Annie's Song

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"Annie's Song"
John Denver
Single by John Denver
from the album Back Home Again
B-side"Cool An' Green An' Shady"
ReleasedJune 1974
Format7", 12"
GenreFolk rock, country
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)John Denver
Producer(s)Milt Okun
John Denver singles chronology
"Sunshine on My Shoulders"
"Annie's Song"
"Back Home Again"

"Annie's Song" (also known as "Annie's Song (You Fill Up My Senses)") is a folk rock and country song recorded and written by singer-songwriter John Denver. The song was released as a single from Denver's 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.[1] 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 (many of Denver's American hits were more familiar in the UK through cover versions by other artists). Four years later, an instrumental version also became flutist 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 Ajax 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.[2][3] 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."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Shawn M. Haney of Allmusic noted the song's expressive emotionality, calling it an "ever so romantic [sic] tearjerker". Haney praised "Annie's Song" as "one of Denver's finest achievements".[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Ville Valo cover[edit]

"Olet mun kaikuluotain"
Single by Ville Valo
B-sideFreeman - "Olet mun kaikuluotain"
ReleasedJuly 4, 2016
FormatDigital download, 7"
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").[17] The lyrics were by Hector, and the song had previously been recorded in 1976 by Freeman.[17] Ville Valo's version was released as a tribute to Finnish label Love Records, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2016.[17] Valo's version was also the first release from the label in over 30 years.[17] 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."[17] The song would go on to reach number one on the Finnish Download Chart.[18]

Valo's version also received a music video, directed by Ykä Järvinen.[19] Released on July 11, 2016, the video features scenes of Valo walking around Helsinki, done in tribute to Aki Kaurismäki's film Calamari Union.[19] The video received the Emma Award for Video of the Year in 2017.[20]

Other notable cover versions[edit]

Glen Campbell recorded a version of the song but it was not released until 1995 on his album The Essential Glen Campbell Volume Three.[21]

James Nesbitt performs the song on stage in the pilot episode of British television drama Murphy's Law.

American punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song on their album Love Their Country in 2006.[22]

British folk trio Honey Ryder covered "Annie's Song" as a single in December 2012.[23]

British musical theatre actor Daniel Boys covered the song on his 2009 debut album So Close.[24]

Spanish dramatic tenor Plácido Domingo also covered the song, featuring John Denver himself on lead guitar.[25]

In the UK the song was used as the basis for "The Greasy Chip Butty Song", primarily associated with fans of the football team Sheffield United F.C..[26]

The Foundation for a Better Life won a CINE award for their video featuring the song in 2014.[27][28]

Karel Gott covered the song in the Czech language as "Když Milenky Pláčou".[29]

Pakistani pop singer Khalid Waheed covered the song in Urdu as "Mere Jeevan Mein Aana."[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 76.
  2. ^ "Sold on Song – Top 100 – Number 50 – Annie's Song".
  3. ^ "John Denver on writing Annie's Song" (RAM).
  4. ^ Alfonso, Barry. (2005). Back Home Again (pp. 2–3) [CD Booklet]. New York City, NY: Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
  5. ^ Haney, Shawn M. "John Denver - Back Home Again". Allmusic. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Annie's Song". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  7. ^ "SA Charts 1965 - 1989, Songs A-B". Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "John Denver Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (January 16, 2018). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  13. ^ "Top Selling Singles for 1974". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications: 20. 4 January 1975.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1974
  16. ^ "American single certifications – John Denver – Annie's Song". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 15, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Ville Valo laulaa suomeksi legendaarisen levy-yhtiön juhlavuoden kunniaksi". MTV3. 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  18. ^ "Ville Valo - "Olet mun kaikuluotain"". Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  19. ^ a b "Ville Valo julkaisi suomenkielisen kappaleen – katso herkän mahtipontinen musiikkivideo". Ilta-Sanomat. July 11, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  20. ^ "Emma-gaalan yllättäjä! Ville Valo palkittiin vuoden musiikkivideosta". MTV3. 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  21. ^ "Annie's Song". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  22. ^'s+Song+(John+Denver)
  23. ^ "Honey Ryder - Annie's Song". 22 November 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  24. ^ " So Close: Daniel Boys: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Last orders for Sheffield United's greasy chip butty anthem?". 9 February 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Be inspired with our latest television commercial featuring a classic song by John Denver". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  28. ^ "2014 CINE Golden Eagle Award Recipients". CINE. 31 October 2014. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Lásko Má". iTunes. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  30. ^ "John Denver – Annie's Song". Retrieved 2019-09-13.

External links[edit]