"Rhymes And Reasons" as written by and John Denver....
So you speak to me of sadness
And the coming of the winter
Fear that is within you now
It seems to never end

And the dreams that have escaped you
And the hope that you've forgotten
You tell me that you need me now
You want to be my friend

And you wonder where we're going
Where's the rhyme and where's the reason
And it's you cannot accept
It is here we must begin
To seek the wisdom of the children
And the graceful way of flowers in the wind

[Chorus]
For the children and the flowers
Are my sisters and my brothers
Their laughter and their loveliness
Could clear a cloudy day

Like the music of the mountains
And the colours of the rainbow
They're a promise of the future
And a blessing for today
Though the cities start to crumble
And the towers fall around us
The sun is slowly fading
And it's colder than the sea

It is written from the desert
To the mountains they shall lead us
By the hand and by the heart
They will comfort you and me
In their innocence and trusting
They will teach us to be free

[Chorus]

And the song that I am singing
Is a prayer to non believers
Come and stand beside us
We can find a better way


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Rhymes and Reasons" as written by John Denver

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Rhymes And Reasons song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentGood hippie song, from my favorite John Denver album. It's meaning is pretty transparent. Beautiful song.
    Silentlisteneron February 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is one of several of Denver’s–“Catch Another Butterfly” is another–that attempts to revive in us what we left behind as children. The chorus phrase “It is written from the desert to the mountains they shall lead us” echoes the Biblical passage “and a child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).
    jerambamon September 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song FactThis is what John Denver had to say himself, as quoted from "John Denver - The Complete Lyrics":

    --
    "Rhymes and Reasons" is, I think, one of the best songs I’ve ever written. I wrote the song - or started at least - in the shower one morning. It comes from a very real and consistent thought that the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers. I do not feel separate from any aspect or from of life. I feel part of it, and bound to it, and the way I expressed the feeling was to use the phrase "the children and the flowers". There is a brotherhood there, and a sisterhood. It’s funny to me that even before the time of women’s liberation there was a desire to uphold that concept. The song is basically autobiographical. It’s not one of those songs where I’ve described someone who has a job to do in the world. I’m describing who that person is - the song is about me. I intend to lead people to the mountains; I intend to lead them back to the earth, back to the spirit. Songs like "Rhymes and Reasons" are a way of doing that for me.
    eiznemon October 20, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese lyrics are incorrect. Right words, but the order is a mess. Correct lyrics are at
    lyricsdepot.com/john-denver/…
    ctwelleron September 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteven though the song was written much before 9-11 it must be pointed out the similarities in the lyrics and had this song be made post 9-11 I would be sure it was about it. Here is an example:

    "Though the city starts to crumble and the towers fall around us" a bit to much of a coincidence, then he goes on by saying, "it is written from the desert", (AKA the middle east)

    and last he says, "they will teach us to be free", people were more patriotic after 911
    espnhereicomeon September 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWhat I believe the song means is that he's trying to share his understanding and knowledge of God. Although at the end of the song, it says

    Come and stand beside us, we can find a better way.

    What does that mean? Can anybody tell me?
    NoiseIsNotMusic99on January 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningJohn Denver's: Rhymes and Reasons


    John Denver released his first album Rhymes and Reasons in 1969; the album included Leaving on a Jet Plane recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary (since Denver was barely known at the time), and it sold a million records for them; Denver does the song about a billion times better that the trio, but we digress... Denver often said that he thought Rhymes and Reasons was his best composition...
    Although Denver - to our knowledge - never explained the song's meaning (one may listen here: youtube.com/…). One of the things that you would think that John would have revealed - but did not - is that the song is sung by God. Of course John Denver both wrote and sings the song, but if one reflects upon the words, John wrote a song whereby God is singing to his Creation, and particularly his creatures that fear the future... And that as that fear possesses those of us in turbulent times, the singer is accustomed to having his creatures remembering Him whom they have forgotten. Only sapient beings i.e., humans, fear the future...
    The reader - if there are any readers - must forgive this writer (this writer is likely a bigger fan of John Denver than Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. was of John Denver...Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. is Denver's real name.). We plan to go though the song line by line... The first 3 stanza's:

    So you speak to me of sadness
    and the coming of the winter
    A fear that is within you now
    it seems to never end

    And the dreams that have escaped you
    and a hope that you've forgotten
    you tell me that you need me now
    you want to be my friend

    And you wonder where we're going
    Where's the rhyme; where's the reason
    And it's you cannot accept
    It is here we must begin
    To seek the wisdom of the children
    And the graceful way of flowers in the wind

    One may need to here/see the entire song to get why it is God singing to his creatures, possessed of the capacity for discursive thought, but in these 3 stanza's John describes the state of those whom have either lost their faith, or are overly worried about the vicissitudes of life. Both the 23rd psalm and Jesus words in the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain...

