Now, watch this.
Those are superficially similar songs. By which I mean, if you wrote a synopsis of the plot of each one, it would be virtually identical.
But the John Denver song is a pretty, fatuous lie, and the Gordon Lightfoot song is the truth, even when it hurts to tell.
And that, right there?
Is the difference between subscribing to the genre conventions without questioning them, and attempting to see and describe the real object. One is facile, simple, comforting, and full of convenient lies. The other one is the result of a long, hard, cold look at all the ways you've fucked this thing up, right here.
It's worth the attempt.