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Celebrating "Space Oddity" and other Aviation Songs

The death of David Bowie on January 10 put a new spotlight on the brilliance of this creative force of nature. In honor of Mr. Bowie, let’s review the lyrics to his song, “Space Oddity,” as well as some other aviation-related songs by classic artists.

“Space Oddity,” written and performed by David Bowie

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six)
Commencing countdown, engines on (Five, Four, Three)
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you (Two, One, Liftoff)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here, am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.

Other flight and aviation-related songs

"Jet Airliner," written by Paul Pena, performed by Steve Miller Band

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

“Learning to Fly,” written by David Gilmour, performedby Pink Floyd

Into the distance a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back
A flight of fancy on a windswept field
Standing alone my senses reeled
A fatal attraction holding me fast how
Can I escape this irresistible grasp?

Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue tied and twisted Just an earth bound misfit I

Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
Unheeded warnings I thought I thought of everything
No navigator to guide my way home
Unladened, empty and turned to stone

A soul in tension that’s learning to fly
Condition grounded but determined to try
Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

Friction lock, set.
Mixture, rich
Propellers fully forward
Flaps, set, ten degrees
Engine gauges and suction, check

Mixture set to maximum percent, recheck
Flight instruments
Altimeters, check both
Navigation lights, on
Strobes, on
To tower: Confirm 3-8-Echo ready for departure
Tower: Hello again, this is now 129.4
To tower: 129.4. It’s to go.
Tower: You may commence your takeoff, winds over 10 knots.
To tower: 3-8-Echo
Easy on the brakes. Take it easy. It’s gonna roll this time.
Just hand the power gradually, and it

Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
My grubby halo, a vapor trail in the empty air,
Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
Out of the corner of my watering eye
A dream unthreatened by the morning light
Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

There’s no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, A state of bliss
Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

“Fly Me to the Moon,” written by Bart Howard, performedby Frank Sinatra

Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, darling kiss me
Fill my heart with song and
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, darling kiss me
Fill my heart with song and
Let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you

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