Remembering Luther Vandross' "Dance with My Father" 10 Years After the Crooner's Passing

Luther Vandross

10 years ago, the world lost the velvet-voiced crooner Luther Vandross on July 1st.   One of Vandross' signature hits, "Dance with My Father," came out a couple of years before his death.  The song was an instant hit making its way to Billboard AC Chart at #4.  "Dance with My Father" became one of the most requested songs at the time. During the 2003 Grammy Awards, "Dance with My Father" earned Vandross the Song of the Year and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance accolades.

Written with Richard Marx, who like Vandross had lost a dad, the song is autobiographical for the two songwriters.  For Vandross, "Dance with my Father" is a tribute to his father, Luther Vandross, Sr., who died due to complications of diabetes. Vandross was seven when his father died. According to Marx, writing the song was emotional for Vandross because it is "a subject matter [Vandross] hadn't written before."

On the backdrop of strings and interplay of piano and drums, Vandross recalls fond memories with his late father who used to dance with his mother. Mary Ida, his mother, says, "I was amazed at how well Luther remembered his father, how we used to dance and sing in the house. I was so surprised that at 7 1/2 years of age, he could remember what a happy household we had." Barry Walters of Rolling Stone magazine qualifies the memories invoked in the lyrics as painful and private, adding that when Vandross asks God to return his father, it "turn a potentially maudlin song into a meditative, deeply personal prayer."

At the time of "Dance with my Father's" release as a single on May 30, 2003, Vandross had been hospitalized due to his suffering from stroke. While Vandross was hospitalized, a music video was shot for the single. Hosting famous friends of his and fans alike, the clip features musicians, actors and sport stars. The video features childhood snapshots of Vandross.

One of the singers who made appearance on the video is Beyoncé, alongside her father, Mathew. Knowles had collaborated with Vandross in the remake of the 1978 song "The Closer I Get To You", which also appears on "Dance With My Father" album.

Dance with My Father:

Back when I was a child

 Before life removed all the innocence

 My father would lift me high

 And dance with my mother and me

 And then

 Spin me around 'till I fell asleep

 Then up the stairs he would carry me

 And I knew for sure

 I was loved

If I could get another chance

 Another walk

 Another dance with him

 I'd play a song that would never ever end

 How I'd love love love

 To dance with my father again

When I and my mother

 Would disagree

 To get my way I would run

 From her to him

 He'd make me laugh just to comfort me

 yeah yeah

 Then finally make me do

 Just what my mama said

 Later that night when I was asleep

 He left a dollar under my sheet

 Never dreamed that he

 Would be gone from me

If I could steal one final glance

 One final step

 One final dance with him

 I'd play a song that would never ever end

 Cause I'd love love love to

 Dance with my father again

Sometimes I'd listen outside her door

 And I'd hear how mama would cry for him

 I'd pray for her even more than me

 I'd pray for her even more than me

I know I'm praying for much to much

 But could you send her

 The only man she loved

 I know you don't do it usually

 But Dear Lord

 She's dying to dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep

 And this is all I ever dream


 Vandross, Luther / Marx, Richard


Tags : luther vandross dance with my father luther vandross tribute Richard Marx Beyonce Beyonce Knowles richard marx news luther vandross news luther vandross latest luther vandross death luther vandross death anniversary

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