BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
Listen Live.

 Full Schedule

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

50  | Top 100
Annie's Song
John Denver
John Denver scored his first song writing success with ’Leaving on a Jet Plane’. It appeared on his first solo album and shortly afterwards was a massive hit for Peter Paul and Mary effectively launching his career. Having started out singing with folk revival groups in Los Angeles, Denver was the ideal crossover artist keeping
John Denver
Song facts
Composer John Denver
Genre Folk
Album Back Home Again
Year of Release 1974
UK Chart Position   1
hold of his country fans while appealing to a mainstream pop audience. Annie’s Song had the kind of appeal that Take Me Home Country roads had displayed a sweet and melodic tune with lyrics that expressed straightforward, simple emotions. It was written while Denver, an avid skier, was riding a ski lift in Switzerland. He says by the time he had finished the 10 minute ride the song was finished.
He and his first wife had just got back together after a brief separation and the lyrics combined his love of beautiful landscapes (he was later to write Rocky Mountain High) and his feelings for her. It sold more than a million copies staying at number one in the US pop charts for two weeks and three weeks in the US adult contemporary charts in the summer of 1974. In the UK the song charted at the same time reaching number one. Since then it has graced many a wedding, though it did not cement Denver’s marriage. He and Anne were divorced in 1983. In a 1994 interview Denver bemoaned the lack of covers of his biggest hit. “People don’t cover my songs as much as they should which is a shame. Annie’s song is still one of the best loved songs of recent years yet no-one’s recorded it other than James Galway.”
He died when an experimental plane he was flying crashed in Monterey Bay in California in 1997 but he remains a popular artist so far inspiring 11 tribute albums.

John Denver on writing Annie's Song
John Denver
The inspiration for great songs can arrive while being in the unlikeliest of places. John Denver reveals how this classic song came to him while travelling up a mountain in a ski lift!


Other versions
Listen to Roger Whittaker
 Hear Roger Whittaker's cover version of Annie's Song.

No other song expresses how one feels being in love with someone quite the way this song does.

David Marx

Make a comment

Songwriting tips

Try the stream of consciousness approach. More in Writing Lyrics.
First impressions last and are an indication of whether it's worth paying attention. Look at Endings.
Test your knowledge

Test your knowledge of John Denver's Annie's Song.


Like this song? Try these...

I Can't Make You Love Me

Hotel California

Doves Doves
Special guests on Dermot's show this week

What's on

Radio 2 Documentaries
Find out more about current and forthcoming documentaries on Radio 2.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy