Take Me Home Country Roads

Album: Poems, Prayers and Promises (1971)
Charted: 2
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  • Almost heaven, West Virginia
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Shenandoah River,
    Life is old there
    Older than the trees
    Younger than the mountains
    Blowin' like the breeze

    Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    West Virginia, mountain momma
    Take me home, country roads

    All my memories gathered 'round her
    Miner's lady, stranger to blue water
    Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
    Misty taste of moonshine
    Teardrops in my eye

    Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    West Virginia, mountain momma
    Take me home, country roads

    I hear her voice
    In the mornin' hour she calls me
    The radio reminds me of my home far away
    And drivin' down the road I get a feelin'
    That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

    Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    West Virginia, mountain momma
    Take me home, country roads

    Country roads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    West Virginia, mountain momma
    Take me home, country roads

    Take me home, now country roads
    Take me home, now country roads Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 77

  • Gama Weerawardena from Sri Lankathis song brings out goose bumps in my body, and although I have not visited the locations mentioned I can visualise them vividly thru the words of the song. Thank you John and co. for giving us this song and may the turf lie lightly on John.
  • Martin Twigg from MaI was driving cross country for the first time and it was on the radio coast to coast!
  • Yelp Reviews from YelpA real country road is pot holes roos and most of corse suicidal roos.
  • Sharona from BoydsI am the last house on Clopper Road (across from the train tracks) and when Clopper is at the end - White Ground Road takes over. Now that is a truly country road <3 And of course I love John Denver and always will.
  • Howard Luloff from St. Louis Park, MnOne of my favorite John Denver songs. Since Take Me Home, Country Roads was released in 1971, it has been a fan favorite at West Virginia Mountaineer home football games. It's played in the band's pregame show and after every home victory, fans join in the singing of the Denver classic. It's one of the great traditions in college football.
  • Seventh Mist from 7th HeavenOn the album "Poems, Prayers and Promises," the Danoffs also sang harmony (and sang it well) on the songs "Gospel Changes," "Around and Around" and "Wooden Indian."

    "Around and Around" is a beautiful yet sobering song, especially when you think of Denver's untimely end. I thought of it when I heard that he had been killed in the crash of his small plane.
  • Carol Of Va Born In Wva from RichmondShame, shame, shame to all the criticisms and one-upsmanship. John Denver was not the first to sing it, but his voice made it famous. If a WVa lady wrote it, then you're saying it was she who knew very little about her home state. Perhaps she did, in fact, write a small part which inspired others to complete it to the success it became. Why can't it just be accepted for what it is - a song that inspires beauty and good feelings which often seem to be in short supply these days.

    The credited writers also wrote Afternoon Delight, which also takes some flack for its sexual innuendo, but is again a cheerful, happy great sound. Never once mentions b____ or h_. How refreshing! Enjoy the warm heart, forget the drama.
  • J.d.lucas from Rio Vista, Cawho is the "Stranger to blue water", and who is "mountain ma-ma"? Thanks
  • Joy from KeyserReading comments here and see so many who don't know history or repeat things not true. Being from West Virginia I know full well what Country Roads John Denver sung about. Here is some history for some who might not know this. "On September 6, 1980, singer John Denver and some 50,000 West Virginia University fans belted out a rousing rendition of “Country Roads” to dedicate new Mountaineer Field in Morgantown." John Denver has clearing shown his intent for this song and it's meaning.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaI am not intending to lay claim to this song in honor of my family's home state or dispute the geography issues of it, but as someone who has very deep roots in Virginia, the song speaks to me just as much as to any West Virginian, and both states share parts of the geography mentioned. That being said, my family laid claim to its being about us, TOO, not us INSTEAD, and I used to love hearing it and singing along with it. My roots in Virginia on three sides of my family (two grandfathers and one grandmother) are so deep, they come out somewhere in Asia, and at one time in my parents' hometown, I couldn't walk through town without running into dozens of people I was related to; now they are all gone -- the older ones by attrition, the younger to find a way and a place to make a living wage -- and when I hear the song now, it reminds me that I have not only lost those loved ones; I have also lost that place, as there is no longer any reason to go back. To say it reduces me to tears is a huge understatement.

