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John Denver and how I am restless......

Posted 01-05-2009 at 08:55 PM by shastastar
Updated 01-08-2009 at 02:13 PM by shastastar
All things are constantly changing their yin and yang components.... everything is restless

I have to say that I appreciate John Denver. There I said it. This blog has nothing to do with macrobiotics or Dirk’s books really. There is evidence to suggest that John Denver converted to a macrobiotic lifestyle at some point. John Denver is also called the “Poet of the Planet” because of his strong environmental activism. I don’t want to get into that, or his personal issues which you can read about on wikipedia or google if you so choose.

This is about his music and it’s effect on me. His music if you are not familiar with it is incredibly beautiful, simple, and expressive. There is so much spiritual truth in the imagery he paints in his songs. Even the guitar riffs are inspired. I have listened to just the music without lyrics and at some points I am carried away in a similar fashion to when I meditate with Tibetan Bowl music which is one of the deepest harmonic meditation experiences I use regularly.

I will briefly go through and explain what is perhaps my favorite song of his, which many of you are probably familiar with. I use it when I am running toward the end of my runs I put it on either on the MP3 or just run through it in my head if I am without electronic felgerkarb. It puts me in the place I need to be to finish, to push through the sweat and the exhaustion to go faster and further and higher than before ( this sentence is a hint, so if there are other John Denver fans out there can you guess at this point?)

-------------------------Giving everyone time to think---------------------------------

So my favorite song of John’s is Rocky Mountain High.

So I will quote the lyrics here and then explain why, in addition to being a running song this song is so important to me.

"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

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away
On the road and hangin' by a song
But the string's already broken and he doesn't really care
It keeps changin' fast and it don't last for long

But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below
He saw everything as far as you can see
And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high

Now his life is full of wonder but his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land

And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
I know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly
Rocky mountain high

It's Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
Friends around the campfire and everybody's high
Rocky mountain high"

I highly suggest that you listen to this song if you have never heard it before. There are so many simple truths in here that I don’t want to go through and dissect it for everyone. I wanted to make this blog more personal and about how this song touches me.


This is one of the videos of John Denver performing this song. This is also my favorite recording version of the song ( live version). I can listen to this song over and over on repeat ( now you know why I am so strange LOL) in my car mostly when I am by myself, (although every great once in a while, my kids have heard it as well). It is my discharge song and I don’t know why really, but I will sing with the music at the top of my lungs when I really need to get emotion of any kind out of my system. Well, I don’t always sing it at the top of my lungs, sometimes very quietly, sometimes just in my head, but you get the idea. The crazy lady driving around blasting John Denver.

This song connects with my soul on so many levels. When I am happy and joyous, when I need to find some peace, when I need to escape, when I need to break through ( like on my runs) , when I need to get back to the mountains, when I need to go some place, when I want to celebrate, when I want to reflect. This song does all that for me. It’s simple, beautiful, knowledgeable, peaceful, serene. It touches on so many aspects of my life, so many aspects of philosophy, and it is so compact and such a nice tidy little package. I can just get lost sometimes in the guitar music, sometimes in the lyrics.

It’s odd, because I have never felt like “Rocky Mountain High” was about or my life. It’s not like that. The song is about truth. Truth tied up in a nice little 4 minute spiel. It is a sermon from the heart about connecting to the world / universe and those around you in a positive harmonious way.

I know it sounds kind of hokey that I gain so much peace and positive energy from one piece of music. Many other John Denver songs help me channel that as well, but none as deeply as this one.

With all that the world is facing, I think it is important to grab whatever peace, simplicity, and truth we can wherever it comes from. Be it a song, a friend, a child, a great love, hold on to that positive feeling, make that moment count. Be present. Every moment may be fleeting, but they build the past of our lives, and as everything is always changing (If you believe that from macrobiotics that , “All phenomena are ephemeral, constantly changing their constitution of yin and yang forces; yin changes into yang, yang changes into yin”) you can’t go back to any moment and relive it or change it, only the present and the future are in flux. Even if you are not macro, the simple truth in this statement makes sense. So cherish life in the present. Tap into your own personal truth. Experience the rich colorful tapestry of your life. Live Well.

