LOUISVILLE

david m bailey, a singer/songwriter who moved audiences as much with his story of personal courage in the face of terminal cancer as with his music, succumbed to Glioblastoma on Oct. 2 in hospice care near his home in Charlottesville, Va. He was 44.

The son of Presbyterian missionaries, Kenneth E. and Ethel Bailey, bailey was raised in Beirut, Lebanon. He spent some of his youth in Germany — where he learned to play the guitar and began writing songs — before returning to the United States, where he graduated from Grove City (Pa.) College.

bailey often joked that he "did all right in college but flunked corporate America." In July 1996, he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a particularly virulent form of brain cancer. He then quit his corporate job and turned to songwriting and performing full-time.

"They told me I had six months. They were wrong," bailey said. "Despite what you might hear, hope is a very real thing, and with every passing day, there are more and more reasons to hope."

For 14 years he defied that diagnosis, writing and performing virtually non-stop, covering 45 states and 21 countries. His concerts were deeply personal, brutally honest accounts — rendered in a musical style that has been compared to James Taylor and Cat Stevens — of his struggles with his illness and his determination to make the most of whatever time God gave him.

His signature tune was "One More Day." The chorus goes:

One more day when you can hold your children

One more day you can hold your wife

One more day when you can watch the grass grow

One more day when you can live your life.

In 2008, the cancer returned and bailey underwent a series of treatments that continued until his death. He was working on his 22nd album when his final illness overtook him. He was admitted to hospice Labor Day weekend.

bailey is survived by his parents; his wife Leslie; two teenage children, Kelcey and Cameron; a sister, Sarah; and more fans and admirers than can be counted.

Memorial service arrangements are pending.

One More Day

words and music by david m bailey

Don't let the grass grow beneath your busy feet

Don't let the grass grow above you when you rest

You've got one more day to get to where you're going

One more day to give your very best

Don't let the clouds forever block your sunshine

Don't let the sunshine blind you on your way

You might have years of tears put behind you

But right now you've got one more day

One more day when you can hold your children

One more day you can hold your wife

One more day when you can watch the grass grow

One more day when you can live your life

Don't let the cynics tell you they know better

Better yet, don't let them talk to you at all

You've got one more day to prove that they know nothing

One more day to find your private call

Don't let your loved ones ever doubt your passion

Don't let your passion ever start to fade

I know how it feels to be so frightened

But right now, you've got one more day

 

One more day when you can hold your children

One more day you can hold your wife

One more day when you can watch the grass grow

One more day when you can live your life