    P.S. To Pete from Trewoon Cornwall, United Kingdom: I had to laugh at your statement that "the wonderful land you guys call home...beats the hell out of places called Bradford and Bristol." Virginia has a Bristol, which it shares with its southwestern neighbor Tennessee, and I grew up in the one in Tennessee. They were named after your Bristol.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 6, 1971, John Denver, with Fat City, was at #52 with "Take Me Home, Country Roads"* on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, it was also his first charted record...
    Exactly four years earlier on June 6th, 1967 John Denver, as a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio, appeared the Philadelphia-based syndicated television program 'The Mike Douglas Show', the trio performed "Flaming Youth"...
    * "Take Me Home, Country Roads" would peak at #2 {for 1 week} on the Hot Top 100 chart, the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" by the Bee Gees.
  • Robin from Southern West VirginiaBecky Rankin, if West Virginia is so terrible compared to Virginia then by all means, move back to Virginia and don't let the door knob hit you where the good Lord split you, you poor thing. Virginians make less money, have more outhouses to this day, and as you prove with your post, they have little class and no couth about them. I'll take an uneducated backwoods hillbilly from West Virginia any day. Oh, and we hillbillies know where the Blue Ridge Mountains are and where the Alleghenies are, but since an uneducated West Virginia hillbilly didn't write this song, and it is a catchy tune, you can't blame us for the wrong geographical refrences. So, by all means, take your trashy Virginia a$$ back to Virginia and stay there, don't understand why you're in Huntington if you hate it that bad.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaMy family is from southwest Virginia, and even though the lyrics say West Virginia, it always reminded me of home. I wouldn't think of getting into a pissing contest over which state it was written about, and I'm amazed at all the people who have done so here. Like I said, it just reminded me of home, with the references to the Shenandoah River and Blue Ridge Mountains and the...wait for it...country roads.
    My cousin had it played at my aunt's funeral, so that part of it always makes me nostalgic.
    My mother's entire generation in her family is gone now, and I no longer have any close family left in that area; when I heard this song recently and saw a video of it, I cried and cried over not only having lost all of those wonderful family members, but I realized that even if I "should have been home yesterday", it isn't home any more and that area no longer belongs to me as home. (That brings up the lyric from Neil Diamond's "I Am, I Said" -- LA's fine, but it ain't home; New York's home, but it ain't mine no more.) I think it will be a long time before I can hear this song without bawling my eyes out.
  • Ivan from Wheeling, WvNeither Maryland or Virginia are "strangers to blue water" so the debate on how much or little the Shenandoah River or Blue Ridge Mountains touches the borders of West Virginia is moot.

    The Shenandoah River is a tributary of the Potomac River, 55.6 miles (89.5 km) long with two forks approximately 100 miles (160 km) long each, in the U.S. states of Virginia and West Virginia. The principal tributary of the Potomac, the river and its tributaries drain the central and lower Shenandoah Valley and the Page Valley in the Appalachians on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in northwestern Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

    The Blue Ridge Mountain's ridgecrest forms the border between several counties, with Loudoun County and Fauquier County, both in Virginia, to the east and Jefferson County, West Virginia, Clarke County, Virginia, and Warren County, Virginia, to the west.

    So seriously folks, the claims that the geographic features in the song do not describe West Virginia are just plain silly.
  • Shereen from Mt. Lavinia, Sri LankaThe song is very popular in Sri Lanka. I am wholly Sri Lankan and visit other countries as a matter of interest. I'm disappointed to know that neither the lyricists nor Denver visited WVA. From half a world away (Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean), I visited WVA staying at the Greenbrier hotel in White Sulphur Springs to attend a wedding held there. The song was in my heart as we drove along from Maryland by the Shenandoah and through (or by?) the Alleghenies. Returning we visited the Luray caverns which I think is at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. The song was sung, ultimately and almost shyly, tongue-in-cheek, I felt, at the wedding where many West Virginians were present. Your article above perhaps is the explanation. Beautiful West Virginia, especially around White Sulphur Springs, but I am home now among my beautiful country roads in Sri Lanka albeit with the song in my head and heart. It 'was a nostalgic visit to listen to 'Country Roads' that led me to your site. Thanks for the information.
  • James Lachman from Cincinnati OhThis song has touched my life's journey at various points along the way. In the early 70's in the Swifton Village apartments in CincinnatI Ohio. I was about 7 years old when a friend of mine, Bebe Barnes, came over to visit my sisters. Somehow we got on a discussion about country roads and I quickly asked my dad to play it for Bebe and I as my dad had just bought the 45. It was a moment in time I will never forget. We sat there and listened as I was proud that my dad played it for us since we liked it so much.

