After nearly 30 years as a software engineer, Dan Tappan tired of working for corporations and decided to find other outlets for his creativity. With a lifelong love of folk music, he decided to get serious about playing and started participating in the local open mike scene. Eventually Dan discovered that crafting lyrics and melodies tickled the same creative brain as designing software and he began writing his own songs.

Dan writes vivid, lyrical songs steeped from snippets of life, seasoned with dashes of humor, a dusting of philosophy, and an occasional pinch of pathos. 

Dan’s songs are generally not autobiographical. However, he has been known to write about himself in the third person, and sometimes wonders how many people actually read all the way through web site bios.


Dan’s song Only Autumn Knows received an Honorable Mention in the May/June 2014 American Songwriter Lyrics Contest.


“What does a music coach do with a guy that, some years ago, shows up as a student and now sports the warmest of voices and songs you want to cover? You tell others to put him on your stage. Well? What are you waiting for?” – Vance Gilbert

“Eloquent and incisive, Dan’s lyrics and folk melodies will guide you through tales, real and imagined, to places deep inside your own thoughts you didn’t know were there.  It’s a journey worth taking….”  – Raymond Gonzalez

“Your lyrics are most indelible and bear repeated listening.” – Steve Rapson



Upcoming Shows

Music & Lyrics

This page provides links to lyrics and recordings for some of the songs Dan has written. Click through a song’s Title link for a page with the song’s Lyrics. Use the Search box to find a particular song by title.

Solstice (A Secular Sermon)
Down to a Sunless Sea
Spring (Dirty Snow)
Across the Ocean
Potatoes in April
The Wind That Shapes the Stone
Follow the Butterfly
Only Autumn Knows
First World Problems
Goat Dance
Plastic Buddha
West Coast Blues
Garden in the Grass
Time To Let Go



Dan Tappan
867 Liberty Sq. Rd
Boxborough, MA 01719
Phone: 978 263-7346