Peace Hope Faith Love bancha and “The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake”

Total Comments 17


  • Old Comment
    I've always like John Denver, and I'm with you - this song is among my favorites. I think, for me, the stanza

    "Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
    Seeking grace in every step he takes
    His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
    The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake"

    pretty well sums up what I'm working for - whether it's actually in the mountains or not . But just moving away from the "material world", basically. The older I get the less inclined I am to want "stuff" and the more I want to get myself sorted out, accepted, balanced, at peace - whatever you wish to call it. Just don't want to get to the end of the road and realize then I'd been driving in the wrong lane.
    Posted 01-06-2009 at 02:32 PM by ostarella ostarella is offline
  • Old Comment
    Music can do that for you (and to you)! Although I don't think it really matters which song or which singer or even which musical style 'pushes' our buttons in this way. (As for me it has been mostly classical music that did the trick.) But when the powerful energy and vibrations of a song help our inner eye focus in this way, it's just awesome!
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 02:35 AM by asmay asmay is offline
  • Old Comment
    There's an old Russian singer by the name of Ivan Rebroff and this guy could sing like it was nobody's business. Having an octave range that seemed to go into infinity. He could bellow and shake the floor beneath your feet and he could hit those high-piercing notes and leave you breathless. He could bring anyone in the music business today down to their knees and leave them in the dust. It wasn't really the songs he sang because alot of them were, of course Russian (or German) beer drinking songs or songs that made the hitparade in those glory days of hitparade but when I'd listen to his records, it filled my soul. His voice was definitely light years beyond anything I'd ever heard in the discipline, texture and perfection of anything you'd ever lend an ear to in a lifetime. That guy had more talent in his little finger than most of these wannabes have in their entire body today.

    So yeah, I agree that music that has that much "soul" put into it can reach across time and space and complete oneself. Old Ivan, he was a scraggly breaded Jewish guy raised in the then U.S.S.R. but he sang with such life and such feeling that if you ever heard him, you'd never forget him, and you'd always remember that voice. It was beautiful. John Denver's voice was of course beautiful, also.

    It's a shame these singers are no longer with us today
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 06:49 AM by Nacky Nacky is offline
    Updated 01-07-2009 at 07:03 AM by Nacky
  • Old Comment
    Classical music is universal. I meant to also blog on suzuki violin and the universal peace movement with children but I got hijacked / side tracked talking about John Denver and then for the sake of cohesiveness it didn't really fit. I do agree that classical can take you places... for me it's vivaldi's four seasons I can feel each season, perhaps it's because I have seen the IMAX film that was done with the four seasons. Breathtaking

    Nacky I am going to have to check this Ivan guy out... thanks for the tip. My ignorance on him leaves me with no further comment

    Peace Love Hope and Faith
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 09:15 AM by shastastar shastastar is offline
  • Old Comment
    No worries. He's virtually unheard of in the Americas. Ah, my favorite in classical is Mozart's Harp & Flute pieces, and speaking of violins; Paganini (another somewhat quirky artist from the classical era) is something you should hear if you haven't already. I had a cassette tape of his works played by the Munich Ensemble of the Classical Arts and I could never find it again...but no matter as I hadn't really looked all that hard. I just remember this artist in particular for he was such a brilliant violinist and composer that he commanded crowds of adoring fans in his day (according to what the tape-sleeve said) and was also very picky about writing anything down. He wouldn't write his music down on paper for fear of it being copied.

    Who knows what was going on in those times? Maybe a lot of that was going on, people getting undeserved fame for another's works but today, his music endures in these little obscure circles. I think he was a gypsy. Not entirely sure but I vaguely remember reading something like that.

    Hey I know you say your fave John D song is Rocky Mountain High, but I have to go with Calypso. Definitely Calypso. I wrote Spanish lyrics to that once. I was studying Spanish at the time. I was reading his Calypso lyrics after I had gotten several notes (sheet music) and thought to myself how easy it would be to translate this. I had it finished in under an hour. Unfortunately I don't have the lyrics anymore but I was only practicing and undoubtedly made some mistakes. And no...I don't speak good Spanish. Can read it, can write it but living language is different.
    Posted 01-07-2009 at 06:24 PM by Nacky Nacky is offline
    Updated 01-07-2009 at 06:33 PM by Nacky
  • Old Comment
    I remember Ivan Rebroff very well (was a celebrity in these parts at the time). Sorry to blow your bubble but he was a German singer, although his mother was Russian; his real name was Hans Rolf Rippert and he was born in Berlin. He died February last year at the age of 76. And he did have an extraordinary voice (could reach four and a half octave)!!

