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Jack Denny-Brown

@5dbrules


Thoughts & Meanings

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair cover Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair by Richard Thompson

Part 4: The final verse suggests that the writer is gaining consciousness, at the least, and resolves to “change this heart of mine”, but this time it won’t be with a fantasy lover. He berates himself for playing sick, acting cool, and declares that he’s been a “fool with a one size head”, which sounds like a reference to a very small head size, and thus, brain size. He resolves to change. It sounds like he wants to change, but the refrain “I’ll change this heart of “mine “ is exactly the same as the previous three and so we are left to wonder whether he will ever really be able to make the change, or is he doomed to repeat this falling in fantasy love over and over again. Great song.

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair cover Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair by Richard Thompson

Part 3: All these “crosses”. What could they be about? Well, “star crossed lovers” for one thing. “Star crossed lovers” is an idiom for lovers who suffer from a curse. “Crossed lines” on a telephone refers to telephones which switch from one conversation to another in mid conversation due to technological screw ups. “Crossed eyes and a canny moan” might refer to a facial expression made by one lover in frustration over poor communication. And the “crossed fingers” represents the turning to superstition in the hope that things will turn out for the better. All these “crosses” are images of the frustrations of real love, not to be confused with the fantasy love which seems to plague this singer.

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair cover Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair by Richard Thompson

Part 2: At the end of each verse, after listing all the ways that he might fantasize, he intones “I’ll change this heart of mine, this time this time.” The fact that he adds “this time” suggests that he has done this before. Then, “Here comes the real thing I’ve been waiting for so long.” The third verse introduces a new theme . . . “crossed lines on a telephone”, “crossed eyes and a canny moan”, and “crossed fingers and head for home”.

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair cover Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair by Richard Thompson

Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair (four parts) Part 1: I think Richard Thompson is talking about dreamers, here. Himself, no doubt. He is making fun of those who dream that they will find a miraculous love to save them from themselves. The “jet plane in a rocking chair” is the fantasy of the dreamer who imagines the impossible, that he is in a jet plane when he is in fact in a rocking chair, the very opposite of a jet plane. In these first two verses, he lists many absurd but original ways that people might fantasize, including riding a roller coaster to nowhere, people who are “dancing bears” who are deaf and dumb to the music, people who take a cruise in a diving bell etc,

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