Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Can Passionate Love Last?

on July 25, 2014

Call me cheesy. Call me old-fashioned. Call me a hopeless romantic, but no song speaks to my sighing heart quite like “Annie’s Song” by John Denver. From the simplicity of the first chords, it beckons to me with strings of hope before cresting in a declaration of love I imagine any woman would love to hear:

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you

Let me always be with you
Come let me love you

Come love me again.

The song has one verse and this chorus, yet I listen to it over and over and feel like crying every time. And I think, “He wrote this about his wife? What must it be like to have someone feel that way about you?”

I found this quote by Annie herself: “It was written after John and I had gone through a pretty intense time together and things were pretty good for us. He left to go skiing and he got on the Ajax chair on Aspen mountain and the song just came to him. He skied down and came home and wrote it down. … Initially it was a love song and it was given to me through him, and yet for him it became a bit like a prayer.” *

For John Denver, the beauty of the earth inspired him to write about his wife.

But that’s not the end of the story. According to biographies, he was unfaithful and, less than a decade after writing these words, the couple divorced. Things got so bad, in fact, that one article said he admitted choking her and cutting their bed in half with a chainsaw. ** Which is ironic, if he’s the one who cheated on her.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that such passionate love would lead to equally passionate anger. Plus, he was, as they say, a “tortured artist” who struggled with alcoholism.

Later, Annie said, “The music came out of a very deep place. And oftentimes, out of that deepness, John felt very alone. If you listen to his songs, there’s a lot of loneliness there.” ***

Speaking as a writer, I would say that when he wrote this song, he felt every bit of it. But what he experienced during those ten minutes on a ski lift, soaring over the mountains of Aspen, could not stand against the realities of life and, sadly, his sin nature.

When I dream about marriage, I’m in danger of doing the same thing — creating a fantasy that floats to music but can’t stay above water when the waves come. I do hope that, when love happens for me, I’m able to see it through the lenses of reality, not tinted by a song, no matter how much I love it.

So, what do you think? Can passionate love survive the realities of life?

What’s your favorite love song?




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