A Song for John Denver: Poet, Mystic, Lover, Singer, Cowboy

April 9th, 2012 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

Lately I have discovered John Denver.

Okay, I’m tardy to that party — but whatever, I’m here.

Why do I like  John Denver? Let me count the ways.

John Denver could get high looking at sunshine. Sunshine on his shoulder makes him happy, sunshine on the water makes him high.

If John Denver lived here in Arizona, where the sun shines 360 days a year — just think!  John Denver would have been happy all the time just because of all that sunshine.

I like John Denver because he could write exquisitely romantic songs. You fill up my senses like a night in the forest. Let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms.  Okay, he and his wife got a divorce, but what a love he must have felt to inspire that poetry!

Let me be the end of your rainbow, Let me be the stars up above,  Let me be the one you dream of …  let me be the one that you love.

John Denver like so many of us who live out West came from somewhere else. He was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. and grew up all over the country as an Army brat. But when he came West , he found out that…

He was born in the summer of his 27th year, Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before …

He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again ..You might say he found a key for every door …

So many new Westerners have had that experience. One day you look out at that gigantic sky and endless landscape, and you know you are home.

Although John Denver is often accused of being a cornball, the truth is John Denver had a dark side. He sang about flying away … just leaving the planet forever.

All of the days have gone soft and cloudy, all of the dreams have gone dry, all of the nights have gone sad and shady, she’s getting ready to fly .. Fly away …

John Denver sang about wanting to fly away, and he sang about feeling alone in the universe and being lost in its screams.

It’s a sweet, sweet dream … Sometimes I’m almost there  …. Sometimes I fly like an eagle  …And sometimes I’m deep in despair.

John Denver died alone in a small airplane. He was up in the sky, flying like an eagle …

when his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, 150 feet north of shore, south of Lovers’ Point. I like to think he found his dream there. I like to think that the sweet sweet dream was finally his.

If there’s an answer, it’s just that it’s just that way ……….  

John Denver

(1943 to 1997)



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