John Denver: Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

The lyrics are copied from Somgmeanings.com

“Leaving on a Jet plane” is a metaphor for every leaving of every love, including life. It is often thought, or noted, that this song is prophetic of his death in a plane crash. It is surely the song that he refers to in Rock Mountain High, “On the road hangin’ by a song.” The Chantel Kreviazuk version, which is on the Sound Tack from a movie called Armageddon, with Aerosmyth, is the best/ On U-tube, she is drop dead beautiful, and the guy leaving her would indeed have every reason to return with a ring! Ok, John himself and Cass Elliot in 1972 is almost that good! It is amusing too as heard by a loser who has no hope of return, when he says “Now the time has come to leave you.” Think of the haunted sorrow of the Jefferson Airplane song I Saw You,” as an permanent monastic dwelling, like Romeo pining for Rosalind among the grove trees! Better become a philosopher to pass the Time, as Romeo’s Friar advises him! Ms. Chantel begins the song with the divine name, saying twice “I Am,” almost as a note of music rather than a word.

   But he will bring her wedding ring because, like a knight sent off to slay his lady a dragon, his love will overwhelm any appetite on the road. The feminine shift to I’ll wear your wedding ring,” in the Peter, Paul and Mary version, I think, would then be possible. Together with RMH, I have this as one of the thirty greatest lyrics of all time. “My Sweet Lady” is that good too, no doubt sung because he was able to return. That, though it sounds deep and sad, is, strangely, an example of a happy song that can be played at weddings, of which there are surprisingly few.

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
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

Oh, 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

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