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Does "Miners Lady, Stranger to blue water" mean "Miners Lady, who is unfamiliar to blue water?

 
 
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 05:16 am
Does "Miners Lady, Stranger to blue water" mean "Miners Lady, who is unfamiliar to blue water/clear water"?

So does the song "take me home, country roads" delivers us a message that though the place you belong might not be beautiful (dark and dusty), it is still a warm home for you"?

Context:

Almost heaven
West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountain
Shenandoah River
Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Growing like a breeze
Country road. take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads
All my memories
Gather round her
Miners 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 Mama
Take me home, country roads
I hear her voice in the morning hours
She calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And driving down the road
I get a feeling
That I should have been home
Yesterday,yesterday
Country roads , take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain Mama
Take me home,country roads
Country roads , take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain Mama
Take me home,country roads
Take me home,country roads
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 8,685 • Replies: 10
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View best answer, chosen by oristarA
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 05:26 am
Blue water usually refers to the ocean, as opposed to any other body of water. I would suggest that it means that she knows nothing of the world beyond West Virginia. I see no reason to assume that the author is saying that West Virginia is not beautiful. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, West Virginia is very beautiful in many places.
contrex
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 05:31 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:
Does "Miners Lady, Stranger to blue water" mean "Miners Lady, who is unfamiliar to blue water/clear water"?

We say who is familiar/unfamiliar with something in that situation. (John has never seen an elephant.) John is unfamiliar with elephants. Elephants are unfamiliar to John.

I think that someone who is a "stranger to blue water" is someone who has never seen the sea. I think the "Miner's lady" is the (personified) (landlocked) (famous for coal mining) State of West Virginia. Maybe there is a hint that "she" does not wash very often.

Quote:
So does the song "take me home, country roads" delivers us a message that though the place you belong might not be beautiful (dark and dusty), it is still a warm home for you"?

I guess so.

Note: beware of looking for profound meaning in pop songs, where the words are often selected with the primary intention of fitting the tune.
0 Replies
 
oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 05:54 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Blue water usually refers to the ocean, as opposed to any other body of water. I would suggest that it means that she knows nothing of the world beyond West Virginia. I see no reason to assume that the author is saying that West Virginia is not beautiful. From a purely aesthetic viewpoint, West Virginia is very beautiful in many places.


That makes sense.
But the depiction "dark and dusty" sounds rather confusing against the beautiful picture.
It sounds like that mining causes the dark and dusty sky and the author is the son of a miner.
Am I possibly on the right track?
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 06:31 am
@oristarA,
oristarA wrote:

It sounds like that mining causes the dark and dusty sky and the author is the son of a miner.
Am I possibly on the right track?


You are right about the dusty sky I think. Possibly the imaginary narrator could be a miner's son. The actual author of the song, "John Denver", real name Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., was the son of a US Air Force Colonel. He was born in Roswell, New Mexico, and lived there and moved when his father was reassigned to Tucson (Arizona), Montgomery (Alabama), Fort Worth (Texas), then when he became an adult moved to California and joined the music industry there. He died in 1997 at the age of 53 when his experimental private plane crashed.


0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 07:00 am
John Denver is a bullsh*t artist. That's OK, he's in pop music. I suspect he never saw West Virginia, at least not until he became sufficiently popular to go on tour. He has another song, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." John Denver was no country boy--he was just exploiting sentiment to make his songs popular.

West Virginia is beautiful, despite the scars of strip mining. There are two types of coal mines--strip and UG (UG=undergrounds). Underground mines don't make a place "dark and dusty." Strip mines only do so for as long as it takes to strip away the topsoil. Generally, having extracted the coal, the coal companies go on their way, leaving the devastation behind. There is another popular song, "Paradise," by John Prine, and which is about Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, a neighboring state to West Virginia. The chorus runs: "Daddy, won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County/Down by the Green River, where paradise lay?/Well I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking./Mr. Peabody's coal trains have hauled it away."



Peabody Coal is one of the big players in the coal business, and is notorious for tearing up the countryside and then leaving the destruction behind when they move on. West Virginia is not dark and dusty, and much of it, which was not dug up by Mr. Peabody, is very beautiful. Don't pay any attention to John Denver, and don't put too much stock in the lyrics of his songs.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 07:22 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

John Denver is a bullsh*t artist. That's OK, he's in pop music.


Was... he's been dead for 16 years.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 10:19 am
@contrex,
I hadn't noticed his death. Which is unsurprising, since i paid little attention when he was alive. The only surprise in that is that there is a song track, "Perhaps Love," sung by Denver and Placido Domingo, which has become very popular on classical music stations. I just went out to check, and that was in 1982. As y ou can see, i really wasn't paying attention.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 29 Sep, 2013 10:41 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
which has become very popular on classical music stations.


The perfect opportunity to slip in the "I'm a dirt poor farm boy turned snob".
0 Replies
 
dave smith
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 30 Mar, 2019 08:57 pm
In response to your pathetic negative comments on a great singer songwriter. John Denver had two songs that were huge hits that most artists would give their eye teeth for. No.1 is Country Roads that won him country artist of the year, it was a huge hit and loved by so many people in West Virginia and the Appalachian people as well as the entire country. He was actually very humble when he won the award at the time and commented that he did not even consider himself a country singer.No. 2 was Rocky Mountain High If you can't appreciate a song that was adopted by the State of Colorado as their state song your opinion is just that a opinion.The great people living in Colorado knew better. By the way what songs have you recorded?
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Mar, 2019 10:40 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

John Denver is a bullsh*t artist. That's OK, he's in pop music. I suspect he never saw West Virginia, at least not until he became sufficiently popular to go on tour. He has another song, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." John Denver was no country boy--he was just exploiting sentiment to make his songs popular.



I know this is an old thread, but I have to disagree with Set's characterization Denver was a "bullsh*t artist"

Was Gershwin bullshit because he wrote the songs for Porgy and Bess or Swanee River? A nice jewish boy from Brooklyn?

What about Ferde Grofe and his famous Grand Canyon Suite (Including the well know "On the Trail" which we've all heard a million times, recognizable because it brings to mind the rhythm of mules walking) I remember hearing somewhere that Grofe had never been West of the Mississippi. He too was a NY boy.

Do other artists with lovely voices, like Tony Bennett, have personal experience with everything they sang about?

In other words, many songwriters, composers, singers and other artists write and/or perform on subjects they never directly experienced. His father was in the Air Force, they moved often, so who's to say he wasn't absorbing bits and pieces or everywhere he went? Apparantly he was shy, didn't fit in as they moved so often, and found refuge in music.
He was a politcal activist, did quite a bit of humanitarian work, and despite some rough patches with alcohol, he seemed to me to be an all around decent guy.


I never appreciated John Denver when he was popular, but I do now. He has a lovely clear ringing voice. Not nearly all his songs were about mountains and such.







song starts around 2:00. Yeah, he wrote this, not Peter Paul and Mary.




Finally, it isn't like he hid the fact he wasn't a born in the mountains boy. Below he talks a little about his upbringing, and a lot about what is important to him, and how he hopes his music can impact.

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