Airplanes have been around for more than a century. Over time, they have gone from being something wondrous to being something normal, thus becoming one more example of how much things have changed in modern times. Still, it isn’t hard to see why airplanes can remain subjects of interest for a wide range of people with a wide range of circumstances. As a result, it makes sense that there have been some very notable songs written about airplanes.
10. “Plane” – Jason Mraz
Look back, Jason Mraz’s “Plane” can sound rather exaggerated. However, it is important to remember that it came out in 2005. Thanks to that, the bit in which the singer consoles himself by saying that he had at least managed to find love has something of the ring of truth to it.
9. “Airplanes” – B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams
There are a lot of people out there who will be most familiar with B.o.B. because he became a Flat Earther, which is exactly what it sounds like. Still, the man has released some very enjoyable songs. To name an example, there was “Airplanes” in 2010, which featured vocals from Paramore singer Hayley Williams.
8. “Eight Miles High” – The Byrds
As songs go, “Eight Miles High” is pretty innocuous. After all, it is literally about the Byrds’ flight to London as well as their subsequent experience in the United Kingdom. Despite this, it is funny to note that “Eight Miles High” actually got banned by a lot of U.S. radio stations back in the day because of its supposed advocacy for recreational drug use. Regardless, the song is now a classic, not least because it and the rest of the band’s output had such a huge influence on raga rock and psychedelic rock.
7. “Jet Airliner” – Steve Miller Band
Speaking of which, the Steve Miller Band had a huge impact on psychedelic rock as well. They had a number of huge hits. One example would be “Jet Airliner,” which is like a lot of other songs on this list in that it uses plane imagery to explore some other issue. In its case, it is about the singer’s indecision as they embark upon a new stage in their life. Something that is very relatable because it is normal for people to have mixed feelings under said circumstances.
6. “Aviation” – Lana Del Rey
One can make the argument that the singer of “Aviation” should be listed as May Jailer rather than Lana Del Rey. After all, it was recorded back when the singer was still using that stage name rather than the stage name that she is much better-known as. In any case, “Aviation” was a song on an unreleased studio album called Sirens, which was leaked in its entirety in 2012. It is rather unusual. Most songs don’t see the singer going on and on about their desire to go into an aviation program. Having said that, it seems reasonable to speculate that there are additional layers of meaning to the lyrics, though what that might be is a whole other issue.
5. “Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins
“Danger Zone” is a song that has been getting a fair amount of interest in recent times. This is because it is one of the best-known songs from the original Top Gun soundtrack. Due to that, there were discussions about Kenny Loggins doing a new version for the Top Gun sequel. In the end, Tom Cruise apparently decided to go with the original for maximum nostalgia. Even though it came out in 1986, “Danger Zone” stands up surprisingly well.
4. “Learn to Fly” – Foo Fighters
There are a lot of songs that are named either “Learn to Fly” or some variation on that. This one would be the Foo Fighters song that came out in 1999. It was far from being the band’s first release. For context, “Learn to Fly” was the lead single on the Foo Fighters’ third studio album, which isn’t even mentioning how the band started up as the one-time Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl’s solo project. Still, it played a huge role in making the band known to interested individuals, seeing as how it was their first song to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100.
3. “Learning to Fly” – Pink Floyd
Meanwhile, this “Learning to Fly” would be the one penned by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd for the most part. The most straightforward reading is that this is a song about the man’s thoughts on flying. Something that Gilmour is known to enjoy, as shown by how he is a licensed pilot with multiple ratings. However, there are more metaphorical readings as well. In particular, there is the one that thinks that it was about the man’s thoughts on stepping up as the new leader of Pink Floyd after the departure of Roger Waters. Something that was confirmed by Gilmour in 1992.
2. “Take Me to the Pilot” – Elton John
“Take Me to the Pilot” was one of Elton John’s earlier songs. However, while it was sung by the man, it was written by the man’s long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin. Funny enough, John has stated that he doesn’t have a clue what the song’s famously cryptic lyrics mean. Funnier still, Taupin has said pretty much the same thing because he put the words together because they sounded good rather than because they were supposed to send some kind of message.
1. “Leaving On a Jet Plane” – John Denver
It is no exaggeration to say that John Denver was one of the greatest music artists of his generation. Furthermore, “Leaving On a Jet Plane” is one of his most famous songs, though it is interesting to note that his particular version never managed to make it onto the charts. Still, it retains its power, meaning that it is very enjoyable even though it has been decades and decades since its initial release.