Album: Band On The Run (1973)
Charted: 7 7
  • "Jet" was the name of a black Labrador that Paul McCartney and his wife Linda owned; the dog provided the title for the song. The McCartney's owned a variety of animals, and at the time their brood included a Golden Lab named Poppy, a Dalmatian named Lucky, and the old Sheepdog Martha (from the Beatles song "Martha My Dear"). "Jet" was chosen not because he was Paul's favorite, but because the name makes a very stadium-ready title, perfect for throwing your fist in the air when it's performed in an arena. The song is really about freedom; McCartney did something similar when he used an amusement park ride as the title for a song about madness in "Helter Skelter."

    Paul's wife Linda gave some clues to the thought process behind "Jet" when she said in 1976: "He wanted that one to be totally mad. Paul's had a lot of practice in the studio. He's done some very trippy things. Every now and then he remembers how much he loves it."
  • Speaking with GQ in 2018, Paul McCartney told the story behind this song: "I was in a songwriting mood and I was up in Scotland. I just thought, OK, I just gotta go somewhere and try and write a song. We happened to have a little pony that was called Jet on the farm. I took my guitar and hiked up this great big hill. I found myself a place which was in the middle of nature, and just sat there and started making up a song.

    I don't know where all the words came from. Well I know where 'Jet' came from - I liked the name. The words are probably about me and my father-in-law. The early days of getting married and when your father-in-law is kind of a nuisance. He's probably the 'Major' in it but it's only a song so you kind of work your things out.

    That one was written halfway up a mountain in Scotland, then recorded in Nigeria. I was wondering where to record and I fancied getting out of England, so I asked my record label which is EMI to supply me with a list of all the studios they had around the world - I knew they had a lot. One was in China, one was in Rio de Janeiro and one was in Lagos, Nigeria. So, I went, Yeah Lagos, come on, because I like African music a lot. I love the rhythms of African music so I chose that not realizing that it would be a really basic little studio. We kind of built half the studio. They didn't have a vocal booth, so we had to explain to them: you take some wood, you get some glass and you put it in like that. So we built the vocal booths. But it was kind of nice, I liked the primitive aspect of it and being in Africa was a pretty interesting experience."
  • Tony Visconti, who did a lot of production work for David Bowie and Thin Lizzy, did the orchestration on this song, giving it a lot of energy and drive.
  • It's possible to read a deep meaning into the lyrics, "I thought the Major was a lady suffragette," but David Bowie's song Suffragette City was released the previous year, and it's likely the word "suffragette," which is a term for a woman fighting for the right to vote, was floating around in McCartney's mind.
  • Linda McCartney was an official member of the band, and she was often maligned in the press as being dead weight. Her contributions on stage were rarely pronounced, which was probably the way the audio engineers mixing the shows liked it, but on live performances of this song you can kind of hear her playing the Mellotron if you listen carefully.
  • The Australian rock band Jet got their name from this song. McCartney and The Beatles were a big influence on them. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM
  • This was released as a single with "Mamunia" as the B-side, but three weeks later "Let Me Roll It" replaced it.

Comments: 60

  • Rags from AustraliaI need to correct this...it's driving me nuts
    'With the wind in your hair of a thousand ACES.
    Laces?, seriously?
    What have 'Laces' got to do wit Jets?
    Please
  • Barry from Gagetown Nb CanadaMarq ... ↓ ✓ That is BANG On !!
  • Barry from Gagetown Nb CanadaPoor Gladys ↓↓↓ She's just not simply having a wonderful Christmas time ☹️
  • Todd from Gb Wisconsin Lots of good comments, now having artistic background I will not say anyone is wrong, art means different things to different people. A persons viewpoint is usually skewed by life experience. Having listened to many McCartney interviews, he states many times that his songs are written about his life experiences(watch carpool karaoke, most recent confirmation of this).
    My interpretation, the song is about Linda(others have theorized this) looking in hindsight. I will explain using substitution and logic in each verse:

    Linda, I can still remember the (funny) look on their faces when you told them(your parents)you were going to get married in the near future(soon).

    (They weren’t for it, Paul feels rejection and feels very alone in the situation)
    Linda, I thought the only lonely place was on the moon(but I realize the feeling is all around me[Paul]).

