This song, written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, and most famously recorded by John Denver in 1969, has much to say about the resiliency of families to weather tough times. The concept of the “common people” typically refers to regular folk as somehow being more ethical, honest and true than others, such as those in business and government.
The common people have thus often been defined in an agrarian sense: farmers were seen as being most genuinely of the common people because they fed and supported others; they did not use their capacity to exploit opportunities and make money but were content with honest industry, independence, a frank spirit of equality and an ability to produce and enjoy a simple abundance. This agrarian – and also rural – myth of the nobility of farmers encouraged these people to see themselves as separate from the order of business enterprise and speculation that flourished in the cities. Instead, the common people, free from the taint of corruption and class privilege, may even be a victimized populace at the mercy of capitalist bankers and barons.
The composition of the common people has been broadened to include modern, industrial workers. The concept is often used in political rhetoric by elected representatives to attempt to demonstrate they are broadly supported and not elitist.