About the song

John Denver’s Goodbye Again. A bittersweet folk ballad that tugs at the heartstrings of anyone who’s ever known the sting of goodbye, particularly within the context of a loving relationship. Released in 1972 on Denver’s iconic album Rocky Mountain High, the song became an instant classic, resonating with a generation on the move – a generation yearning for adventure and exploration, yet grappling with the inevitable goodbyes that come with such a lifestyle.

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Denver, a renowned singer-songwriter known for his folksy sound and odes to nature, wasn’t afraid to delve into the complexities of human emotions. Goodbye Again showcases this perfectly. The opening lines paint a vivid picture: “It’s five o’clock this morning and the sun is on the rise. There’s frosting on the windowpane and sorrow in your eyes.” We can practically feel the chill of the pre-dawn air and see the tear-streaked face of a lover left behind. The imagery sets the stage for a song about the push and pull of love and the sacrifices made for passion and purpose.

The song explores the conflict between a yearning for freedom and the desire for connection. Denver sings, “If your hours are empty now, who am I to blame?” This line reflects the internal struggle – is the loneliness a price worth paying for pursuing dreams? The answer, the song suggests, is a complex one.

Goodbye Again isn’t a one-sided lament. Denver acknowledges the beauty of the shared moments: “As it is, the time we have is worth the time alone. And lying by your side’s the greatest peace I’ve ever known.” These lines capture the essence of a love that thrives on stolen moments, a love intensified by the knowledge of impermanence.

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The melody itself mirrors the emotional journey. The gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar creates a melancholic backdrop, while Denver’s warm baritone voice conveys both regret and resolve. The chorus, with its simple yet powerful refrain of “Goodbye again, and I wish you could tell me, why do we always fight when I have to go?” encapsulates the frustration and confusion that often accompany goodbyes, especially when they become a recurring theme.

Goodbye Again transcended its time. It became an anthem for long-distance relationships, for those who chase dreams across vast distances, and for anyone who has ever grappled with the bittersweet nature of love and goodbyes. It’s a song that lingers long after the final note fades, a reminder that sometimes the most profound connections are strengthened, not weakened, by the space between goodbyes.

Video

Lyrics

It’s five o’clock this morning and the sun is on the rise
There’s frosting on the windowpane and sorrow in your eyes
The stars are fading quietly, night is nearly gone
And so you turn away from me and tears begin to come
And it’s goodbye again, I’m sorry to be leaving you

Goodbye again, as if you didn’t know, it’s goodbye again
And I wish you could tell me, why do we always fight when I have to go?It seems a shame to leave you now, you lay so soft and warm
I long to lay me down again and hold you in my arms
I long to kiss your tears away and give you back your smile

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But other voices beckon me and for a little while
It’s goodbye again, I’m sorry to be leaving you
Goodbye again, as if you didn’t know, it’s goodbye again
And I wish you could tell me, why do we always fight when I have to go?

I have to go and see some friends of mine and some that I don’t know
And some who aren’t familiar with my name
It’s something that’s inside of me, not hard to understand, it’s anyone who’ll listen to me sing

If your hours are empty now, who am I to blame?
Do you think if I were always here, our love would be the same?
As it is, the time we have is worth the time alone

And lying by your side’s the greatest peace I’ve ever known
And it’s goodbye again, I’m sorry to be leaving you
Goodbye again, as if you didn’t know, it’s goodbye again
And I wish you could tell me, why do we always fight when I have to go?