Leaving on a Jet Plane

Inspired by his wife Annie, John Denver sang about the difficulties that come with never being able to establish himself in one specific area and his longing for a permanent home, in the song ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’.  John Denver wrote this in 1967 during a layover at Washington airport, when he was a member of the Chad Mitchell Trio before beginning his solo career.  This song is about making the difficult choice of whether or not to leave his loved one behind in order to pursue his music career.  Denver admits to not being the best husband that he could have been, but he wants Annie to know that he will change everything in his life if only he can be with her, as without her in his life, he is entirely lost.

Peter, Paul & Mary recorded this song on Album 1700 which was released in 1969 and it charted #1 in the US and went to #2 in the UK.  This was the biggest hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, and it was also their last.  Peter, Paul and Mary were a folk singing group brought together by manager Albert Grossman, who was looking to form a “folk-pop supergroup” made up of a tall blonde gal, a good-looking guy, and a jokester.  One of their biggest hits was ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ and their recording of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin In the Wind’ was the fastest selling record ever released by Warner Brothers Records.  By 1970, the group had broken up so that the members could pursue their own solo careers, although they reunited several times since.  Mary Travers was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005, and received a bone marrow transplant in the autumn of the same year.

John Denver made his fateful last flight on an experimental plane with an illegal takeoff.   His flying license was suspended at the time of this plane crash, because he had been arrested twice on drunken driving charges.  John Denver died on October 12, 1997 when he crashed the two-seater Long-EZ aircraft that he was piloting after it ran out of fuel just off the coast at Pacific Grove, CA.  He was not drunk at the time and it was ruled an accident.

All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin’
It’s early morn
The taxi’s waitin’
He’s blowin’ his horn
Already I’m so lonesome
I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go
‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

There’s so many times I’ve let you down
So many times I’ve played around
I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing
Every place I go, I’ll think of you
Every song I sing, I’ll sing for you
When I come back, I’ll bring your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go
‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you
Then close your eyes
And I’ll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I won’t have to leave alone
About the times, I won’t have to say

Kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go
‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

But, I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Written for Cee’s Photo Challenges – jets and planes.

 

28 thoughts on “Leaving on a Jet Plane

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