Leaving on a Jet Plane

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"Leaving on a Jet Plane"
Single by Peter Paul and Mary
from the album Album 1700
B-side "The House Song"
Released October 1969
Format 7"
Genre Folk
Length 3:27
Label Warner Bros.-Seven Arts 7340
Writer(s) John Denver
Producer(s) Milt Okun
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Peter Paul and Mary singles chronology
"Day Is Done"
"Leaving on a Jet Plane"
"The Marvelous Toy"

"Leaving on a Jet Plane" is a song written by John Denver in 1966 and most famously recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. The original title of the song was "Babe, I Hate to Go" but Denver's then producer Milt Okun convinced him to change the title.

The song was initially recorded in 1966 by Denver for his album John Denver Sings. That same year, he chose this song along with fifteen others and, with his own money, had 250 copies pressed onto vinyl. He distributed the copies to friends and family. Vocal group Peter, Paul and Mary were so impressed with the song that they chose to record it themselves and released it on their 1967 Album 1700. However, it didn't become a hit for them until they released it as a single in 1969.

It turned out to be Peter, Paul and Mary's biggest (and final) hit, becoming their only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song also spent three weeks atop the easy listening chart[1] and was used in commercials for United Airlines in the late 1970s. The song also topped the charts in Canada, and reached #2 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in February 1970.

John Denver recorded a version of the song for his debut solo album, Rhymes & Reasons, and re-recorded it in 1973 for John Denver's Greatest Hits. His version was featured in the end credits of The Guard.

Cover versions[edit]

The song was also recorded in 1967 by the Chad Mitchell Trio and then later that same year by Spanky and Our Gang. It was performed for the very first time live at The Cellar Door in Washington, D.C. in 1966 by the Chad Mitchell Trio, with Denver substituting for Chad Mitchell.

In 1968 Welsh vocal harmony group Y Triban recorded a Welsh language version entitled "Gadael", with words by Caryl Owen, for their EP "Paid A Dodi Dadi Ar Y Dôl", on the Cambrian Records label.[2] The following year they recorded the original song, in English, as a single for the same label.[3]

In the 1980s the song prompted litigation involving the British group New Order. The band's single "Run 2" (1989) was the subject of a lawsuit brought by John Denver, who argued that its wordless guitar break was based on his "Leaving on a Jet Plane". An out-of-court settlement ensured that the song would never be re-released in its original form.[4]

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 192. 
  2. ^ "Y Triban* - Paid A Dodi Dadi Ar Y Dôl (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  3. ^ "The Triban* - Leaving On A Jet Plane (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  4. ^ "New Order:Singles:Run 2". Niagara.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  5. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992"
  6. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  7. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/60s_files/19691220.html
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X. 
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  10. ^ http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/top-100-1970.shtml

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Try a Little Kindness" by Glen Campbell
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Peter, Paul & Mary version)
November 22, 1969 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thomas
Preceded by
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Peter Paul and Mary version)
December 20, 1969 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & the Supremes