    The next instance occurred when I lived in Columbus Ohio in about the mid 80's. I had the custom of buying white castles downtown and eating them at bicentennial park. Well one day while I was eating I noticed a bag lady sitting on one of the other benches. I offered her my last 2 hamburgers and while eating I casually asked her if she was from Columbus. She said West Virginia. I replied rather quickly "oh... Almost heaven", from which she excitedly replied to me "that's my song! That's my song! John Denver stole that song from me!". Well out of respect for my elders I didn't have the heart to challenge her statement. At that point I asked her name. She said Wendy Oates. To this day everytime I hear country roads I think of her. Who knows... Maybe she did write it (in response to Frankie from s whitley in).

    The third instance took me by surprise. I have a cousin, Hans Lachman, who taught English in communist China in the early ought years. He taught in the city of Chengdu. He said that country roads is a massive hit there. I asked him why. He had absolutely no idea. But so it is.

    Another moment in time is after John Denver died in his airplane crash. This is somewhat tacky and tasteless so I will apologize in advance. There was a joke going around that went this way. What was John Denver's greatest hit? Most people will reply country roads.
    The punchline is the pacific ocean. I remember the first time I heard that I laughed for 5 minutes. Sorry John... I mean no disrespect in my juvenile reaction. But it's amazing that my connection to this song only grows stronger as the years pass. I like it because it has become part of my history - from pride (from my dad playing it), to mystery (Wendy Oates), to astonishment (its popularity in China), to insolence (from a puerile joke), this wonderful sounding song has taken a country road into my heart and mind. And so it stands almost heaven will always be West Virginia, John Denver, and Wendy Oates.
  • Harry from Centralia, WaNo, the Blue Ridge Mountains do not run through West Virginia. This is a common misconception. The Blue Ridge is the most eastern range of the southern Appalachian chain and runs through Virginia, North Carolina, a bit of South Carolina and the northern part of Georgia. It is the Allegheny mountains that run through much the eastern part of West Virginia. The rest of the state is also quite hilly and composed of a plateau that has been carved up by stream erosion. The Alleghenies are separated from the Blue Ridge by what is called the Great Valley. By the way, I was born and raised in Virginia so I'm familiar with the geography of the region.
  • Rowena Fitzhugh from Farmington, WvHelen Potter-Fitzhugh was the true writer of Country Roads....
  • John from Walkersville, MdI grew up in Maryland, close to all of this geography mentioned in the comments. Yes, the Shenandoah River splits Va and WVA, and the Blue Ridge Mountains run through WVA as well as VA. Look at a map of Harpers Ferry and the surrounding area. You'll see it all. I happen to know Bill Danoff personally (my brother played in the Starland Vocal Band). The song is definitely about WVA, although Bill had never been there at the time he wrote it. The images were from post cards Bill received and also from his pure imagination. All of the info mentioned about Clopper Road is correct; I've driven it many times. Bill and John Denver were both playing in Georgetown (Crazy Horse? not sure) one night, and after they were all done Bill had John over to his place (I don't recall anything about John getting into an accident on the way, but maybe he did). At any rate, Bill showed the song "Take me Home Country Roads" to John. He and John went over it, tweaked it, and took out a verse because it was too long. John liked it so much he took it with him and recorded it a short time later, and the rest is history. Bill would go on, in fact, to form a band with his wife Taffy Nivert, Jon Carroll and his wife Margot Chapman. It would become the Starland Vocal Band. They toured with John Denver for awhile. Some of the members did help with the backup vocals on "Take Me Home Country Roads".
  • Geoffrey from Germantown, MdI live just up the street from Clopper Road. One day I was looking for a good restaurant to try out, and I came aross Bill Danoff's place in DC, I think it was. Only problem was that his web site was still there, but the restaurant was not. They had recently gone out of business. I was bummed, because I would have loved to go there and hear him play over a good meal. But his e-mail address was still there. So I wrote to him, expressed my regrets and asked him if what I'd read onine about Clopper Road being the seed of "Country Roads was correct. He wrote back!! Here's his e-mail:

