Rocky Mountain High

Colorado State Song

john-denver-greatest-hits.jpg

John Denver Greatest Hits album cover

John Denver Greatest Hits album cover photo by Jeremy Chan on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Rocky Mountain High

By John Denver

"Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver was officially recognized as Colorado's second state song in March 2007, nearly 10 years after John Denver died in a plane crash ("Where the Columbines Grow" is the first state song of Colorado, adopted in 1915). Rocky Mountain High expresses the love and wonder John Denver felt for his adopted state. The movement started with Kari Neuman, a fourth grade student in Colorado. She began a letter writing campaign to legislators shortly after John Denver's tragic death in 1997. John Denver is a symbol of Colorado to the USA and the entire world. Quote from Denver Mayor Wellington Webb:

"...Few celebrities have been as closely identified with any single place as John Denver was linked to Colorado ... In his song lyrics, he evoked the image of a landscape and a lifestyle; snowcapped peaks, sun-drenched meadows, blue jeans and a certain freedom that city dwellers could only yearn for..."

Another John Denver song: Take Me Home, Country Roads (opening with "Almost heaven, West Virginia...") was adopted as an official state song of West Virginia in 2014.  Colorado Senator Bob Hagedorn (who pushed for Rocky Mountain High as the second state song) said: "Even if John Denver thought West Virginia was almost heaven, he chose Colorado to live."

Lyrics

He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year
coming 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 to ev'ry door.

When he first came to the mountains his life was 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 lullaby.
Rocky mountain high in Colorado.
Rocky mountain high in Colorado.

He climbed cathedral mountains
he saw silver clouds below
he saw everything as far as you can see.
And they say that 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.
Talk to God and listen to the casual reply.
Rocky mountain high in Colorado.
Rocky mountain high in 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.
He knows he'd be a poorer man
if he never saw an eagle fly.
Rocky mountain high in Colorado.
Rocky mountain high in Colorado.

Colorado

Videos

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High