Goodman & Sons Jewelers

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Goodman & Sons Jewelers
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(757) 838-2328

2018 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666 (Map)

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(757) 229-5388

4640-11A Monticello Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23188 (Map)

Store Hours
Mon 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tue 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wed 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thu 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fri 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun Closed

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Music Friday: John Denver Is 'Leaving on a Jet Plane,' But Promises to Return With a Wedding Ring

February 2, 2018

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 1970s icon John Denver wears his heart on his sleeve in the timeless hit, "Leaving on a Jet Plane." In this song about the heartbreak of being far away from the one you love, the musician is about to embark on an extended tour, but before he heads to the airport, he wants to assure his girlfriend that he is totally committed to her.

With an impatient taxi driver waiting for him at the curb, Denver wakes his girlfriend at the crack of dawn. He begs her to "wait for him" and promises that they will tie the knot when he returns.

He sings, "Every place I go, I'll think of you / Every song I sing, I'll sing for you / When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring."

"This is a very personal and very special song for me," Denver told the BBC. "It doesn't conjure up Boeing 707s or 747s for me as much as it does the simple scenes of leaving. Bags packed and standing by the front door, taxi pulling up in the early morning hours, the sound of a door closing behind you, and the thought of leaving someone that you care for very much. It still strikes a lonely and anguished chord in me, because the separation still continues, although not so long and not so often nowadays."

The son of a U.S. Army Air Forces pilot, Denver and his family moved often and it was difficult for the introverted little boy to make friends. Even as an adult, he was always tormented by the feeling of not knowing where the "right" place was.

The anguish of being on the road inspired a 24-year-old Denver to write "Babe, I Hate to Go" (later renamed "Leaving on a Jet Plane") in 1966 during a layover at Washington airport. The song was first released on Denver's studio album John Denver Sings, but didn't become a smash hit until his producer Milt Okun introduced the song to Peter, Paul and Mary in 1969. That version went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and became the trio's biggest hit.

As the writer of the immensely popular "Leaving on a Jet Plane," Denver saw his solo switch into overdrive. Bolstered by songs, such as "Take Me Home Country Roads," "Annie's Song," "Rocky Mountain High," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders," Denver became one of the most popular acts of the 1970s.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., in Roswell, N.M, in 1943, Denver spent most of his adult life in his much-beloved adopted state of Colorado. In fact, he took the name "Denver" to honor Colorado — and because the name Deutschendorf was not likely to fit on many marquees.

Over the course of his career, Denver recorded about 300 songs and sold more than 33 million records worldwide. Sadly, his career was cut short when his two-seat plane crashed near Monterey Bay, Calif., in 1997. He was 53.

Please check out the the 1977 concert video of Denver performing "Leaving on a Jet Plane." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"
Written and performed by John Denver.

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn
The taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I tell you now, they don't mean a thing
Every place I go, I'll think of you
Every song I sing, I'll sing for you
When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you
Then close your eyes
I'll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times, I won't have to say

Oh, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

But, I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.