Goodbye Sky Harbor

Songfacts®:

  • Jimmy Eat World lead singer Jim Adkins wrote this song on a plane. As he was taking off he kept looking at his girlfriend who was outside.
  • Sky Harbor is the airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Hence the lyrics "you are smaller getting smaller but I still see you," written as he was looking at his girlfriend while taking off. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Reid - New Canaan, CT, for above 2
  • The song was inspired by John Irving's sprawling 1989 book, A Prayer for Owen Meany. The novel tells the story of John Wheelwright and his best friend Owen Meany growing up together in a small New England town during the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The song runs 16:13, with a 13-minute fadeout. This led to rumors that the length of the song was the time needed to reach cruising altitude in a plane, but the real story is that the band just wanted to use up an entire reel of 2-inch recording tape, which ended up being that length.

Comments: 5

  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnThis song is 16 minutes long. The lyrics get stuck in my head for days.
  • Sara from Quinton, OkOH WOW...I didn't even think about the Owen Meany references! I love JEW and we had to read the book for English and I kept thinking it sounded familiar. I spent the summer in Arizona maybe 10 minutes from Sky Harbor. WOW...wow. That is very cool; this is why I love this site. :-D
  • Megan from Iowa City, IlI've loved this song since the moment I first heard it. Then, a strange thing happened: I read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving this past summer, and realized that I knew some of the quotes from the book directly. Actually, nearly EVERY lyric from the song is taken directly from the book, but the dead giveaway is the last line, "So here I am above palm trees, so straight and tall. You are smaller, getting smaller, but I still see you." Fantastic book & Song.
  • Jeffrey from Monterey, CaThis is an excellent song, one of my favorites. It is probably the best Jimmy Eat World song there is.
  • Jediah from Evergreen\, CoThis song is based off the book "A Prayer For Owen Meany" by John Irving. It includes Numerous direct quotes from the book.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Tom Bailey of Thompson TwinsSongwriter Interviews

Tom stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, in part because of their personal nature: "Hold Me Now" came after an argument with his bandmate/girlfriend Alannah Currie.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."