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A tribute to John Denver - his music is still alive

Updated on September 21, 2012
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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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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Hi beadreamer,

      I was first aware of John Denver when he took over Chad Mitchell's place in the folk music group "The Chad Mitchell Trio." There were many folk groups around at the time-a trend started by the Kingston Trio. I always though it amusing that Denver sang about being a country boy because he was the son of a career military man and they moved a lot. My wife was a bigger fan of his than I was, but I found his music pleasant enough.

      This was a nice tribute to him. I'll share it with my followers.

    • beadreamer247 profile image
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      beadreamer247 5 years ago from Zephyrhills, FL

      dahoglund, I don't think the fact that he was the son of a military man and moving around a lot contradicted with who he really was and expressing himself as a country boy. He had seen a lot of places, met a lot of different people and had to be open to the world around him, wherever he got settled for a little while.

      I for myself was born in the suburban, but never raised as a country person, yet, I do love the country and hate the city life. I don't care much about big shopping malls and would much rather love to live on a farm than where I am.

      Thank you for sharing your way of getting to know John Denver and getting familiar with his music. It shows again....he's a name even for those who were not attracted to his music, but I yet have to find someone who actually says he hates his music.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      Nice tribute to one of my favorite musical artist. I am glad dahoglund made me aware of this article.

    • beadreamer247 profile image
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      beadreamer247 5 years ago from Zephyrhills, FL

      Coolmon2009, I am glad dahoglund pointed out my hub! Thanks dahoglund! I am glad that I got to know his music, but I hoped I would see John life on stage one day, but came to the US a little too late....

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