Original words and music copyright © 1975 by John Denver
Additional words 1996 by Jim Bearden
I was saddened to hear, early in 1996, that the Calypso, Jacques Cousteau’s research ship that John Denver had written this song about, had sunk in Singapore harbor after a collision with another ship. I thought a ship that had given us all so much deserved some sort of memorial epitaph, and since it seemed unlikely that John himself would be adding to his song, I decided to write a third verse to add to the original.
To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean,
To ride on the crest of a wild raging storm;
To work in the service of life and living,
In search of the answers of questions unknown.
To be part of the movement, part of the growing,
Part of beginning to understand…
Aye, Calypso, the places you’ve been to,
The things that you’ve shown us,
The stories you tell
Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit,
The men who have served you so long and so well.
Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you,
To light up the darkness and show us the way.
For though we are strangers in your silent world,
To live on the land we must learn from the sea.
To be true as the tide, free as a wind swell,
Joyful and loving in letting it be…
And now we must bid you a final farewell,
To return to the ocean that gave you birth.
But your spirit lives on, and your work will continue,
As your family sails over all of the earth.
And wherever we go, no matter how far we travel,
You’ll always go with us — you were the first!
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