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“Just a Song Before I Go”

Posted by purplemary54 on April 9, 2015

“Just a Song Before I Go” was written as something of a challenge.  One of Graham Nash’s friends didn’t think he could write an entire song before they got to the airport.  Turns out, Nash could do exactly that.

It’s not a complicated tune, to be sure, but is sweet and quite emotionally effective.  It’s a gentle, acoustic ballad about a guy leaving the one he loves behind as he flies out on business.  There’s an edge to it, though, and undercurrent of fear and distance that signals that maybe this relationship is a little rocky.  “Just a song before I go, a lesson to be learned.  Traveling twice the speed of sound, it’s easy to get burned.”

Two things I feel I should note here.  The first is that the Wikipedia story about the writing of this song differs a bit from the version I heard (from a radio DJ in the late 80s, I believe).  The Wikipedia one may well be closer to the truth, but I like mine better.  The second is that this is clearly written about flying on the Concorde, the supersonic plane that took people from one side of the Atlantic to the other.   It may have flown other routes, but I only remember it flying from Europe to the United States.  It most famously flew Phil Collins from the London to Philadelphia so he could play both sets of Live Aid in 1985.  The Concorde stopped flying in the late 90s, I believe, because it was just too expensive and not enough passengers were using or could afford to use the plane.

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