The future of music

30 Best Songs About Flying

December 5, 2023
Songs about flying

Songs about flying capture the human fascination with soaring through the skies, a theme that resonates deeply in music across various genres.

I’ve put together a selection of these tracks to elevate your spirits and inspire a sense of freedom, illustrating how artists have interpreted the exhilarating experience of flight through melody and lyrics.

Top songs about flying

  • B.o.B. and Hayley Williams – “Airplanes”
  • Nelly Furtado – “I’m Like A Bird”
  • Lenny Kravitz – “Fly Away”
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Aeroplane”
  • Nicki Minaj and Rihanna – “Fly”
  • M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”
  • Pearl Jam – “Given To Fly”
  • Pink Floyd – “Learning To Fly”
  • John Denver – “Leaving On A Jet Plane”
  • Fatboy Slim – Sunset (Bird of Prey)

1. B.o.B. and Hayley Williams – “Airplanes”

Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular songs about airplanes.

It was released in 2010, but it kind of feels like it was yesterday.

It’s still relevant and powerful.

“What would you wish for, if you had one chance?
So airplane, airplane sorry I’m late
I’m on my way so don’t close that gate
If I don’t make that, then I’ll switch my flight
And I’ll be right back at it by the end of the night.”

2. Nelly Furtado – “I’m Like A Bird”

I’m Like A Bird” is one of the most iconic pop songs about flying.

In her signature song, Nelly Furtado sings about freedom, independence, and uncertainties of life and love.

“I’m like a bird
I’ll only fly away
I don’t know where my soul is (soul is)
I don’t know where my home is.”

3. Lenny Kravitz – “Fly Away”

Lenny Kravitz’s hit from the 90s is a classic among songs about flying.

The song expresses a strong (and repetitive) wish to escape and get away as far as possible.

The message is quite clear.

“I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly.”

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Aeroplane”

Red Hot Chili Peppers are right: music is our aeroplane.

So, turn up the volume, and enjoy this gem.

“I like pleasure spiked with pain
And music is my aeroplane
It’s my aeroplane
Songbird sweet and sour Jane
And music is my aeroplane
It’s my aeroplane.”

5. Nicki Minaj and Rihanna – “Fly”

Released in 2011, Nicki Minaj’s and Rihanna’s track “Fly” seems almost forgotten. But it shouldn’t be.

It’s uplifting and inspiring, just like all the songs about flying high should be.

“I came to win, to fight
To conquer, to thrive
I came to win, to survive
To prosper, to rise
To fly.”

6. M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”

When it comes to songs about planes, this tune immediately comes to mind.

Besides being incredibly catchy, “Paper Planes” has an important message; it was inspired by M.I.A.’s experiences of being an immigrant.

The song is based on a sample of The Clash song “Straight To Hell” which also talks about the problem of xenophobia.

“I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make ’em all day
I get one done in a second if you wait.”

7. Pearl Jam – “Given To Fly”

“And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly.”

Pearl Jam’s “Given To Fly” is actually a great flying song.

It’s energetic and uplifting, and we can easily imagine ourselves looking at the horizon through that round plane window while listening to it.

8. Pink Floyd – “Learning To Fly”

Pink Floyd recorded one of the most iconic rock songs about flying.

“Learning To Fly” combines real flying instructions and the metaphor of flying.

Moreover, it was inspired by David Gilmour’s fear of flying. He took up flying lessons though, so the song was written during that period.

“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.”

9. John Denver – “Leaving On A Jet Plane”

John Denver’s 1966 tune is undoubtedly one of the most tender and sentimental songs about jets.

It tells a story of a man who has to go and leave someone he loves behind, even though he doesn’t want to.

“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 leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go.”

10. Fatboy Slim – Sunset (Bird of Prey)

And if you need something that will make you feel like you’re ready to fly away on a jet plane, Fatboy Slim’s “Sunset (Bird of Prey)” is probably a better choice.

It’s a great, upbeat flying song to keep you hyped.

“Bird of prey, bird of prey
In the summer sky, flying high.”

11. Angus and Julia Stone – “Big Jet Plane”

“Big Jet Plane” surely isn’t one of the common songs about planes.

But this indie classic will make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.

It was released in 2009, and we still love to be reminded of it.

12. The Last Shadow Puppets – “Aviation”

Miles Kane and Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner formed The Last Shadow Puppets in 2008.

And one of their best tracks is definitely “Aviation.”

“Aviation in the evening
I can feel it coming on
Mama told me you should start
As you mean to go wrong
Or else you’re never gonna get it right.”

13. The Beatles – “Blackbird”

“Blackbird” is a peaceful, foot-tapping masterpiece.

That’s the only thing we can say about this timeless song.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

14. Marvin Gaye – “Flying High In A Friendly Sky”

If you don’t feel very comfortable flying in a plane, this song will help you to relax.

It’s calm and soulful, and it will motivate you to look at the friendly sky.

“Flying high in the friendly sky
Flying high without ever leavin’ the ground, no.”

15. Joni Mitchell – “Amelia”

An artist like Joni Mitchell writing a song about a historic person like Amelia Earhart?

There was simply no way that could turn out anything but great.

Mitchell wrote it while she was traveling cross-country by herself. So, it makes sense that she got inspired by the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

“A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm.”

16. The Byrds – “Eight Miles High”

“Eight Miles High” was allegedly inspired by the conversation between Gene Clark (singer) and Roger McGuinn (guitarist) during a flight. Clark asked McGuinn how high they were in the sky.

