Led Zeppelin – Night Flight

I once read where a critic said “Night Flight” was a song that would have fit nicely on a Stones album.  I have to agree with him because I can see that.

Led Zeppelin first recorded this song in 1971. it was intended for Led Zeppelin 4, but was put on Physical Graffiti to fill the double album. Most of this song was written by Led Zeppelin’s bass player, John Paul Jones, who is listed first on the writing credits. It is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs with no guitar solo. It is also credited to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

When I listen to Physical Graffiti I always make sure I give this one a listen. This song was not released as a sing because Zeppelin didn’t do that much at all…but I always thought it should have been.

According to Robert Plant…This song is about a man dodging a military draft.

From Songfacts

While there’s no official live recording of the band playing this, bootlegs abound of one time when they did it during a sound check on stage. A different studio version was produced with extra backing vocals.

In the liner notes for the Led Zeppelin box set, Jimmy Page declares: “To be able to fuse all these styles was always my dream in the early stages, but now the composing side of it is just as important.”

In Frank Moriarty’s book Seventies Rock: The Decade of Creative Chaos, Moriarty recounts how critics were less receptive to Zeppelin’s stateside invasion than their fans: “The writers insisted the band’s concerts did little more than placate legions of Quaalude-swallowing, whiskey-and-wine-swilling cretins, a vulgar audience that filled the soulless hockey rinks and municipal auditoriums of the United States – and Led Zeppelin was more to be blamed for the group’s low-rent audiences than praised for their music.” Good thing their reputation recovered, then!

 

Night Flight

I received a message from my brother across the water
He sat laughin’ as he wrote the end’s in sight
So I said goodbye to all my friends
And packed my hopes inside a matchbox
‘Cause I know it’s time to fly

Oh yeah, come on, meet me in the morning
Meet me in the middle of the night
Ah yeah, the morning light is comin’
Don’t it make you want to go and feel alright

I just jumped a train that never stops
So now somehow I’ll know I never finished payin’ for my ride
Just n’ someone pushed a gun into my hand
Tell me I’m the type of man to fight the fight that I’ll require

Oh yeah, come on, meet me in the morning
Want you meet me in the middle of the night
The morning light is comin’
Don’t it make you want to go and feel alright

Oh, mama, well I think it’s time I’m leavin’
Nothin’ here to make me stay
Whoa, mama, well it must be time I’m goin’
They’re knockin’ down them doors
They’re tryin’ to take me away

Please Mr. Brakeman, won’t you ring your bell
And ring loud and clear
Please Mr. Fireman, won’t you ring your bell
Tell the people they got to fly away from here

I once saw a picture of a lady with a baby
Southern lady, had a very, very special smile
We are in the middle of a change in destination
When the train stops, all together we will smile
Oh, come on, come on now meet me in the morning
Won’t you meet me in the middle of the night, night, night
Oh oh, yeah, everybody know the mornin’ time is comin’
Don’t it make you want to feel alright
Ah, ah, yeah, make me feel alright
Fly now, baby
Get to fly, yeah
Fly now, baby
Oh, hey, hey

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

11 thoughts on “Led Zeppelin – Night Flight”

  1. didn’t know that song. Interesting back story. When you think of it, given the early-70s environment, it is maybe surprising there weren’t a whole lot more hits written about the draft and trying to avoid it. Heart for example, were from Seattle but had their first success in Canada because they’d relocated to Vancouver because one of them was drafted and decided to flee (so his girlfriend – can’t remember if it was Nancy or Ann) and the bandfollowed him up there. Would’ve been great fodder for a song.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That would be a good story to tell in a song. I think the song had commercial value at that time but they simply did not release singles hardly at all. I could see this as a Stones song very easily.

      Liked by 1 person

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