This Cannot Become “Normal”

I came across this OpEd in the New York Times by one of my favourite opinion writers, Nicholas Kristof, earlier today.  It is a prescient warning that I think is worth sharing.


Don’t Let Trump Make You Numb to What’s Unacceptable

Our species has an ability to adapt. Now’s not the time.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

  • Nov. 6, 2019

The problem with being a frog in a beaker is that you may not notice the water temperature rising to a boil.

Humans, too. In New Delhi, people get used to air that is filthy. In Syria, to checkpoints. In Angola, to corruption. In China, to propaganda. And in America, we risk becoming numbed to a political, social and moral breakdown.

Scandal and dysfunction dribble out from Washington day by day, numbing us so that we may forget just how unprecedented and outrageous the trends are. It was only five years ago that Fox News was deploring a “shocking” and “desperate” presidential scandal that Republican Representative Peter King described as inexcusable: Barack Obama wore a tan suit! Now we can’t even keep track of how many countries President Trump has asked to do him political favors.

I’ve been traveling abroad, so I’ve been asking journalists and officials how they see America, and from a distance they offer blunt assessments. “If your president isn’t a Manchurian candidate,” one senior European official said, “he’s doing a pretty good imitation of one.”

In 2016, Obama’s passivity and Republican intransigence may have allowed Russian cyberattacks to swing the presidency to Trump (there’s no way to be sure, but that’s what the forensic work of Kathleen Hall Jamieson suggests). Yet despite improvement, the United States still doesn’t have an adequate strategy to foil Russian or Chinese interference in the 2020 election.

Trump is a hero of many evangelical Christians who previously emphasized the importance of personal values and restoring “honor and dignity” to the White House. Meanwhile, he is on his third wife, has cheated on all three and has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women. And Trump tweeted a supporter’s praise likening him to “the second coming of God.”

Since taking office, Trump has made more than 13,400 false or misleading statements, according to a Washington Post database. The Post found that he has recently accelerated his falsehoods to a rate of 22 per day, more than one per waking hour. (I’ve covered many world leaders, and the only two whom I consider pathological liars are Trump and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.)

Trump has declared “I am the chosen one.” His press secretary last month spoke of “the genius of our great President.”

Trump, who according to a Times investigation is wealthy partly because of fraud, pledged to fight corruption and “drain the swamp.” Since then, he has lost more first-term cabinet members to scandal than any president in history.

 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf,” Trump said before his election. In fact, he has visited golf clubs approximately 224 times since taking office, including more than three months in total at Mar-a-Lago. These vacation trips have cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

Trump’s mother was an immigrant, as are two of the women he married (his current wife may have been undocumented). Yet he has ripped children from parents at the border, and his administration has argued that detained immigrant children do not need soap or toothbrushes.

We haven’t even gotten to Trump trying to buy Greenland, marching into women’s changing rooms to admire undressed teenagers, borrowing Stalinist language to denounce the press as the “enemy of the people,” claiming that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, banning Muslims or diverting money to build the wall that Mexico supposedly would pay for.

Oh, and that multibillion-dollar wall is now being cut open by smugglers with $100 saws.

Yet America’s dysfunction goes beyond Trump, and it will outlast Trump, even as it is aggravated by him.

American kids ages 1 through 19 are 57 percent more likely to die than those in other advanced nations, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. That’s partly because the United States is virtually alone in failing to provide universal health coverage: Trump didn’t create that problem, but he did magnify it so that the number of uninsured children is now increasing.

Longstanding economic inequality in the United States, exacerbated by Trump’s tax cuts and other policies, is staggering. A single hedge fund tycoon, James Simons, made $1.6 billion last year, or more than $4 million each day — yet the United States has 100,000 children who on any given night are homeless. Since 2000, 61,000 foster kids have simply gone missing. Girls and boys are sold by pimps for sex in every American city.

America is not, as President Trump once called it, a “hellhole.” It is a nation of enormous strengths and resources, but we need to muster them now. A merit of our species is that we are adaptable and resilient and can get used to almost anything.

