What’s in a picture (part 2)

johndenverOccasionally I’ll come across a photo that really is worth a thousand words, but for which little is written. I reported on such a photo last week.

I came across this after some research on singer/songwriter John Denver who piqued my interest from a really interesting video “The Wilderness Concert” (Google it on youtube). I think some really beautiful, underrated music.

One of the clips from this concert was regarding Denver’s brief monologue regarding someone he knew that was an inspiration for writing a song. Denver, like many other songwriters like James Taylor and Neil Young are famous for writing songs on-the-fly following some kind of otherwise trivial inspiration. Neil Young wrote “Ohio” in a few minutes on a table napkin after hearing the news on a radio about the National Guard shooting at Kent State in 1970. Denver wrote “Leavin’ on a jet plane” while on a ski lift. The inspiration comes, everything stops and songs are written Samuel Taylor Coleridge–style (“Kubla Khan”).

It was the imagery that Denver translated to maybe one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, nearly perfect musicality-wise. Listenable, emotional rhythm and perfect lyrics. He said in an interview that he didn’t understand how these things come to him. It’s a gift he’s very thankful for. I sometimes research these people wondering at such gifts.

At any rate, I really would like you to listen to the song he created from this simple inspiration. I think even Dr. Simmons, who hasn’t listened to a singer since 1950, will appreciate this beautiful song by a very underrated artist he probably never heard of ;-).

Here is part of the explanation he gives for the song.

“I have a friend whose name Mardy Murrie,

and she’s 93 years old… theman who was

her husband, Olaus Murie, passed away

many years ago, The way Mardy kept his love

and her feeling for him alive in her heart was to

commit herself to saving the land they both loved

so very, very She spoke of Olaus always as her

beloved,and they loved to dance, the waltz especially,

and they danced whenever they could, whenever

they felt like it, regardless of the conditions. And I

have this picture of them out in the frozen tundra

of Alaska in each others arms dancing, and no

music except the sound of the wind rushing across

that frozenwasteland, or someplace in a forest or

someplace beneath the full moon. And so I wrote

this song for Mardy.” – John Denver

Photographs of Mardy and Olaus dancing do not exist except in John Denver’s mind somewhere, translated to a haunting interpretation. Enjoy this beautiful music if you have an interest.





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