    "Hey Geoffrey,

    Before there was Interstae 270 there was just old seventy and we picked it up going out MacArthur and turning up ?. (Taffy was driving.)
    There used to be the Shady Grove theater out there and there was shady Grove Road.
    There was an intersection with a roadhouse that catered to the poor black workers around there.
    I think that's where it met Clopper Road, a two-laner.
    We were on our way to the Isaac Walton Preserve and the road leading there was all cows, silos and the sort of thing I was used to from Western New England.
    I became nostalgic and began a chorus that just repeated "Country roads"'
    We worked on that and got it better.
    Peace and Love,
  • Frankie from S. Whitley, In"Danoff got his inspiration from postcards sent to him by a friend who DID live there."
    I don't know about who Danoff's supposed friend was- but he certainly didn't write the song. He took a song (submitted through those ads wanting song writers promising money--which never paid) and changed a couple of things...as for the lines that were left out...he may have written those trying to alter the song only to find it didn't work and stuck closer to the original knowing that back in those days a woman from WV wouldn't have the means to sue- and she didn't. She wrote many songs and submitted them to those ads hoping to survive...not necessarily get rich. John Denver claimed it as his own..he had the name and the promoter. The writer grew up in WV.
    I am withholding her name for my family. She is now deceased. But know that neither Denver nor Danoff wrote it.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhThis is an incredible, heartfelt song that paints the pictures as it's sung. Hearing it tonight on the radio, here it is 2011,and the song just takes me back to the 70s when life seemed less complicated. I live near the Ohio River that borders Ohio and WV, and have taken many beautiful drives on these country roads. It's one of life's simplest pleasures. Maybe that's why the song resonates so much with everyone. The voices are beautiful to listen to. Thanks, Mike in Syracuse, for the link to the Taffy Nivert/Fat City, ect. info. I was sure a fan of "Afternoon Delight" when it was popular (think it's a little corny now) and yet, pre-MTV, I had never seen the people who sang it. Also never knew their connection to this song.
  • Becky Rankin from Huntington, WvI think West Virginia should BEG Virginia to take it back and then should require all students in the 8th grade or older to pass a proficiency exam in state geography. West Virginia is like a Third World Country when compared to Virginia. There are only two states in the whole country with more ignorance and poverty than West Virginia. If "Country Roads" is an example of how well West Virginians understand state geography is it any wonder that the rest of the country thinks of West Virginians as ignorant, backwoods, Hillbillies?
  • Becky Rankin from Huntington, WvI'm embarassed that West Virginia shows it's real ignorance by adopting a song that describes things that barely touches it's state borders. Are the Hillbillies that live in WV so desperate for a little recognition that they will do just about anything to get it? I was in Augusta County, Virginia where the Shenandoah River and The Blue Ridge Mountains are in full force and trust me there is no beauty in West Virginia that could hold a candle to the Shenandoah or the Blue Ridge Mountains as true Virginians know it.
  • Bridget from Clarksburg, WvDenver didn't write this song. In fact, when he recorded it he had never even been to West Virginia. Two musicians, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, wrote it while driving to Maryland - they'd never been to West Virginia either! Danoff got his inspiration from postcards sent to him by a friend who DID live there. I copy and paste this comment because it is absolutely correct but need to add my own end to it... An Elderly Woman from North View West Virginia in Harrison County Wrote this to her friend which then her friend took the words and sold it as a song to Denver... Love the song and Love my State so I know my State history so for anyone reading this.. Thank you and to the original person who posted this.. Thank you as well and glad to help you end it.
  • Mike from Syracuse, NyTo Scott in Carpentersville, IL who asked who sings the high harmony in this song, well that would be the female half of "Fat City," by the name of Taffy Nivert. I've seen her described as the person everyone's heard, but no one's heard of, and it's true. She was married to the other half of Fat City, Bill Danoff, who has a website with photos of the two of them here: http://www.billdanoff.com/fatcitybilltaffy.htm and she is a cutie. The wonderful harmony and the way her voice blends so well with John Denver has always been part of the appeal of that song for me also.
  • Tony from Vienna, WvI was sitting in the "top five" club at a military base in Asmara, Ethiopia (now Eriteria) in 1972 when this song was played. I stopped eating and sat there for a few minutes, shocked. Since that day in 1972 I have loved this song. Although I live on the West side of the state, right on the Ohio River, the moutains and streams are the most beautiful in the world. God surly blessed those of us that were born and raised in this wonderful state... West Virginia, Mountain Mamma
  • Soong Jing from Beijing, ChinaI first heard this song when I was in high school ten years ago. From that tape I fall in love with country music. But I no longer play that tape, it's hurting, I lost my youth.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxI couldn't possibly care less about the geographical details. All I know is that this song has one of the catchiest, well written choruses I've ever heard.
  • Marty from Milwaukee, WiOthers have commented as to this song's being featured in the anime film Whisper of The Heart. Beyond the main character Shizuku's attempts at translating it, the song reflects the main themes of the film. Also, the translation is quite beautiful, check it out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIX4Blu1sHw
