31 songs / music

31 songs: Rhymes and Reasons

And you wonder where we’re going
Where’s the rhyme and where’s the reason
And it’s you cannot accept
It is here we must begin
To seek the wisdom of the children
And the graceful way of flowers in the wind

I’ll start from the first song I remember having loved, and I’m going to tell you about how much I loved it, lost it and then found it again.

I was a child, and one evening I was watching a TV commercial about a famous brand of chamomile tea. The advertisement showed some people (it might have been a family, but I’m not sure about it… as for the ad in itself, my memories have become a bit blurred) joyfully walking in a flowery meadow… and that song playing, oh how I loved it! It was just an acoustic guitar arpeggio and a male voice singing, a kind of dreamy ballad I immediately fell in love with. I kept waiting for that TV commercial every evening, only for that minute or two of the song. The only thing I knew for sure was that it was in English, but I didn’t know any English by then, so I couldn’t grasp any words to make out a possible title for it (yes, this is a trick I use every now and then with songs I don’t know), nor could I walk into a record shop and sing the song to the shop assistant asking for help! You must try to understand (I know it may be difficult for your generation), but I was –I’m not sure – maybe 7 years old, computers and Internet didn’t exist, and there was nobody to help me. And I really LOVED that song. But could do nothing.

So when they stopped broadcasting that commercial I felt as if I had been robbed of a really precious thing. They say children forget easily… uhm, not me! 😉 So I set myself to “stand-by” mode and in the following years, while listening to and falling in love with new songs, I kept on secretly waiting for that song. Oh well, I had to wait some time… it was not until I was 18 that I listened to that song again on the radio! It was as if all those years had not passed, as I immediately recognized it… the song had the same dreamy flavour it had had when I was a child, and appealed to all of me… I decided all those years of secretly waiting had been enough! I pulled myself together, grabbed pencil and paper  and when the song was over I had the title, and the artist’s name!

John Denver, Rhymes and Reasons

Do you think it was easy to find John Denver’s album? 😉 Of course not! As for the lyrics, I had to sit hours listening to the song, trying to grasp all the words… and then hours again to find the chords on the guitar (apart from “self-teaching” myself a country-style arpeggio!) until I could play it and sing it to myself.

Such were the “Middle Ages”,  long, very long ago… 😉

But it was worth the effort, and later I also added other beautiful songs by John Denver to my guitar “repertoire”…  they’re all very lovely country songs, easy to play and sing, and I liked them a lot… but Rhymes and Reasons will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks, John. 🙂

I can’t say “it only took me 5 minutes to find the video on the Internet today”, as I’m afraid there’s no “real” video: the song dates back to 1969 and no videos were shot then… but I have found something for you: here it is, the first song to have struck your teacher b… I know you won’t feel the same, times have changed, for me, too…  but I’m glad I shared this song and my memories with you.

And the song that I am singing
Is a prayer to non believers
Come and stand beside us
We can find a better way

John Denver was an American country singer/songwriter, who wrote some 200 beautiful songs, most of which about his loved Colorado State, in the US. He died in a plane crash in 1997 at the age of 53.

Wish to know more? 😉


8 thoughts on “31 songs: Rhymes and Reasons

  1. Ohhh… what a sweet and dreamy song! I can understand the feeling you have when you want to listen to a song, but you have to wait because you don’t know the title or any word and you can’t find it… I think that the waiting contributes to add a magical feeling when you listen at last to a song which now has been found on the Internet.

  2. The same song was used in the 1980s (it was 1986 or so) for another advertising campaign. This time the product was a mattress (so, after the chamomile tea…). In the 1960s and ’70s, tv commercials were full of beautiful songs, but we were just children and had no information about them, so it was a hopeless hunt.

  3. Oh I remember hearing about this song once when we had a lesson!
    I love the words and especially this part of the song:

    “The song that I am singing
    Is a prayer to non believers
    Come and stand beside us
    We can find a better way”

    I really like this section of the blog about music…it’s inspiring 🙂 🙂

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