Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Take Me Home Country Roads, a Singable Picture Book

Posted on: May 2, 2013

Whenever I sing a John Denver song, it is dedicated to my dad, Morgan Everson.

This song takes me home, alright.  Like the other John Denver songs in the Singable Picture Book repertoire, I grew up listening to this song and love the memories it brings back.

*
take me home country roads
Take Me Home, Country Roads

Words and Music by John Denver, Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff
Words Adapted by Christopher Canyon
Illustrated by Christopher Canyon
ISBN 978-1584690726

This is a wonderfully detailed, joyful book.  I pulled it out in a Kindergarten class and one of the children said “Wow, those are some detailed pictures!”  What a great comment, and true.  Fabulous detail are found in each picture of this book, paintings made to look give the feeling of a lovingly made quilt.  This book is a great work of illustration and a fitting tribute to the music and big heart of John Denver.

**********************

TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS
Words and Music by  John Denver, Taffy Nivert and Bill Danoff

Almost heaven West Virginia
Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah river
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, growin’ like a breeze

Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home country roads

All my memories, they gather ’round her
Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrops in my eyes

Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home country roads

I hear her voice in the mornin’ hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home country roads

Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home country roads
Take me home country roads
Take me home down country roads
Take me home down country roads

**********************

*
All the songwriters sing the song together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukUL_I14GPw

*
YouTube with Lyrics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i5nDWUX9Ks

*
YouTube of recording sung by the great Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiCkiyTGM6E

*
Take Me Home Country Roads wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Take_Me_Home,_Country_Roads

*
Publisher’s webpage for TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS which includes images of beautiful two page illustration spreads,
http://www.dawnpub.com/our-books/take-me-home-country-roads/

**********************
The destination of the singer is somewhere in West Virginia, but clearly the singer is in Virginia travelling from East to West, going through the Blue Ridge Mountains and over the Shenandoah River, both of which reside in the western parts of the state of Virginia.  You can see West Virginia, Virginia, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River all marked on this map.  I keep this map with the book and point these things out before we sing the song.  A little geography, a little singing…It’s all go to know!

va color
http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/printpage/valarge.htm

**********************
Addendum 7/8/2013

I love how songs have the ability to take us places and introduce opportunities for learning.  If I’d not sung the book, I would not necessarily have gotten so interested in the geography of Virginia, and learned the exact location of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Mountains and Shenandoah River.

*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Mountains
From Wikipedia, a map of the mountain ranges that go through Virginia, including the Appalachian Mountains (of which the Blue Ridge Mountains are a part) which run through the states to the west of VA,
272px-Appalachian_map wiki

*
This is a detail of a page from one of my children’s kid’s atlases, it clearly shows where the Appalachian Mountains, Shenandoah River and Blue Ridge Mountains sit in the state of Virginia:

VA mountains

**********************
Addendum, February 2015

I’ll be singing TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS for a Valentine Cabaret in February 2015.

Completing my Song Craft Worksheet is part of my process for crafting a song for performance:


 Emily’s Song Craft Worksheet

Because the first section of the Song Craft Worksheet involves background research on the song, I’ll share the answers with you so you can know about the song, too.  The more about the song you know (both concrete facts and less tangible artistic choices), the more “authority,” and heart and soul you can put into the singing and sharing of the song with others.  If you are interested in improving your artistic abilities for singing songs in any capacity, just simply filling out the Song Craft Worksheet is a great place to start!  After the background research, the rest of the Song Craft Worksheet gets VERY personal…don’t worry!  I won’t bore you with that.

1 Q: Who wrote the words?
1 A:

2Q: Who wrote the music?
2A:

3Q: When was the song written?
3A:

4Q: At what point in the lyricists’ and composer’s career was the song written?
4A:

5Q: What is the song from?
5A:

6Q: If from a show, what character sang it?
6A:

7Q: If from a show, from what situation does the song arise?  Why does the character sing the song?  What function does the song/character play in the story?
7A:

8Q:  What other contextual elements of the song are significant?
8A:

9Q: Was the song written for a particular singer?  Why?
9A:

10Q: If not from a show, why did the songwriter write the song?
10A:

11Q: What do you feel the lyricist is trying to say?
11A:

12Q: Does the song tell a story or just express feelings or ideas?
12A:

13Q: Who else has recorded this song:
13A:

The rest of the questions require very personal answers and I will spare you those!

**********************
Addendum 2/12/2015
Country Roads at Maggie’s Cabaret on 2/6/2015

I got to sing TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS (probably the number one favorite song in the Sing Books Repertoire) as one of my songs at the HEARTS AND DARTS Valentine Concert on Friday, 2/6/2015 at Maggie’s Cabaret.

It was a wonderful experience when the audience sang along with lots of heart and gusto. It is amazing how that song engages the hearts of so many.  One nice lady told me afterward that her daughter was born in Japan and sang that song when she was a little girl there.  She could not believe when she moved to the United States that people here sang that song in English!  So it seems that people all over the world are touched by the song and it’s expression of love for the roads that lead us home.

**********************
Addendum 9/21/2016

I’ve been singing TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS for a few years with the book illustrated by Christopher Canyon. Not to equivocate too much when I express my love for all the songs in my repertoire, but COUNTRY ROADS is far and away the favorite and most requested.  I have had the pleasure of sharing this song with vastly diverse groups of people and in all age groups from cabaret venues and libraries, to every elementary school grade.  This song is a favorite and most requested across all divides.  There is just an extra special something about it.  Maybe it’s that everybody wants to go home.

The Country Music Awards has created a mashup of TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS with a couple other songs, most notably (to me, at least) Dolly Parton’s great song I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.  It’s terrific:

**********************

A little clip of Take Me Home, Country Roads with Ms. Bishop and Ms. Morgan’s classes:

**********************
Related Posts

*
Country Roads at Maggie’s Cabaret HEARTS AND DARTS Concert, 2/6/2015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/country-roads-at-maggies-cabaret-on-262015/

*
JOHN DENVER
The Singable Picture Books of John Denver
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-singable-picture-books-of-john-denver/

*
EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

*
TAKE ME HOME COUNTRY ROADS, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/take-me-home-country-roads-a-singable-picture-book/

*
Driving My Daughter to Camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Near the Shenandoah River
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/driving-my-daughter-to-camp-in-the-blue-ridge-mountains-near-the-shenandoah-river/

*
PLACES EMILY LOVES

Singable Picture Books related to some of my favorite places on earth!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/places-i-love-a-collection-of-links-to-spb-posts-featuring-some-of-my-favorite-places-on-earth/

*
HEARTS AND DARTS at Maggie’s Cabaret, Friday, February 6, 1015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/hearts-and-darts-at-maggies-cabaret-friday-february-6-1015/

*
Country Roads at Maggie’s Cabaret on 2/6/2015
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/country-roads-at-maggies-cabaret-on-262015/

*
A Dedication to My Dad
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/a-dedication-to-my-dad/

*
GEOGRAPHY SONGS IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/geography-songs-in-singable-picture-books/

*
DOLLY PARTON’S COAT OF MANY COLORS, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/coat-of-many-colors-an-illustrated-song/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Calendar of SBWE Posts

May 2013
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Archives

%d bloggers like this: