About the song

John Denver’s Garden Song. A folksy gem that warms the heart and brings a smile to the face. Denver, a champion of the natural world and all things wholesome, captured a simple yet profound message in this delightful tune. Released in 1979 on his self-titled album, Garden Song quickly transcended its origins as a children’s song, becoming a beloved anthem for folks of all ages.

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The song’s beauty lies in its gentle optimism. Denver paints a picture of quiet determination, the kind that unfolds inch by inch, row by row. With a rake and a hoe, the singer embarks on the humble task of cultivating a garden, a metaphor for nurturing life itself. The lyrics evoke a sense of connection to the earth, reminding us that all it takes is a piece of fertile ground and some love to witness growth.

Garden Song isn’t just about planting seeds, though. It delves into the human need to cultivate, to create, and to witness the fruits of our labor. The line, “Pulling weeds and picking stones, man is made of dreams and bones,” speaks to the inherent human desire to overcome obstacles and bring forth something beautiful. It’s a reminder that challenges are inevitable, but they are part of the process.

Denver wasn’t just a talented singer-songwriter; he was a champion of environmental causes. Garden Song subtly underscores the importance of living in harmony with nature. The lyrics, “Grain for grain, sun and rain, find my way in nature’s chain,” establish a connection between our well-being and the health of the planet. We are all part of a vast ecological system, and by nurturing a garden, we nurture ourselves and contribute to a larger cycle of life.

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The song’s enduring appeal also lies in its simplicity. The melody is catchy and straightforward, while the lyrics are clear and concise. It’s a song that anyone can sing along to, regardless of age or musical background. Garden Song has been covered by a wide range of artists, from folk legends like Pete Seeger to children’s entertainers like Raffi Cavoukian. This versatility speaks to the song’s universal message – a message that resonates with anyone who has ever planted a seed and watched it grow.

John Denver’s Garden Song is more than just a folksy tune. It’s a gentle reminder of the simple joys in life, the importance of perseverance, and the interconnectedness of all living things. It’s a song that leaves you feeling grounded, optimistic, and ready to get your hands dirty, quite literally, to cultivate a little bit of beauty in the world.

Video

Lyrics

“Garden Song”

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below, ’til the rain comes tumbling down

Pulling weeds and picking stones, man is made of dreams and bones
Feel the need to grow my own ’cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain, find my way in nature’s chain
Tune my body and my brain to the music of the land

Plant your rows straight and long, temper than with prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong if you give her love and care
Old crow watching hungrily, from his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I’m as free as that feathered thief up there

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Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below, ’til the rain comes tumbling down