Learn to Fly

Album: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999)
Charted: 21 13
Play Video


  • Dave Grohl explained: "It's about the search for some sort of inspiration, the search for signs of life that will make you feel alive. It's actually one of my least favorite songs on the record."
  • In the video are Jack Black and his Tenacious D partner, Kyle Gass. They are the cleaners that mistakenly spike the coffee. Jack Black also appears in "Low" as Dave Grohl's sidekick at the hotel. Lead singer Dave Grohl appears in Tenacious D's video for "Tribute" as the guitar-playing Devil. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Glenn - Mildenhall, England
  • The video was directed by Jesse Peretz, who was the original bass player in The Lemonheads. He also directed Foo Fighters videos for "Big Me" and "Low."
  • This was used in the 2004 Scrubs episode "My Unicorn." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tim Sillery - Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • At the beginning of the video when Tenacious D are preparing the airplane, a quirky electronic version of the Foo Fighters song "Everlong" is playing. Grohl liked the idea of Muzak playing, but he needed a more flouncy instrumental for comic effect. He turned to the electronic duo The Moog Cookbook, who created the version of "Big Me" that plays when Grohl gets on the elevator in the "Monkey Wrench" video.

    "When they did the video for 'Learn to Fly,' again they asked for a similar funny cover of the song 'Everlong' for the Tenacious D opening scene, Brian Kehew of The Moog Cookbook told us. "We did a full-length version but did not keep a copy. For some reason, they lost their version too, so no one seems to have the full version anymore... too bad!"
  • On July 30, 2015 a video was published on YouTube of 1,000 drummers, vocalists and guitarists in Cesena, Italy all playing and singing the song in unison. The performance was part of a campaign by fans in the Italian town to get The Foo Fighters to come and play a gig in the local area. The plan worked as the clip went viral and Dave Grohl and his bandmates agreed to play a show in Cesena.
  • Dave Grohl performed this song on the December 1, 2015 episode of The Muppets with Miss Piggy's band, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. Later, during the credits, Grohl and Animal competed in a drum-off. The Foo Fighter is well versed with the ways of the Muppets, having played "Animool" in the 2011 Muppets Movie.

Comments: 41

  • Oto from SlovakiaVery good song... their only song I can listen to...
  • Megan from Cincinnati, OhioThe song is about looking for inspiration. You're looking for a sign of life. It has nothing to do with Kurt, drugs, or suicide.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis is the funniest music videos I have ever seen! I love dave's many roles throughout this video! Wow! The song is soooo awesome!
  • Jacob from Elderwood , CaMan I love that music video! Its one of the funniest ones i've ever seen!
  • Christine from London, United KingdomALL i can say is Dave Grohl,foo fighters rocks the rock of rockfullness.rock on........!
  • Goombario from Jacksonville, FlThe song in the intro with Tenacious D is Everlong
  • Claudio from Osorno, ChileI'm a teacher of English and during 2007 I dictated a class on "popular poetry". One of the songs me and my students analyzed was 'Learn to Fly'.
    We had a wonderful time and wonderful analyses. So, in response to the guy who said "why does it all have to do with drugs?" Well dude, it doesn't. But there are a lot of twisted people in need of attacking other. As a matter of fact, that year I was accused by one of my student's father of promoting the use of drugs by analyzing the song. Can you believe it?
  • Ted from Dike, Iayeah to the people who think this song's about kurt and suicide, watch any interview with dave, and you'll understand exactly why this song isn't about suicide and kurt. he actually tried as hard as he could to avoid writing songs about kurt, and his death, which was not suicide but murder, but that's a completely different topic. i understand how the average nirvana/foo fan would think it's about kurt and suicide, but don't be ignorant douche bags, we could really do without you.
  • Ian from Albany, NyWhen are people gonna get it. every damn Foo Fighters song is not about Kurt. Hes dead. We get it. Let the man rest.
  • Pam from Taylor, Mimaybe this is there way of talking about Kirk? I never seen drugs or suicide in it. Like he's looking to the sky to save me cause there is a higher power for life and yes....you have to learn to fly to achieve that goal in the sky...ponder that one
  • Tracy from Tulsa, OkThis is looking for spiritual enlightenment beyond the ordinary everyday. Trying to feel comfortable with yourself AND sharing yourself with someone else who accepts you...as you are...because you're "tired of trying" to fake it.
  • Timmy from Mukilteo, Wai think its about how the world is full of lies that may seem fulfilling for a little while.