  • Dave from Germantown, MdI had several email exchanges with Taffy Nivert about 'Take Me Home Country Roads.' The song was based on Clopper Road which runs northwest off of Exit 10 from I-270 north of Washington, DC. She said that her and Bill Danoff were driving to a family reunion at the Isaac Walton League off of Clopper Road in Germantown back in the 1970's, when Danoff started singing the basic refrain melody of 'take me home country roads' tune. John Denver was performing in the same Georgetown Club with them and he heard the tune which picced his interest. After a few hard working sessions the song was completed in its present form by Nivert, Danoff and Denver. I asked Taffy is John Denver ever got to actually see Clopper Road but she said no. I have wanted to get the local Germantown-Gaithersburg Chamber of Commerce to erect a plaque or sign honoring the song on Clopper Road without success so far. Clopper Road is still a beautiful drive in the summer and fall. Seneca Creek State Park is right off of Clopper Road at the point where Danoff started singing his reframe. It has a nice picnic area and a beautiful hiking trail that circles Lake Seneca. If one follows Clopper Road north towards its terminus and makes a few turns one can drive up to Sugarloaf Mountain and take a drive almost to the top. There are some spectacular views of Maryland and Virginia from its peak.
  • Pete from Trewoon Cornwall, United KingdomNo matter about the geography of the Shenandoah River or the Blue Ridge Mountains, to some of us 'Limeys' this song conjures up a magical place in a wonderful land you guys call home. Beats the hell out of places called Bradford and Bristol (no offence). John Denver as far as I am concerned sang from the heart about people, places and events in his life and about the awesome places in the USA and many other things to which many people worldwide can relate. I am proud to say that I once shook his hand after a concert near my home town, a memory that has stayed with me all these years and one that I will remember for the rest of my days. God keep the guy who gave us so much through his music
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaEverytime I hear this song played on radio station , "Country Classics - 92.1 FM " ( formally "Star - 92.1 "[Best Rock and Roll ever made] ) or on a cassette tape , it brings back memmories of the times my family used to travel across the nation from Omaha , Nebraska to Pen Argyl , Pennsylvania back in the mid to late 70s ( 1975 - 1979 ). We would ride in my dad's old 1972 volksvagen van across the highways ; seeing all the 18 - Wheelers ( semi trucks ), listening to the truckers on the ol' CB , eating sandwhiches and chips ( sometimes pretzels and crackers ) , drinking sodas , and looking at the country roads as we drive by . One time as we were driving through Iowa , I asked my dad if we're in Illinois yet ; and he would say , "No , we're still in Iowa " . But we did at one time made a very long trip , which took us from about 6:00 AM early in the morning ( it was still dark outside when we left our house on Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha ) and arrived in Pen Argyl ( Northampton County , Pennsylvania ) at about 1:00 - 1:30 AM the next day. I miss those days alot!
  • Drew from B'ham, AlMy papa has heard a country musician or two make a cover version for this one. Of course, They have some country twang that John Denver didn't have. Ah ain't herrd no c--try versiun uv this, but Ah dew balieve wut mah pa sayes. Sorry, country typing is too much fun!
  • Cynthia from Scranton, Pagreat song about a lovely place! I especially loved this song when Andy and Dwight performed it on the Office! :-D
  • Anurag from Delhi, IndiaAmazing finger picking style.
  • John from Charlotte, NcFor the Virginia crowd - West Virgina broke away from Virginia because the rest of Virginia acted like asses and looked down upon western Virginia. Still do, apparently. There were also many more Virginia counties that wanted to join the new West Virginia but did not border it and so were left out. Regardless of it being west or West in the original print lyrics (by a publisher in NY no doubt that still gets confused by ND SD NC SC too), Denver made it official when he sang it at WVU in 1980, it's West "by God" Virigina.
  • Henry O. Godwinn from Wheeling, WvI almost always tear up when I hear this song on the radio.
  • Adam from Fairmont, WvPlease!!!!! The song IS about WV, I live here, I should know. The places and things in the song are in WEST VIRGINIA. John Denver helped open WVU's new football stadium in 1980 by singing the song live on the field before the first game. It is now WVU's theme song. The WVU Marching Band brings the fans to their feet every home game by performing the song. Go Mountaineers!
  • Scott from Carpentersville, IlI always hated afternoon delight though.
    Good harmony but totally contrived lyrics with sexual innuendos.
  • Scott from Carpentersville, IlI Would Still Like To Know For Sure Who The Woman Is Who'S Singing The High Harmony Part With John Denver On "Take Me Home Country Roads."
    At Times It Sounds Like Joan Biaz.
    The Note Choices For The Harmony Is One Of The Things That Make This Song Stand Out And Be So Unique. Its Really Awesome..And A Faint 3Rd Part Harmony As Well. Someone Who Knows For Sure Please Let Me Know.
    I Can Speculate But If Someone Definately Knows Tell Me.
  • Jj from Winchester, VaI live in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Simply put, the Blue Ridge Mountains end in Front Royal, VA. The Appalachian chain does indeed go to Harpers Ferry, and the Shenandoah River does indeed go through a very small portion of West VA. The original song lyrics have a small "w", as in west Virginia. Sorry Mountaineers. Look at it this way, prior to the War of Northern Aggression, we were all one big happy family of Virginians.
  • Richard from Talladega, AlThis is a very popular song in Japan and China (as noted by Nazrul in Malaysia). A Chinese political leader who discovered it while visiting the U.S. took back with him to China cassettes of it and had it distributed for airplay. I recently heard this story on (I think) NPR.
  • Ayushi from Lucknow, Inthis song is beuatifully written and sung.
    i like this song very much.
    the wordings are ausum ........
    i listen this song every time...............
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis is one of John Denver's rare country-style hits. I imagine that a country group or two has made a version of this. I like all of John Denver's hits. He rocks! Literally!! Long live John Denver!!
  • Way from Clarksburg, WvOk --those of you from Virginia who want to think this song is about you.