    But then again I also like John Denver's voice very much. Still have a John Denver Greatest Hits album (for the record player!) and I must say that 'Calypso' is the one I too played over and over again at the time. The song always made me feel like I was sailing (music vibes being the waves) across endless oceans. Magnificent!!
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 01:58 AM by asmay asmay is offline
  • Old Comment
    Heya Asmay, you would hear of Ivan being as how you're in Europa! He was a huge star over there! I thought he was raised in Russia, I knew he was born somewhere in Germany but I thought he grew up in Moscow. Every record I had of his (and I only had like 5 or 6) he was always pictured on the cover sleeve dressed in traditional Russian gear and the fact he sang many songs in Russian I kinda thought he grew up there.

    Yes, yes, John Denver's Calypso will transport anyone hearing it right onto the deck of a sailboat! I'm right there with you, Asmay, right there with the seagulls and the clear blue skies sailing on the ocean in some exotic location of the world!
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 05:17 AM by Nacky Nacky is offline
    Updated 01-08-2009 at 05:20 AM by Nacky
  • Old Comment
    Calypso is usually the song I use to close out my runs on the MP3 and then also on repeat for cool down, it makes me feel like I can go on forever and ever ..... maybe someday I will be able to do that LOL
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 09:30 AM by shastastar shastastar is offline
    Updated 01-08-2009 at 02:13 PM by shastastar
  • Old Comment
    There ya go! I could run listening to that song anyday. Yeah much better than trying to do some difficult Russian dance moves listening to Ivan! You've seen that, right? How they do stuff that looks like it'd hurt something? LOL!
    Posted 01-08-2009 at 06:16 PM by Nacky Nacky is offline
  • Old Comment
    All these Russian dancers must have very strong elastic legs .... They just keep on bouncing back! Also beautiful music, these Russian traditional songs, but for quite a different mood. More of endless forests with wolves and bears and harsh winters .... No feelings of sailing across the ocean waves on a sunny day there ....
    Posted 01-09-2009 at 02:30 AM by asmay asmay is offline
  • Old Comment
    Music can certainly help change my mood, de-stress me, etc. I love all sorts of music and find country music very similar to asian music in the keys and sentimental nature of the words (well, to me!). I was trying to think of my 'ultimate' song, and am struggling as I like different ones for different times. Do you know the radio show 'Desert Island Discs'? I think I might post a thread on that in Fanorama!
    Posted 01-09-2009 at 06:19 AM by deebeelicious deebeelicious is offline
  • Old Comment
    Is it on AM or FM?
    Posted 01-09-2009 at 06:40 AM by Nacky Nacky is offline
  • Old Comment
    I really like John Denver.
    He's one of my favourite artists and I listen to him quite a lot.
    Posted 01-20-2009 at 09:17 AM by bibbi bibbi is offline
  • Old Comment
    Huh, I finally managed to read your blog and I can only agree. John Denver was a wonderful artist, I love his music too. His music is heartfelt and stirs up emotions. It's hard to pick a favourite song, I always liked Take me home, Country roads and Calypso, but the last one that stuck in my head for quite a while was Follow me. I love Country music and John Denver is certainly one of my favourite Country singers.

    I also remember Ivan Rebroff, my parents used to have several of his records and I always admired his voice. He always cultivated his Russian image, I can't remember seeing him any other than in Russian clothes. But asmay is right, in real life he was German.

    Deebee, I agree to you, I too like different music for different times and can't pick one ultimate song. But there are always some that help change the mood from sad or angry or stressed to something more positive. I really love driving in my car and singing at the top of my lungs on a nice summer day. That and the right song will always get me into a good mood. Only when I'm on my own of course, and with closed windows, because I'm a terrible singer...
    Posted 01-22-2009 at 07:19 AM by Flash Flash is offline
  • Old Comment
    Yes, he was born in Germany but I thought he grew up in motherland Russia...but I think he traveled much in his youth and learned Russian through his travels. I think his mother was Russian but am not sure.

    And Ivan always soothed my mood, and it was a great way to learn languages! I listened to his records so much that I wore out the needle.
    Posted 01-22-2009 at 07:56 AM by Nacky Nacky is offline
  • Old Comment
    I was actually listening to some of John Denver's songs this morning.
    Rocky Mountain High is my favourite.
    I also remember he appeared in Oh God! with George Burns.
    Posted 01-22-2009 at 10:01 AM by bibbi bibbi is offline
  • Old Comment
    I was just listening to John Denver songs this morning.
    I went through that hadn't unpacked since I moved to where I live now and found a couple of John Denver tapes.
    I have a CD/tape player and had the songs cranked up nice and loud.
    Posted 01-27-2009 at 10:14 AM by bibbi bibbi is offline
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