I’m not sure whether my childhood infatuation with flying things is nature, nurture, or both. I loved them all: kites, balloons, paper airplanes, balsa gliders, toy parachutes, real airplanes–if it flew I loved it. My favorite childhood toy that didn’t involve Evel Knievel was my Vertibird, a toy helicopter that did nothing more than whirl around in circles.
Nurture probably had a lot to do with it, but I choose to think fascination with flight is just my nature. The sky is the one domain that humans can’t naturally navigate, after all. We can swim bodies of water without water wings, but we can’t fly without actual wings. The sky is the one place that our animal nature is not enough. Unless you’re a bird, in which case congratulations for conquering both written English and the internet, you can’t get airborne without human ingenuity.
Yep, flying things are cool, and so are songs about flying things.
“Kite,” Nick Heyward.
“Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Planitia),” The Flaming Lips.
“Kite,” Kate Bush.
“Red Balloon,” Small Faces.
“Everything You Do Is A Balloon,” Boards of Canada.
“Kites,” Spoek Mathambo.
“The Last Balloon,” XTC.
There you have it: Eight songs bound to take you up, up and away. What did I miss? I’m listening.