Artist: Paul Pena

Jet Airliner ~ Paul Pena

Paul Pena was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist of Cape Verdean descent.

His music from the first half of his career touched on Delta blues, jazz, morna, flamenco, folk and rock and roll. Pena is probably best known for writing the song “Jet Airliner,” a major 1977 hit for the Steve Miller Band and a staple of classic rock radio; and for appearing in the 1999 documentary film Genghis Blues, wherein he displayed his abilities in the field of Tuvan throat singing.

Jet Airliner

This is the original version of Jet Airliner. The song was made famous by Steve Miller Band after he received an unreleased copy of Paul’s album New Train.

Due to problems with famous manager Albert Grossman, Paul Pena’s phenomenal album New Train didn’t get released for almost 30 years. It’s a truly amazing work of art.

While Steve Millers version is fantastic and a great cover, Paul’s original version is out of this world. It’s a very deep and heartfelt song. Paul, who was completely blind by the age of 20, sings of his experience on an airplane trip from Boston to Montreal to play the first-ever date with T-Bone Walker’s band.

Most of Paul’s income came from the royalties for writing this great song. He later was the focal point of the award winning documentary “Genghis Blues.”

Sadly, Paul passed away in 2005 after a long bout with Pancreatitis.

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Can’t see forty-two, just ’bout t’go insane
I’ve been down before
Ridin’ along in this big jet plane
I’ve been thinkin’ about jumpin’ out the door
‘Cause my home land is so far away
And I feel like it’s all been done
Somebody’s tryin’ to make me stay
And I’ve got to be on the run

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

I’ve been sitting by the fireside
Wonderin’ where my strength is goin’
Looking through the (midlight?),
Tryin’ to find out which way the wind is blowin’
But my heart keeps pushing me backwards
As I jump aboard that 747
Riding high, but with a tear in my eye
You got to go through hell before you get to heaven

Woah, 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

Oh I know I will
I’m gonna leave on my own this time
Oh, yeah, yeah

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Big ol’ jet airliner
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
Feel the heat comin’ down
First thought is “Lord, I said I’d be there”
But I couldn’t seem to quite get it down
‘Cause I’m goin’ with some hesitation
I’ve got to go and make my way
But there’s so many people, Lord, to talk to
And a whole lotta debts to pay

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

Goodbye to old friends at home
Goodbye to willing friends I’ve trusted
I’ve got to go out and make my way
I might get rich and I might get busted
But I’m going, Lord, with so many things to clean up
I’ve got to make my way clear before me
But I don’t want to get mixed up
In any of that funky shit that goin’ down before me

Oooh, big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Big ol’ jet airliner
‘Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay
(‘Cause it’s California where I’ve got to stay (last time)

(444)