Dear John Denver,
Thank you for your gift of music. I remember listening to you while riding the Skyland Bus from Sagada to Baguio. The bus conductor kept playing your songs over and over and yet over again. Maybe he didn’t have any other cassette tape to play. But maybe, and I think this is the more likely reason, he is a big fan of yours.
The interesting thing is that no passenger complained about it. No one got up to tell the conductor to shut you down after we heard Rocky Mountain High for the uptenth time. Maybe we were all too tired to care. After all, the Halsema trip is a tiresome ride, then, as it is now. But maybe, and this is the more likely reason, we too were all big fans of yours.
So we spent eight long hours in the bus listening to your songs. I would like to believe that we all savored the moment.
John, there’s something about your songs that speaks to the Igorot/iCordillera soul. Maybe it’s the messages in them. You know, we as a people don’t go for songs that don’t mean anything at all. Maybe it’s also your unpretentious voice because we also don’t go for singers who go for vocal calisthenics (pinayegpeg according to my brother). Maybe it’s also because, even though you were in the U.S., you were singing about us: our Cordillera mountains, our winding country roads, the sunshine in our shoulders, and my classmate named Annie.
It might interest you to know that Take Me Home, Country Roads has informally become the Cordillera regional anthem (Update: Ha! I wrote this before I read Chyt’s blog where she also makes the same assertion.) I’m sure most of us, particularly those who have left home, will tear up whenever we hear it. I’m sure we will also remember the bonfire sessions during cold December nights when we passed around the gin, sang Country Roads, and pretended to be you.
By the way, can you explain to us what “mountain mama” means? Is that the name of a mountain in West Virginia? Or were you referring to the mountain as a nurturing environment. We always wondered about it during those bonfire nights but never found out what it means. Maybe this is a good time to ask.
John, thank you also for your gift of activism for peace, social change, and the environment. I must admit though that it is only now that I am discovering this facet of your life. I apologize for not knowing about your advocacies earlier. But, as they say, it’s better late than never.
I’ll end here I guess so you can go back singing with your fellow angels (is it true you only use harp there in heaven?) and I will go back discovering more about your life and work to draw inspiration from them.
From the Boondocks
Since you have access to the Lord, can you ask him to send a bolt of lightning to the following people: George W. Bush, Gloria Arroyo, and Archbishop Akinola. They need to be reminded as to who is the real Lord. Thanks again.
Note to our readers: You might want to check out the following links on John Denver. It is his death anniversary today.
Smorgasbord on Random Thoughts
Bread for the World Blog (make sure you read Chyt’s poem in the comments)
John Denver at Wikipedia