Song Spotlight: “Annie’s Song”

Annies Song - Song Spotlight |
  • Theme/Topic: Love, Nature
  • Mood/Tempo: Easy listening, moderate tempo
  • Genre/Style: Folk Rock/Country

Many of our patients here in the Midwest love John Denver’s music. While most people know his popular songs “Country Roads” and “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” I have found “Annie’s Song” to be particularly special in eldercare because of its beautiful words and metaphors. It is a great choice for easy listening, relaxation or lyrical discussion.

“Annie’s Song” was written and released by John Denver, on his album Back Home Again in 1974. He wrote the song in just over ten minutes while he was on a ski lift in Aspen, Colorado, climbing to the top of Ajax Mountain. After skiing down the mountain, he went home and wrote down the song – an ode to his wife, Annie. The beautiful colors and scenery in the mountains inspired him to think about his intense love for his wife. She said that although it was originally a love song to her, it ended up being more like a prayer for John.

The lyrics express deep, profound love through the relationship of nature and the senses.

“You fill up my senses
Like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain

Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You feel up my senses
Come fill me again”

Try This:

  • Discuss the different elements of nature in the piece and the feelings patients may have associated with those places. Have you ever been to the mountains? How about the ocean? What smells, sounds and sights come to mind when you think of those places?
  • Considering using digital images of the places described for sensory experiences. Pick pictures that mimic the metaphors in the words like a dark forest, springtime flowers in the mountains, or a rainy day.
  • Discuss the lyrics, especially in a 1-on-1 setting when talking about love, feelings or senses. Facilitate reminiscence about love or experiences in the client’s life.
  • Use an ocean drum for a sensory experience, or facilitate movement with scarves. Although the piece is moderately slow, it moves and allows for creative expression through movement.

“Annie’s Song” is versatile. Whether you use it as a deep, meaningful experience for a patient who is experiencing loss or as a movement song for a nature and sensory theme, it is definitely a great choice to add to your eldercare repertoire. What are your other favorite versatile songs to use in eldercare? Let us know below.

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