Every time we listen to this man we feel the sunshine on our backs. He makes us fall in love with Annie. Our hearts cringe when he leaves on a jet plane. His country roads take us home. When he sings, we wish we are country boys. Yes! He is the man who makes the city dwellers long for the countryside and the sunshine. He is John Denver. Listing John Denver’s top songs is not easy. However, here are his five hits. All these and more can be downloaded from Apple App Store.

{1} Take me home country roads

Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff originally wrote this song for Johnny Cash. But when John Denver heard the song, he wanted to keep it. And Nivert and Danoff sang the song to Denver. The trio sat till 6:00 am in the morning changing the words and lines. The end result was this terrific song that was added on the LP – Poems, Prayers, and Promises.

Although, when it was released in the spring of 1971, the song was at 45 on the music charts, by August 18 it was certified a million-seller. This song grows on the listener. It takes the listeners to sunny countryside from where no one would want to return. That’s the magic of John Denver.

{2} Annie’s Song

This song seems like a prayer right from a lover’s heart. It was written by John Denver for his then wife Annie Martel Denver. It was written in just a matter of 10 minutes on a sky lift to the top of Ajax Mountain in Colorado. The beauty of the ice-capped mountains, the fresh air, the sky and the colors of nature inspired this song.

This song was Denver’s second number one title in the United States and United Kingdom too. This song can be summed up in the words of the lady for whom it was written: “He skied down and came home and wrote it down… Initially it was a love song and it was given to me through him, and yet for him it became a bit like a prayer.”


{3} Leaving on a Jet Plane

If this song is played on airports, surely no one would be ever able to let their loved ones go. This song was first titled as “Oh Babe I Hate to go” but then Denver’s producer suggested it to be changed to “Leaving on a jet Plane.”

This song written by Denver and sang by Peter, Paul and Mary became number one in Billboard Hot 100 chart in United States. It was at the top in the Easy Listening Chart for three weeks. It was also used as a soundtrack in the movie – Armageddon.


{4} Sunshine on my Shoulders

This song was written by Denver. According to him, it was written in late winter and early spring. It was too cold but a little sunshine made the snow melt. This ambience that was created on that day inspired Denver to pen this song. This song has a “feel-good” feeling. It was sung by Denver himself and went on to become the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1974. It was released in 1973. This song was later adopted in various television series and movies.


{5} Thank God I’m a Country Boy

It was written on Denver’s thirtieth birthday by John Martin Sommers. Sommers was the guitar player in Denver’s backup plan. According to him, this song was inspired by a general sense of contentment in life while driving from Colorado to Los Angeles.

Sung by Denver, it was originally included in Denver’s “Back Home Again” in 1974. It was also included in his 1975 album, “An Evening with John Denver.” It went to the number one spot on both Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Download all these songs and many more here.

Every song of Denver has the spirit of the country life and the warmth of sunshine. Listening to him gives us the feeling of going back to home. He talks about almost a perfect world of love and country life. As Denver celebrates his birthday this 31st December, here’s wishing him a sunny and warm birthday.

Happy Birthday, John Denver!!!