It is not an over-reach to describe Denver as a modern-day, wandering minstrel who was an incarnation of the spirit of John Muir. Muir came down from the mountains like a bearded prophet, preaching about the healing, inspiring, and transforming powers of God’s creation.
Denver came down from the mountains, like a whirling dervish, and wrote over 300 songs celebrating his love of Nature. His overflowing exuberance for life was contagious, on TV, but especially during his hundreds of live performances. Not shy about sharing his beliefs and feelings, his songs included many poignant thoughts and precious “poems, prayers and promises.”
In a wonderful, double synchronicity; John Muir and John Denver became huge influences in the emergence and evolution of The Biodesign Class. Muir became our guide into the wilderness (and converse inner journey) and Denver encouraged us to celebrate the music of life.
Denver’s songs have “gone viral” throughout the world; crossing seven seas and reaching all seven continents. His music has been translated into over 200 languages and been shared in some of the world’s most remote areas and beyond.
Some of his songs have been played on various space stations, scientific research centers on Antarctica, Inuit villages, Mongolia, Australia’s “Out Back,” across Africa and the vast Patagonian wilderness.
Some musicologists have suggested that the song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, which he tri-authored with Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert may have exceeded the status of the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” as the song that the most people in the world have listened to. For a multitude of stunningly mysterious reasons, the melody and lyrics have combined to transcend race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, economic and political barriers.
Denver did not align himself with a formalized religion, however, his songs often evoked a universal appeal of faith hope and love of man and Nature. Like Muir, he saw the mountains as metaphors for reaching higher and striving to lead purer, simpler lives. It seems to me that, whether he knew it or not, by reflecting his musical interpretation of Nature, he was encouraging people to approach the possibility that they were created by an amazingly mysterious power, even if they were unable to describe it. This would surely qualify people as extraordinary gifts to those around them.
Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers to proclaim their love for those whom they love. I think Denver’s song, “The Gift You Are”, is a perfect Valentine gift and I encourage you to share with your family and friends.