    Stranger to blue water--The Atlantic Ocean forms your eastern border.

    And there is not even one natural lake in West Virginia.

    Do you think the 'stranger to blue water' line refers to the lack of indoor plumbing south of the Shenandoah Valley and the tidy bowl man?

    --look up

    --we might be flushing!
  • Eric from Martinsburg, WvHere is the omitted verse:

    In the foothills hidin' from the clouds,
    Pink and purple, West Virginia farmhouse.
    Naked ladies, men who looked like Christ,
    And a dog named Pancho, nibbling on the rice

    -from billdanoff.com
  • Eric from Martinsburg, WvI went to Bill Danoff's restaurant (Starland Cafe) for New Year's with my parents a few years back, and we requested that Bill sing Country Roads with his alternate third verse. As soon as I can get the lyrics from my mom I will post them
  • Shanna from Austin, TxThis song is HUGE at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. They played it again, and again, and again...
  • Hans from Olching, GermanyIs there anybody who could explain me the meaning of "mountain momma"?
    Rudy, it is not weird or in drunken stupor that people (from all over the world) sing this song in the Hofbräuhaus (mind the spelling) or on the Oktoberfest in Munich but the deep feelings that go with this song. It is the romantic soul in everybody (including Germans/Bavarians) that is touched by the roads that lead home (no matter where it lies!) This magic is what makes people sing "country roads" especially when you are in public having a great time (Veronica, soccer world cup 2006, too)and drinking delicious beer (goes with wine as well?).
  • Fred from Laurel, MdFor those who might be a bit confused about the geography and musical-group-ography surrounding this song:
    * * *
    Yes, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who at least started this song and mostly wrote it, were married at the time (Taffy never took Bill's last name). They were collectively called Fat City and sang backup vocals on JD's recording of it. Starland Vocal Band did not exist yet. That band was formed by Bill and Taffy and two of their musical friends, Jon Carroll and Margot Chapman, a few years later, and became famous for the Danoff song, "Afternoon Delight." I don't think Jon and Margot were in Fat City, but I'm not positive of this. BTW, Danoff has written several other songs that Denver made famous, including, "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado."
    * * *
    As for the Shenandoah R. and Blue Ridge Mountains, yes, these are in VA, and yes, they are both also in WV. The Shenandoah (I don't know where its source is, maybe somebody out there knows) crosses VA Rte 55 just outside the town of Front Royal, VA, e.g. It meanders, flowing NE from there, into WV, just west of the Blue Ridge, which truly is a ridge, being a few miles wide, NW-to-SE, and a couple hundred miles long, SW-to-NE. At its NE end, it forms part of the VA-WV border, and actually crosses the Potomac into MD for about 7-8 miles. Meanwhile, the Shenandoah flows NE into the Potomac at Harpers Ferry, WV, as another commenter has noted. This is extraordinarily near (though not exactly at) the MD-VA-WV tri-state point. The Potomac in this region forms the border btwn MD to the N and VA/WV to the south (further upstream, it goes entirely into WV, where its source is). Just yesterday, I happened to be driving to a friend's house S of Harpers Ferry (in fact, the development they live in is called Blue Ridge Acres, in WV, and is actually on a part of Blue Ridge Mountain!) I travelled US340 westward out of Frederick, MD. Near the end of this leg of that trip, 340 turns S-ward to cross the Potomac into VA, then back to W-ward on the VA shore, then about 1/2 mile later crosses into WV. 1 or 2 miles after that it crosses the Shenandoah R., entirely in WV at that point, although my trip took me off the highway before the Shenandoah crossing. The VA-WV line in this region runs NE-SW, following the ridgeline of Blue Ridge Mountain, which has its eastern flank in VA, and its western flank in WV for about 15 miles, SW of which, the VA-WV border takes a sharp turn to the NW, and the Blue Ridge continues SW, entirely in VA. From the maps I've looked at so far, it seems to end just outside Roanoke, VA, not far from the line btwn Va and N.C./Tenn. If any or all of this seems confusing, just get onto Googlemaps, go to Harpers Ferry, WV, and click on 'hybrid' to get map and satellite photo overlaid.
  • Veronica from Wallingford, CtThe Germans LOVE this song! I went to Berlin this summer and every Monday we went to karaoke at this Irish pub and someone inevitably would sing this song. They also played it during the World Cup games.
  • Akshay from Allahabad, Indiathis is my mom's fav song and john denver's her fav artist and well,im living 5000 miles(maybe more)
    from the places he describes and even then the imagery comes straight into my mind.
  • John from Beckley, WvBlue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River...
    Live is old there,
    Older than the trees...
    One is in Virgina...and the other in Tennessee...
    Country Roads, take me home, to the place....
  • Emily from Chicken, NvRyan.

