John Denver Composed The Lyrics On A Chairlift.

John Denver filling up our senses. He wrote the lyrics to Annie’s Song on a chairlift.

[Editor Note: Correspondent LuAnn Snyder, a director of the Baltimore Ski Club and a big John Denver fan, contributed to this article.] 

Did you know that John Denver was an avid skier?  John Denver wrote his classic song “Annie’s Song“, while riding a chairlift to the top of Ajax Mountain in Aspen as an ode to his then wife Annie Martell.  John spoke about the making of Annie’s Song” and what the song meant to him.

“Annie’s Song” was written after we had been through a particularly difficult time and had come together again, in many ways closer than ever before.  We really felt together and much closer from the experiences we had been through. 

One day I was skiing, and I had just finished a run that was totally exhilarating.  I skied down to the lift, got on the chair, and was off and up the mountains again, my thighs burning and still in the process of catching my breath.  I looked out at the mountains I love, and the Colorado sky was a blue color you can only see from this altitude, my favorite color I might add.  The deep green of the trees against the white of the snow, the colorful outfits the people were wearing, the sounds if life as it goes over each tower, and birds singing, and laughter, and the smell of the clean, fresh air out there in the wilderness-all those things were going through my mind and it was all beautiful. It filled me completely.

I began thinking about other things that are like that for me, and my first thought was of the woman I had fallen in love with again, and how she filled me so completely.  Then I started thinking of other things—things in nature. And in the ten minutes it takes to go from the bottom of Bell Mountain lift to the top, I had written “Annie’s Song.” I had the melody in my head, and I knew the chords on the guitar. I skied down to the bottom, of the hill, raced home, picked up my guitar, and played it.

You fill up my senses, like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses, come fill me again

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter, 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

Let me give my life to you
Come let me love you, come love me again

Annie’s Song 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.  Since then it has graced many a wedding, though it did not cement Denver’s marriage. He and Anne were divorced in 1983.

Dancing With The Mountains

Back in 1980, John Denver also filmed a music video production at Aspen, featuring his Dancing With The Mountains tune.  Note his form, the sunglasses, the one-piece ski suits, the free-stylers, the Go-Pro like shots–classic early 80s ski scene. Hugely popular, this music video had apparently faded into obscurity until it was unearthed and posted on YouTube. We miss you, John Denver.

Some skiers are Alta took at shot at re-creating the original 1980 Dancing In The Mountains video to celebrate the end of the 2017 season. The dude doing the John Denver part has the green parka and cool shades down. Check it out below.



  1. Great, classic video! Note too, no helmets!

  2. Nice! Really enjoyed this

  3. Wilberta Gould says:

    “ Dancing with the Mountains” was part of a 1987 Christmas special “The Sounds of Christmas” with Julie Andrews, John Denver & Placido Domingo from Salzburg. Austria. I can remember watching the original and it is one of my all time favorites! Thanks to YouTube I get to watch it every year. I suggest you take a watch & listen. Thanks for the reminder that I hadn’t watched it yet this year. Happy & Healthy Holidays to all.

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