Tom Petty: Learning to Fly Meaning
Song Released: 1991
Learning to Fly Lyrics
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
The town lit up the world got still
I’m learning to fly but I ain’t got wings
Comin’ down is the hardest thing
Well the good old...
This song is about achieving a huge goal. The learning to fly without wings means learning to do something you\'ve never done before and you\'re not sure if you\'re even prepared to do.
As with anything great, coming back down is always the hardest part.
anonymous Nov 10th, 2017 11:44am report
I think it's about life. First verse I interpret as get a rough start to life. Broken family, a poor choice, financial situation, ect. You feel all alone, you against the world. Then there's a moment when you cross a point in your life where it's finally in your power to live how you want too (18) but you're not sure how to go about it. So you're learning how to create your life the way you want to. But getting to that point is the hardest thing. A dream/goal is constantly evolving and we will have set backs so reaching this dream or goal is never ending. The second and third verse I interpret as saying if you give life a chance to break you it will. Everything could fall apart. So we have to keep pushing on and to keep learning.
anonymous May 25th, 2009 5:52pm report
This song has nothing to do with drugs. its all about growing up and experiencing things that you aren't ready for, like learning to fly without wings
anonymous Jun 2nd, 6:57am report
It's so obviously about smoking crack. The rocks may melt and the sea (C-crack) may burn. Learning to Fly means learning to get high because when you're high you don't need wings, and the Jones or coming down from your high is the hardest thing. Stealing your crown refers to taking away your riches and position in life, since it's clear that smoking crack will ruin you financially.
anonymous Dec 22nd, 2019 12:30pm report
I know most of you say it’s not about drugs and I say your right. It’s about getting sober and learning to live again.
anonymous Oct 6th, 2017 10:01pm report
I've always thought it's about growing older. "Coming down is the hardest thing."
anonymous Oct 3rd, 2017 10:20pm report
May TOM PETTY always [R.I.P] I know that I've heard that this song isn't about drugs, and I agree. But you can interpret this song from personal experience, being high on drugs that's ''almost like'' getting on a one way plane trip to the higher plain. All the while getting way to high on those certain drugs to experience the God Expierience of ''Learning To Fly'' there. Without thinking or worrying that you may lose everything, if you try to come down. Asking yourself ''when and how'' to land, 'cause you learned to fly much more Mentally without having the experience of any Wings to guide you back, and if you ever do, that's the hardest thing to do, 'cause you are usually pulled down from your escape trip by the earth's gravity to crash land back into yourself.
anonymous Dec 28th, 2015 12:00pm report
Not every single song is about Drugs. Tom Petty said it wasn't about drugs and since he wrote it, let's give him credit for knowing what his own song was about.
One interview says he saw a pilot on TV talking about how when you learn to fly that landing is the most difficult part. I think the song is both talking about the difficult things in life and relating them to the actual experience of learning to fly.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2012 8:09pm report
No, your all wrong. When tom was asked if the song was about drugs, he simply said no. He once talked to a pilot, who in fact, was learning to fly. He told Tom that coming down was the hardest thing. Simple as that
anonymous Apr 25th, 2012 4:39am report
Never having done drugs... I got into the song because... i just dont' know why.
I think there is a meaning here for anyone who connects with it and needs to find it.
anonymous Jan 20th, 2010 1:26pm report
This song is about the epidemic of crack cocaine, how it came out of nowhere and before you knew it it was everywhere. The part about the sun went down across the hill, the town lit up the world stood still, is about Capital Hill in D.C., The rocks may melt, the C will burn, that is crack cocaine, It will break your heart, steal your crown...... How can anyone think this song is about achieving dreams?
My interpretation of this song , because we never knows what's in the mind of the writer at the moment... is that he's making a song about how we run before to learn to walk... like Tom Petty he got amazing songs and that gave him a huge popularity but he knows that Life give ups and downs... and no one knows where we will be tomorrow today you are a star and tomorrow you can be a mr. nobody ... and that will be worst than never been a star.
but is a song that you can set it to your life, maybe you are having a ggod time (drugs, parties, having your parents alive with you, the born of a son) an this should end someday the drugs will get you down, the party will end, your parents will die and even your son can die before you... so you got to understand that nothing last forever, if you are learning day after day and lives as usual enjoying the moment knowing that it wont last forever, you'll have no regrets when all of it gets over...
i'm learning to fly but i don't have wings .... we don't have the certaintly of being flying all the time (we don't have the life purchased)....we are not inmortals, not even the rocks, not even the sea...
think about it is a reflexive song.
anonymous Apr 20th, 2009 4:08am report
I believe it can be intetpreted two main ways. One, as many have previously stated, it relates to drug abuse and recovering from this false high. I wont go into detail, as its already been done.
Secondly, it is about a young man,or girl, coming of age. He or she must leave behind the conveniences of childhood and the "wings" of others bearing his burden. The person is learning carry his own weight and confront the hardships of life, or "fly without wings". Especially after i first saw the music video, this notion was sure set inside of me that this was what the song was written about.
anonymous Mar 13th, 2007 3:23pm report
It's about being on a high whether drug induced or not, and knowing the whole time that it will indeed come crashing down and it will suck.
anonymous Feb 10th, 2007 2:28am report
yeah, kinda. I think its more along the lines of
learning to fly, when you aint got wings.
coming down is the hardest thing.
What he means by learning to fly when you aint got wings is first being introduced to drugs. Because later on it says
well the good ol days will not return,
and the ROCKS MIGHT MELT AND THE SEED MAY BURN.
thats just it see he doesn't have wings but he's got the dope. That's why coming down is so hard.
anonymous Jan 15th, 2006 1:26pm report
It's a song about coming off drugs becuse learning to fly without your wings (drugs) is the hardest thing.
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