    I bet you failed geography. -_-;;
  • Mark from Clarksburg, WvAlthough I live now in New Brunswick, Canada the song "Take me home, Country roads" is an anthem to all exhiles who have been forced because of economics, corrupt polliticians thoughout the years and dirty coal mine operators of days long ago to look back with some pride as to whom they are and to be proud that they are from a loand that has been taken from them. Much like Zion, "how can we sing a song of Zion in a strange land." Maybe one day we can all return home if it is only in our dreams. It is a State that has had great riches and some of the poorest people. Sure it has changed, but not compared to the rest of the lower 48. It is a song that brought tears to my dying father's eyes. Although Denver G-d rest his soul did not write nor ever was in West Virginia to my knowledge brought an anthem that far overweighed the State song... The West Virginia Hills, the song, "Country Roads" brought out the meaning that their could be pride amidst great poverty and the Scotch Irish herritage that was the back bone behind the Revolutionary War (Remember only Non-British Subjects settled on the frontier so they would be a buffer between the armies of New France and their Indian allies, and once again in the Civil War by claiming Statehood in 1863. The Song speaks of the people being like the trees which are younger than the mountains. Maybe one day there will be hope for the landlocked state surrounded by the Appalachian Mountain Chain. While West Virginia may at times seem to be the cradle of inbreeding, poverty and ignorance, the opposite is also true. It is a State of contradictions and meanings. But, above all things it is a land of homecomings and memories.
  • Chris from Charles Town, WvRyan obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. The shenandoah river and blue ridge mountains are also in West Virginia...the eastern panhandle. WHAT!?!?!?!
  • Dale from Morgantown, WvI am from Southwest Virginia. We always call it Southwest Virginia! The area he is singing about is the western part of the state of Virginia, but it can't be called West Virginia, but John Denver didn't know that. I just saw the show called "Almost Heaven" at the Barter Theater and it was fantastic!
  • Mike from Germantown, MdI have seen the road that inspired this song. It's one of the main streets in Germantown. It's called Clopper Road.
  • Ryan from Nyc, Ny"Blue Ridge Mountains Shenandoah River"
    Sorry, this song is not about West Virginia. West Virginia only fit the rythm of the song. The shenandoah river is in Virginia. So are the Blue Ridge Mountains. Those are also in Virginia. Some one told me this and it came as a shock. But then I listened to the lyrics and realized, oh my god, he speaking of Virginia.
    Still a great song but funny none the less.
  • Willem from Hedel, NetherlandsSometimes you can hear it loud in Holland. It's our family's song for years now. On every occassion we sing it in full. Thank God Bill had a friend.
  • Eugon from Cardiff, WalesYes, great song, interestingly Israel Kamakawiwo'ole did a cover of this song as well...
    i am trying to find the NYC cover, anyone know of it? its the same but "New York City..Where i Belong', anyone know who did this cover?
  • Rudy from Toronto, CanadaThey sing this song in a drunken stupor every night in the Hofsbrauhaus in Munich Germany. Weird, huh?
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScA reggae cover! Hmmm that's pretty interesting!
  • Brian from La Mesa, CaIn my high school days, in the late '70s, my friends all made fun of John Denver, but I secretly liked his songs, both for the melodies and for the environmentalist lyric that fit my political views.

