About the song

John Denver’s It’s Up to You. A folksy gem nestled within the warm embrace of his 1974 album, Back Home Again. Denver, a renowned singer-songwriter whose career flourished in the 70s, was a champion of the simple life, of nature’s beauty, and the unadulterated joy found in following your dreams. It’s Up to You perfectly encapsulates this philosophy, offering a gentle nudge towards embracing freedom and forging your own path.

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While Denver himself didn’t compose It’s Up to You, the song beautifully aligns with his artistic persona. The true mastermind behind the melody is Steve Weisberg, a prolific songwriter who crafted numerous hits for Denver throughout the 70s. Weisberg’s influence is evident in the song’s optimistic spirit and folksy charm. It’s important to note that Weisberg wasn’t just a songwriter; he was also an arranger, meaning he orchestrated the instrumental accompaniment that brings the song to life. In It’s Up to You, the gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar lays the foundation, while playful banjo flourishes and a steady percussion line add a touch of whimsy and a carefree spirit.

It’s Up to You opens with a declaration of empowerment: “You can do whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, it’s up to you.” This simple yet powerful statement sets the tone for the entire song. Denver’s signature baritone, warm and inviting, delivers the message with a sincerity that cuts through. We are instantly transported to a world of possibilities, where limitations seem to melt away.

The lyrics that follow paint a picture of idyllic simplicity. Denver sings about following your heart, playing “your own part,” and living a life free from societal pressures. The imagery of a life “out on the farm,” with the sun as your alarm clock and the freedom to “kick off your shoes” and “do what we choose,” evokes a sense of liberation and connection with nature, themes Denver frequently explored in his music.

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It’s Up to You isn’t just about idyllic escapes, though. The song also carries a subtle undercurrent of self-reliance. The repeated refrain, “And wouldn’t it be fine.” is a gentle nudge towards taking charge of your destiny. It’s a call to action, masked in a folksy charm, that encourages the listener to embrace their dreams and chart their own course.

It’s Up to You stands as a testament to John Denver’s enduring legacy. It’s a song that transcends generations, offering a timeless message of hope, freedom, and the simple joys of following your heart. So, sit back, let Denver’s warm vocals wash over you, and be prepared to be gently nudged towards embracing the life you’ve always dreamed of.

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Lyrics

“It’s Up To You”

You can do whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, it’s up to you.
And wouldn’t it be fine following your heart, playing your own part.
You and me out on the farm, let the sun be our alarm.

Kicking off our shoes, doing what we choose.
And wouldn’t it be fine knowing that you’re mine anytime you want to be.

But I don’t want to own you, I just want to hold you.
I don’t want to need you, I just like to see you smile and stay for a while.

And if the times get rough being free might be enough
to keep our feelings warm, see us through the storm.
And wouldn’t it be fine looking back and knowing that we helped each other find.

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You can do whatever you want to do wherever you want to go, it’s up to you.
And wouldn’t it be fine following your heart,
Knowing from the start it’s up to you, it’s up to you, it’s up to you.