I recently attended a performance celebrating the life of John Denver at the Plymouth Playhouse near my home in Minnesota. I have loved John Denver for most of my life, if not all of my life since I can’t remember a life without him and his music.
I grew up with a lot of folk music in my life and it is the music that still feeds my soul. John Denver’s music is definitely a big part of that.
His music and lyrics are simple. They focus on his relationships as well as his love of nature, music, and life…all things I love as well.
The band played several of his songs (did you know he released about 300 during his career?) and they shared stories from people around the country who had memories of John Denver either showing up along their journey physically or through his music. My favorite story was one from a woman celebrating her 70th birthday at our performance. Part of her story was a bit funny because he apparently taught her to “sit and pass the pipe around” – a line from Poems, Prayers and Promises.
One of my favorite songs is Sunshine on My Shoulders. Before playing this song at the concert, they talked about the slow and repetitive lyrics…the length of the song also made it one that wasn’t played on the radio much. It was written that way to be almost a meditation of sorts. It forces you to be quiet…to listen…to sit and enjoy. You can feel the sun as he talks about it on your shoulders. You can see it glistening on the water as he sings.
Take a moment and sit for a moment now…