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Take Me Home Country Roads
Song

Take Me Home Country Roads

John Denver
Album:
Poems, Prayers and Promises

Song Meaning and Background of Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver


The title line was inspired by a scene in which married couple Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff were travelling along Montgomery County, Maryland's Clopper Road to a family reunion in Gaithersburg. Nivert was driving and Danoff was strumming his guitar. "I just started thinking, country roads, I started thinking of me growing up in western New England and going on all these small roads," Danoff recalled. "It didn't have anything to do with Maryland or anyplace."


The line "the radio reminds me of my home far away" in the bridge, which refers to a time when he listened to Saturday Night Jamboree, is particularly West Virginian to Danoff.


Danoff later clarified, saying, "I didn't want to write about Massachusetts because I didn't think the word was musical," despite the fact that he was from Massachusetts and that word would equally fit the song as "West Virginia". "I was unaware that the Bee Gees had a popular song named Massachusetts, but that's not surprising."


John Denver felt he had to have the song, so Danoff and Nivert abandoned their plans to sell it to Johnny Cash after going through what they had of the song they had been working on for approximately a month. The three of them set about finishing the bridge that was still lacking from the verses and chorus. To understand more about West Virginia, Nivert pulled out an encyclopedia for inspiration.


The Library of Congress has chosen to preserve Denver's rendition of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" on the National Recording Registry for the year 2023.


Lyrics of Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver


Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River

Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

 

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong

West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads

 

All my memories gather round her, miner's lady, stranger to blue water

Dark and dusty, painted on the sky, misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

 

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong

West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads

 

I hear her voice in the morning hour, she calls me, the radio reminds me of my home far away

And driving down the road I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

 

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong

West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads

 

Country roads, take me home to the place I belong

West Virginia, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads

 

Take me home, down country roads

Take me home, down country roads

Release Date

1971

Songwriter/s

Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, John Denver

Producer/s

Milt Okun, Susan Ruskin

Label/s

RCA

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