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A tribute to John Denver - his music is still alive
I still remember when I first heard John Denver singing. It was on an evening show and his song "Take me home country roads" impressed me so much, even though I did not understand a single word in English back then, well, a few words maybe. But what struck me was the melody, the joy you could see in his face while singing and his face full of expression and feelings. You did not need to understand that much to get touched by his music. Also John's voice appealed to me - a nice voice without screaming sounds, not too deep either.
So it didn't take me long to save up some money for his first record to be purchased. And there was not a single song I did not like on the double album of about 44 songs! I did my homework one by one to understand a bit more and over the years as my command of the English language grew and I spent hours on translating every song as much as I could, which also helped me getting far in advance at school with my English.
I did not learn how extremely popular and well known he was in the US for a while and I think I got a full grasp of it after coming here, learned things I did not know about him as well. While his records were selling in Germany as well, the information you got in the media about him was limited and internet was not available during my childhood, yet.
What got me so very connected to his music though, I believe is also what made him so popular over here and why so many people liked his music and why he still isn't forgotten, is the simple fact that he was not afraid of emotions and feelings and expressed them freely in his music and while performing. He expressed what many of us feel and put it in words we never would have gotten together in the way he did - with his music. At the same time he never appeared distance and above us, but among us, not like a celebrity but like a human being.
There are so many songs I can relate to so well and sometimes I think to myself: " I could have written that". Not that I have the talent like John had, but from the emotional perspective he said exactly what I feel or how I think about something. He hit the nail. And it is not about just once in a while, but I find myself in every song and I don't think I am the only one.
John Denver wrote about things everyone can relate to, he was not afraid to speak his mind and feeling and to share. We do not feel alone, when we hear his songs, knowing there is at least one other person who thinks and feels just like me. But he also touched topics that made people think and learn.
In addition his melodies were equally "simple" to remember and to like them. Some became so popular I think everyone can at least hum along and that's why they became embedded in the culture of the US, some songs declared state songs etc.
By now I know almost every song - I think I am missing about 10....maybe. And not a single song I dislike. Up to this very day they speak to me and touch me the same way they did long time ago when I heard him singing the first time. And today I understand each song really well. I don't want to miss any of these great songs, and there are some who have never become so well known but are just fabulous.
I still remember the day when they announced in the news that John Denver crashed with a plane....at first I didn't want to believe it. Then it was like a punch in my gut - then the fact of no more wonderful songs to share. But at least when he left behind.....and that became even more valuable to me.
His music helped me through my childhood, believing in me and the way I think. That I am not alone in the way I think and feel. It gave me hope and a place where I was allowed to feel and share. Just alone this makes his music so special to me and part of my personal life and journey, that I am never gonna stop listening to his music.
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