Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Eight Songs About Flying

Some kids are train kids, others go for cars.  Me?  I was an airplane kid.  My ceiling was the backdrop to an epic, never-ending  dogfight between plastic models bearing sticky fingerprints.  Eventually I put away childish things, but I still get a little giddy when I see a vintage plane.

The recent tragedy at the Reno Air Show really hit home for me.  I almost took my kids to that event, not to mention that as a kid I attended lots of airshows.  So with all of the propellers whirling in my head right now I needed to find a few songs to drown them out.

Side A:  Sad and Acoustic, Wherein I Shut Up and Let the Music Do the Talking.

“Goodbye Blue Sky,” Pink Floyd

“I’ll Fly Away,” Alison Krauss

“Fly,” Nick Drake

“To Live Is to Fly,” Townes Van Zandt

Side B:  Electric, If Not Always Happier

“Flying,”  The Faces.  If you only listen to one song on this list make it this one.  Rod the Mod when he was still getting it done.

“Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon,” The Flaming Lips.  Does this cut remind you of something?  Perhaps the track immediately following it, hmm?

“Flying,” The Beatles.  Thank goodness for the new wave of headphones.  One of the hallmarks of early Beatles stereo recordings is the extreme channel separation, something that’s easily lost under many listening conditions.  But put on the cans (that’s “ear buds” to you youngsters) before you play this next one and you’ll, like, trip out, man.

“Cut My Wings,” Seasick Steve.  He’s fairly popular in Europe but mostly ignored in America, presumably because his authenticity as a hobo is in question.  Really people?  I don’t care if he’s Celine Dione with a ZZ Top beard if he can blow it out like this.

Do you have a favorite song about flying?  I’m listening, unless you mention Sugar Ray.


Related “Why It Matters” pieces:

4 replies »

  1. Hey 🙂
    Glad to see you’re still banging it out..put me to shame!
    Between The Music is currently on a bit of a busmans holiday.. I’m about 20,000 words into a novel and i’m determined to keep the impetus going so there’s not enough inspiration and motivation to spread about unfortunately..but one day it will return.
    In the meantime, I still get your regular subscription for which I am grateful and always read it..and I’m glad to see your usual high standard is still apparent 🙂

    As for flying songs…
    One I have only really come to appreciate very recently is Tom Petty’s Learning To Fly

    This one is a bit more recent but I love everything they do Foo Fighters Learn To Fly

    And of course..what list would not be complete without this one…the reason why everything matters as well we know.. The inevitable and truly awesome Lynrd Skynrd with the live version of Freebird

    Rock on mate 🙂


    • Well now there’s my legendary twin from the Old Country. I’m glad to hear that you are doing well and writing away — best of luck with that novel. Can’t argue with your flying additions, and I love the video for the Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly.” Stay in touch!


  2. and another thing… nothing to do with flying but Seasick Steve related.. he certainly is a quirk of the industry. Amazing case of now you don’t see me, now you do…as far as my knowledge of him goes anyway..he just appeared from nowhere and the world is a better place for it. I’ve listened to a lot of his stuff and he blows me away. But… the highlight of my musical year has got to be 3rd of July at Milton Keynes Bowl when he came on as a special guest at the Foo Fighters gig with none other than John Paul Jones. Dave Grohl played drums and the three of them did this
    Listen out for the ultimate in inspirational quotes just before they start.
    I did upload my own video but we were rather further back than than the previous so only got the sound…and I missed the speech…but you get a better feel for the ambience from mine and the sound is better 🙂


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