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About the song

John Denver’s Today. A song that perfectly encapsulates the optimistic spirit of the 1970s, a decade often remembered for its focus on environmentalism, social justice, and a yearning for a simpler time. Denver, a folksy singer-songwriter who rose to superstardom in that era, became a beacon of these ideals.

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Born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. in 1943, Denver’s musical journey began with folk music in the early 1960s. By the end of the decade, he had adopted the stage name John Denver and started incorporating elements of country and pop into his sound. This blend resonated with a wide audience, propelling him to international fame in the 1970s.

Today was released in 1970 on Denver’s album Whose Garden Was This. It quickly became a signature song, capturing the essence of his optimistic outlook. The song’s opening line, “Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy,” sets the tone for a light and hopeful melody. Denver’s signature baritone voice, both warm and sincere, delivers lyrics that celebrate the simple joys of life: a gentle breeze, a clear blue sky, and the camaraderie of friends.

Today is more than just a feel-good song, though. It’s a call to action. Denver urges the listener to seize the day, to appreciate the beauty around them, and to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. He sings, “Tomorrow’s just a dream,” reminding us that the present moment is all we truly have. This sentiment resonated deeply with a generation yearning for a more authentic way of living, a stark contrast to the growing anxieties of the Cold War and the Vietnam War.

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Today also reflects Denver’s lifelong connection with nature. The song’s imagery is filled with references to the outdoors – sunshine, breeze, and the “caterpillar on my rose.” Denver, a passionate advocate for environmental protection, often used his music to celebrate the natural world and raise awareness about its fragility. Today serves as a gentle reminder to cherish the environment and live in harmony with it.

The enduring popularity of Today is a testament to its timeless message. While the song is a product of its era, its themes of optimism, appreciation for the present, and connection with nature continue to resonate with listeners today. It’s a song that uplifts the spirit and encourages us to find joy in the simple things, a message that transcends generations and continues to inspire.

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Lyrics

“Today”

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.

A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.
I’ll be a dandy and I’ll be a rover, you’ll know who I am by the songs that I sing.
I’ll feast at your table, I’ll sleep in your clover, who cares what tomorrow shall bring?

Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.

A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.
I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory, I can’t live on promises winter to spring.
Today is my moment, and now is my story, I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing.

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Today while the blossoms still cling to the vine,
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine.
A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.