John Denver - Wikipedia

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About the song

John Denver. A titan of folk music, a champion of environmentalism, and a voice that echoed across generations. Denver’s music, often infused with themes of nature, love, and optimism, resonated deeply with audiences worldwide.

But beneath the sunny melodies and folksy charm, Denver also explored the complexities of human emotions. This is particularly evident in his lesser-known song, Is It Love?, a poignant ballad that delves into the confusion and heartache that can accompany love.

Released in 1995 on the album The Wildlife Concert, Is It Love? stands out from Denver’s usual repertoire. While his music is often characterized by a bright, optimistic outlook, Is It Love? tackles the darker side of love – the disillusionment, the heartbreak, and the questioning of one’s own feelings.

The song opens with a stark contrast. Denver’s signature gentle vocals paint a picture of a love that was once magical, a love bathed in the “light of the moon.” This idyllic scene quickly gives way to a sense of unease as the lyrics describe a broken “spell” and a descent into a personal “hell.” Is It Love? becomes a haunting refrain, a desperate plea for understanding amidst the wreckage of a broken relationship.

Is It Love? is a welcome departure for Denver fans accustomed to his more lighthearted fare. It showcases his versatility as a songwriter, his ability to explore a wider range of human experience. The song’s melancholic tone is further accentuated by the stripped-down instrumentation, with Denver’s acoustic guitar taking center stage. This minimalist approach allows the raw emotion of the lyrics to shine through, creating a powerful and relatable listening experience.

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Is It Love? may not be one of Denver’s greatest hits, but it offers a valuable glimpse into the artist’s emotional landscape. It reminds us that love, even in its purest form, can be a double-edged sword. The song serves as a testament to Denver’s ability to connect with his audience on a deeper level, addressing the complexities of love and loss that resonate with all who have experienced them.

Video

Lyrics

I know how it feels to be head over heels
To be lost in true love and the light of the moon
When everything seems to be coming up roses
And every word seems to be rhyming with June

Suddenly, all of your dreams have come true
Happiness lives in your heart
Then out of nowhere, one becomes two
And everything seems to be falling apart

Is it love? When your heart, feels like it’s broken
Is it love? And you just can’t take anymore
Is it love? When there’s nothing left to be spoken
Is it love? And there’s nothing worth listening for
Is it love? ooh ooh

I know what it means to get caught up in dreams
And in prayers that are answered with each passing day
When loving and laughter are birds of a feather

And sharing and caring is one simple way
You know you’ll never be alone
That someone will always be near
Then you turn around when your best friend is gone
Oh, where do they go? When they just disappear?

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Is it love? When your heart, feels like it’s broken
Is it love? And you just can’t take anymore
Is it love? When the good times have all been forgotten
Is it love? And you fear there won’t be anymore
Is it love? ooh ooh