Annie's Song

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"Annie's Song"
John Denver
Side A of 1974 US vinyl single
Single by John Denver
from the album Back Home Again
B-side"Cool an' Green an' Shady"
ReleasedJune 1974
Songwriter(s)John Denver
Producer(s)Milt Okun
John Denver singles chronology
"Sunshine on My Shoulders"
"Annie's Song"
"Back Home Again"
Alternative cover
Artwork for 1976 Dutch vinyl single
Artwork for 1976 Dutch vinyl single

"Annie's Song" (also known as "Annie's Song (You Fill Up My Senses)") is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter John Denver. The song was released as the lead single from his eighth studio album Back Home Again. It was his second number-one song in the United States, occupying that spot for two weeks in July 1974. "Annie's Song" also went to number one on the Easy Listening chart.[2] Billboard ranked it as the No. 25 song for 1974.

It went to number one in the United Kingdom, where it was Denver's only major hit single. Four years later, an instrumental version also became flautist James Galway's only major British hit.


"Annie's Song" was written as an ode to Denver's wife at the time, Annie Martell Denver. Denver "wrote this song in July 1973 in about ten-and-a-half minutes one day on a ski lift" to the top of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, as the physical exhilaration of having "just skied down a very difficult run" and the feeling of total immersion in the beauty of the colors and sounds that filled all senses inspired him to think about his wife.[3][4] Annie Denver recalls the beginnings: "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."

"The first time I heard 'Annie's Song,' I told John it had the same melody as Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, Second Movement," says Milt Okun. "He walked over to the piano, sat for an hour and came back, and the only thing remaining from Tchaikovsky was the first five notes. It was fantastic."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Shawn M. Haney of Allmusic noted the song's expressive emotionality, calling it an "ever so romantic tearjerker". Haney praised "Annie's Song" as "one of Denver's finest achievements".[6] Billboard called it a "fine love song."[7] Record World said that this "folk ballad, subtle and sweet, glows with a continental flair that should take it to all the right places."[8]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Platinum 600,000
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Ville Valo cover[edit]

"Olet mun kaikuluotain"
Single by Ville Valo
B-sideFreeman – "Olet mun kaikuluotain"
ReleasedJuly 4, 2016
LabelLove Records
Songwriter(s)John Denver, Hector

On July 4, 2016, Ville Valo released a cover version of "Annie's Song" in Finnish, titled "Olet mun kaikuluotain" ("You're My Sonar").[25] The lyrics were by Hector, and the song had previously been recorded in 1976 by Freeman.[25] Ville Valo's version was released as a tribute to Finnish label Love Records, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2016.[25] Valo's version was also the first release from the label in over 30 years.[25] Valo commented on the song, stating: "'Kaikuluotain' is a childhood favorite of mine, to the beat of which many a sleepless night ended up in tears. To this day it gives me cold shivers and goosebumps."[25] The song would go on to reach number one on the Finnish Download Chart.[26]

Valo's version also received a music video, directed by Ykä Järvinen.[27] Released on July 11, 2016, the video features scenes of Valo walking around Helsinki, done in tribute to Aki Kaurismäki's film Calamari Union.[27] The video received the Emma Award for Video of the Year in 2017.[28]


Supporters of Sheffield United use the melody of "Annie's Song" as "The Greasy Chip Butty Song", a football chant with recast lyrics humorously extolling the virtues of life in Sheffield and as supporters of the club.[29]

The Egan band performed Bilintx's song "Louolan Jai Jai" with this tune, which became the common tune for the song.[30]

A parody version of the first few bars of the song is included on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, but was removed and replaced with an apology on later pressings of the album on legal advice.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stanley, Bob (September 13, 2013). "Beyond the Blue Horizon: Country and Western". Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Faber & Faber. p. 403. ISBN 978-0-571-28198-5.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 76.
  3. ^ "Sold on Song – Top 100 – Number 50 – Annie's Song".
  4. ^ "John Denver on writing Annie's Song" (RAM).
  5. ^ Alfonso, Barry. (2005). Back Home Again (pp. 2–3) [CD Booklet]. New York City, NY: Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
  6. ^ Haney, Shawn M. "John Denver – Back Home Again". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  7. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. May 25, 1974. p. 66. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. May 25, 1974. p. 1. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  9. ^ "Every AMR Top 100 Single in 1974". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Annie's Song". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – 1989, Songs A-B". Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "John Denver – Annie's Song" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1974". Kent Music Report. December 30, 1974. Retrieved January 15, 2022 – via Imgur.
  18. ^ "Every AMR Top 100 Single in 1974".
  19. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (January 16, 2018). "Image : RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada.
  20. ^ "Top Selling Singles for 1974". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 20. January 4, 1975.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1974
  23. ^ "British single certifications – John Denver – Annie's Song". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  24. ^ "American single certifications – John Denver – Annie's Song". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  25. ^ a b c d e "Ville Valo laulaa suomeksi legendaarisen levy-yhtiön juhlavuoden kunniaksi". MTV3. July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  26. ^ "Ville Valo – "Olet mun kaikuluotain"". Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  27. ^ a b "Ville Valo julkaisi suomenkielisen kappaleen – katso herkän mahtipontinen musiikkivideo". Ilta-Sanomat. July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  28. ^ "Emma-gaalan yllättäjä! Ville Valo palkittiin vuoden musiikkivideosta". MTV3. February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  29. ^ Thake, Simon (August 31, 2020). "Sheffield United: Who wrote club anthem Greasy Chip Butty?". BBC Sport. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  30. ^ To listen on YouTube
  31. ^ Hewison, Robert: Monty Python: The Case Against, p. 37, published 1981 by Eyre Methuen.

External links[edit]