by Conor McHale
January was never the easiest month to begin the year with grey skies and chilly temperatures. As if that were not enough the country is enduring yet another national lockdown and we are all told to stay at home and not to venture out beyond 5k of our homes. As we wait in the hopes of returning to normality perhaps a welcome distraction would be compiling playlist for our listening pleasure and what better theme could there be than listening to songs about hitting the road by whatever means necessary, venturing out to the far reaches and leaving all our woes behind. Here are just a few available on the Freegal app that can get you started:
We got to get out of this Place: The Animals
This was a very popular song with soldiers during the Vietnam War. Although not written about that conflict it is a song that resonates to this day and can be applied to any situation. We’re all feeling restricted at present and this sentiment is very much at the back of our minds.
Leaving on a Jet Plane: John Denver
Close your eyes and picture yourself heading down to Cork airport and heading off to sunnier climes. The song was written appropriately by Denver while on layover at Washington airport. Another Denver classic Take me Home Country Roads evokes West Virginia although he had never been and was inspired by a picture postcard. For Denver West Virginia seemed so far away and exotic it may as well have been in Europe.
Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen
An early anthemic classic from The Boss. Written when he was only 24 it has become a staple of his live shows ever since. It’s a song about roaring down open highways and never turning back.
Come Fly with Me: Frank Sinatra
Another song to tempt one away to warmer locales. It is a song that heralded the “Jet Set” when travel by plane was seen as something enjoyed by only wealthy people who could afford to travel for pleasure. Michael Buble also does a version of this song.
Freedom ’90: George Michael
George Michael actually wrote this about his experience of trying to get out of his contract with Sony Music, but it became a huge hit. It feels like a song about bursting out of our confines and going wherever we choose.
Get Away: George Ezra
Ezra wrote this about his anxiety at where to go next after finishing his first album. It’s a common feeling especially during these uncertain times when we all want to get away.
On the Road Again: Willie Nelson
Yet another airplane related song in a sense as this was hastily written on the side of a sick bag on a flight for a little remembered film called Honeysuckle Rose. However, the song itself subsequently became one of Nelson’s signature tunes.
Chattanooga Choo Choo: Glenn Miller
A different mode of transportation this time. Miller is best remembered for his Big Band swing tunes such as In the Mood and Moonlight Serenade, this tune was inspired by the steam locomotive that travelled from Cincinnati to Chattanooga.
Down the Highway: Bob Dylan
This time we are on foot. Dylan released his second album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963 which contained well known tracks like Blowin’ in the Wind and Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. This is lesser known song being a stark blues about” walkin’ down the highway with a suitcase in my hand.”
Hotel California (Live): The Eagles
After all this travelling it would be nice to stay in a luxury hotel. Except Hotel California is a state of mind! For the Eagles the song was their interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles. This is their most recognised song and this is a superb live version.