John Denver / Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life - YouTube

About the song

John Denver’s Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life. A folksy anthem, wouldn’t you say? Released in 1969, nestled within Denver’s album Rhymes & Reasons, this song became a beacon of optimism during a tumultuous time in American history. The Vietnam War raged on, social movements pushed for change, and the counterculture movement challenged traditional values. But Denver, with his signature folksy charm and genuine optimism, offered a simple yet profound message: every day is a chance to begin anew.

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Now, Denver wasn’t known for being deeply political in his music. He preferred themes of nature, love, and the simple joys of life. But Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life resonates with a deeper meaning in the context of the late 1960s. The song’s title itself is a powerful statement. It reminds us that the past, with all its joys and sorrows, is just that – the past. Each sunrise brings a fresh canvas, an opportunity to paint a new picture of our lives.

The melody, a gentle fingerpicking guitar pattern accompanied by warm strings and woodwinds, reflects the song’s optimistic spirit. Denver’s voice, earnest and sincere, delivers the lyrics with a childlike wonder. “Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” he sings, the opening line immediately establishing the central theme. He awakens “as a child to see the world begin,” his perspective cleansed and ready for new experiences.

The imagery throughout the song is rich with metaphors for renewal. “Monarch wings and birthday wonderings” evoke a sense of transformation and childlike curiosity. The speaker expresses a desire to “put on faces, walk in the wet and cold,” suggesting an openness to embracing life’s experiences, both pleasant and challenging.

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There’s a subtle nod to the impermanence of life in the line, “And look forward to my growing old, to grow is to change, to change is to be new, to be new is to be young again.” Denver acknowledges that life is a journey of constant change, and within that change lies the potential for perpetual youthfulness, not in a physical sense, but in a spirit that remains open to new possibilities.

Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life isn’t without its critics. Some find the sentiment overly simplistic, a naive response to the complexities of life. But perhaps that’s the song’s enduring appeal. In a world often consumed by cynicism and negativity, Denver’s message of hope and optimism offers a refreshing counterpoint. It’s a reminder that even on the darkest days, the power to start anew lies within us.

It’s a simple philosophy, but one that can be a powerful tool for navigating life’s inevitable challenges. So, the next time you find yourself feeling discouraged or stuck in a rut, remember John Denver’s sage advice: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s a powerful mantra to carry with you, a reminder that each sunrise offers a chance to write a new chapter in your story.

Video

Lyrics

“Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life”

Today is the first day of the rest of my life, I wake as a child to see the world begin.
On monarch wings and birthday wonderings, want to put on faces, walk in the wet and cold.
And look forward to my growing old, to grow is to change, to change is to be new,
to be new is to be young again, I barely remember when.

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My memories are stolen by the morning, blotted out by the suns hypnotic eye.
I’ll abide the sun’s hypnotic eye.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life, I wake as a child to see the world begin.
On monarch wings and birthday wonderings, want to put on faces, walk in the wet and cold.
And look forward to my growing old.