This is the explanation for the coded message in “It’s About Time”

This poem is addressed to John Denver, and is my personal tribute to a man I have never met, but who, with the lines in one of his songs, changed my life and view of the world around me forever. That happened 37 years ago, and I have been remiss in not writing this letter long ago.

The poem started out to be just a play on the titles of his songs, but as it progressed and I listened to most of these pieces, I realized that I was expressing my own personal feelings about the man and his music. I can get lost in the sound of his voice very easily. Ask my children, they grew up listening to it, and like me, can sing along with much of it, word for word.

The title, as well as the body of the poem, contain references or allusions to  26 of the titles Denver composed and recorded. I have listed them below. He actually composed over 300 of them, and there are 200 that have been recorded. He died in 1997 while flying an experimental plane.

At one point, Denver was named the Poet Laureate of Colorado. His music is a simple celebration of life and of living that life to its fullest, and brought joy and good feelings to millions of people. Besides being a composer, songwriter, singer, and accomplished musician, he was also a humanitarian and dedicated much of his time to the preservation of the land and its wildlife.  If you wish to read more about him, his biography and his music, it can be found at   http://www.johndenver.com/

I have also included, for those of you who might not be too familiar with the man and his music, two videos of him, pickin’ and grinnin’ two of my favorites among so many. To enlarge the second video to full screen, click on the four arrows, to the right and just below the window. To come back to this page, simply hit your back button.


And the second one:


It was only my desire to share my favorites with you that I randomly chose these two songs. However, in listening to them, back to back, I found a response to my letter, coded in the song lyrics, that I most dearly needed today and at this time in my existence. Thank you, John. I love that sort of synchronicity.

Here’s the list of song titles and those alluded to in the poem:

1. It’s About Time
2. Love Perhaps,
3. Sweet Surrender
4. Welcome to My Morning
5. Rhymes and Reasons
6. The Thought of You
7. All of My Memories
8. Windsong
9. Country Roads
10. You Fill Up My Senses
11. Follow Me
12. Dancing With The Mountains
13. In My Heart
14. The Eagle and The Hawk
15. Never A Doubt
16. Back Home Again
17. Poems and Prayers and Promises
18. Spirit
19. Fly Away
20. This Old Guitar
21. Like a Sad Song
22. I Can’t Escape
23. Sleepin’ Alone
24. Eclipse
25. Goodbye, Again
26. forgot this one (shame on me)  Sunshine on My Shoulders

17 Responses to “Decoding”

  1. vivinfrance says:

    I was loath to click the decoding button: the poem itself was so beautiful that I really didn’t want it explained. However, I did, and I’m glad, because that list of song titles is a poem in itself.


  2. nan says:

    Elizabeth, this is WONDERFUL! I love what you did with this prompt, and you put into your own words using John’s words how you felt about him and his gifts and life. Perfect. Well done. Love it.


  3. twitches says:

    I did not guess who the poem was for – but was so pleases to see your answer! I grew up with John Denver and know every word to just about all of his songs! He was such a huge part of my childhood.


  4. brenda w says:

    Okay, now I must direct my husband to your piece. He loves John Denver as you do. This was a well written exploration of Denver’s significance in your life. Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth.


  5. b_y says:

    I begin to appreciate how prolific he was. (19 mos of writing, and I’ve produced one poem for publication, and even that isn’t very good)


  6. This was so lovely! I too have always been a fan of his smooth, pure voice. (and his writing).
    YOu did a much better job with the prompt than I, it had me stymied!


  7. 1sojournal says:

    Viv, I agree 100%! That list is a poem and I never noticed it until I read the whole thing after it was all done. Don’t you just love that when it happens?

    Nan, thank you for the praise, but most of it belongs to the man, himself. He was quite a poet.

    twitches, my children would certainly agree with you, but then I would never have learned to love Pink Floyd, or numerous others, if we hadn’t all been music lovers.

    brenda w, here is a big part of the secret. Denver, his words, his music, helped me to fully understand just what a sense of the spiritual really was.

    b_y, and I’m fairly certain that John would tell you that that one poem marks your uniqueness among millions who would not dare to even try.



  8. 1sojournal says:

    Cythnia, and my first response was “Oh shit, I can’t do that.” But, later, I was over at my oldest daughter’s home for dinner, and she had one of his albums on, playing in the background. And those wonderful words kept repeating in my head, “Reach for the heavens/and hope for the future/all that we can be/not just what we are.” The man was far from perfect, but he certainly knew how to get a response with a few words and some music.



  9. derrick2 says:

    Glad to see the inspiration. I always enjoyed ‘Perhaps Love’ with Denver and Domingo!


  10. 1sojournal says:

    Thanks again, Derrick, and I learned a great deal of new music in the process.



  11. I’m in love with the lines “well out of season, the thought/of you beckons.” It’s the kind of line that sticks in your teeth, if you know what I mean. Also, I hate to admit it, but I’m unfamiliar with most of Denver’s music. Pandora here I come!


  12. 1sojournal says:

    That’s perfectly alright, Nathan. I hate to admit it, but some of these lines astounded me after the writing. Denver’s words seemed to call things from a deeper place than usual. And I have to admit, I loved the experience and the process. I can fully appreciate your interest in steganography. Thanks to you, I think many others will be doing a bit more in that arena. When I first read the prompt, I was scared out of my wits, absolutely convinced I could never do such a thing (especially after having just read some of yours). But then, remembered that little game I played with the poets’ titles and hoped I could at least manage something similar.Once I got started, I forgot about the prompt and just had to find where it was all going. Thanks for the prompt,



  13. Rallentanda says:

    In 1985 at the Blue Water Grill Bondi at a Sunday lunch I met John Denver with his Australian girlfriend Cassie.Cassie was a friend of the man I have been sharing my life with for over 20 years. John married Cassie and I have never thought of him again until this day. He seemed cheerful and chatty but honestly everyone was..lunches were boozy affairs in those days and I wasn’t a fan so I didn’t think much about it. I know…the experience was wasted on me, as most have been.


  14. 1sojournal says:

    Rallentanda, experiences are never wasted, unless we choose them to be. It’s twenty-five years later and you just gave it away to a perfect stranger who counts it a priceless gift, she would never have received otherwise. At the risk of being seen as no more than a star struck 16 year-old, I have one thing to say: Can we get together some time so I can touch the hand that may have touched the hand? Lol. Denver’s music was a cornerstone in my own experience and marks a turning point in all that I have become and will still become. It’s a hell of a story and while I hold your hand, maybe I’ll even find the words to tell it. Have a wonderful day and thank you,



  15. Rallentanda says:

    Well I know we did not shake hands, so no,he did not touch me. But, being a very generous person,if I had known this was going to be so important to someone in the future, I would have jumped him, except that Cassie would have killed me on the spot. LOL.Getting together might be a problem as I live across the ocean at the bottom of the world.Shame ..you sound rather nice!


  16. 1sojournal says:

    Rallentanda, Denver might have been a bit surprised as well, can’t you just see him, looking at the ground, digging the toe of his cowboy boot into the dirt, as he fumbles around and finally says, “Oh, shucks!” or “Gosh dang it!”

    And I knew that you were across the ocean and the chances were pretty slim, but as I made the comment, I realized what I was going to write about on my other blog. Yep, the story of those beginnings. You can find it at

    You gave me a gift, so I thought I would reciprocate. Thanks again,



  17. pmwanken says:


    …the poem and the decoding.

    Thanks for re-sharing the link.

    And thank you so much Paula for taking the time to read it all and comment. That’s a special gift and I appreciate it deeply,



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