    From the Sermon on the Plain Luke 12: 24-26 "Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouse or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan? 26So if you cannot do such a small thing, why do you worry about the rest?…"
    And from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6: 24-34 (See below for the Matthew quote; the summary of those 11 verses is that one should seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, trust in God and his righteousness, and your temporal needs will be met...) Note that the "wisdom of the children" (they trust) and "the graceful way of flowers in the wind" ( From Matthew: "Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them" Denver - in the song - echo's Jesus telling the crowds that one must "...Seek first the kingdom of God..."

    The first refrain:
    [Chorus 1]
    For the children and the flowers
    Are my sisters and my brothers
    Their laughter and their loveliness
    Could clear a cloudy day
    Like the music of the mountains
    And the colours of the rainbow
    They're a promise of the future
    And a blessing for today

    We haven't much to say regarding the first refrain other than it is reminiscent of Jesus calming words to those listening to either the Sermon on the Mount, or the Plain, or both. If one has read the words of Jesus Christ, then one must understand the meaning "For the Children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers" And we note that: "And the "colours" of the rainbow"; it was the rainbow which God showed/told Noah which would remind God of His promised not to destroy the earth's living things by flood. Regarding "music of the mountains," this a theme of Denver, not only music of the mountains, but of nature, in general (On the cover of Windsong album he makes this clear...); we note that only an thinking being would appreciate the ""music" of the mountains" (let us note that for those which may claim that non-rational animals "think," that thinking - in a most nominal sense - relates concepts with objects by rules of measure e.g., causality, non-contradiction etc., even if such is accomplished informally and intuitively), and acknowledge "promise for the future" and note the 'blessing it is for today...'

    The last 2 stanza's:

    Though the cities start to crumble
    And the towers fall around us
    The sun is slowly fading
    And it's colder than the sea

    It is written from the desert
    To the mountains they shall lead us
    By the hand and by the heart
    They will comfort you and me
    In their innocence and trusting
    They will teach us to be free

    The 'cities crumbling,' the 'towers falling' and the 'sun slowly fading,' and thus no longer sustaining life? all speak of the "end of the age" It is Scriptural - in a sense - that the children shall lead us (Because Jesus says "For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Mark 10:14) "to the mountains, by the hand and by the heart" and through emulating the children's trust and innocence (Adults may not be able to become innocent, but truthfulness about our condition of sin, is rewarded by forgiveness, and therein lies the realization of innocence, because sin is forgiven those that repent and acknowledge their sin, and thus we are made "free," as children in their innocence are free...); the children 'teach us to be free.' We repeat, it is in emulating the children's innocence - innocence obtained by adults, through repentance and contrition, for forgiveness is then effected, as Christ tells us: "Truly I tell you, He said, "unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18: 3)

    The second refrain:
    [Chorus 2]
    For the children and the flowers
    Are my sisters and my brothers
    Their laughter and their loveliness
    Could clear a cloudy day
    And the song that I am singing
    Is a prayer to non believers
    Come and stand beside us
    We can find a better way

    And the second refrain repeats, but the singer reveals Himself in fifth line, viz: "And the song that I am singing; God' name "I AM," and Denver's composition makes this the high note of the piece; Denver was drawing attention to the singer of the song, and then all of the intimation of the prophetic falls into place. Denver wrote a song, whereby God sings to his Creation, and particularly his rational creatures... This writer thinks it is a beautiful song, it is almost a hymn... This writer did not do the song justice, so if one chooses to listen, the link above is from the Greatest Hits Volume 1 (although it is on You-tube, we recognize the recording as the one cut for that album...).


    Thomas J. Donegan
    guildma@msn.com


    Matthew 6: 24-34

    24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
    25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
    34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    TJDoneganon June 10, 2017   Link

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