Prior to this excursion I laboriously labored to make the comprehensive travel playlist for my ipod (see “Movin on … thinkin of you when Im gone …” 1 Sept 2011). What with all my shit getting jacked that labour seems now to have been for nought. Still, I listened to that playlist extensively in the weeks leading up to my departure so it is no small wonder that the songs I now sing to myself on the road are those which featured prominently on said playlist; more specifically, the ones I can remember the words to. Here is a few of the little dittys which I belt out on the highways and biways with reckless abandon whilst hitchhiking, likely scaring away more than one potential ride with my gaping mouthed singing face and the intolerable racket I produce.
“My Way” – Frank Sinatra
A no-brainer. It appeals to me both from the chasing your dreams angle and also from the traveling angle. I feel like I can sing it honestly at this point and I hope that 50 or so years down the road I can sing it with the same honesty, having “lived a life thats full.”
Favourite Line: ” I’ve loved, Ive laughed and cried/Ive had my fill; my share of losing/And now as tears subside I find it all so amusing…”
“Born to Wander” -Rare Earth
Another no-brainer. I have liked Rare Earth for a few years now but only got wind of this oldie but goodie classic this past summer. The verses express the same kinds of ideas I tried to express to my woman before leaving and the chorus rocks so hard. I even used this song in my unsuccessful video attempt to get corporate sponsorship for this trip from Dos Equis (that can be viewed here: Dos Equis Proposal). All in all a dope, if too short song.
Favourite Line: “Im just followin my heart, girl and its followin the sun/lookin for an answer I know may never come”
“Beach Chair” – Jay-Z
I never really got into Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come album until lately save for one or two songs. However this song, featuring Chris Martin of Coldplay, has a melody which I am not sure if I find haunting or enchanting. I played it a lot this summer and something in it really speaks to me. I dont know all the words but certain lyrics stay with me.
Favourite Line: “Im not afraid of dyin/Im afraid of not tryin” “Some say “Hov, how you get so fly?”/By not bein afraid to fall out the sky”
“Don Quixote” – Gordon Lightfoot
I sings me a lot of Gordon Lightfoot -“For Lovin Me,” “Sundown,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” but only this and one other really resonate with me for their adventure angle. Anyone who has read my earlier entries might be familiar with my fondness for the book Don Quixote by Cervantes. Well, I liked this song long before I ever started the book. Lightfoot’s ability to strum the guitar like a bastard (thats a technical term) is showcased as is his knack for writing lyrics with compelling imagery and meaning. Various lines from this song have touched me at various times in my life.
Favourite Line: “He is wild but he is mellow/he is strong but he is weak/he is cruel but he is gentle/he is wise but he is meek”
“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash
I guess I sing this ironically to some extent because I feel anything but fettered. But I think at one time or another we have all felt stuck where we were at and I am just glad to be out of that situation if only temporarily.
Favourite Line: “Well if they freed me from that prison, if that railroad train was mine/I bet Id move it on a little farther down the line…”
“Gone ’til November” (Video version) – Wyclef Jean
Gonna be a little past November on this excursion but I understand what ‘Clef is trying to express to his woman here. Sometimes the daily grind and personal happiness are mutually exclusive.
Favourite Line: “Girl, I gotta leave, please dont cry/when I come back you know the limits the sky”
“Early Morning Rain” – Gordon Lightfoot
My all-time favourite Lightfoot song. So good that Elvis even covered it. A perfect song for the destitute traveler who misses his far-away home. About a week and a half back I mentioned that I had cried more than once out of despair (6 Day Adventure Recap: 6 October 2011 – 11 Oct 2011 LONG!!!!,12 OCT 2011). This was not quite true as I only despaired that hard only once. However, quite often I have sung this song on the road and when I reach certain lines my voice cracks and I struggle through it, because it reminds me of my dad and home.
Favourite Line: “This old airport’s got me down, its no earthly good to me/cause Im stuck here on the ground, as cold and drunk as I can be” ->The whole song is good
Those are the songs that have been at the forefront of my mind as I have traveled these past few weeks but as I stop at each internet cafe I look up the lyrics to a song which is in my head but which I dont quite remember well enough to sing on the road so my library is always expanding. I figure by the time I get back Ill have the whole travel playlist memorized. Finally after years of post-secondary education I finally have some worthwhile knowledge in my head.