Update July 10, 2013: Suzanne Fluhr of Boomeresque is hosting a blog carnival with a theme of “Travel Down Memory Lane”. I’m posting this musical journey down the road as my contribution. Hope you’ll enjoy the memories and the tunes. Then be sure to check out Suzanne’s site to find links to other great stories in Travel Down Memory Lane.
When my friend, Daniel Jones of the The World of Deej, tagged me to share my favorite road trip songs, I gratefully accepted, but was at a loss as to where I should start. Whether it’s jazz, rock, R&B, classical or world, music conjures up memories and is part of new ones being created. The songs that make up my travel soundtrack are influenced by so many factors: people, moods, events, domestic or foreign travel, cities or rural areas, business or leisure. The possibilities are endless!
A Few Favorite Road Trip Songs
So I finally decided to keep it simple. In my soundtrack, I’ve focused on going back to the time of first love, first heartbreak, first job, and those first road trips with me behind the wheel, instead of my dad. Everything was a first back then.
Nostalgia Zone Ahead! Here are some of the songs that always take me back to those times and other trips over the years. For me, they hit just the right notes for road trips even today.
Buckle up, open the windows, turn the volume on high and follow the highway signs as we take a musical road trip in my Chevy Laguna. Hey, it was a cool car at the time.
NO SERVICES NEXT 100 MILES
A Horse With No Name by America is one of my all-time favorite songs for many reasons. But it’s especially great for road trips through the deserts of the western United States. In fact, a post I did last year about a solo road trip through the desert featured this song as its soundtrack. Check it out here: The Heat Was Hot: My Desert Road Trip.
“The first thing I met, was a fly with a buzz,
And the sky, with no clouds.
The heat was hot, and the ground was dry,
But the air was full of sound.”
Lyrics don’t get better than that!
DOWNTOWN NEXT EXIT
Just about anything by Marvin Gaye fits big city trips, but What’s Going On is always right on.
City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie really isn’t a favorite song of mine, but it brings back vivid memories of driving through Nevada, Arizona and Utah a long time ago. It seems like it was always playing. Whenever this song comes on the radio, I listen and remember.
SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT
Who the heck is Gino Vannelli? I saw this guy perform in many venues in Chicago from small clubs to big auditoriums. I’m pretty sure that I was instrumental in launching his career. I was on a road trip with my sister when I first heard People Gotta Move as we headed into Los Angeles. It’s reminded me of L.A. freeway driving ever since.
Oh man. Paul McCartney singing The Long and Winding Road can create very intense feelings whether I’m on a busy highway, lonesome road or a city street. I can always imagine another time when I was driving that or a similar route on my way to see someone — someone special.
SPEED LIMIT RADAR ENFORCED
I have a hard time keeping within the speed limit when I hear Light My Fire by The Doors. It’s great for road trips anywhere, but proceed with caution!
I hope you enjoyed this road trip back in time. Now back to the 21st century!