On This Day: John Denver Records ‘Annie’s Song’ in 1974

by Matthew Wilson

Late country singer John Denver had many hits across his career. But his classic “Annie’s Song” may be one of the musician’s very best. Denver recorded the hit tune on this day all the way back in 1974.

The song was an apology to his wife Annie Martell. Denver and Annie had a relationship as rocky as the Rocky Mountains that Denver liked to visit. During one particularly nasty fight, the couple decided it would be best if they spent some time apart. During that period, Denver realized how much he loved Annie. In a moment of pure creative inspiration, Denver wrote down the lyrics to the song.

“Suddenly, I’m hypersensitive to how beautiful everything is,” Denver said, according to Song Facts. “All of these things filled up my senses. And when I said this to myself unbidden images came one after the other. All of the pictures merged and I was left with Annie. That song was the embodiment of the love I felt at that time.”

Denver actually wrote the song in 10 minutes. He was on a ski lift in Colorado when he realized how grateful he was for his wife. He wrote “Annie’s Song” as a way of apologizing to his spouse. And it remains one of the most endearing love songs.

Lyrics include: “Come let me love you/ Let me give my life to you/ Let me die in your arms/ Let me lay down beside you/ Let me always be with you/ Come let me love you/ Come love me again.”

John Denver and His Wife

Both Denver and Annie lived together initially in Minnesota before moving to Aspen. The couple also adopted two children together and started a family. But that couldn’t save their rocky marriage. Despite how much they may have loved each other at points, the couple wasn’t good for each other.

In 1982, Denver and Annie parted ways for good. At one point, Denver became so angry he chainsawed their bed in half to signify their broken marriage. In 1988, Denver ended up finding new love briefly when he married Cassandra Delaney. The two ended up divorcing themselves in 1993, a few years before Denver’s death.

Still, “Annie’s Song” remains one of Denver’s best and a classic for decades to come.