Time for Me to Fly

Album: You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish (1978)
Charted: 56
Play Video


  • Lead singer Kevin Cronin wrote this song, which finds him ready to move on from a relationship, even though it's going to hurt. In a Songfacts interview, he told the story behind the song: "I had been in love with my first love - a girl that I met in high school. But there was a point where I knew that I had to move on, but didn't want to, because I was attached to her. I knew that it wasn't working, so I went to Colorado to put some distance between me and her, even though that wasn't what I consciously did.

    When I got there, a friend of mine had a guitar sitting on his porch. I went to play it, and it sounded horrible. I realized that it was in some kind of different tuning, so I just messed around with it. I remembered Richie Havens at Woodstock. When he played, he wrapped his thumb around the top of the neck, and I thought, 'I'll try that.' I did, and sure enough, it sounded good.

    A lot of times, that's what happens: you find something on the guitar that you like, and then the things that you're feeling become attached to that music, and that's what the songs are hatched from."
  • A track from the seventh REO Speedwagon album, "Time for Me to Fly" was their biggest hit at the time, and helped the album, You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish, sell over 2 million copies. Two albums later, they broke through to a new level with Hi Infidelity, released in 1980. That one made them stadium-fillers, thanks to the huge hits "Keep On Loving You" and "Take It On The Run."
  • When MTV went on the air August 1, 1981, REO Speedwagon was one of the biggest acts in America. Most music videos came from European acts at the time, so the network was desperate for American rockers. Even though the song was three years old, MTV put a live video (directed by Jay Dubin) of REO performing this song at McNichols Arena in Denver on April 25, 1981 in rotation. When American bands realized the power of MTV, many began making concept videos.
  • The song was re-released in 1980 to promote the band's compilation album A Decade of Rock and Roll: 1970 to 1980. This time, it went to #77 US.
  • Apparently, the girl this song was written about has been missing for decades. "I literally just got a call from this mystery TV show - kind of a reality TV show - that the girl that I wrote 'Time for Me to Fly' about went missing," Cronin told Songfacts in 2017. "Literally, went missing like, 30 years ago. And they were calling me. I declined to be filmed for the show."
  • Titled "Kevin Cronin Was Here," season 3 episode 3 of Netflix's crime drama Ozark premiered March 27, 2020. The episode featured the band performing "Time for Me to Fly" live, along with lead character Wendy (played by Laura Linney) singing along to the song in her car.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

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.

Andrew Farriss of INXS

Andrew Farriss of INXSSongwriter Interviews

Andrew Farriss on writing with Michael Hutchence, the stories behind "Mystify" and other INXS hits, and his country-flavored debut solo album.

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Billy Gould of Faith No More

Billy Gould of Faith No MoreSongwriter Interviews

Faith No More's bassist, Billy Gould, chats to us about his two new experimental projects, The Talking Book and House of Hayduk, and also shares some stories from the FNM days.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.