As a kid, one of my favorite singers was John Denver. I was too young to think of him in these terms, but I’m sure he was one of my first crushes. This past Friday was the tenth anniversary of his death. He died in a plane crash on October 12, 1997. He was only 53 years old.

I heard “Annie’s Song” playing in Kroger yesterday, and it reminded me of how much I had loved him as a kid. I’ve been intending to get a copy of his greatest hits or something, and hearing him yesterday finally gave me the impetus to do so. So, I’ve been listening to his music while I’ve been working on an article (on something entirely unrelated).

What strikes me about him now, not having listened to his music for such a long time, is just how pure his voice sounds. I’m also impressed by how sincere his lyrics come across as he sings them. He reminds me of Kate Wolf, another great folk singer. Denver acted in movies, like Oh God, and appeared on numerous television shows, mostly notably The Muppets. But it’s his music that endures.

“Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and “Sunshine on My Shoulder” are all so iconic. Listening to them now definitely makes me nostalgic for the 1970s. I love his hair in some of these old videos!

The album I downloaded has 36 tracks on it, many of which I don’t remember or haven’t heard since I was a kid. One of these is “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

I also like “I’m Sorry,” which I don’t ever remember hearing before.

But my absolute favorite right now is “Annie’s Song,” which is just beautiful. It may be one of the great love songs of all time, simple, sweet, and sincere (to indulge in a little alliteration). Here are the lyrics:

You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

Let me give my life to you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

I think that’s how love feels. I’m glad that I’ve rediscovered his work. I hope we all can fill our lives with even just a little the love of nature and life that he seems to have infused his lyrics with. So, here’s to the memory of John Denver.

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