    Linda, you’re dad was as tough as a Sergeant Major(the highest enlisted rank, usually a very stern and tough individual).
    I (Paul) can’t understand why he said you weren’t old enough yet(you’re a legal adult)
    And Linda, I thought your dad was all about women’s rights and letting them make up their own mind.

    Mrs Eastman, I want Linda to always love me (like I love her,
    Mrs Eastman we can talk about it more much later.

    Linda, with the wind threw your hair (that’s like a thousand laces), climb on my back(let’s become one) and we’ll take a ride in the sky(take this marriage journey with me, I will lead and carry you never letting you down, the sky is the limit).

    And Linda, I thought you were a strong lady, who could make up her mind,
    Linda you’re a lady,
    My(Paul’s) little lady,
    Yes(it all worked out).

    I hope this is helpful, and even though I don’t think it’s really about a dog(just spin Paul put on for fun)
    My next Lab will be “Jet”
  • Kevin Lenard from Toronto, CanadaAhh.... I sometimes worry about people when I read comment threads like this one and the ridiculous claim that this song was ABOUT a dog or pony (more on that show in a moment...). Paul purposefully was 'mysterious' about his lyrics (as many good song marketers are) to keep people wondering and talking about his songs (and buying albums), but he has explained what this song is about some years after its release, and simply reading the lyrics ('mater' is German for mother, in this case his mother-in-law) again will reveal that it is about his proposal to marry Linda and dealing with the intimidation he felt with regard to her dad, the 'Sargent Major'. He used the name of his dog or pony to mask the subject -- in this case "Jet" was actually Linda (literal thinking won't get anyone too far in understanding creativity). If you get sidetracked by the 'red herring' that it was about the antics of a dog or pony (ah, there you go, Paul wasn't as smart as John by a long shot, but he could trot out a 'dog & pony show' to throw off the press when it suited him...), then indeed you could believe that the entire thing was nonsensical and that the words were merely used to suit the required syllables and rhyme. The line "And Jet, I thought the Major Was a Lady Suffragette" is an unambiguous reference to Paul's belief that Linda had claimed that her father was a supporter of women becoming emancipated and free to do as they pleased, yet Paul felt as though her dad was trying to prevent her from marrying Paul, thus proving himself to be quite the opposite of a "little lady suffragette".
  • Unclebill from West Mifflin, PaPaul McCartney admitted that some of the words and lyrics of his songs were "made up" just to give him the sound he wanted. Apparently he was of the rock school that considered the human voice sometimes just another instrument in the band and that words were used to modulate the sound of this instrument, NOT primarily to lend meaning to the song. So any speculation about the precise meaning of a particular line is moot, at best coincidental when words are chosen because they rhymed, and had the correct number of syllables, etc., or just sounded cool. Many of Paul's songs do have great stories and meaning; some do not. "Jet" does not.
  • Demion from U.s.As probably about Glam rock, (Bowie) also of Jimmy Page, who was not Glam, but came on dressed to kill, wearing militant, shining uniforms & dolled up on self-serving egotism.
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, Ontario CanadaA current film coming out now brought this song to mind as they both share the word in them - suffragette. MERRY CHRISTMAS/HAPPY HANUKKAH to ALL on here!
  • John Hanner from New OrleansAbout Bowie and Lennon. They were hanging out together and recording. Bowie was at his peak popularity thing and eve one had to contend with it. Looked like a lady suffragette. McCartney never liked the glam rock thing. Major Tom, Suffragette City, both reference in the song. Too coincidental.
  • Sandrine from Santa Cruz, CaI always thought the song was about Jeff Lynne and probably mixed in with ref to others like Bowie, but Lynne's friends call him Jet Flynn if I am not mistaken.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 3rd 1974, "Jet" by Paul McCartney and Wings entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #69; and seven weeks later on March 24th, 1974 it peaked at #7 {for 1 week} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #7 in the United Kingdom, and peaked at #2 in New Zealand...
    Was track two of side one on the group's album 'Band on the Run'; and on April 7th, 1974 it reached #1 {for 4 non-consecutive weeks} on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, the album also peaked at #1 in the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • Gladys from Chicago, IlThis song makes me want to go back in time and kick Paul McCartney in the shins. The only song of his that I loathe more than this one is that miserable plinky-plonky Christmas song he does. Gahhh.
  • Valentine from X, MoPaul never had a horse OR a dog named Jet (Those are the two different stories); it's actually about his seemingly stand-off-ish son James...
  • Marq from Vancouver, WaMick Jagger once commented that he intentionally buried his vocals in the mix so that people would have to buy the records to hear it closely enough to figure out the lyrics to his songs. You couldn't just download them off the internet back then. Likewise I can imagine Paul sitting with a pen and paper working out the lyrics to this piece thinking, "Let's see 'em figure out what THIS means!"
  • Terry from Algonquin, IlReviewers have reported that the subject of the song is McCartney's Labrador Retriever dog named "Jet". However, in a 2010 interview on the UK television channel ITV1 for the program Wings: Band on the Run (to promote the November 2010 CD/DVD re-release of the album) McCartney explained that Jet was the name of a pony he had owned, although many of the lyrics bore little relation to the subject. http://www.youbloom.com/ybsc/entry/2655/
  • Christopher from Marlboro, NjI saw Paul perform this not too long ago on SNL. He's older now, but he could still perform this song.
  • Christopher from Marlboro, NjThis is a great song. I think it's my favorite song that Paul did with Wings. I love Live and Let Die, Maybe I'm Amazed, and Band on the Run. But this is by far my favorite from Wings. I turned this on this past weekend at a party and everyone got so psyched up. I always think of this song when I fly. Every summer I fly Jet Blue and this song always comes into my head at the airport.
  • George from Belleville, NjWhat a powerhouse of a rocker.I think Paul when he wanted to could rock with the best of them.His rock songs are exciting and melodic.Jet soars high as a straight forward rock song Paul really rips into the ending with his rough sounding vocals.Great rock song.
  • Mrcleaveland from Cleveland,Oops, I should have watched the video before pontificating. He does sing "place" rather than "face." My bad.

