Twenty Great Songs About Travel
A list of twenty great songs with travel as the subject. These are listed in no particular order. In most cases I list the artist as the person who I know the song by.
1. California - Joni Mitchel - 1971- "I met a redneck on a Grecian Isle,......He gave me back my smile, but kept my camera to sell." - Just watched this video, so it was the first song that came to mind. Her line about Paris being old and cold and gray, takes me back to coming out of the airport there on a windy, rainy, cold, March morning.
2. America - Simon and Garfunkel - 1968 - "Michigan seems like a dream to me now, it took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw." - Ever since I've seen the movie Almost Famous, this song reminds me of the scene when William's older sister is leaving home to travel.
3. Changes in Latitude - Jimmy Buffet - 1977 - "Reading departure signs in some big airport reminds me of the places Ive been" - Who hasn't looked up at an airport departure sign and had their thoughts drift to the destinations displayed, memories you've had there, or places you dream of going?
4. Truckin' - Grateful Dead - 1970 - ".. what a long strange trip it's been" - This song highlights the highs and lows of traveling that many who've spent a little time on the road can identify with. Originally, a verse was supposed to be added describing each tour they took. They toured for more then thirty years and played more then 2,400 shows. That would be a long song at this point.
5. Wagon Wheel - Old Crow Medicine Show - 2004 - "Thumbin' my way into North Carolina" - Sketched by Bob Dylan and finished by OCMS, this song has everything a travel song needs; hitchhiking, poker, big-rigs, and a girl he needs to get to.
6. Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin - 1971 - "From the Kentucky coal mines, to the California sun." - First sung by Roger Miller in 1969 and written by Chris Kristofferson, but made famous by Janis Joplin. Janis died before it hit number one on the charts in 1971.
7. Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan - 1975 - "So I drifted down to New Orleans" - Another song containing the ingredients for a great road song, drifting and a girl.
8. Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills, and Nash - 1982 - "We've got eighty feet of the waterline nicely makin' way" - A song about a man who sails around the world after a love affair gone bad. I can't help but think of the sun and ocean breeze when I hear that line. The lyric about seeing the Southern Cross (a constellation easily seen from the southern hemisphere) for the first time, always makes me daydream about lying on my back on the deck of a sailboat looking at the stars.
9. I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash - 1996 - "I've been everywhere man" - Written by Geoff Mack and sung by Lucky Star in 1959, but I know it by Johnny Cash. What can I say, In the Johnny Cash version, this song names just about every city in the U.S.. In the songs original version, all the place names were Australian.
10. Promised Land - Grateful Dead - 1971 - "..when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes he would set us at the terminal gate." - Originally by Chuck Berry in 1964, I first heard it performed by the Grateful Dead.
11. Blue Sky - Allman Brothers
12. California Sun - Ramones
13. Island in the Sun - Weezer
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece - Bob Dylan
15. So Many Roads - Grateful Dead
16. Marrakesh Express - Crosby, Stills, and Nash
17. Lincoln Highway Dub - Sublime - Had to add this since I lived a couple hundred yards from the Lincoln Highway in Lancaster, PA for five or six years.
18. City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie
19. Runnin Down a Dream - Tom Petty
20. Midnight Rider - Allman Brothers
I'm sure I missed a lot of good ones, especially newer stuff, my mind was staying in a certain genre. What's the best song I missed?