But we should never get accustomed to all this. Let’s not let ourselves be numbed by the daily drip into accepting a level of Trumpian dysfunction that should always be unacceptable.

Text dividers

♫ You’re The One That I Want ♫

I really, really wanted to play Stevie Wonder’s A Place in the Sun tonight.  So much so that I nearly cried when I saw that I played it just a few short months ago, back in May.  I will play it again one of these days … and tonight I listened to it not once, but twice!  But, in the interest of keeping up the momentum here, giving you all some variety (you know — the spice of life?), then I went in an entirely different direction!  Please welcome, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John!

This plays at the finale of the movie Grease as John Travolta (Danny) and Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) overcome the social constraints of high school and declare their lust for each other. Like the title track, it was not in the original stage musical of Grease, but was written specifically for the movie. Also like the title track, it was a #1 hit in both the U.S. and the UK.

John Farrar wrote and produced this song. His choice gave Olivia Newton-John, who was very nervous about appearing in the film, a familiar collaborator who helped ease her fears. Farrar had written and produced many of her previous hits, including the US #1 Have You Never Been Mellow.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta were an interesting pairing for the film. Newton-John was a global singing star, but had little acting experience and was nervous about playing a high school girl at age 29. Travolta was a rising film star whose starring role in the 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever made him a sensation. He had done some singing, most successfully with his 1976 single Let Her In, which went to #10 in the US.

I goofed and hit the wrong button … this is tomorrow’s song, so if you’re seeing it tonight, please forget you saw it and come back in the morning!

You’re The One That I Want
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John

I got chills
They’re multiplying
And I’m losing control
Cause the power you’re supplying
It’s electrifying!

You better shape up
Cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
You better shape up
You better understand
To my heart I must be true
Nothing left
Nothing left for me to do

You’re the one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, the one I need
Oh, yes indeed

If you’re filled
With affection
You’re to shy to convey
Better take my direction
Feel your way

I better shape up
Cause you need a man
I need a man
Who can keep me satisfied
I better shape up
If I’m gonna prove
You better prove
That my faith is justified
Are you sure
Yes I’m sure down deep inside

You’re the one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, the one I need
Oh, yes indeed

You’re the one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, the one I need
Oh, yes indeed

You’re the one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, honey
The one that I want
You are the one I want
Oh, the one I need
Oh, yes indeed

Songwriters: John Farrar
You’re The One That I Want lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

A ‘Letter’ From Trump to MAGA’s

These days, we often find ourselves saying, “You have to laugh about it, else you’ll cry”. Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written a great bit of satire in the form of a letter from Trump to his ‘fans’, that I think will give you a chuckle … at least until you stop and think about it. Thank you, Jeff, for adding a bit of humour to our day!

On The Fence Voters

A confidential letter from Donald J. Trump to his supporters … P.S, please don’t tell the fake news.

Dear MAGA’s,

Hello everyone. As you know, in a few days we’ll be celebrating the anniversary of the most miraculous day in the history of modern civilization. That’s right. Thanks to all of you and my pal Vladimir, I was elected to serve as your President of the United States of America. Almost instantly, our country went from being the laughing stock of the world, to well, a bigger laughingstock of the world.

Soon though, our calendar will switch to a new year, 2020. And you all know what that means, right? Yes, your favorite little President is running for reelection, and I’m going to need your help again to stave off the radical socialist Democrats. I know I can count on you.

From time to time over the next year, I’m…

View original post 1,184 more words

♫ You Gotta Love Someone ♫

I’m sitting here, really thinking it is past time I went to bed for a bit of reading, maybe even some sleep, but see … there’s this sleeping kittie in my lap, he’s purring his contentment with every breath he takes, and I cannot bear to disturb him.  It is, of course, Oliver, aka Ollie … the only one of our Feral Five who actually likes me!

