Song of the Day: Stephen Stills – “Treetop Flyer”

Happy birthday wishes go out to Stephen Stills, who turns 72 years old today. Here’s one of Stills’s more beloved solo tracks, off the 1991 album Stills Alone. It tells the story of a pilot who uses flying skills taught to him in Vietnam to smuggle. Some pretty cool lyrics here that wonderfully tell the story:

I will fly any cargo you can pay to run
These bush league pilots just can’t get the job done
Got to fly down into the canyons, never see the sun
There’s no such thing as an easy run
For a treetop flyer
I’m flyin’ low, I’m in high demand
Fly fifteen feet off the Rio Grande
I’ll blow the mesquite right up off the sand
Seldom seen, especially when I land
I’m a treetop flyer, born survivor
People been asking me, “Where’d you learn to fly that way?”
Was over in Vietnam, chasin’ NVA
The government taught me, and they taught me right
Stay under the treeline and you might be alright
I’m a treetop flyer

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Singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne has said this song inspired him to pursue a career in music.

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