Growing up "Country Roads" by John Denver was my family's anthem when we got together - whether it was in Tennessee (where we were transplanted) or Massachusetts (where my family is from). In either place, country roads were literally the place we all felt at home. I can't remember a family occasion where the song wasn't sung. My dad would (and still does) play it on his guitar with his bellowing Irish voice (a voice I've definitely inherited) - and we would all try to harmonize and sing along as best we could. I remember taking great pride as a little girl in knowing all the lyrics.
Later in life, almost as though it was meant to be, it would become the song that linked my very best girl friends and I together. From seedy Boston bars (don't judge) to our very own weddings, we danced as if they sang it for us (and maybe because we forced them to).
It was also the last song we sang at my Grandfather's funeral (my Dad leading the charge with a strength I only hope to have one day), and I know my Grampy loved it so much. My nephew requested (in his own right) to learn this special song at his guitar lesson the next week, and we all kind of melted inside.
I suppose that is one of the many reasons I love escaping to Vermont so much. They take me home, those country roads.