It’s pretty common knowledge that park and public land lovers spend a lot of time on the road driving to their destinations. So this week I asked Park People what songs were on their road trip playlists. Each submission includes their favorite songs and why they love these songs. I’ve also linked the song titles in Spotify if you want to give them a listen. So, without further ado, this week’s Park People and their favorite road trip songs:
R. Scott Jones’ Favorites
I’m going to choose three somewhat oddball selections, each of which instantly remind me of hitting the open road. The first is the underappreciated Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, by Weird Al. Yes, it’s in many (most?) ways an awful song; but it’s also a genius retelling of some of the crazy road trip pursuits many of us engage in. Likewise, hearing the melody of Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham—also known as the theme music from National Lampoon’s Vacation—also immediately conjures up images of the classic American family road trip. Having road-tripped extensively across the country, I feel a fair bit of kinship with Johnny’s Cash’s classic I’ve Been Everywhere.
Wander-Filled Life’s Favorites
We don’t really have a road trip playlist as much as favorite radio stations on Sirius XM: Radio Margaritaville, No Shoes Radio (Kenny Chesney) and The Garth Channel. That said, if I had to choose three good road trip songs, I (Grant) would have to choose “La Grange” by ZZ Top (just a rockin’ good song), “Get Out the Map” by the Indigo Girls and “Take Another Road” by Jimmy Buffett. The last two are all about getting out of town and seeing new places.
Hiker Bee’s Favorites
Kyrie, Mr. Mister was my soundtrack as a teenager for evening coastal drives growing up in the Strait area of Nova Scotia. (“Kyrie Eleison down the road that I must travel …”). Don Henley’s Boys of Summer played through summer road trips to PEI in my late teens and early 20s (“Nobody on the road, Nobody on the beach …”). Tubthumping (Chumbawamba) was my son’s favorite track on our NOW 3 DVD (which lived in the car) and the joy of him singing his heart out to it is an all-time favorite memory.
Lauren Danner’s Favorites
Indigo Girls, “Get Out the Map” – This song is about the illusion that things in our lives are permanent. As we get older, we learn it’s folly to believe in permanence, so we should just “get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down.” Runner-up: “World Falls”
Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” – I’ve always loved the Beach Boys, but since I saw Love and Mercy, the Brian Wilson biopic, I’ve developed a heightened respect for their musical accomplishments. What Wilson did to create this symphonic masterpiece is nothing short of extraordinary, and the song never gets old. Runner-up: “Wouldn’t it be Nice”
Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Southern Cross” – Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Southern Cross” This has been on probably every playlist I’ve created. Although I’m not a sailor, I love how the lyrics connect the powerful imagery — “when you see the southern cross for the first time, you understand now why you came this way” — with the inner landscape — “I’m sailing for tomorrow, my dreams are a-dyin’, and my love is an anchor tied to you, tied with a silver chain.” Runner-up: none. It’s gotta be this song.
Richard Horton II’s Favorites
I really do not have favorite a song or songs but I like to listen certain genres. I prefer alternative rock or pop but long drives in remote Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas you only get the 3 Cs. Classic rock, Country and Christian, I have come to like all three. I have always liked classic rock and listened to it while in college along with country music. The Christian music has grown on me especially the alternative rock style.
Sara Beth’s Favorites
Back to Free by Drake White – This song gives me so many feelings. As someone who spends the majority of their time in suburbia, this song details the feeling of me searching for my inner compass among and away from the concrete. When we are on our road trips, it’s a great jam song that highlights the freedom we will be experiencing in nature when we get to our destination. I also love another of his album cuts called “Equator”.
I’ve Been Around by Kip Moore – I really struggled to pick one song by Kip Moore. I basically have his last two albums on heavy rotation all the time and shamelessly jam-out with my windows down during road trips. I’ve always been the wanderer in my family and his song “I’ve Been Around” sums that up pretty nicely. I pick this song over “Lipstick” which has a similar theme because of the line “when you coming back” – which is a frequent question by my friends and family.
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers – Hubs and I have two songs that we always sing along to on each road trip. Since Scott took “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” (It’s amazing!), I’m going with our second, which is “500 Miles”. It’s so much fun to sing along to and we are even working on our two-person delivery of the chorus. It’s probably a good thing we don’t have kids or they would be so embarrassed! Same thing goes for Convoy by CW McCall – it’s always a sing/speak along.
#ParkPeople Road Trip Songs Playlist
Below is a full playlist of all these songs and a few bonus road trip worthy tunes.
Want to participate in a future “Park People” post?
Please visit my Park People Participants page to learn more about participating and what do to after you’ve been featured! Hope to see your submission soon!