I was in my car today, listening, as I often do on long journeys, to music. As well as tuning in to the music, I realised I was savouring the words. It has been many years since I listened to John Denver and I had downloaded one of his albums recently. I had forgotten how much I loved the purity of his voice but, also, his lyrics. Here is a musician who can tell a story through a song, the words conjuring up far distant mountains, a love of the country, a gentle humour. In particular, I noted the words of Sweet Surrender, where he reminds us to let go and live ‘without care’, using the analogy of a ‘fish in the water’ and a ‘bird in the air’.
By contrast to the calm, quiet of John Denver, I played ‘500 miles’ many times over; it’s one of my much loved travel tunes. The Proclaimers with their broad Scottish brogue belting it out for all their worth. Still it tells a story, a tale of a man who would do anything for his love, even walk 500 miles and then 500 more. It reminds me of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and the stadium adopting it as its anthem to celebrate the winning of medals; pure gold as the saying goes.