I’ve written before how happy I was when Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, since I consider songwriters to be the poets of my generation.
I love listening to a song with good lyrics, using words that make you think or feel or remember or hope or cry.
Well in the car today, we listened to some old John Denver songs, and not only did it bring back lots of good memories, it made me realize what a way he had with words. I thought I’d share a line or two (or more) from some of my favorite John Denver songs that to me show how much he can express in such a few words.
Back Home Again
And oh, the time that I can lay this tired old body down
And feel your fingers feather soft on me
It’s the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you
It’s the little things that make a house a home
This song reminds me of how lucky I am to have found such a wonderful wife, and how much I enjoy spending time with her.
Rocky Mountain High
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
I just love the image this paints in my mind.
A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.
A reminder to find joy in the moment. I did not know this was a John Denver song until about two weeks ago.
Poems, Prayers, and Promises
I have to say it now, it’s been good life all in all, it’s really fine to have a chance to hang around.
and lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire
while all my friends and my old lady sit and pass a pipe around.
And talk of poems and prayers and promises and things that we believe in.
Again, the words paint such a vivid picture of just enjoying the time spent hanging with friends and family.
And the moon and the stars are the same ones you see
It’s the same old sun up in the sky
And your voice in my ear is like heaven to me
Like the breezes here in old Shanghai
Reminds me of the many long distance calls I made with my wife-to-be while I was in grad school. John’s words express my feelings better than I could ever hope to.
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah river
Is there a better two-line tribute for any of the 50 states?
Sunshine on My Shoulders
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
A simple phrase, but it brings me back to days just sitting on the beach, literally feeling the sunshine on my shoulders, and realizing there was no place I’d rather have been at that moment.
So thank you to John Denver and all of the wonderful songwriters who put into words what many of us are feeling.
To then put those words to music is truly a gift.
Happy New Year!