So, since I will be sitting here for a bit longer, I might as well play a tune, don’t you think?  This one has been in my head all evening, since I was talking about it with a friend earlier on …

According to SongFacts …

“You can take on the world, go forth and conquer, but first, you gotta love someone. It’s a simple but eloquent lyric written by Bernie Taupin, and one that proved prescient when Elton John got his life in order a short time later. By 1990, Elton had spent years suffering from bulimia and cocaine addiction. When he finally decided to take action, it was prompted by his new love, Hugh Williams, who convinced him to go to therapy together. At those sessions, they were asked to list each other’s faults. Williams cited Elton’s bulimia, alcoholism, drug addiction and fits of rage. Elton flagged Williams for not putting away his CDs properly.

This got through to Elton, and in the summer of 1990 he entered a hospital in Chicago where he was treated, emerging six weeks later sober and determined to make positive lifestyle changes. His relationship with Williams didn’t last, but the sobriety stuck and Elton enjoyed a career revival, returning in 1992 with his hit album The One.”

You Gotta Love Someone
Elton John

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You can stop the world, steal the face from the moon
You can beat the clock, but before high noon
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You’ve got one life with a reason
You need two hearts on one side
When you stand alone and there’s no one there
To share the way it feels inside and baby

You can cheat the devil and slice a piece of the sun
Burn up the highway but before you run
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

When you’re gonna play with fire
You let someone share the heat
When you’re on your own and there’s no one there
To cool the flames beneath your feet and baby

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
You Gotta Love Someone lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

A Day Made For … Snarky Snippets!

Wow, folks … just when you think it can’t get any more chaotic … it does!  My phone has been abuzz today with breaking news updates from several media outlets, every time I pull up either The Washington Post, Politico or the New York Times, there is something else that demands to be read, and my email box has been overflowing every time I’ve checked it.  I almost wish for a nationwide power failure so I could catch my breath!  I said ‘almost’, for we are expecting ❄️ snow ❄️ today, so I really don’t want to be without heat.


Karma is a …

Back in November 2017, two years ago, I did a post called More Bits ‘N Pieces From Filosofa’s Mind … rather a precursor to my Snarky Snippets feature.  In that post, one of the ‘bits ‘n pieces’ was about a woman named Juli Briskman who bravely dared to flip the finger at Donald Trump’s motorcade as it passed by her while she was riding her bicycle.  This picture went viral …girl on bikeMs. Briskman lost her job over that picture, but yesterday, she got a new job!  She won a seat on the Loudoun County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors — ousting a Republican in the process!  Says Ms. Briskman …

“It’s feeling fantastic, it’s feeling surreal. The last two years have been quite a ride. Now we’re helping to flip Loudoun blue.”

And, to put the icing on the cake, the district to which she was elected happens to include a golf course owned by none other than a certain Donald Trump!  You know what they say about karma …


Score one for justice … for now, anyway

Two thumbs up to U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan.  Yesterday he struck down Trump’s so-called ‘conscience rule’, that would have given health care providers the right to refuse birth control, sterilization, abortions, and other treatments to patients if said health care providers claimed that those treatments were ‘against their personal/religious beliefs’.  It would have also allowed health care providers to refuse treatment to members of the LGBT community if they believed homosexuality to be fundamentally wrong.  In other words, there was really no line … doctors, nurses and others could have refused treatment on nearly any grounds or no grounds, simply by claiming that to offer treatment would go against their religion.

The rule would have required clinics and research institutions that receive federal funding from programs including Medicare and Medicaid to “submit written assurances and certifications of compliance” with federal religious-freedom and conscience-protection laws to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in order to receive federal funding.

This, in Trump’s view, is expanding the rights of religious freedom.  Judge Engelmayer saw it a bit differently, however …

“The Court has found that HHS’s stated justification for undertaking rulemaking in the first place—a purported ‘significant increase’ in civilian complaints relating to the conscience provisions—was factually untrue.”

He went on to say that the rule was “shot through with glaring legal defects.”  It is the opinion of this writer that if a person’s religious convictions are such that there are certain procedures they are unwilling to perform, or certain groups of people they are unwilling to treat, then that person does not belong in the health care field.  Period.  It is rather like … if you don’t like children, don’t become a teacher.  This rule was religious freedom run amok … it was set to cost lives, to take away the rights of others.

The Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Justice Department, say they are ‘reviewing’ the judge’s 147-page decision.  My best guess is that they will file an appeal.  Sigh.  You all do realize who’s footing the bill for all these lawsuits and appeals, right?


Only in Alabama …

Who could forget Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, commonly known simply as Jeff Sessions, racist extraordinaire, right?  He was a U.S. Senator from Alabama for twenty years, starting in 1997, and ending in 2017 when he stepped down to accept the position of U.S. District Attorney.  In his early years in Alabama … 1986, to be exact … then-President Ronald Reagan considered appointing Mr. Sessions to a federal court judgeship, but Sessions’ nomination was not confirmed in light of prior, documented racist remarks.

Sessions didn’t last too long as Attorney General … about a year, until 2018 when he resigned at Trump’s request.  Trump had wanted to fire him ever since Sessions, in a rare moment of integrity, recused himself from the Mueller investigation.  Trump had hoped that he could coerce Sessions into firing Robert Mueller and ending the investigation.  Anyway …

It is expected that any day now, Sessions will officially announce that he is running for his old Senate seat against incumbent Doug Jones, who beat out another racist jackass, Roy Moore, in 2017.  And, to add to the drama, Roy Moore is also planning to run for that seat again next year!  If Alabamans vote for either Sessions or Moore, then I think we should get our chain saws out and cut the whole state of Alabama out of the U.S. … let it drift over to the other side of the big pond!  Oh, my head.  🤯


Jaw-dropping news!

Is it possible, just possible, that Attorney General William Barr found his cojones?  Barr has slavishly done Trump’s bidding since the day he took his seat in the Department of Justice, not seeming to mind that he looked like a fool, a wuss, a pansy.  Perhaps he has finally gotten tired of it all?

Turns out that in late September, Trump requested that Barr hold a news conference declaring that Trump had broken no laws during that now famous July phone call in which he pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.  Nothing surprising there, but now for the jaw-dropping part … Barr refused!

According to The Washington Post

“In recent weeks, the Justice Department has sought some distance from the White House, particularly on matters relating to the burgeoning controversy over Trump’s dealings on Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry they sparked.”

Perhaps Mr. Barr is beginning to envision his entire career going up in flames if he continues to pander to the madman in the Oval Office?  Time will tell.


As always, I could go on … I had a few more snippets … but, the clock is telling me that it’s time to wrap this up and move on, so until next time …Trump-king

Beautifully Strange Poem …

It seems to me that these days some people are mighty quick to judge others.  They judge us by the colour of our skin, by whether we attend the same church as them, by where our ancestors hail from, by our level of education or the field in which we work, they judge us by our sexual orientation — who we choose to love — and by our political affiliation.  All this judging … and for what?  I am no better than you, nor you than me.  It is our actions, the way we treat others, that determine who we are, not the colour of our skin or our political party!  This has weighed heavily on my mind of late, for I, too, am judged and seemingly found to be lacking by many.  And last night, as I was preparing for bed, leaving one last quick message for a beloved friend on Facebook, something caught my eye.  You may remember back in March, when I posted a lovely poem by Laura Ding-Edwards, titled The Mountain.  This is another by her that I think speaks volumes.  Titled Beautifully Strange Poem, it is “A poem about living with mental illness, the importance of being kind and the beauty of our uniqueness.”

Laura-Ding-Edwards

♫ (Everything I Do) I Do It for You ♫

Having just finished my ‘good people’ post and needing to wind down, I thought I’d like to play … nope, already played that one.  How ’bout … uh-uh … just played that last week.  Okay, then … sheesh!  I’m running out of music!  AHA!  Here’s one I haven’t yet played …

This song was written for the movie Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.  It was written by Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange in London, at the studio Adams was working at in 1990, and he and Lange wrote it in 45 minutes.  Initially, this song didn’t meet with Hollywood approval, as the film company wanted the song to have instrumentation in line with the film’s era – lutes, mandolins, and the like. The film company relented, but still buried the song midway through the credits, apparently unaware of the huge hit they had on their hands.

