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My dad, Leo, died unexpectedly on February 8, 2017 and left behind a handful of creative writings. I set four of them to music and wrote four of my own as a reflection on his life, our relationship, and loss. "Leo" is partly a posthumous album- I hope that by listening to this you might get a glimpse of who my dad was and how much he's missed.

Much peace, much love.


released June 14, 2017

Lyrics by Leo (1, 3, 5, 7) and Dan (2, 4, 6, 8) Collins

Bass............Josh Murtha: joshmurthamusic.com
Drums..........Reuben Garza: drumsbyrg@gmail.com
Mixing..........Sam Sterk: samsterkaudio.com
Mastering.....Jim DeMain: yesmasterstudios.com

Music, piano, percussion, recording, production, etc. by Dan Collins.



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Dan Collins and a Piano Chicago, Illinois

Ivory tickler and v-chord rattler. More at dcandap.com.


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Track Name: 'Til the Pain Is Gone
You look at things all inside out
That simple smile you hide behind
A victim of life you always pout
Looking for salvation you can’t find

Spitting out things that don’t have taste
Looking up names that owe you favors
Blowing back love thinking it’s a waste
Languishing from the hate that you savor

Don’t stop crying till the pain is gone
Let it put you right back where you belong
Don’t try making sense out of this
Keep holding on keep holding on

You fall from an opaque reality of truth
Like the windless day that flies no kite
The smoke from a burning fire- it lets loose
Blanketing its fury and blinding your sight

Yet you begin to sense a change in space
Remembering a dream in your mind that danced
Was it real or just an imagined safe place

If you believe in change is it worth the chance

Chorus: --

Break through the wall that you built with fear
Surrender to feelings that clutch your heart
The small voice inside is what you should hear
It will help lead you outside to a fresh new start

Slipping sliding reaching and crawling
Oh working through that old hateful pain
Like a new born baby fighting and bawling
What was once crazy now is sane

Chorus: --
Track Name: Day Turns into Night
It's about that time, I'd be giving you a call
Middle of the workweek, you answered them all
But now when I ring you I will not hear your voice
I cannot forget you, do I have choice?

Days blend into weeks since the last time that we talked
I find myself ashamed when you walk right past my thoughts
I've still got you in my heart, hold you close and bundled tight
But time's a cruel eraser; day turns into night

I never wanna live see a day you don't exist in any way; locked out of all our dreams and memories
Like a painting in the sun left out to dry for far too long; the colors of a life aren't evergreen.

Got your picture on my wall, hung your poems before you flew
The stuff you left behind fits in boxes, not in rooms
I'll keep up with these archives, stretch your life as best I can
But I'm scared that time will break this brittle rubberband, what's left of a man

Chorus: --

I'll breathe for you, carrying a torch of love
I'll breathe for you, as your flesh and blood
I'll breathe for you, listening for you above
I'll breathe for you, you're my father I'm your son

Chorus: --
Track Name: Creases in My Soul
Walk me up to the mountain
Give me a home on the range

I won’t drink from fortune's fountain
I need to go through the pain

I don’t know the creases in my soul
Playing a game to grab some fame
Give me some sunshine, help me grow
No watering hole to drink my shame

Road is hard and lonely without a song
I’m singing in my head rattling my cage
Doesn’t fit my style, not where I belong
Move over now I’ll turn the page

Chorus: --

Can you hear me from out there?
Do I sound like all the rest?
Just grab your heart and hold on
And harmonize what I confess

Chorus: --

It’s never been right
It’s never been wrong
I’ll keep trudging that road
I’ll keep writing my songs

Chorus: --
Track Name: Leo
Leo was a man with a big big heart
He opened it up and he left his mark
Everybody knows that he did his part
Leo was a man with a big big heart

Leo was a dad and he had three kids
Tried raising us well, and man, he sure did
For all of his of life he was dedicated
Leo was a dad and he had three kids

Leo loved the world he lived in, but it wasn't quite enough
Made friends with god and he left us much too soon
We will not forget him, even though he's turned to dust
Look inside and you'll find some Leo in you

