10.10.2004

Let This Be A Voice

Tonight on Nature was a program titled, Let This Be A Voice. It was a documentary of John Denver and his crusade for saving the environment. Through the hour, we were treated to great footage of the Colorado Rockies, eagles in Utah, the sea, wild horses in Monatan and caribou in Alaska. Denver knew that we need to preserve the wildness of this country of ours. He knew the dangers of the encroachment of civilization and fought to help preserve much of that wildness. Some think Denver a simplistic man, but he was a man who cared deeply about this land and the animals we share it with, and this program shows that.

In one part of the program, he speaks of a camping trip in Colorado when he was 27 where things changed for him. That trip spawned this very well-known song:

Rocky Mountain High

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Comin' home to a place he'd never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away
On the road and hangin' by a song
But the string's already broken and he doesn't really care
It keeps changin' fast and it don't last for long

But the colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high (high colorado) rocky mountain high (high colorado)

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below
He saw everything as far as you can see
And they say he got crazy once, and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forests and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

And the colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high (high colorado) rocky mountain high (high colorado)

Now his life is full of wonder but his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land

And the colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
I know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly
Rocky mountain high

It's a colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
Friends around the campfire and everybody's high
Rocky mountain high (high colorado) rocky mountain high (high colorado)
Rocky mountain high (high colorado) rocky mountain high do de do

Words by john denver, music by john denver and mike taylor

The program was interspersed with footage of John and his music from the 70's as well as footage from his last trip throughout the wilderness including a raft trip down the Colorado River with his son and daughter a month before his death in '97. His last song about Yellowstone is also featured in this documentary. At the end, we're treated to the only home-recording of the song which was heavily influenced by the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone. There's also footage of him with Jacques Cousteau and I, Calypso and much more. A raft trip down the Colorado River with his son and daughter, and his final visit to Alaska.

With a government that obviously cares little for our ecosystem except for what can be raped from it for profit, this program was bittersweet.

Catch this one if you can. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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