The Incredible Lightness of Flight



This is a very personal song with deep connections to my family. It  was written and sung for my father’s 80th birthday some 17 years ago, and played again at his funeral some 6 years ago. Frank Tayler was a RAAFA pilot during World War II – shot out of the sky twice over Egypt, but somehow survived. But flying was the great joy of my father’s life. For some time during the war, his job was to fly newly manufactured Tiger Moth airplanes from Richmond air base in Sydney across the Nullabour to Perth WA, before they were transported overseas to the war zones. The trip would take about 8 days, stopping overnight in outback towns for refueling. Invariably, the townspeople would put on a dance for this small group of RAAFA pilots, and often the next morning they would take-off somewhat hung-over from the previous nights’ partying. No aviation safety authorities around to bother them back then.

I have recently re-worked the song with a piano accompaniment that was kind of the musical style my Dad liked. The singing is very rubato in parts, but always returning to that lazy light jazz piano riff as they  fly into the sun-set. Indescribable joy – ‘the incredible lightness of flight’.

sample audio

sample sheet music

Level of Difficulty: ★★★½☆


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