    and hes looking for the truth, and the frase, "learn to fly", means that hes maturing as a person enough to try and find eternal satisfaction
  • Rachel from Gnarly, --love this song... makes life seem a whole lot better than it really is Foo Fighters rock!!!
  • Dave from Macduff, United Kingdomthis was the fist song i ever heard of from the Foo's. Great track, there are better on the album, but it still has the funniest videos that i have ever seen.
  • Matt from Coralville, Iaim a wakeboarder and this song is my insperation. everytime i am away from home and need a release and a little water, its all right here. i can relate, i can live it
  • Kayley from Manchester, EnglandLearn to fly is a classic tune, never fail to turn it up full blast when i listen to it, the music video good too.
    The foo fighters rock!!!!
  • Emma from Brisbane, AustraliaThis is one of my all time favs.It is an awesome song.
  • Echo from Normalville, Mayou people never stop, do you?! Dave says the meaning of the song right there and you still try to go and make up more.
  • Danleichty from Rochester, MnI have No Idea why Dave Ghrol said this is one of his least favorate songs that the band sang. I actually like this song. It talks about learning from your mistakes and looking forward to heaven.
  • Mike from Germatown, Nywas this song ever used as a theme song for a tv show? I think i might have been and its driving my crazy.
  • Ian from Old Bridge, NjUsed to watch this video late at night on VH1 with my oldest son when he was born. Because of that it means the world to me.
  • Clay from Fredericksburg, VaIt's simply a breakup song. Sheesh. It's asking the girl to come back and they'll tell the angels everything's allright. Just about every song on "The Color And The Shape" and "There's Nothing Left To Lose" is a breakup song. Don't over analyze everything.
  • Valerie from Las Cruces, NmDave said in an interview that mmost people thought he was saying "I'm looking for this guys to save me" instead of "the sky to save me". He also replaced that part once on a radio performance with "I'm looking for Mariah Carey". I love this video becuase it shows their humor. They are hilarious!
  • Chris from Tampa Bay, FlWhy do so many people interpret such good songs to be about suicide or drugs. In my opinion this song is about someone who is trying to find his way and purpose in life.
  • Joe from Liverpool, Englandlisten to the music at the start of the video, its the tune to 'everlong'. They have done this with the 'monkey wrench' video, as david walks into the elevator it plays the tune from 'big me.' The 'breakout' video has david in his car while listening to 'generator'(a classic idea which fred durst also used in his videos...just a little more obviously.) LOL
  • Calvin from Kyle, Txthis song rocks it is one of my favorite songs ever. foo fighters rock.
  • Ross from Glagsgow, Englandthis song is good but they' ve done better like monkey wrench any one have info on foofighters in scotand please email ross_fender2000@fsmail.net
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaSome members of the band have said they didn't like the fact that this is their "big hit". They have said they want to be remembered for songs like Aurora.
  • Kyle from New Bedford, MaGod, why does everything have to be about drugs. MY translation of the song, is about feeling lost where you are, like you dont belong. and dave grohl has a known fascination with the stars, "looking to the sky to save me, looking for a sign of life" hoping that there is more out there, a metaphor for wanting to belong, "looking for something to help me burn out bright" wanting to make a difference before its all over. "make my way back home when i learn to fly" love of the stars combined with the desire to find his "home"
  • Mark from Sp, United StatesIn the video it's possible to see the instrution book with the name of the song. Also you can see that the pilot has an affair with the gay-flight attendant. And the package ins not drug but an afrodisiac.
  • Danny from Melbourne, AustraliaI think this song is about being high on drugs.Hook me up a new revolution Cause this one is a lie Sat around laughin' And watched the last one die.
    Dieing from drugs, this life is not real
  • Todd from Denver, CoSorry, I never liked Nirvana. But I like Foo Fighters, it's hard to believe they've been around as long as or longer than Nirvana. This is one of my favorites.
  • Paul from Falkirk, ScotlandThis is my FAVOURITE song, the video is amazing and with Jack Black and Kyle Grass, makes it a masterpiece.
    Dave Grohl is a great frontman and a great drummer.
    Long live FooFighters and the memory of Nirvana!
  • Ben from Mount Vernon, Iathe religious connotations in this one both obvious and subtle are really odd for them especially as light as this song feels
  • Matt from Millbrae, CaDave is an awesome frontman but to me he's still the best drummer on the best band of all time NIRVANA!
  • Jason from Keizer, OrThe members of Foo Fighters on several occasions have mentioned that they don't like the fact that this is the song that was their "big hit."
    Members of the band have said that songs like "Aurora" are what they wanted to be known for.
  • Ghost from Winchester, MaOne word
  • Richardo from Perth, AustraliaThis song is awesonme, i think it could be about getting dumped and thinking life isn't worth living, untill you find your own meaning of life(to share you love with someone) e.g
    Hook me up a new revolution
    Cause this one is a lie
    Sat around laughin'
    And watched the last one die.

  • Dmitry from Haifa, IsraelI believe this song could be about suicide (learn to fly = jump from a building) and waiting for a revalation or miracle to stop you.
  • Craig from Chester, Vaawesome song... i believe its about sittin back and thinkin about somethin youve gotta do and preparing for it
  • George from Florham Park, NjDave Grohl played drums on the Tenacious D album.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"

Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"They're Playing My Song

Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.