How big of a hit, you ask?

This song went to #1 in 30 countries.  In the United Kingdom, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You has the longest unbroken run at number one, spending sixteen consecutive weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart from July to October 1991.

Adams, Kamen and Lange won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1992. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, but lost to Beauty and the Beast.

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
Bryan Adams

Look into my eyes
You will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart
Search your soul
And when you find me there
You’ll search no more

Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
You can’t tell me it’s not worth dyin’ for
You know it’s true
Everything I do
I do it for you

Look into your heart
You will find
There’s nothin’ there to hide
Take me as I am
Take my life
I would give it all
I would sacrifice

Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
You know it’s true
Everything I do
I do it for you

There’s no love
Like your love
And no other
Could give more love
There’s nowhere
Unless you’re there
All the time
All the way, yeah

Look into your heart, baby

Oh you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
I can’t help it, there’s nothin’ I want more
Yeah, I would fight for you
I lie for you
Walk the wire for you
Yeah, I’d die for you

You know it’s true
Everything I do
Oh
I do it for you

Everything I do, darling
And we’ll see it through
Oh we’ll see it through
Oh yeah

Yeah
Look into your heart
Look at your soul
You can’t tell me it ain’t worth dying for
Oh yeah

I’ll be there, yeah
I’ll walk the wire for you
I will die for you

Oh yeah

I would die for you

I’m going all the way, all they way, yeah

Songwriters: Bryan Adams / Michael Arnold Kamen / Robert John Lange
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Fintage House Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Good People Doing Good Things — Too Many To Count

Hooray for Wednesdays!  It is such a breath of fresh air to shine a light on people who care about others, who are giving of themselves, even in the smallest of ways, to somehow make life better for somebody.


California is on fire …

You’ve all seen on television or the internet the terrible devastation caused by this year’s wildfires in California.  The fires extend from the northern to the southern border, and some 9.000 firefighters are working day and night to contain the fires.  Typically, when disaster strikes, good people jump into action, and today I would like to share with you a few people who are helping.  First of all, though, I want to give a shout out to those 9,000 firefighters.  They are working in horrid conditions, with very little sleep, risking their own lives to help save lives, property, forests … these guys are HEROES! TOPSHOT-US-WILDFIRES-CALIFORNIA-WILDFIRE

firefighter-2

firefighter-3

I had never heard the name John Cena until last night (yeah, I’m sure you are all rolling your eyes … I’ve told you, I am a pop culture throwback!), but it’s a name I’m not likely to forget anytime soon.  Turns out Mr. Cena is a former wrestler-turned-actor, who has a new movie coming out day after tomorrow in which he plays … a firefighter!   Mr. Cena put out a very touching video on Twitter, announcing that he is donating $500,000 to the California first responders.  But, he didn’t stop there … he called on Paramount Pictures to match his donation, which they did.

Other celebrities who have donated to the cause include Chris Pratt, LeBron James, and others. You all know how I generally feel about celebrities, millionaires and such, but when they open their hearts and wallets to those in need, I give credit where credit is due.

Last year, I wrote a post about heroic efforts large and small during the California wildfires of 2018 (I do hope this won’t become an annual feature!), and one part of that post featured celebrity chef José Andrés and his wonderful organization World Central Kitchen.  Just as they did last year, they are back out there this year feeding the firefighters.WCK-1Joining Chef Andrés were celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri as well as many other chefs and volunteers.  You can see some of the pictures on the World Central Kitchen website.  Hats off to this very worthy organization and those who give of their own time and money to help feed those firefighters who are putting their lives on the line 24/7!


Two hearts …

Jonathan Pinkard collapsed at work one day a few months ago and was rushed to Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Coweta County, Georgia.  At 27 years of age, it was determined that Jonathan needed a heart transplant.  The problem wasn’t, as so often is the case, finding a heart, but rather Mr. Pinkard was deemed ineligible because he had no family to be his support system, to help him through the recovery process.  Without the transplant, Mr. Pinkard would die.

