old horses which are registered with the American Jockey Club.  All horses are considered to be born on January 1 of their birth year.  Therefore, the breeding strategy is to have foals born as close to that date -- post January 1 -- as possible.  Foals born further from this date are disadvantaged by having have less time to grow and develop racing strength.
Chart (1981–1982) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 18
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Canadian RPM Top Singles 33
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 16


To Listen & Watch

Daniel Grayling Fogelberg (August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007) was an American musician, song writer, composer, & multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for his 1980s hits, including "Longer" (1980), "Leader of the Band" (1981), "Same Old Lang Syne" (1981) and of course, "Run For the Roses" (1981).

Fogelberg was married three times; he had no children by any of his marriages. For 25 years he lived in Maine, on Deer Isle, overlooking Eggemoggin Reach.

In May 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. After undergoing therapy, his cancer went into partial remission. On August 13, 2005, his 54th birthday, Fogelberg announced the success of his cancer treatment.  However, his cancer returned, and on December 16, 2007, Fogelberg died at the age of 56 at home. His ashes were scattered into the Atlantic Ocean.

Fogelberg's widow announced that a song written and recorded by Fogelberg for her, for Valentine's Day 2005, "Sometimes a Song", would be sold on the Internet and that all proceeds would go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The song was released on Valentine's Day 2008 and was also included on a CD released in September 2009 titled Love in Time, a collection of 11 previously unpublished songs.

The Innocent Age, released in October 1981, was Fogelberg's critical and commercial peak. The double album included four of his biggest hits: "Same Old Lang Syne", "Hard to Say", "Leader of the Band", and "Run for the Roses". He drew inspiration for The Innocent Age from Thomas Wolfe's novel Of Time and
the River. A 1982 greatest hits album contained two new songs, both of which were released as singles: "Missing You" and "Make Love Stay." In 1984, he released the album Windows and Walls, containing
the singles "The Language of Love" and "Believe in Me."

In tribute to Fogelberg, Peoria renamed Abington Street to "Fogelberg Parkway". The street runs by Woodruff High School, Fogelberg's alma mater, and where his father was a teacher & bandleader. Fogelberg Parkway continues to N. Prospect and E. Frye, the location of the convenience store where Fogelberg ran into his old high school sweet heart one Christmas Eve – as described in the song
"Same Old Lang Syne."  Fogelberg fans created a memorial garden in Riverfront Park in 2010.

A musical using the music of Fogelberg, entitled Part of the Plan, opened September 8, 2017, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) in Nashville.
Run For The Roses
       Sung by & Written by
            Dan Fogelberg

Born in the valley
And raised in the trees
Of western Kentucky
On wobbly knees
With mama beside you
To help you along
You'll soon be growing up strong
All the long, lazy mornings
In pastures of green
The sun on your withers
The wind in your mane
Could never prepare you
For what lies ahead
The run for the roses so red
And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
You fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined
In the dance
It's high time you joined
In the dance
From sire to sire
It's born in the blood
The fire of a mare
And the strength of a stud
It's breeding and it's training
And it's something unknown
That drives you
And carries you home
And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined
In the dance

Run for the Roses lyrics
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The Kentucky Derby is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," or for some people
 "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for the approximate time it takes to gallop over the 1 1/4 mile (10 furlong) course.