Starling Travel

January 31, 2012

My Favorites: Road Trip Playlist

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was compiling a playlist of songs to play when we go on road trips, so I thought I would share it with you. Just a note: all the links are iTunes links and we get a small cut of the proceeds if you buy them.

The ultimate road trip song, is Road Trippin’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Let’s go get lost somewhere in the U.S.A. This video is like a vacation all its own.

Click more to see the rest of the songs:

Since we live in the west, we usually end up on parts of Route 66, so no road trip mix would be complete for me without that song, but the one I prefer is this remix by Depeche Mode called Behind the Wheel/Route 66. “My little girl, drive anywhere. Do what you want. I don’t care.” Yeah! I LOVE to be the one behind the wheel!

I know this song isn’t about a road trip, but One Headlight by The Wallflowers is just a great driving song.

Every Day Is A Winding Road by Sheryl Crow is a fun and bouncy song if Depeche Mode and The Wallflowers got you too down.

Roam by The B52’s makes me want to get out on “those dirty and dusty trails.” Unfortunately, this video is less about roaming and more about some weird vision of The B52’s.

I absolutely LOVE this song, The Way by Fastball. “Where were they going without ever knowing the way?”

Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads isn’t about road trips, but it’s still one of my favorites. If you like this song, you’ll probably also like this version by Nouvelle Vague.

Running Down A Dream by Tom Petty is a GREAT road trip song! There is a line that says, “Me and Del were singin’ Little Runaway.” The first time I heard this song, I thought Del Shannon was actually IN the car with him! I didn’t realize he was singing to the radio. This video, however, is less like a great road trip and more like an acid trip.

I can’t imagine a road trip playlist without Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts.

This foppy bit of pop is All Around The World by ATC. I just had to add it to make this list less depressing.

Here is another psychedelic romp from Daft Punk called Around the World.

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne talks about driving throughout the Southwest, but it’s not really ABOUT road trips. Still a good song for a long drive, though.

If you’re haulin’ a trailer behind you, King of the Road by Roger Miller is a must.

I kind of thought Kermit the Frog and the Muppets sang this song, but apparently, it’s On The Road Again by Canned Heat.

I’m not usually a country music fan, but Take A Back Road by Rodney Atkins really made me want to get out of the house and head to Moab.

I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash is one of those list songs that people love because they love to check off all the places that they’ve visited as well. I love to listen to these kinds of song to see if my hometown is there, but unfortunately Johnny Cash doesn’t mention Salt Lake, even though he had that whole section of all the lakes he’s been to. No, Mr. Cash, you HAVEN’T been everywhere! You missed UTAH!

I never heard Lonely Town by Stan Ridgway in the 80’s when it came out, but it’s a great road trip song.

For a creepy hitchhiker song, here is Evangeline by Icicle Works.

I Drove All Night by Roy Orbison was written for him in 1987, but he passed on it. Cyndi Lauper recorded a version of it in 1989 and it became a hit. In 1992, however, the voice it was written for sang it beautifully.

Drivin’ My Life Away by Eddie Rabbit is a classic. This is a fan video that is lovely with lots of footage of riding on the highway.

I know Driver 8 by R.E.M. is about a train conductor, but it’s such a great song for driving to.

One Way Ticket by Leann Rimes is a pretty good song for a road trip, even though she’s on a train as well.

Wanderer by Donna Summer is different than most songs with that theme. It is literally a song about the desire to travel and the worry of being left behind. Unlike Dion and Ricky Nelson, she’s not bragging about all the loves she leaves behind. She just has a gypsy drive to travel. This video is a painful bit of New Wave imagery. Just play it and listen without watching.

Ramblin’ Man by Hank Williams Sr. is another song about the unquenching desire to be on the road.

Ramblin’ Man by Allman Brothers is a COMPLETELY different song, but it also strictly about how the desire to travel can be so fully a part of ones personality.

There is something about the bass hook in Radar Love by Golden Earring that just sounds like driving on the freeway.

Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver is a perfect driving song when you’re bouncing on a dusty back road.

Keith Urban’s Days Go By isn’t about traveling, but the lyrics that reference driving, cars and “a hand out the window” just makes it a perfect road trip song. Plus, it’s such a positive and happy song!

Drive (For Daddy Gene) by Alan Jackson is about a boat, a Ford truck and an old Jeep. It’s more about fathers and their kids, but it’s still a great love song for that joy of driving.

I prefer Peter Paul and Mary’s version, but Woody Guthrie’s Car Song is the only one I could find on YouTube.

America by Simon and Garfunkel is a strange kind of traveling song, but you can’t beat the chorus.

No Particular Place To Go by Chuck Berry is an AWESOME song for “ridin’ along in your automobile.”

Brian Setzer wrote Switchblade 327 about his beloved 1932 Ford Switchblade 327. It’s more about a street race than a road trip, but it’s still a great driving song (as long as you watch your “steel-toed boot on the accelerator.”

Car Song by Elastica is more about the love of cars than a road trip, but it still fits.

Get Out The Map by The Indigo Girls is a perfect road trip and camping song. I love it.

Autobahn by Kraftwerk is an electronic ode to driving in Germany. The car noises and the blips and beeps more than make up for the lack of lyrics.

Obligatory Road Song by The Brunettes is exactly like it says on the tin. This live version doesn’t sound nearly as lovely as the one on the album, though.

Headlights On Dark Roads by Snow Patrol is a little dark and not about traveling at all, but the car and headlight imagery is perfect for this playlist.

Breezin’ (Along With The Breeze) is sung by Lucy and Desi in the movie, The Long, Long Trailer. I’d love to find a copy of this song by them, but it’s unavailable on iTunes or Amazon.

Breezin’ (Along With The Breeze) is available by a lot of people. Perry Como’s version is my favorite after Lucy and Desi’s.

What road trip playlist isn’t complete without Happy Trails with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans?

Learning How to Smile by Everclear is a great road trip song. Heck, it starts with, “Five miles outside of Vegas, we broke down.”

Long Line of Cars by Cake is a strange little song about being stuck in traffic, I think… The video definitely shows a road trip, so I guess I interpreted it correctly, but you never know with Cake.

Mint Car by The Cure doesn’t mention anything about driving or travel, but it embodies the feeling of a great road trip.

Travelling Light (feat. Anita Kelsey) by Markus Schulz is a techno journey with road trip lyrics to match.

Speaking of Travelin’ Light, I would be completely remiss without including Billie Holiday’s song. It has more to do with love and loss, but when you’re “free as the breeze,” you can travel light.

I’ll probably add to this list as I think of more songs, but for now, I have more than enough for our next road trip to Vegas!

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