Song of the Day #3,631: ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ – John Denver

Peter, Paul and Mary scored their only #1 hit with ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ in 1969, but John Denver released his own version that year as well. Nestled on Side B of his sophomore album Rhymes & Reasons, it was one of only three original compositions on the record.

This version of the song was recently used for the opening of an episode of Barry, a dark HBO comedy starring Bill Hader as a hitman trying to succeed in Hollywood. That scene reminded me of how much I love this song and led to this theme week, so you can either thank or blame Bill Hader.

Now seems as good a time as any to mention John Denver’s death in the crash of a small plane that he was piloting. Denver was a seasoned pilot but unfamiliar with some of the controls of the craft he flew that day. He was also not legally cleared to fly at the time of the accident due to recent drunk driving arrests, though there were no indications he’d been drinking before flying that day.

‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ takes on added poignancy when you hear it in light of Denver’s untimely death.

[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

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,631: ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ – John Denver

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I never considered the song in light of Denver’s death, but it does add poignancy.

    And so glad you watched Barry—such a good show! We’re all pulling for Hader to win an Emmy for his acting performance, although Daniel is conflicted as he would also love to see Donald Glover win. 😊

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I thought I remembered that it was a plane he had built?? Anyway it is poignant and I too am happy you loved the show. So I thank you and Bill 😊

  3. Amy says:

    This is still too fast. This is the one played on Barry?! Really… I’ll have to go back and watch that scene again. His Greatest Hit version is clearly the winner. Don’t doubt the artist. If he thinks it’s yet to be recorded in a way that makes him happy, trust him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.