Calypso (John Denver song)

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Single by John Denver
from the album Windsong
A-side"I'm Sorry"
ReleasedJuly 1975
FormatVinyl record
GenreFolk, country, soundscape
Songwriter(s)John Denver
Producer(s)Milt Okun
John Denver singles chronology
"I'm Sorry"
"Fly Away"

"Calypso" is a song written by John Denver in 1975 as a tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his research ship, the Calypso.[1] The song was featured on Denver's 1975 album Windsong.

Released as the B-side of "I'm Sorry", "Calypso" received substantial airplay, enabling it to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] After "I'm Sorry" fell out of the #1 position, "Calypso" began receiving more airplay than "I'm Sorry," thus causing Billboard to list "Calypso" as the new A-side.[1] Hence, "Calypso" is itself considered a #2 hit on the Hot 100.[3]

John Denver was a close friend of Cousteau. Calypso was the name of Cousteau's research boat that sailed around the world for ocean conservation.

In popular culture[edit]

A filk song exists in Star Trek fandom (and has been quoted in Chapter 8 of Diane Duane's Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky), based on John Denver's "Calypso," but adapted to the voyages of the Enterprise: "To sail on a dream in the sun-fretted darkness, to soar through the starlight unfrightened alone...."

Additionally, Tom Smith wrote parody lyrics for the song, which he titled "Callisto," referring to a sexual desire for Callisto, originally a villainess in the TV show Xena: Warrior Princess and then one of Xena's enemies.[4] After Callisto was redeemed in the Xena stories, he wrote an extra verse and a variation on the refrain that attacked her for having stopped being evil.

In the episode titled "Molly's Out of Town" of Mike & Molly some of the characters sing "Calypso" while they are on the roof of a house.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1975) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
Dutch Top 40 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 5
Canadian RPM Top Singles 29


  1. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (1997-11-01). "'Candle' Finds Itself B-Side 'Something'". Billboard. p. 110. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits (5th ed.). Random House Digital. p. 417. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (rev. & expanded 9th ed.). New York: Billboard Books. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-8230-8554-5.
  4. ^ "Tom Smith Online - Lyrics: Callisto".