    Speaking of bad, that's one bad mullet Sir Paul has sprouted in that video.

  • Mrcleaveland from Cleveland,I believe the correct lyric is "I thought the only lonely FACE is on the moon" rather than "the only lonely PLACE . . ."

    I could be wrong. But I don't think so.
  • Barry from Austin, Tx"Jet" is acually about a horse that Paul and Linda had in the early 70's
  • Mack from Albany, NyThe song is (loosely) about the modernization of the African continent, and its relation to Mater Earth.
  • Roberta from Washington, DcWhoever thought this song is about John Lennon is wrong. The Beatles never used the name Jet at any time in their career or before they became famous. My opinion was always that this song is about Linda, because her father was not very happy about her intention of marrying Paul. He wouldn't have written another song commenting about John/Yoko's marriage because he had already recorded "The Ballad of John and Yoko" with John when John asked him to record it with him at Abbey Road. I agree that Paul also stopped caring about whether his song lyrics made sense or not.
  • Valentin from Beijing, Chinayeah, I also think this is a reference to Bowie...listen to the synth zooming on the background of both "Jet" and "Suffragette City"...funny, they both produce "A" note (just different octaves), but their tone is the same!

    p.s. great song!
  • Hilary from New York, NyI'd never thought about the "meaning" of this song one way or another but the Beatle/Bowie angle is really cool and interesting. I'm going to go listen to it with fresh ears.
    I thoght the major was a lady Suffragette - well of course! "Major Tom"!

