| Media |

Get Out of Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Talk about terrifying: The front page of the March 13

Denver Post

was dominated by the


of how John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" became Colorado's second state song. Then, to compound the trauma, KHOW's Peter Boyles spent most of his morning-drive show discussing the ditty and scoffing at the suggestion that Denver was celebrating altitude, not weed.

Of course, Denver's intended definition of "high" is less significant in this context than the ear-wrecking nature of the recording itself, which encapsulates everything that was worst about 1970s pop music in one convenient package. The ditty is as puerile as it is gag-inducing.

Legislatures elsewhere have toyed with similar measures. Remember that New Jersey once nearly named Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" as "the unofficial theme of our State's youth," even though the track's protagonists seem to want nothing more than to get the hell out of New Jersey. (The wacky details are recounted here.) But leave it to Colorado to take the leap from bad idea to stupid law.

Something good could still come out of this debacle, though. No one ever plays the other state song, "Where the Columbines Grow." If the same thing happens with "Rocky Mountain High," Colorado will be a better place. -- Michael Roberts

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.