Wednesday, August 3, 2011

US Summer 2011: Aspen, Colorado's Songhits On The Rocks!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda


When I posted on Facebook the pictures I have taken at John Denver's Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado, my music lover friend Cynthia Ampil commented wow, Songhits on The Rocks! (Pinoy like me call a magazine full of song lyrics as "Songhits") .


I sing to that! Seeing the lyrics of some of John Denver's hit songs etched on huge granite boulders from the Rocky Mountains, made me say that this Aspen Sanctuary is indeed like my fave Jingle songhits albeit on the rocks!

Secluded by the stream, evergreen and aspen trees, this memorial to country singer/composer John Denver is located near the Rio Grande Park on North Mill and Gibson Avenue(which is just a walking distance from the mountain lodge I was staying in Aspen). Fitting enough that the estate where the sanctuary is located, was once home to country, folk icon himself when he was still alive!

I first noticed the boulder with the song "Rocky Mountain High"(which is also the title of John Denver's 1972 album). Its lyrics evidently express John Denver's love and tribute to his adopted hometown. And so as a posthumous tribute, the state of Colorado made Rocky Mountain High as one of its two official state songs.


Of those lyrics carved in stone, "Perhaps Love" is my favorite. "If I should live forever and all my dreams come true, my memories of love will be of you" has moved me to tears (although I still manage to smile for the picture!).

Annie's Song is an ode written and recorded by John Denver for his first wife Annie Martell from Minnesota. Maybe because the song became No. 1 for weeks one year after I was born (and I surmised how often it was played by my father who loves John Denver), it is one country song that I am very familiar and love listening to,compared to others.

"Seasons of The Heart" a carrier single of the same titled album released in 1982, relate to the singer's relationship trials. I don't know who it was dedicated to, but it speaks of his change of heart which could either be the two divorces he experienced.



I was so excited taking pictures at "Windsong" which is John Denver's 1975 album, and at "Sunshine On My Shoulders" and "The Eagle and The Hawk" which both sing of John Denver's joy of nature!



The other rocks have "Rhymes and Reasons"(1969), "Poems,Prayers and Promises" (1971) and "Autograph" (1980) which are all the carrier single for the albums with the same titles released in '60s, 70's and the 80s. The titles speak of John Denver's enthusiasm for music while the lyrics are about nature and relationships.



All in all I counted ten of John Denver's approximately 300 hit songs featured in the Aspen Sanctuary. I am not sure how they have decided which lyrics to include - could be based on popularity or if it made it to the charts or the appropriateness of the lyrics to be carved in stone. But whatever the reason behind its inclusion in the sanctuary, the ten songs celebrate the life of Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr (December 31, 1943-October 12, 1997) professionally known as John Denver and to honor his memory as a composer, musician, father, brother and friend!



If he had been alive, I would have surely asked for his autograph on paper! But since that was no longer possible, I consider being in Aspen Sanctuary as that Autograph and could hear John Denver say: "Here's my autograph, Here in the songs I sing, Here in my cry,in my laugh, Here in the love that I bring".

(This is part of the 5-week US Summer Vacation series, which took place from June 30, 2011 to August 3,2011


For other US Summer 2011 post please click:
US Travel Posts

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4 comments:

  1. Si John Denver pala kumanta ng Perhaps Love :) madalas nasa repertoire yan ng mga friends ko kapag nagkakaraoke :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. yea Claire,seeing the song and reading (and humming) its lyrics from the rock was such a moving experience! one country song i love! surely not perhaps haha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish there's an OPM corner.
    LUHA, HULING EL BIMBO, Tuwing Umuulan At Kapiling Ka... and the list goes on!

    di ako maka get over sa "SONGHITS!" hahahahaha

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow,great idea Ron..OPM Corner!! i believe most of us at one point love that songhits,before the MP3 lyrics websites and 4 share hahaha. thanks for dropping by!

    ReplyDelete

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