    As far as the song being *about* anything or anyone,well, an artist isn't necessarily going to completely, word for word literal. Can't you imagine a new puppy getting yelled at a lot ("Jet! Stop it" Jet! put that down" etc) ? That "Jet!" could easily have become the germ of a song. So the song is filled out and has bits and pieces of other things, references, imagery, poetic license and so on. Eventually the song is something new, telling it's own story.
    (heck - there could even be a tip o' the hat to Elton John; Bennie and the Jets".
  • Ken from Louisville, KyOften, Paul's song lyrics make no sense. John Lennon pointed that out. Paul writes the tune first and if he doesn't have a complete lyric to go with it, he'll throw in good-sounding lines that fit (or "scan") they melody. Jet is the perfect example. Paul had a great rock melody and just used good sounding lines and words that didn't have to, as a whole, make sense.
  • Britt from Boston, MaSi from London, Are you numb??! Why would you EVER come on this page and write that you would like to SLAP Paul McCartney. Paul can write about anything he fancies and every song he makes is amazing.It doesn't matter if the song is about a human or an animal, the song itself is phenomenal and I would like to see you come up with something better. I think that Jet is about a lot of things, the lyrics are very odd, and that's what makes the song. Paul has always had a love for animals and who cares if it's about his dog or not. It's music. Listen to some of John's strange lyrics.
  • Tim from Harrisburg, PaI heard - maybe true, maybe not - that Paul was sitting there writing a song to his dog. He figured that the dog couldn't understand English, so it didn't matter what the words were. He just strung together some words that sounded interesting together.
  • K from Nowhere, OnI have no idea what half of the words in this song mean, but it's amazing. Also,just because it's inspired by the dog doesn't mean it was ABOUT the dog.
  • Claire from Miller's, MdI got to see Paul at Fedex Field with my dad and uncle. It waz way way fun=)
  • Helbs from Liverpool, AustriaThis song is amazingy energetic and happy! I think it is probably about the puppy, which is hilarious and so much like Paul, considering how "Martha My Dear" was about his Sheepdog. He's just in love with his pets!
  • Mal from Dudley, United Kingdomvery confusing lyrics but great song performed live real punch and energy.one of wings best numbers
  • Leonard from Jetland, ArmeniaI think it's about the Suffragette Movement wanting the vote - but then any bird who wants to chain herself to my railings and suffer a JET movement gets my vote!
  • Mrcleaveland from Cleveland,Uh, folks, all that interpretation is very interesting, but in this song, Jet is obviously a woman.
  • Nady from Adelaide, Australia"JET woooooohoooooowooooohoooooo" love this song, its all happy and warm and stuff, makes me wanna do a spritley jig:)
  • Ad from Brantford, OnI agree Paul might have been doing a bit of a shout out to Bowie, but to say that's all that line is is denying the obvious. The songs talks about the father (Major) objecting to the girls decision to marry, a lady Suffragette would be someone who supports woman's right to vote i.e. make decisions. Hence, i thought the major was a lady suffragette : I thought the major supported woman's right to decide. So why is he denying hers?
  • Adam from Portland, OrJeremy, I like your interpretation, though I think the words don't matter much, it's the feel of the song that does.
  • David from Rancho Palos Verdes, CaJet Jet
  • Johnee from Grandioseisland, NeWriters write what they know. Verily, therefore, I say unto thee: this song is about John, Jon, hair and philios love. And hate. And with a smidge Lucy of course, which always helped the Beatles write a great song.
  • John from Kirtland, NmJet is an aircraft, capable of high altitude and sub-supersonic speed. I flew one over Turkey in 1971, mapping the mountains of Ararat in search of a wooden artifact. This song maps the event.
    John Henry Begay, Kirtland
  • Jeremy from Michigan, Miheres my break down of the song. It mostly refers to john lennon and david bowie (who were close friends). "jet" is what hes calling john lennon by. (the beatles used to use the name Jet before they became famous). "I Can Almost Remember Their Funny Faces That Time You Told Me That You Were Going To Be Marrying Soon." that is talking about john lennons marriage to yoko ono. "the only lonely place was on the moon" is saying how paul thought john always seemed sadder and more lonely deep down when he was with yoko (yoko completed changed him). "Jet! Was Your Father As Bold As A Sergeant Major?" that line is refering to johns father who was a merchant marine. "I Thought The Major
