Songs of John Denver
When I was growing up in Colorado I loved listening to music and it was a wide range of styles that ranged from bands like Deep Purple to acoustic music like John Denver.
What I discovered when traveling outside Colorado was people had such an odd view of us…they thought were all standing at attention listening to Rocky Mountain High as if it were the National Anthem!
It isn’t and it wasn’t….
What John Denver’s lyrics mean to me though is a very personal story he lets us hear and we are allowed to see his emotions as he expresses them. He sings a love song quite comfortably as the listener blushes…because in real life we don’t go around talking like that…but John Denver’s lyrics express what we often cannot.
Some examples are “Annie’s Song” and “Follow Me”In the first he tells Annie that she fills up his senses...then goes on to use examples found in nature....
”mountains in springtime”
“a storm in the desert”
What the listener hears is the bold declaration of a man’s love for a woman and more importantly…his description of his love for her needs the great outdoors to accurately express how powerful it is.
When you look back at all the great songwriters over the last few decades you can name hundreds of them…but when asked about songwriters that could write a love song…well that number is greatly reduced to maybe dozens of them…and assuming that if someone can write a love song they can probably write more than one..right?
Well…no…Cole Porter could…Bob Dylan could... Lennon-McCartney could…but after that…it doesn’t seem like there were that many that could write great love songs more than once or twice.What John Denver’s lyrics did was convey the power behind that love…
The lyrics are a little different than the title would suggest…he isn’t demanding that she “follow him...or else”What he is saying is that he wants her to “make it a part of me, a part of you”
He goes on to say that he wants to share everything with her…that his journey is not complete unless she joins him….”we will be at home” is his wish and it is made possible when he is not alone but with her.
John Denver’s lyrics had meaning and depth and he was so much more than the casual observer ever knew…to many he was a bumper sticker inviting people to experience “Rocky Mountain High” as if it were a slogan that was written by the Colorado Visitor’s Bureau!
If that put a friendly face on Colorado…well I guess that’s great but the man was so much more.
“Leaving on a Jet Plane”