Fun Campfire Songs

Campfire Songs: The Stuff Memories are Made Of

If you've ever been camping with family, friends, scouts or religious organizations, you'll be familiar with songs sung around a campfire at the end of the day. Why sing songs? There are so many reasons, the primary one of which it is a bonding experience. Linking arms, raising voices and fondly remembering the day that has just passed. Years later, campers will recall the wonderful memories - whether with family or friends. Sometimes, you'll roast marshmallows and crack peanut shells, while chatting about a hike or a swim. Other times, it may be just the cap of the experience of getting to camp and setting up. In any event, camp songs have a long, fond tradition. There is nothing like fun campfire songs!

Songs can be sung a capella (without accompaniment), or with guitar. There are so many fun campfire songs from which to choose, I've highlighted just a few. Leave me comments below with some of your favorites, too!

All that you need are some fun campfire songs!
All that you need are some fun campfire songs!
A cozy campfire and a song
A cozy campfire and a song
The Magical Honah Lee from Puff the Magic Dragon
The Magical Honah Lee from Puff the Magic Dragon

Puff the Magic Dragon

 

My first selection of fun campfire songs is "Puff the Magic Dragon." Yes, there are definite drug implications with this song (or so they say), but it is a campfire tradition, nonetheless. Let's not spoil it for our younger audience of kids 10 and under. A charming song of a boy and his dragon, the tale is sung by boys and girls at camp, year after year. Honah Lee, is actually an area in Kauai, Hawaii, which is said to be the foundation for the song.

Puff the Magic Dragon, by the Mommas & the Poppas

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,

Little Jackie paper loved that rascal puff,

And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail

Jackie kept a lookout perched on puffs gigantic tail,

Noble kings and princes would bow wheneer they came,

Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee.

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys

Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.

One grey night it happened, jackie paper came no more

And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,

Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.

Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,

So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. oh!

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee,

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea

And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee

Other Campfire Song Favorites

  • Boom, Boom, Ain't it Great to be Crazy?
  • Kookaburra
  • Camptown Races
  • The Hokey Pokey
  • The More We Are Together
  • Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
  • Dry Bones
  • Amazing Grace
  • I Know a Place

Even Adults Enjoy Singing Around Campfires!

Yellow Submarine

OK, so the Beatles are also maybe not the best role model for youth, but again, its "Yellow Submarine" is a charming song, and so... sing-able. The chorus is completely uplifting and, let's not forget, back in the 1970s, it was the subject of a cartoon! This song would be good for campers near the ocean, who are learning about sea life.

Everyone, sing together... "We all live in a Yellow Submarine, a Yellow Submarine, a Yellow Submarine!" I love it! Plus, it was created the year I was born (1968), so it has to be a hit.

Yellow Submarine, by the Beatles

(Excerpt)

In the town where I was born,

Lived a man who sailed to sea,

And he told us of his life,

In the land of submarines,

So we sailed on to the sun,

Till we found a sea of green,

And we lived beneath the waves,

In our yellow submarine,

We all live in a yellow submarine,

yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in a yellow submarine,

yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

And our friends are all aboard,

Many more of them live next door,

And the band begins to play.

In the town where I was born,

Lived a man who sailed to sea,

And he told us of his life,

In the land of submarines,

So we sailed on to the sun,

Till we found a sea of green,

And we lived beneath the waves,

In our yellow submarine,

We all live in a yellow submarine,

yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

We all live in a yellow submarine,

yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

And our friends are all aboard,

Many more of them live next door,

And the band begins to play.

The Bugler's Cry - Taps

Taps

 

Taps is a total tearjerker for me. And while it is certainly not a fun campfire song, it is often listened to around the campfire while a bugler in the distance plays the song. The words are haunting, nonetheless. And, the story is quite amazing. It is said to have originated during the Civil War, although some say it is but a myth. A Union soldier heard agonized cries of a wounded man across enemy lines. He simply could not take it and snuck across to help the poor soul. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that it was his own son! The boy died in his arms. The man requested a military funeral for his son, but was denied because the boy was considered to be a traitor. Out of compassion, he was allowed a single bugler, instead of a full military band. The bugler played the tune found in his son's coatpocket. Thus, "Taps" was born.

Lyrics for Taps:

Day is done,

gone the sun,

From the hills,

from the lake,

From the skies.

All is well,

safely rest,

God is nigh.

Go to sleep,

peaceful sleep,

May the soldier

or sailor,

God keep.

On the land

or the deep,

Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,

Must thou go,

When the day,

And the night

Need thee so?

All is well.

Speedeth all

To their rest.

Fades the light;

And afar

Goeth day,

And the stars

Shineth bright,

Fare thee well;

Day has gone,

Night is on.

Thanks and praise,

For our days,

'Neath the sun,

Neath the stars,

'Neath the sky,

As we go,

This we know,

God is nigh

Silver and Gold: Make New Friends

This is one short and sweet song that is easy to remember! Sing it together first, then in a round:

Make new friends, but keep the old

One is Silver and the Other Gold!

There are so many other classics, there simply is not enough room here to review them all in one place! Before your next camping excursion, collect some campfire song books, maybe a harmonica or guitar, and prepare for some special memories to be made.

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 22 comments

gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Man, these make me want to go camping.


Wendy08 profile image

Wendy08 8 years ago

"Puff The Dragon" lol that was funny in "Meet the Parents". lol great hub steph. =D


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

LOL - I love Meet the Parents! Let's go Camping everyone!


topstuff profile image

topstuff 8 years ago

Day is done,gone the sun.What's there behind,its now night.


imgoingonaroadtriptoNCwithmyyouthgroup 8 years ago

u need 2 put more somgs! im going on a mission trip with my church to NC and were DRIVING! for 2 whole days! i need more!!!!!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

OK - you got it! I am going to cub scout camp with my boys this weekend. I am sure to come back with fresh campfire song material. ;-)


Camping Dan profile image

Camping Dan 7 years ago

Great songs! Of course the only thing better than singing is telling scary ghost stories.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Great hub Stephhicks68 I really miss camping. In Australia we "go bush" or "walkabout" as often as we can to see the sky again though clear air.

Watching the animals hurrying home in the evening and listening to the birds morning greetings is refreshing to the soul and spirit .


Katie 7 years ago

Uh......boo!


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

I didn't know the words for the "Taps" song before but after reading this hub, now I do. Sad words, indeed! Forgive me if I do not actually sing TAPS at the next campout I go to.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Yes, yes - I forgive you for not signing TAPS. Its a great song, but so sad.


BealeD profile image

BealeD 7 years ago

Great idea and great hub. How about a Ghost Stories follow- up? :)


Gomet profile image

Gomet 6 years ago

Very interesting Hub!

and No ghost stories should be allowed in camp night .. They Ruin every thing..


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Don't you know it! Ban the ghost stories - campfire songs are much more fun.


Martin Goldrush 6 years ago

puff the magic dragon was not written by the momma's and the poppa's. It was written and performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary. get your information right.


Debbie Gee profile image

Debbie Gee 6 years ago from California

Where are the marshmellows, please! And I'll take a hot dog and cheeseburger :) Yummmy!


Person 6 years ago

go scouts camp songs


Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

These are a few of my favorite things. Thank you for the added video clips. Love it!


m.tariq899xxvv 5 years ago

I love it.

Thank you.


crayonfox 5 years ago

some suggestions, 'there was a great big moose' 'the hippo song' and 'the camp fire song song' (yes there are two 'song's


jerandi profile image

jerandi 5 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah. USA

Time for some camping


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

Great songs!! Made me want to go camping.

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