Friday, April 01, 2016

A -- Annie's Song

I was entranced. 

Mesmerised. The very first time I heard it.

It was called Annie’s Song and it was composed and sung by John Denver for his wife, Annie Martell Denver. But I listened to it with as much feeling as if it were my own song. 

A love song sung for me.

Apparently Denver wrote the song in July 1973, in just ten-and-a-half minutes on a ski lift to the top of Ajax Mountain, in Aspen Colorado. The physical exhilaration of the ski lift, there on top of the world, coupled with the beauty spread before him inspired him to think about his wife.


Faced with such awe inspiring beauty, most people would have pulled out their Kodaks and their Polaroids, intent on capturing the moment for posterity.

Not Denver.

He lived in the moment, steeped himself in it, leaving posterity and our musical legacy the richer for it.

He just sat and soaked in the sensations that the moment inspired in him, letting those sensations guide his thoughts, letting himself get carried away, drift away gently.

And so the song came to him.

A song that spoke of a love so pure, so pristine, that it had to be likened to nights in the forest, and mountains in spring time, and walks in the rain, and storms in the desert, and sleepy blue oceans.

Things that were here long before we were.

Things that will continue to be long after we are gone.

Things so monumental and awe inspiring, they could only have been made by God. The most state-of-the-art factory couldn’t produce beauty like that, nor replicate the sensations that such beauty could inspire.

The most heart-stopping metaphors all lined up to re-create the grandeur of love, which in its purest form is magic itself.

And yet, all too often, we ignore that magic, and take the love for granted. Instead of soaking it in, and soaking ourselves in it, we fiddle with our cameras, adjusting the frame on the viewfinders, or click inane selfies that we can display for the joy of getting thumbed up.

As I listened to the song, I would shut my eyes, and imagine that Annie’s Song was an ode not just to Annie, but to me.
And to every man and woman who aspired, dreamed, prayed for such love.

It was so perfect.
I wished for it, imagining it to be some sort of a prayer.

“You fill up my senses,” he said, and that is just what Annie’s song did to me. My ears would burn with the intensity it inspired, the whoosh of the oceans dancing in my ears.

That, I imagined, was how love should be.

When it hit you, it would fill up your senses, and leave room for nothing else.

It would fill you up, and then overflow all around you, drenching you in its sweeping power.

Denver’s voice itself seemed to soar high above the mundane world.

Annie's Song seemed to elevate love -- that much-abused feeling that so often ends up shriveled and abused, having lost its beauty, reduced to a four-letter word.

It stirred my senses like few other songs have done for me, either before or since. When it played on Saturday Date, I used to wish the anchor reserved it for the last song. It was a finale, and I could go to bed with its echoes still throbbing within me. Any other song played after that, I used to think, would have undone the effect.

There were no pulsating rhythms in the song. The melody itself was easy to sing.

It started soft and easy and then gradually built up to a crescendo, before gently bringing you down to earth again.

After all these years, Annie's Song can still leave me feeling slightly breathless and uplifted.


  1. Thank you for this. As many times as I have listened to the song I have never really listened to the lyrics . Till now.

  2. It's one of my all-time favourites too, Denise. Happy to know you enjoy it too.

  3. One of my favourites.... there is so much love & commitment ..... every girl, looks for in her soul mate... lover..... husband.

  4. Absolutely, Marjorie. At one time, it used to be the favourite choice for the first dance at most Christian weddings.

  5. Sigh! This song does fill up my senses. Every. Single. Time. I love the way his voice dips for the line 'like a sleepy blue ocean'. I can easily visualize a sleepy blue ocean right in front of me :) What a lovely choice Cynthia. All the very best for the challenge :)

  6. what a beautiful story behind the song. So much love!!

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge
    Pam's Unconventional Alliance Team
    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  7. John Denver was my generation. Well maybe five years earlier but still one of my first loves.

    a song that always gets to me is of a different kind of love. Turn Around by Rosemary Clooney.

    CD Coffelt at UnicornBell

  8. Lovely song! I will listen to it again! so much beauty!!
    Could you add your twitter handle to the twitter link above. Also the #atozchallenge to your posts.

  9. Such a beautiful song. Thank you for reminding me about how much I used to enjoy John Denver's music.

    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  10. Beautiful song and an incredible story behind it. Thanks very much for sharing!

    *Shalini @ Something's Cooking

    *Read Army Wife Tales @ TaleofTwoTomatoes

  11. My husband and I both love this song, we danced to it during our wedding reception. It's certainly beautiful in its simplicity.

  12. This was so sweet! Hadn't heard it before. Loved the commentary about the song too!

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  13. love to listen to john denver. annie's song is one of my favorites.

    great first post.

  14. Wow Cynthia :) this song was my favourite and loved singing for so many years. True it evoked such a beautiful feeling of being loved. In fact I wrote it down in my diary and used to sing often meaning every word. Loved your post and appreciate the way words just flow in your post. thank you for sharing !!

  15. I have always loved this song too, Cynthia, but I've never put my feelings about it into words as eloquently as you did!
    Have a great weekend!

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
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  16. How true ! Annie's Song is a love song for every woman, which makes you feel like reaching out and touching the love....
    BellyBytes from
    Mumbai On A High



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