Leo was a writer while he roamed this land
Put pen to paper as an honest man
He found a way to reveal his hand
Leo was a writer while he roamed this land

Leo had a friend and she saved his life
And once before by his former wife
What luck he'd had to be saved twice
Leo had a friend and she saved his life

Chorus: --

Leo was a spark and he started a fire
Burns on forever like a pile of tires
There's one thing I've learned- there are no goodbyes
Leo was a spark and he started a fire

Chorus: --
Track Name: The Soul's Prayer
I reach for your strength past fear and doubt
In the depth of the darkness may I pray not shout
I am within and sometimes without
Your guiding light that comforts these bouts

I cannot reason nor can I explain
The change in the season from joy to pain
A temporary hold in this tired flesh I see
A simple mask lifted eternally

Love me dear Lord for I am weak
Love me dear Lord for I am meek
Help me accept your wisdom for me
Help me to be who you want me to be

The mental and the physical have other plans
To think and to run and to hide in the sand
While your truth and love are always near
I come back to you with heartfelt tears

You'll take my last breath and then to your end
I will rejoice with an angel's "amen"
I will have done what I was to do
Loving me was loving you

Chorus: --
Track Name: Proud of You (Acoustic)
I am surrounded by 1000 angels
They were built for me when I was young
I never stopped to wonder who had made those
But now I know who it was

Mother and father were the tired builders
All this time they've been raising me up
Where did they get all of these magic powers?
Where did they learn how to love? x2

Momma I am proud of you
And father, I am proud of you too
No one tells you anymore
So let me say that I am proud of you

I got a medal when I was a child
Just for being in the game that day
I know we lost but we all still smiled
We just wanted to play

I think I threw away all of those trophies
When I moved in and out of home those days
I didn't need 'em 'cause I don't feel lonely
It just the way I was raised x2


We're divided black and white
On just what kind of love is right
We should try to look inside
And make somebody proud

Chorus:-- x2
Track Name: The Time Borrowed from Youth
I give you the time that I borrowed from youth
It has more of my love more of my truth
Getting older has guarded the spontaneous talk
And made doubts of ideals of a life I once walked

I give you the time that I now hold dear
Of sweet smells and tastes of those youthful years
That time is now yours- a life yet defined
For aging is not like a fine vintage wine

The time borrowed from youth will soon have to be repaid...

I give you the time that the body embraced
Skipping and jumping through a strong human race
I now break where you bend and some think that's a sin
As the body gets older it’s much slower to mend

I give you the time for those joys and growing pains
You’ll experience and reminisce and won’t have to explain
Aging hardens sweet emotions that once I possessed
Now hidden for fear of being called sentimental I confess

Chorus: --

I give you the time for work’s ambition and success
Of reaching a career’s pinnacle and feeling so blessed
Once honored for the hard work and contributions I gave
That life has since passed now I live only for the day

I give you the time to enjoy nurturing and sharing
A family you raise with deep love and gentle caring
Letting go of the children that grew up much too fast
With fond memories of their small lives in a distant past

Chorus: --

I give you this time in my heart I’ve always known
For you’re the reason I’ve written this silly little poem
You’ll grow old just like me and know why I can’t say
The time borrowed from youth will soon have to be repaid

Chorus: --
Track Name: Sweet and Pretty
Woke up this morning and I found you on my mind
This ain't unusual, it happens all the time

I can't stop thinkin' 'bout you, I feel 14
A hurricane of new emotions moving through me

There's nothing we can't do- we're sweet and pretty
You'll hear our laughter ringing all throughout the city

Chorus: --

You were my right hand, I was your left
We’d pull each other out of every silly mess

But this is God’s plan- who knows the rest?
Together we learned how to live breath-by-breath

Chorus: --

The funny thing about love
Is that it's always been inside of each and every one of us
This stuff all came from up above
We are made of stars, heaven's made of dust

Bridge: --

Love can't break...

Chorus: --