The Late Movies: Songs About Flying

Erica Palan

On this day in 1906, the Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine." Me? I'm a terrible flyer. I get anxiety sweats and headaches and I hold my neighbor's hand so tightly that everyone's knuckles turn white. But when I need to get across the country, I sure do appreciate that I can hop on an airplane for a few hours instead of driving my car for a week. Here, six songs about flying. Did your favorite make the list? Tell us in the comments.

Fly Me to the Moon

Though Frank Sinatra popularized this song, it was also sung by Marvin Gaye, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Anita O'Day and many others.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Written by John Denver, this song was Peter, Paul & Mary's biggest hit. Coincidentally, John Denver died in a plane crash in 1997.

I Believe I Can Fly

Because I am from Philadelphia, I find this fact especially interesting: Philly Mayor Michael Nutter has an entire CD of remixes of "I Believe I Can Fly" that he plays in his car. If for some bizarre reason you could only listen to different versions of one song, what song it be?

Rocket Man

This popular Elton John song describes the inner monologue of an astronaut headed for Mars and his mixed feelings at leaving his family.


This song is off the Beach Boys' 1977 album Love You.

Learn to Fly

Due to the nature of this Foo Fighters' song's music video, it is was deemed inappropriate after the 9/11 attacks on America.