The Eagle and the Hawk - "Greatest Hits" Version - song and lyrics by John Denver | Spotify

About the song

John Denver’s The Eagle and the Hawk. Now that’s a song that takes you right back to the heart of classic folk-rock. Denver, a true troubadour of the American landscape, had a knack for weaving stories into his music, and The Eagle and the Hawk is no exception.

Released in 1971 on the album Aerie, this song was originally written for an ABC documentary of the same name. It quickly transcended its documentary roots, however, becoming a beloved anthem for those who cherished the spirit of freedom and the majesty of nature.

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The beauty of The Eagle and the Hawk lies in its simplicity. Denver utilizes the imagery of two powerful birds of prey – the eagle, soaring majestically above, and the hawk, a hunter with a wilder, more primal energy. These contrasting figures become metaphors for different aspects of life’s journey.

The eagle, with its domain in the “high country” and its “rocky cathedrals,” embodies a sense of peace, perspective, and aspiration. The hawk, with the “blood on its feathers,” represents the harsh realities of the natural world, the hunt, and the struggle for survival. Yet, Denver assures us that “time is still turning,” and the wounds, both literal and metaphorical, will heal.

The song’s true power lies in its hopeful message. The Eagle and the Hawk encourages us to find inspiration in these magnificent creatures. We are invited to “dance with the west wind” and “touch on the mountain tops,” to embrace the freedom they represent. It’s a call to set our sights high, to strive for a better future, and to believe in the potential that lies within us, just as the eagle soars towards the heavens.

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The Eagle and the Hawk is more than just a catchy folk tune. It’s a timeless reminder of the power of nature to inspire and the importance of reaching for our dreams, even amidst life’s inevitable challenges. So, sit back, let Denver’s warm vocals and gentle guitar wash over you, and prepare to be transported to a world of wide-open skies and soaring spirits.