However, many people believe it’s about a different kind of high.

Either way, it’s a great song with the cool 60s vibe.

“Eight miles high and when you touch down
You’ll find that it’s stranger than known
Signs in the street that say where you’re going
Are somewhere just being their own.”

17. Steve Miller Band – “Jet Airliner”

Let’s move a bit forward, to 1977.

“Jet Airliner” is a great feel-good song that will help you relax next time you’re flying high above the clouds.

“Oh, big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, big ol’ jet airliner
‘Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay.”

18. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”

This Lynyrd Skynyrd classic should also be on your good flying music playlist.

It’s fast-paced and energetic, and if you’re listening to it while you’re high above the ground, it will make you feel invincible.

“If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be traveling on now
‘Cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.”

19. Black Pumas – “Touch The Sky”

There’s something really extraordinary about flying on a plane.

Mountains, oceans, and clouds are beneath you… And the sky looks slightly darker and much much closer. It almost feels like you can touch it.

“If we touch the sky, brother
Hear the lovers cry, sister
‘Til we’re satisfied lovers
Now we’re taking flight.”

20. Semi Precious Weapons – “Aviation High”

This is a hidden gem among songs about aviation.

It’s simple but very uplifting, dreamy, and catchy.

P.S. – If you like Eurovision winners Måneskin, you’ll probably like Semi Precious Weapons too.

“Our night is lit by the city moon
When I see myself reflect on you
I know what I was meant to do
We’re alive, alive We’re aviation high.”

21. Coldplay – “Clocks”

“Clocks” is not a song with flying in the lyrics, but it’s a perfect flying soundtrack.

It feels very liberating, and that sound in the background somehow fits the sound of a plane engine perfectly.

So, next time you’re gliding above the clouds, listen to this song and let your mind wander.

“Confusion that never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks
Gonna come back and take you home
I could not stop that you now know.”

22. Birdy – “Wings”

Of course, one of the best songs about wings and flying comes from Birdy.

It’s a lively, emotional song full of memories and gentle expressions of love and desire.

“If these wings could fly
Oh lights go down
In the moment we’re lost and found
I just wanna be by your side
If these wings could fly.”

23. Ludovico Einaudi – “Fly”

If music could make you fly, it would be Ludovico Einaudi’s compositions.

And “Fly” is one of his best-known works.

24. David Bowie – “Space Oddity”

How about flying to space?

No one is stopping you from dreaming big. And David Bowie should be a good reminder of that.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s cover version of “Space Oddity” was the first music video to be recorded in space.

“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.”

25. Queen – “Spread Your Wings”

If Freddie Mercury tells you to spread your wings and fly away, you know what you have to do.

As one of their lesser-known tracks, “Spread Your Wings” provides a refreshing yet very Queen-like sound.

And the message of the song is quite clear:

“Spread your wings and fly away
Fly away, far away
Spread your little wings and fly away
Fly away, far away
Pull yourself together
‘Cause you know you should do better
That’s because you’re a free man.”

26. Jason Mraz – “Plane”

Jason Mraz definitely made one of the most unique songs about flying in a plane.

At first, the lyrics look perhaps too realistic and a bit unusual, but the song turns out to be very emotional in the end.  

“Drain the veins in my head
Clean out the red in my eyes to get by security lines
Dear X-ray machine
Pretend you don’t know me so well
I won’t tell if you lied.”

27. Radiohead – “Lucky”

Songs about plane crashes probably aren’t the best idea if you’re about to catch a flight.

However, Radiohead’s “Lucky” mentions an air crash in a very specific way; the word itself sort of gets lost in the atmosphere of the chorus.

Lyrically, the song is about a man who survives the crash. But it somehow sounds very liberating and even hopeful.  

“I feel my luck could change
Pull me out of the air crash
Pull me out of the lake
‘Cause I’m your superhero.”

28. Little Mix – “Wings”

Let’s lighten up the mood with Little Mix.

Without a doubt, this is the catchiest song on this list.

It’s a cheerful pop song about wings that represent your abilities. It’s also about not letting anyone put you down.

“Mama told me not to waste my life
She said, “Spread your wings, my little butterfly”
Don’t let what they say keep you up at night
And if they give you-, shh
Then they can walk on by.”

29. Alicia Keys – “How It Feels To Fly”

Alicia, we’re all wondering the same thing.

Nonetheless, similar to the previous song, “How It Feels to Fly” talks about taking risks and giving your best.

To some extent, it’s about reaching heights in a sense of fulfilling your own potential.

“I am riding high
I don’t want come down
But wings don’t here me out
If I can touch the sky
I risk to fall just to know how it feels to fly.”

30. Frank Sinatra – “Come Fly With Me”

Let’s wrap it up with one of the most iconic songs about flying.

Of course, we didn’t forget about “Fly Me to the Moon”, but nothing captures the charm of traveling and flying like “Come Fly with Me.”

Back then, travel was a luxury, and you can feel that in the atmosphere of this timeless classic.

“Come fly with me, let’s float down to Peru
In llama-land there’s a one-man band
And he’ll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, let’s take off in the blue.”

Final Thoughts

For today’s playlist, we tried to include different artists and genres.

Some of these songs make perfect flight soundtracks, and some of them will make you feel like you have your own wings to fly.

Therefore, we hope they will enrich your daydreaming and keep you good company on your next flight!  

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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