Big Ole Jet Airliner, Don’t Carry Me Too Far Away

10 Sep

Sorry that I have been mindfully absent for a few days.  Over the last three weeks, I have been on an airplane more than on the ground, it seems.  Busy time of year in my business, but it’s all good.

Flying presents lots of contemplation time and while there’s a certain thrill of flying to far away cities to important meetings, that feeling generally fades about 10 minutes into my flight.  Then, I’m counting the hours until I’m home again.  The bustle of airports, rental cars, taxis and hotels wears on me much more now than when I was in my 20s and 30s.  My trusty iPod generally keeps me occupied and I usually have ample work to make the time pass more quickly, but each time I leave, I can’t wait to come home to my comfortable surroundings.  Yes, I am old.

However, I still am in awe of the wonderousness of being able to fly in the sky like an eagle.  God’s wonderous creation of sky and earth never ceases to amaze me and the views are just so cool.  Like the puffiness of the clouds on my way to Memphis right after Hurricane Gustav…

Or, the magnificent hues of blue that greeted me over Atlanta….

Or the most gorgeous sunset over Alabama on the final leg of my flight home from New York City, reassuring me that all was right with the world and God is in His heaven…

As the sun was setting, my naval gazing grew deep and I was reminded of the old sailor’s axiom,

Red sky by morning, sailor take warning….red sky by night, sailor’s delight.

There’s just something about being so high in the clouds that makes me so appreciative of the fact that I am so drawn home and “grounded”.

So, here’s a little tribute to those big ole jet airliners that take me back “where I belong”.

First, the late, great Paul Pena’s Jet Airliner.  Steve Miller made it popular, but it was the brillance of Paul Pena that captured feelings about flying to and fro.  The lyrics are pretty much perfect…

Leavin’ home, out on the road
I’ve been down before
Ridin’ along in this big ol’ jet plane
I’ve been thinkin’ about my home
But my love light seems so far away
And I feel like it’s all been done
Somebody’s tryin’ to make me stay
You know I’ve got to be movin’ on

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Goodbye to all my friends at home
Goodbye to people I’ve trusted
I’ve got to go out and make my way
I might get rich you know I might get busted
But my heart keeps calling me backwards
As I get on the 707
Ridin’ high I got tears in my eyes
You know you got to go through hell
Before you get to heaven

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Touchin’ down in New England town
Feel the heat comin’ down
I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on
You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around
And I’m goin’ with some hesitation
You know that I can surely see
That I don’t want to get caught up in any of that
Funky shit goin’ down in the city

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay
Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Carry me to my home
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s there that I belong

Paul changes up the lyrics a bit in this version done on the Conan O’Brien show shortly before his death…

  Jet Airliner, Paul Pena

While no other “airplane” song quite captures the essence of business flying, for me, here are a few other “flying” songs…

  Come Fly With Me, Frank Sinatra

….gotta love that “exotic booze in old Bombay”.  Here’s a lovely new twist on the old classic of Leaving on a Jet Plane…

  Leaving on a Jet Plane, Jewel

Of course, I have to include James Taylor’s perennial hit, Fire and Rain

  Fire and Rain, James Taylor

And, one of my favorite Tom Petty songs is Learning to Fly (even though it’s really not about airplane flying)…

  Learning to Fly, Tom Petty




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6 responses to “Big Ole Jet Airliner, Don’t Carry Me Too Far Away

  1. shrewspeaks

    September 11, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Business travel is such a double edge sword. You get to go to all these great places, but you never get to see them and your time is so not your own. You can hate a city because all you see of it is an airport, traffic and some four walls that you are relocated to for the duration of the time you are there.

    If you are lucky, you might get a few moments when work melts away and the awe and specture of life emerges; either on the streets walking to dinner or lunch or as you did on a flight.

    Anyway you slice it…it is always great to have Paul Pena ringing in my ears for the day and for that I am thankful.

  2. Amy deClouet

    September 11, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Those are amazing pictures D! I love your choices of airplane music here…especially Jewel’s Leaving on a Jet Plane. I’d never heard that version before.
    And wanting to be back to the comforts of home doesn’t make you old…it makes you a deClouet! We are a homebound bunch it seems:)

  3. John

    October 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    nice picture of heaven

  4. Jeff

    August 6, 2010 at 3:26 am

    The big question is do you sit in back…or in front? I stumbled in here looking for some photos. If you look at my site you’ll easily see why. I have a great list of about 50 “fly” tunes if you want it.
    How about Beatles “Blackbird” to start. I like the front seat. 😉

  5. music maven

    August 7, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Jeff, I’d love the “Fly” playlist. Thinking about making a comeback here and another flying post would be a great entre’. As for seat preference, I guess I sit in the front of the back. I’m always just a passenger, but hate to fight my way in and out of the plane, so I generally go for seats 6,7,8, or 9 — aisle.

  6. Dave

    November 29, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I saw this, it is late at night and I have to go to school tomorrow…I actually saw Steve Miller do this song down in California…I still love that song…It brings me back to the time when this world seemed like a beautiful place…maybe it was the girls there were so many…maybe it was the sun it was always shining …Maybe even the ocean with it’s own majestic way of calming my nerves…One day I will know…


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