    Toots & the Maytalls' reggae version of this song is wonderful. If WV Matt could put away his defensive blind pride for 3 minutes and listen to it, he might broaden his world outside the boarders of his small his state.

    The Maytalls' version describes west Jamaica, when actually eastern Jamaica, with its still pure beauty, fits the meaning of the song better. It also mentions moonshine from the original words. But orthodox rastas, like Toots Hibbert, avoid drinking alcohol.

    West Virginia is a beautiful state. I went through it in the late '80s, and enjoyed it very much.
  • Ty from Chardon, OhI was born into this world a John Denver fan. We had the 'Greatest Hits' album growing up, and this was one of my favorites. Except that we lived east of Cleveland, Ohio, so I eventually alterred the lyrics to this song....

    Almost heaven, Huntsburg Ohio
    Rolling hillsides, Cuyahoga River.......

    Wow, I was lame. But that, to me, is the great thing about a lot of John Denver's songs. They are so powerful in their ability to create a visual image through words and song. They take me to wherever he is, whether it is on a dirt road in West Virginia or on a Rocky Mountain High, soaring with The Eagle and the Hawk, or riding the open seas on Calypso. Thanks JD.
  • Matt Adkins from Huntington, WvIm from WV and everytime any one hears that song from wv they stop and they always listen to it. Its the greatest song about a state ever. And who ever said that the band who coverd the song and called it west jamaca are some stupid stuff is crazy we might be mountain mamas and coal miners but we know good music!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScIt's a beautiful song, and so relaxing! I don't live in west Virginia, but I usually go there once a year, in March or so, to go skiing.
  • Rich from Elkins, WvI still like this song. They play it at the end of every WVU game. It helped put West Virginia on the map. It's too bad that John Denver is gone.
    Go Mountaineers!
  • George from Williston, NcReggae group Toots and the Maytalls covered this song on their "Funky Kingston"album changing the lyrics to "Almost heaven west Jamaica"..I thinkk it blows John Denver's version away.
  • Lauren from Maryville, MoWeren't Danoff and Nivert half of the members of Starland Vocal Band?
  • Stephanie from Ellicott City, MdI go to college in West Virginia, and have moved to an apartment in said state - it's beautiful, so much better than Maryland. Anyway, a recent grad from my school was a student from Japan who decided to come here after hearing this song, and wanting to see the West Virginia mountains.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesHermes House Band had a UK Top 10 hit in 2001 with this song, but it was not a patch on Denver's version
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcThe original Danoff/Nivert lyrics supposedly contained some ribald verses that were excised in Denver's popular rendition.
  • Kei from Salem, OrIn the anime film Mimi wo Sumaseba (popularly known as Whisper of the Heart, though the title directly translates as If You Listen Closely), the main character attempts several translation-adaptations of the song, including a parody called "Concrete Roads" about her hometown of Tokyo, before settling on a version that, while far from an accurate translation of the lyrics, captures the feel and spirit of the song. This version is performed twice, once at the midpoint of the film, and over the closing animation/credit sequence.
  • David from Lubbock, TxJohn Denver attended Texas Tech University, majoring in mechanical engineering. He dropped out to pursue a career in music. He returned to Lubbock, Tx at the height of his career for a sold-out concert, playing "in the round". It was one of the best concerts I have attended, by any artist.
  • Nazrul from Ampang, Malaysiathere was a japanese anime movie influential by this song that is Mimi wo Sumaseba
    (Whisper of the Heart)by studio gibli (the one that made spirited away). In that movie this song is featured during the opening and when the main character sings it with her friends in the japanese version.
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