Run For The Roses

Album: The Innocent Age (1981)
Charted: 18

Songfacts®:

  • The "Run For The Roses" is another name for the Kentucky Derby. The winning horse of the race traditionally receives a wreath of roses. This song is about a young colt growing up and running in the race. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tack - San Antonio, TX
  • Fogelberg debuted this song on May 2, 1980 on the ABC special Friday Night Live from the Kentucky Derby, which took place the night before the event. When asked why he wrote the song, he replied, "I always wanted to come to the derby - I've never been to the Kentucky Derby."
  • Fogelberg was living in Colorado and raising horses when he wrote this song. He said that he wrote it to express his love of horses.
  • The song can be extrapolated as a metaphor for growing up and living up to your potential. Fogelberg wrote the song long before he decided that The Innocent Age should be a two-disc concept album. When he sequenced the album, he put this song on Side 2 of the first disc, where it represents coming of age.

Comments: 18

  • Stanley. Chamberlain from Cenchat. Georgia. I. Love. Western. Kentucky. . where. Is. The. Place. The. Man. That. Wrote. The song. Live. . I. Did. Not. Know. That. There. We're. Valleys. In. Western. Kentucky. .
  • Dave from Wheaton, IlJimmie Fadden, from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, played harmonica on it.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 6th 1982, Dan Fogelberg appeared at the 'Peace Sunday: We Have a Dream' anti-nuclear concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California...
    At the time his "Run for the Roses" was at #23 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; two weeks earlier on May 23rd, 1982 it had peaked at #18 {for 2 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 14 weeks...
    It reached #3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart; and #1 on the Canadian RPM Adult chart...
    Between 1975 and 1987 he had thirteen Top 100 records; four made the Top 10, his biggest hit was "Longer", it peaked at #2* {for 2 weeks} on March 9th, 1980...
    * It took two British super groups to keep "Longer" from reaching #1; the first week it was "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen and for the second week it was "Another Brick in the Wall (Part One)" by Pink Floyd...
    Daniel Grayling Fogelberg passed away on December 16th, 2007 at the young age of 56 {cancer}...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Nancy Hopper from Crothersville, InI was raised in and around Lousiville, Kentucky. When I was a young child my grandfather raised race horses and he went to the Derby every year. He would always come to get me to watch the ponies run. This song takes me back to a happier time. It doesn't matter where you live it can touch your heart.
  • Jeff from Atlanta, Ga"Run Fot the Roses" was a song that Fogelberg wrote - as he said often - he was going to go to the Kentucky Derby and a few week before - the song just came to him while layin in a hammock!! Nobody asked him to write it - "It just came to me" as he often said!! And the derby winner was/is given 60 red roses on a field of green held togehter by 10 yards of red ribbon. This became a tradition (still is today) and a newspaper man was quopted as saying in 1896 that the Kentucky Derby was a "run for the roses"!! Fogelberg was NOT asked to write the song - ABC chose it for televising the Kentucky Derby!!!
  • Joan from Evanston, IlI love Dan Fogelberg. He wrote about the lovely Midwest,about life and love. He was gifted. I saw him three times in college. The best at the Auditorium in Chicago. wow. Part of the plan, Run for the Roses. Twin Sons of Different Mothers, a good one!
  • Burgandy from Santa Cruz, CaSorry...I'm not from Kentucky but I Love this song. It has lots of emotion & lessons to learn in life in general. So sad that Dan is gone & we will no longer be able to hear his great music.
  • Carol from St Louis, MoI know this song is written for the Kentucky Derby but one of my daughter's coaches in track has broken the song down and used it as a motivator for track this year with unbelievable pyschological impact on the kids he coaches. It has helped them reach their goals and dreams.
  • Jennifer from Louisville, Ky"Maybe it's just me, but I think I can speak for a lot of Kentuckians when I say I detest this song."


    Then move outta state! I LOVE this song, Love The Derby.. It pulls on my heartstrings everytime I hear it.. Those of you that don't like either..

    there are 49 other states for you to move to..

    RIP Dan 8^(
  • Dolores from Anderson, InI was born, grew up, lived most of my life in Indiana. I love horses and my husband and I use to do commercial printing and did horse sale catalogs. We did some for the Boyd Brothers in Western KY. This song I believe was written for them and is one of my favorites songs ever.
    May your soul rest in peace Dan.
  • Don from B G, KyPoster Jameson in Lexington Ky hates this song because he lives in Eastern Kentucky and the song mentions Western Kentucky. People in Western Kentucky adore this song. That is if they have any class.
  • Muhammad from Dhaka, Other"Run for the Roses" I mean we,all are running to get what is untouchable and beyond our means & finally we are running & running to have it or catch it.I always like,love& pray country & folk music & musicians.This song is really helpful for me to touch the sky of my destination.
  • Muddy from Paris, FranceI love Dan Fogelberg's music. He's a great singer, but at the same time, his songs are pure poetry. In this song one of the many bits I like is this: "It's a chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance."
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InI really like this song. When I was 12 and this was out I was taking horse back riding lessons and spending time around animals. I still think it's a great song to this day.
  • Christine from Columbus , GaI love Dan and he can write a song about the Calavarus (sp?) Frog Jumping Contest and I would still listen lovingly.
  • Dave from Pomeroy, OhDan was asked by ABC to write this for the race
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcI know what you mean. When I lived in Augusta GA the radio stations would play a lame Dave Loggins tune "Augusta" whenever the Masters came to town.
  • Jameson from Lexington, Ky(sigh) Maybe it's just me, but I think I can speak for a lot of Kentuckians when I say I detest this song. About two weeks before the Derby, half the radio stations in Kentucky's major radio markets (Louisville, Lexington) seem to play this song hourly. It just puts me to sleep.
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