Enter ICU nurse Lori Wood …

“I think at some point God places people and situations in your life and you have a choice to do something about it. For me with this situation there was no choice. I had a room, I was a nurse, I could take care of him. So it really wasn’t anything that I struggled about it was just something that had to happen. He had to come home with me.”

Pinkard-Wood

Jonathan Pinkard and Nurse Lori Wood

So, Lori officially adopted Jonathan Pinkard, which got him onto the transplant list, and he received a new heart in August.  Ms. Wood is helping him transition to living independently once again, and Mr. Pinkard plans to return to work next month! Jonathan Pinkard may have a new heart, but Lori Wood has a huge heart, don’t you think?


A very little good people …

This story first came to my attention via our friend Keith, and then I found it on the ‘net.  It’s a little thing, but I thought it worthy to be included here.

The kid’s name is Jackson Champagne, and he is 8 years old.  On Hallowe’en night, Jackson was out trick-or-treating when he came to a house with a candy bowl set outside, as some people do.  But alas!  The bowl was empty!  Not so much as am M&M remained!

“All gone. There ain’t no more candy.”

Jackson turned as if to leave empty-handed, but as he noticed other witches, ghosts and goblins coming up the walkway, he stopped, dug around in his own bag, and put some of his own candy in the bowl for the little guys coming behind him!

Now if that doesn’t just melt your heart.  Happens that the homeowner, Leslie Hodges, saw the whole thing on their home security video later on that evening.  Hodges said just what I always say on these Wednesday posts …

“He renewed the faith that there are still some good people out there.”

Quite so.


Remember, folks … there are lots of good people out there doing good things … you don’t even have to look far.  In fact, I’m betting that if you go down the hall in your house right now and look in the mirror, you will see a ‘good people’.

New Poll spells trouble for Dems

I was pondering on a similar post, when Jeff’s post popped up in my inbox. He has said it better than I could have. This is not the news you want to hear, but it is the news you NEED to hear, for next year’s election is not, as some believe, a sure thing. Thank you, Jeff, for this analysis … though it may not be what we hope to hear, it is certainly information that we should be thinking about.

On The Fence Voters

Trump still competitive in battleground states

There’s roughly a year to go before we decide who will become President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Recent polls telling us who’s up and who’s down rarely cause a rise to my blood pressure.

Until the one that just came out, that is.

The New York Times/Sienna College poll, released yesterday, should be a wake-up call to all of us who think that Donald Trump is a disaster for America. The idea that he could win again, even with all we know about his presidency, is beyond frightening. However, when you look at the results of the poll, the warning signs are flashing loudly.

But many may ask, “What’s the big deal? All the top tier Democrats are leading Trump overall nationally, some by nearly ten percentage points.” That’s true. Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders all lead Trump…

View original post 1,049 more words

♫ Annie’s Song ♫

Last night’s song, You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, performed so perfectly by Aretha Franklin is a tough act to follow.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I cannot top that one.

John Denver wrote this for his then-wife Ann Martell after their first separation and near break up of their marriage in 1974. He said that it was one of the fastest songs he ever wrote, composing it in about 10 minutes while he was riding on a ski lift in Aspen, Colorado. Denver was reflecting on all the joy he found in his marriage and his relief that they were back together.  According to Denver …

“Suddenly, I’m hypersensitive to how beautiful everything is. All of these things filled up my senses, and when I said this to myself unbidden images came one after the other. All of the pictures merged and I was left with Annie. That song was the embodiment of the love I felt at that time.”

Annie recalled the day Denver wrote the song …

“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.”

I did not know that the song was adopted by Sheffield United Football Club, from Sheffield, England. The first few lines are played to a home crowd at the beginning of each half of the game, the fans then sing along but with altered words that relate to the Club.

The song was John Denver’s second number-one song in the United States, occupying that spot for two weeks in July 1974, and went to number one in the United Kingdom, where it was Denver’s only major hit single.

Annie’s Song
John Denver

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you
Let me always be with you
Come let me love you
Come love me again

You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again

Songwriters: John Denver
Annie’s Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management