Friday, February 02, 2018

Music Friday: John Denver Is 'Leaving on a Jet Plane,' But Promises to Return With a Wedding Ring

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 1970s icon John Denver wears his heart on his sleeve in the timeless hit, "Leaving on a Jet Plane." In this song about the heartbreak of being far away from the one you love, the musician is about to embark on an extended tour, but before he heads to the airport, he wants to assure his girlfriend that he is totally committed to her.

With an impatient taxi driver waiting for him at the curb, Denver wakes his girlfriend at the crack of dawn. He begs her to "wait for him" and promises that they will tie the knot when he returns.

He sings, "Every place I go, I'll think of you / Every song I sing, I'll sing for you / When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring."

"This is a very personal and very special song for me," Denver told the BBC. "It doesn't conjure up Boeing 707s or 747s for me as much as it does the simple scenes of leaving. Bags packed and standing by the front door, taxi pulling up in the early morning hours, the sound of a door closing behind you, and the thought of leaving someone that you care for very much. It still strikes a lonely and anguished chord in me, because the separation still continues, although not so long and not so often nowadays."

The son of a U.S. Army Air Forces pilot, Denver and his family moved often and it was difficult for the introverted little boy to make friends. Even as an adult, he was always tormented by the feeling of not knowing where the "right" place was.

The anguish of being on the road inspired a 24-year-old Denver to write "Babe, I Hate to Go" (later renamed "Leaving on a Jet Plane") in 1966 during a layover at Washington airport. The song was first released on Denver's studio album John Denver Sings, but didn't become a smash hit until his producer Milt Okun introduced the song to Peter, Paul and Mary in 1969. That version went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and became the trio's biggest hit.

As the writer of the immensely popular "Leaving on a Jet Plane," Denver saw his solo switch into overdrive. Bolstered by songs, such as "Take Me Home Country Roads," "Annie's Song," "Rocky Mountain High," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders," Denver became one of the most popular acts of the 1970s.

Born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., in Roswell, N.M, in 1943, Denver spent most of his adult life in his much-beloved adopted state of Colorado. In fact, he took the name "Denver" to honor Colorado — and because the name Deutschendorf was not likely to fit on many marquees.

Over the course of his career, Denver recorded about 300 songs and sold more than 33 million records worldwide. Sadly, his career was cut short when his two-seat plane crashed near Monterey Bay, Calif., in 1997. He was 53.

Please check out the the 1977 concert video of Denver performing "Leaving on a Jet Plane." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"
Written and performed by John Denver.

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn
The taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

There's so many times I've let you down
So many times I've played around
I tell you now, they don't mean a thing
Every place I go, I'll think of you
Every song I sing, I'll sing for you
When I come back, I'll bring your wedding ring

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you
Then close your eyes
I'll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times, I won't have to say

Oh, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

But, I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Credit: Screen capture via

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

If Patriots Capture Their Sixth Super Bowl on Sunday, Expect the Championship Rings to Be Huge

If quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl this Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., expect their championship rings to be the biggest ever — and we mean BIG.

The National Football League, you see, maintains an unwritten rule that allows teams with multiple Super Bowl victories to design the most extravagant rings. The more Vince Lombardi Trophies, the bigger the ring.

In June 2017, the Patriots commemorated their fifth championship and greatest comeback in Super Bowl history with monumental rings gleaming with 283 diamonds weighing 5.1 carats.

At the time, team owner Robert Kraft said, “It was a historic comeback win and the players deserve to have a ring that represents that accomplishment. So, we created the biggest Super Bowl ring ever made."

The 283 diamonds were a nod to the score of 28-3, the seemingly unsurmountable deficit the Patriots faced before going on to tally 31 unanswered points in their triumph over the Atlanta Falcons.

Ring manufacturer Jostens didn’t officially announce the gram weight of the 2017 nor the 2015 Super Bowl rings, but they were much larger than the Patriots’ 2004 rings, which reportedly weighed 110 grams (just under one-quarter pound).

Jostens documented the evolution of the Patriots' championship rings in this amazing photo.

If the Philadelphia Eagles prevail on Sunday, it will be their first Super Bowl victory. We expect their championship rings will be similar in size to the one earned by the first-time Lombardi Trophy winner Seattle Seahawks in 2014. Those rings weighed in at a modest 56 grams, one of the smallest in recent Super Bowl history.

The NFL typically awards 150 rings to the Super Bowl victor and allocates approximately $7,000 per ring — although teams with multiple Super Bowl victories are allotted a higher budget for diamonds. Teams often create “B” and “C” level rings — designs with faux diamonds or fewer diamonds — for distribution to the front office staff. The rings are usually presented to the players some time in June.

The cost of the Patriots' rings have far exceeded the norm. In 2015, Business Insider reported that the Patriots' Super Bowl 49 rings were worth $36,500 apiece.

If the favored Patriots win Super Bowl 52, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl victories at six. The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers each have won five.

Credits: Images by Jostens via

Monday, January 29, 2018

UK Airport's 'Secret Code' Allows You to Slip a Surprise Engagement Ring Through Security

What could be more disheartening than having a surprise marriage proposal scuttled by airport security during a routine bag search? Acting on this problem, a romance-minded airport in the UK has devised a special way for a suitor to slip the ring through security without alerting his soon-to-be fiancée.

“It would put a big damper on someone’s meticulously planned romantic trip if their big surprise was revealed even before they’ve boarded the plane," noted East Midlands Airport’s head of security, Matthew Quinney. "Arguably, there are more romantic places to be proposed to than in our security hall."

Out of courtesy to those who have been planning this moment for weeks or months, the airport has put in measures to ensure its security procedures are not the cause of a failed marriage proposal.

During the week of February 12 — to align with romantic Valentine's Day getaways — the East Midlands Airport will offer up a "secret code" to those who plan to pop the question during their trip. Valentine's Day is the second-most-popular day of the year to get engaged, according to Christmas Day ranks first.

To obtain the code, the suitor simply emails a request to or sends a direct message via Twitter to @EMA_Airport. The suitor then receives a secret code that he will reveal to security staff at the airport. That code will alert the staff to divert the ring carrier to a separate lane from his partner, so that his bag search remains away from her view.

The airport has been promoting its innovative "secret code" via Facebook and Twitter. It is also encouraging social sharing using the hashtag #LoveIsInTheAirport.

East Midlands Airport, which is located in Leicestershire about 120 miles north of London, expects to handle 60,000 passengers during Valentine's Day week. The airport serves a number of romantic destinations, including Dublin, Belfast, Brussels, Malaga, Amsterdam and Gran Canaria.

It's still not clear if other international airports will take East Midlands' lead and offer their own "secret codes" during the year's most romantic travel periods.

Credits: Engagement ring image via CC0 Creative Commons. Airport security screen capture via