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US State Songs
US State Songs

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Colorado State Song

"Rocky Mountain High"

Written by John Denver

Music by Mike Taylor

Adopted on March 12, 2007.

Rocky Mountain High" was adopted as another State Song with the passage of SJR07-023 on March 12, 2007. After the song's release in 1973 there was some controversy as some people thought that it encouraged drug use. Denver, in 1985, responded by saying that these people had obviously never experienced the beauty and wonder of the Rocky Mountains. Denver's real name was Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. but his stage name came from the capital city of Colorado.

Colorado State Song: "Rocky Mountain High"

"Rocky Mountain High"

He was born in the summer of his 27th year,
Comin' home to a place he'd never been before.
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again.
You might say he found a key for every door.

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away,
On the road and hangin' by a song.
But the string's already broken and he doesn't really care.
It keeps changin' fast and it don't last for long.

But the Colorado rocky mountain high,
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky.
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye.
Rocky mountain high.

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below.
He saw everything as far as you can see.
And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun
And he lost a friend but kept his memory.

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams,
Seeking grace in every step he takes.
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake.

And the Colorado rocky mountain high,
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky.
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply.
Rocky mountain high.

Now his life is full of wonder but his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend.
Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more,
More people, more scars upon the land.

And the Colorado rocky mountain high,
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky.
I know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly.
Rocky mountain high.

It's Colorado rocky mountain high,
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky.
Friends around the campfire and everybody's high.
Rocky mountain high.

Origin of Song: "Rocky Mountain High"

 In 2007, an attempt was made to replace "Columbines"with John Denver's 1973 hit song "Rocky Mountain High."Some residents complained that Denver's song glorified drug use and was not suitable as a state song. Nevertheless, that same year the Colorado legislature named "Rocky Mountain High"as Colorado's second official state song, along side of "Where the Columbines Grow."

On March 12, 2007, the Colorado General Assembly declared

Colorado Senate Joint Resolution No. 07-023


BY SENATOR(S) Hagedorn, Schwartz, Bacon, Boyd, Fitz-Gerald, Gordon, Groff, Isgar, Johnson, Keller, Kester, Mitchell S., Morse, Penry, Romer, Sandoval, Shaffer, Takis, Tapia, Veiga, Ward, Williams, Windels, and Tochtrop;
also REPRESENTATIVE(S) Todd, Benefield, Borodkin, Buescher, Butcher, Carroll M., Carroll T., Casso, Cerbo, Curry, Fischer, Gallegos, Garcia, Gibbs, Green, Kefalas, Kerr A., Labuda, Levy, Liston, Marostica, Massey, McFadyen, McNulty, Merrifield, Primavera, Rice, Rose, Solano, Soper, Stafford, Summers, White, and Witwer.


WHEREAS, John Denver, born as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., adopted his stage name because he identified with the Rocky Mountain capital city of Colorado and considered Colorado his home state; and

WHEREAS, John Denver moved to Aspen, Colorado, in 1970; and

WHEREAS, One of the world's best?known and best?loved performers, John Denver earned international acclaim as a songwriter, performer, actor, environmentalist, and humanitarian; and

WHEREAS, The Colorado country and environment served as an inspiration for many of John Denver's songs, and he shared his love for Colorado by eloquently expressing it through his music; and

WHEREAS, John Denver is best known as a folk?pop singer of songs such as "Rocky Mountain High" that describe the beauty of the Colorado Rockies; and

WHEREAS, In 1915, Colorado adopted "Where the Columbines Grow", which was written and composed by A.J. Fynn, as the official state song; and

WHEREAS, John Denver's song "Rocky Mountain High" reflects the strength and beauty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the importance of preserving the natural beauty of our state; and

WHEREAS, It is still deemed desirable to have official state songs; and

WHEREAS, "Where the Columbines Grow" is still regarded as admirably suited for such purpose; and

WHEREAS, "Where the Columbines Grow" and "Rocky Mountain High" should each be named official state songs of the state; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-sixth General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

That we, the members of the General Assembly, do hereby designate John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" as one of the official state songs ranking equally with "Where the Columbines Grow".

State Songs
US State Songs
Forty-nine states of the United States (all except New Jersey) have one or more state songs, selected by the state legislature as a symbol of the state.
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