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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Great road-trip songs

Now that summer is over and vacations road-trips are just dim memories, here's a nostalgia exercise: what are the greatest road-trip songs of all time? To me, road-trip songs are the kind that somehow insinuate themselves into the crocodilian part of the brain while you're driving down a highway with your arm out the window. They have some kind of primeval rhythm or some intangible quality that makes you bob your head in time with the music, and before you know it you're driving 30 mph over the speed limit. I grew up in the seventies, so my list reflects the music of my adolescence. The top road-trip song of all time for me is Radar Love, by Golden Earring. That song is indelibly marked in my mind as a summer camp anthem - we listened to it at YMCA camp on Georgian Bay on CHUM AM from a crappy transistor radio. Rounding out the top ten:

Sympathy for the Devil - the Rolling Stones
The Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin
Oye Como Va - Santana
Young Americans - David Bowie
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
American Woman - the Guess Who
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
La Grange - ZZ Top
Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull

So, to all ten of my readers: leave a comment and let me know your top road-trip song of all time. If there's a story behind it, all the better.


VW said...


007 by John Barry -- there's something about the way the brass sounds that's reminiscent of an auto horn.

Raiders March by John Williams -- a score that anticipates adventure, useful for the going there.

Houston by Dean Martin -- blues on the road.

Scubes said...

Arcade Fire - Neighbourhood #3