Songs for me - Leaving on a Jet Plane

sunset in Brindisi with trails of planes

All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

But the dawn is breaking
It’s early morning
The taxi’s waiting
He’s blowing 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 leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go.

On several occasions, I have told you music plays an important part of my life. Music picks me up when down, makes me float when on a high, calms me down when enerved and inspires me when too deflated for any inspiration. Music pumps me up when low on energy, soothes me when sad.

Many individual memories are linked to music. Hearing a certain song brings back the image, scent, vibe and mood of a certain event or period. I can be talking with people, and just like a remote perfume of a person walking by, a few seconds of a song can snap me out of the discussion, out of the present, and just have me float on the feeling of that memory for a few minutes… Gone are discussions, or conversations, or anything in the present. This is the moment where my partners in conversation think I am nuts. These are the moments where I completely loose my way, while driving, dreaming with a song on the radio, while ending up in quarters of town previously unknown.

“E” brought “Leaving on a Jet Plane” back into my memory. Not the original by John Denver, but the remake by Chantal Kreviazuk (listen to the song) which was also the title song for the movie Armageddon in 1998.
This song was always there, in my mind, with memories hidden behind a wall of time. Once hearing Chantal Kreviazuk’s version, scents of memories picked over… It took a while until I had all of the pieces of memory:

- When I was 20, I hitchhiked through France and Spain. I crossed the Pyrenees via Andorra. I bought my first walkman there, with a few music tapes. John Denver’s Greatest Hits was one of the tapes, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was one of the songs. (and yes, mum, this was the summer of the two girls in the one hotel room in Benidorm. But I never confessed the whole story!)
- I saw Armageddon for the first time on an Air France plane, crossing the Atlantic on the way to Honduras for the Hurricane Mitch emergency. That was the first mission, and the proof of concept of the UN fast intervention team we had just started then.
And Armageddon shone through Liv Tyler, with a face and above all a shape of hands that.. anyway..
- “Leaving on a Jet Plane…” has a special meaning for me, as I lead a life where I am often leaving on a Jet Plane, leaving loved ones behind. Close the door, close my heart, and climb the steps into a plane. Sit down, buckle up, close my eyes and just get on with it. Knowing I can not stay, but hate to leave. Knowing I love, but have to feel the missing too, otherwise I stop appreciating, knowing that love is the only thing that keeps me going.

Liv Tyler

Picture Liv Tyler courtesy


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