Learning to Fly

Pink Floyd

About Learning to Fly

"Learning to Fly" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, written by David Gilmour, Anthony Moore, Bob Ezrin, and Jon Carin. It was the first single from the band's thirteenth studio album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It reached number 70 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart in September, 1987, remaining three consecutive weeks at the top position in the autumn of the same year. Meanwhile, the song failed to chart on the official U. K. top 40 singles charts. On the other hand, in Spain, the song peaked at number 1 on the Los 40 Principales chart. 


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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 is holding me fast how
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 find 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
Mixtures, rich
Propellers, fully forward
Flaps, set, ten degrees
Engine gauges and suction, check

Mixture set to maximum percent, recheck
Flight instruments
Altimeters, check both
(Garbled word) - on
Navigation lights, on
Strobes, on
Confirm three-eight-echo ready for departure
Hello again, this is now 129.4
129.4, it's to go 
You may commence your takeoff, winds over ten knots
Easy on the brakes, take it easy, its 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

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. more »

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Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

8 facts about this song

Song Creation
"Learning to Fly" is a song by the British rock band Pink Floyd. It was written primarily by their drummer, Nick Mason, but all members of the band at that time: David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason are credited as songwriters.
Album Details
The song was released on 14 September 1987 as the first single from the band's thirteenth studio album, "A Momentary Lapse of Reason".
Chart Performance
"Learning to Fly" topped the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1987 for five weeks. It also reached #70 on the UK Singles Chart.
Lyrics Inspiration
The lyrics of the song are inspired by David Gilmour's love for flying. Gilmour is a licensed pilot and the lyrics reflect his feelings about flying and the sense of freedom it gives him.
Music Video
The music video for the song, directed by Storm Thorgerson, depicts a young man running in a barren landscape while scenes of the band playing the song in a studio are interspersed.
Live Performances
The song was a staple of Pink Floyd's live performances from 1987 to 1994. It was also included in Gilmour’s “Live in Gdansk”, showing its significance in their repertoire.
Unique Sound
The song is noted for its atmospheric music, the sound effects of an aircraft at the start and the near-instrumental nature of the long version, all of which contributed to it becoming a fan favorite.
Cover Versions
"Learning to Fly" has been covered by several other artists, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tim Christensen, and The Gathering.

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    Learning to Fly

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1987

    Billboard #70

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