In 2017, the estate of John Denver came across a batch of previously unknown lyrics by the beloved songwriter. Realizing the songs needed to be heard, Denver’s team tapped Railroad Earth to set two of the songs — “If You Will Be My Lady” and “Through The Night” — to music.
Both tracks will be released as a 7-inch single (as well as a digital 7 inch) titled Railroad Earth: The John Denver Letters on Earth Day (April 22), a date chosen to honor Denver’s work as an environmentalist. Ahead of the official release, Railroad Earth is premiering one of the tracks, “If You Will Be My Lady,” below.
“There’s such a unique and wonderful opportunity — and responsibility — to finishing someone’s thoughts, while also making them part of your own,” Railroad Earth’s Carey Harmon says. “I think Todd [Sheaffer] has accomplished that. These are not cover songs. They are John’s words and definitely carry his spirit, but they are distinctly interpreted in Todd’s voice, and therefore felt completely natural for the band to gather around … John Denver represented so much to so many people, and it’s very exciting to think how these may be received. He was a man that never fit entirely into a mold, revered by the folk music community, while reaching beyond it in his own way.”
A portion of the proceeds from Railroad Earth: The John Denver Letters will benefit Youth Climate Strike, a youth-led movement seeking to raise awareness of climate change and encouraging action to curb it.
Listen to “If You Will Be My Lady” below.