Song of the Day #3,629: ‘Babe, I Hate To Go’ – John Denver

Initially, I planned to follow up last week’s Neil Diamond appreciation with a similar dive into the work of John Denver. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

I realized quickly that I’ve already featured most of my favorite John Denver songs, including ‘Annie’s Song,’ ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads‘ and ‘Rocky Mountain High.’

And after some digging, I realized I dislike pretty much everything else the man has recorded. So there’s that.

But… I have never featured my very favorite John Denver song, and it turns out it has enough of a backstory to warrant a week all to itself.

That song is ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane,’ but it got its start on a 1966 self-released collection of demos under a different name, ‘Babe, I Hate To Go.’

Here’s that version. Stay tuned for the next step in the song’s evolution.

[Verse 1]
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go
I’m standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breaking, it’s early morn
The taxi’s waiting, he’s blowin’ his horn
Already I’m so lonesome I could die

[Chorus]
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 leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

[Verse 2]
There’s so many times I 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

[Chorus]
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 leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

[Verse 3]
Now the time has come to leave you
One more time, let me kiss you
Then close your eyes, 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

[Chorus]
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 leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

[Outro]
I’m leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,629: ‘Babe, I Hate To Go’ – John Denver

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    A week’s worth of versions of the same song? Okay, I’m intrigued.

  2. willedare says:

    I only learned a few years ago that John Denver wrote this PP&M classic… Thank for sharing the original demo (using its original title…)

  3. Peg Clifton says:

    Should be an interesting week 💤😊

  4. Amy says:

    This post made me laugh out loud. Still, he has a handful of songs you felt worthy to blog about, and one for an entire week, so there’s that. ;P Thank goodness he slowed this down!! Yikes.

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