In Memoriam: John Denver (Flying for Me)

Music copyright © 1986 by John Denver
Words Creative Commons License 1997 by Jim Bearden

When I wrote about my Thoughts on the life and death of John Denver, I ended with a line from his tribute song to the Challenger astronauts, Flying for Me. Over the months that followed, I expanded on that thought, and wrote a new set of words to that song, as what I hope will be an appropriate tribute to his life, and what it meant to so many of us.

Verse 1:
Well, I guess we all should know by now
Just how much he loved to fly;
He told us again and again, in the words of the songs he was singing.
It was easy to see that it brought him joy,
Just like his music, and the great outdoors;
And there was no way we could have known what else it was bringing.

He was flying for me – he was flying for everyone;
He was trying to see a brighter day for each and everyone.
He gave us his light, he gave us his spirit, and all he could be;
He was flying for me … he was flying for me.

Verse 2:
Most of us do not choose how we will die;
What we do choose is how we will live;
And one choice may lead to the other, in ways that we cannot foresee.
If flying had not been a part of his life,
It might not have been a part of his death;
But would he have been the same person, who shared with us all he could be?


And he gave us all wings with his music: he gave us all the power to fly;
The power to be ourselves, to free ourselves, to soar right up to the sky.

Verse 3:
Now we miss him, and we cry for him,
Or maybe more for ourselves;
There’s a hole in the heavens where his star once brightly gleamed.
But his light still shines within us,
And his music still sings in our hearts,
And we know that his spirit will soar on forever – “on the wings of a dream”.


… For me!

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