    Was A Lady" paul thought david bowie looked like a woman. "Suffragette." refering to bowies song "suffragette city". "mater" is the british way of saying "mother". Pauls asking "do i always want john to love me?" then he ends that part by just saying "much later" (this is when they werent even on speaking terms). and finally "the wind in your hair of 1000 laces" is refering to john growing his hair out. "climb on the back and well go for a ride in the sky" is a quick but still there Lucy in the sky reference...thats what ive put together.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaI thought this song has excellent lyrics, in that they don't have some specific petty meaning, they can mean what you want them to mean. If you're looking for some deep message in a Paul McCartney song you're barking up the wrong tree anyways. (And please, please, no backward messages you claim to hear either!) The song has a nice pseudo-glam groove, there's a bass synthesiser (probably an arp 2600) running behind everything.
  • Danae from Bakersfield, CaI think this is a beautiful and sexy song. I thought it was about a girl that he was in love with and that she had a strict father (who would not let her marry him because of his age) The lyrics "How come he told you that you were hardly old enough yet" is what made me think this. I thought at the end of the song they climb on the back of his horse and ride of in the sunset.
  • Michael from Kearny, NjA great track. Paul was always known for his sweet ballads, but he could bang out some heavy rock songs when the mood struck him.
  • Basil from Skylark Sound City, MtIn a rather delayed response, which Bowie admitted to in a Cream interview some years later, he offered Paul 1983's "Let's Dance," after he finally figured out what "Jet" was about. Asking Paul to 'put on his red shoes & dance the blues' was Bowie's way of suggesting that the songwriter go back to his skiffle roots. But skiffle didn't rhyme with shoes (his first draft being: 'don't sniffle, let's hear more skiffle, let's dance.'
  • Asef from Silkeborg, DenmarkIt´s one of his best of the Wings period and its a song about his little rabbit.
  • Tommy from Flanders, NjThis song references David Bowie. Bowie had just made it as a star and McCartney thought he looked like a women. Hence the line " I thought the Major, was a little lady. "Major Tom". Right after that he says Suffragette, referring to "Suffragette City".
  • Elie from The U.k, Englandlike the song hate the band not the beatles or wings i hate the band jet
  • Rick from Clare, MiHmmm...great song, I always thought that Jet referred to John Lennon (the remarks about the looks on the faces of the press/fans when he announce his upcoming marriage to Yoko)McCartney's love/hate relationship with Lennon after the breakup of The Beatles, references to Lennon's father who was in the merchant marine, I think (was he bold as a sergeant major)...and maybe an oblique reference to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (go for a ride in the sky). Whatever. This song can get you pumped.
  • Sylvia from London, England Yeah, I thought it was one of his horses. WHO CARES if it's about or inspired by his horse or dog?! Personally, I think it's awesome that Paul loves animals. I do too.
  • Kristina from Small Town, NeI thought Jet was one of Paul's horses?
  • Mick from Las Vegas, NvJet was the name the Beatles sometimes went by in their early Hamburg, Germany gigs before they made it big.
  • Tim from Dalton, MaSi in London, England, no it doesn't make me wanna slap Paul McCartney. I like this song alot, and if orgins of songs bother you you must hate The Beatles...like "Day Tripper"
  • Frank from Westminster, ScIf anyone doubts smoking dope will turn your brain to mush, in the long run, compare the lyrics of "Yesterday" or "Eleanor Rigby" to this idiotic piece of crap!
  • Crzy_ray from Las Vegas, NvJet is also the street name for Ketamine, Whoa!
  • Bex from Leeds, EnglandThe lyrics aren't necessarily about the dog- it just says that it was inspired by the dog. And why should that make you feel slightly nauseous?
    Why should you mind where he gets his inspiration when it's a fantastic song?
  • Nickc from Ft. Wayne, InI don't see how the lyrics can apply to a dog, no matter how obsessed he might have been with the little pooch. I mean, really. "I thought you was a lady suffaragette?" Who mistakes their pet dog for a women's voting rights' activist from the turn of the century? And, softie or not, I don't see someone getting down on the floor, snuggling their lab and saying, "Want fido to always love me, yes I do, there's a good dog, yes, always love me." Any citations or anything to back up the puppy claim?
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaYeah Paul was a real softie, like the opposite of John. That's what made them such a great team :-).
  • Si from London, EnglandWas it really inspired by his Labrador puppy? Bloody hell, I feel slightly nauseous now. Doesn't it just make you want to slap him?
  • John from West Covina, CaThe new rock band "Jet" named themselves after this song because the whole band liked it.
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