Sunday Music: Learning To Fly (But I Ain’t Got Wings)

I had it on cassette and played it to death in my Walkman. I’d play it on the swings, daydreaming about performing songs like these on a stage to cheering, adoring, and equally passionate fans.

And here, all these years later, it sneaks up on me because a friend quotes it in an email. The words immediately take me back, take me forward, and then right over the edge.

Tom Petty. You damn magician you.

Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still
I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing


Well, the good ol’ days may not return
And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn
I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down, is the hardest thing


Well, some say life will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I’ve started out for God-knows-where
I guess I’ll know when I get there
I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up, must come down
I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing

I’m learning to fly, around the clouds
But what goes up, must come down
I’m learning to fly

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