Monday, March 14, 2011

Songs About Leaving

My husband travels a lot for his job.  He's a consultant, and works for companies that are out of state.  It's challenging, because we have three teenagers and I also work full-time AND we own a tire/auto repair business.  We seem to be making it work.  We've been doing things this way for two years now and have a bit of a routine.  The weekends are pretty packed full with pick ups from the airport, catching up the books for the shop, doing laundry and packing again, dropping off at the airport, and, oh yeah...spending time with the kids AND having a marriage.  And then there are the weekdays I spend trying to coordinate carpools and doctor appointments and getting work done at my real job (and I really think I have time to be a writer?). 

But you know what?  I am grateful.  My husband is a consultant. In the U.S.  I get to see him every weekend, and while I know accidents happen, I don't worry that he's going to get blown up by a roadside bomb or come home with PTSD (although some of those layovers in Atlanta can be pretty awful, I understand). And hey, there are the frequent flier miles that we are accumulating! 

Anyway, as it happens, I was dropping off the Bearded Wonder (my eldest, the one who, thankfully, drives) to pick up the Hubby's truck at the airport this morning, Gary Allan's "Watching Airplanes" came on the radio.  What a great song:

Sittin' out here on the hood of this truck lookin' up
At a caramel colored sunset sky
Checking my watch, doin' the math in my head
Countin' backwards from when you said goodbye
Well, those runway lights are getting brighter.

I'm just sittin' out here watchin' airplanes
Take off and fly
Tryin' to figure out which one you might be on
And why you don't love me anymore
Right now I'm sittin' out here watchin' airplanes

I won't post the whole thing here, but this song always sends me off into my head, making up stories about this guy and his troubled heart.  It seems that songs about leaving do that for me, get my creative juices flowing. 

One of my very first favorite songs was "Leaving on a Jet Plane", which I just Wiki'd and learned that, even though it was made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver wrote it.  I loved that song.  "My bags are packed, I'm ready go.."

Ya'll are SO lucky that you can't hear me sing over the internet.  SO lucky. 

I was never crazy about "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon (although I love just about every other song he's ever written), but "Last Train to Clarksville" (the Monkees) that's an old heart breaker. 

So.  Songs about leaving get me going, because I really like to think about what coming back must be like.  I want all my stories to have a "My baby, she wrote me a letter" scene in them, too! 

Do you have a favorite "Leaving" song? 


  1. Well, you know I can't resist anything to do with music. Leaving songs. Well, stretching the definition of "leaving," I'll offer up the most godforsaken goodbye song ever, Gurf Morlix's "I Got Nothing" with Lucinda Williams on background vocals. Poor Gurf's been dumped and destroyed by a mean old woman.

  2. If by "favorite" you mean "one that makes me cry like a baby when I hear it," then I have to go with Patty Lovelesses "How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye."

    But I really like "Leaving on a Jet Plane," too.

  3. Not sure if it counts, but "Send Me on My Way" by Rusted Root is a good one for leaving