Monday, December 12, 2016

27 Songs You Need for the Perfect Road Tripping Playlist

If you've ever been on a road trip with us, you'll know that there's usually a lot of music in the car when we travel. There's also a lot of singing (want proof? Check out one of our latest Expat Snippets). Inevitably, there are a set of songs that usually get requested more than others. In no particular order, here are some of the latest and most requested songs in the car:

1. 'Non-Stop' - Hamilton Broadway Soundtrack
Perhaps your family is like ours...songs from the Hamilton musical are pretty much on non-stop repeat (that is, the songs that aren't laden with profanity). Non-stop is our favorite because it's a total production. EVERYONE in the car can sing. Other songs that were clean, or only required minimal editing on our part: Alexander Hamilton, You'll Be Back, Guns and Ships, The Room Where It Happens.

2. 'Seagulls! (Stop it Now)' - Bad Lip Reading
Ok, this could be any Bad Lip Reading song, but since we've worn out the other two big ones (Choo Choo Go and Bushes of Love), we've been playing this one continuously as well. Bad Lip Reading has gone from simple YouTube comedy to content that rivals even the great Weird Al Yankovic! And...speaking of which 

3. 'Word Crimes' - Weird Al Yankovic

I'll admit it. I'm one of those Weird Al Followers. He was a major part of my childhood, and when I got an autograph from him at a local grocery store in LA in the 80s, my fandom was secured. UHF - yes please. His last album (literally his last), was genius. Word Crimes had a long run in our car, but other songs that have been common sing-alongs in the car include: Skipper Dan, The Saga Begins, The Hardware Store, Yoda, Ebay, Lasagna, Your Horoscope for Today.. actually, I could do a whole blog post on Weird Al Sing-Alongs for a cross-country road trip. Yeah, they're that good.

4. 'Hot Summer Nights (Won't Last Forever)' - The Aquabats

Huge fan of the Aquabats, and not only because I know them. Not only do they do the best concerts on this Earth, they're also the brains behind Yo Gabba Gabba, and they know how to make a toe-tappin' sing-along. Our favorite has always been 'Hot Summer Nights (Won't Last Forever)', the tale of a poor naive beach bum who can't take a hint. Classically funny, and fun to sing along with too. 

5. 'Birdhouse in Your Soul' - They Might Be Giants

My absolute favorite band growing up was They Might Be Giants. I am such a big fan of TMBG that when I went to New York in my 30s, I made a special trip to the 1964 World's Fair site just to see where they filmed their first video: Don't Let's Start. Birdhouse in your Soul is one of those classic TMBG songs, and truth be told, we've had so many in our playlist, it's not even funny. The fact is TMBG have been the most prolific song writers in the history of the United States. Yeah, I said that. Count em, they've written hundreds upon hundreds of songs. Other great songs (new and old) we've enjoyed are: Take Out The Trash, Istanbul, End of the Rope, Icky, 813 Mile Car Trip, Seven, The Mesopotamians, etc.

6. 'Wildfire' - Seafret

Every playlist needs an endearing slow slong, even one for a family with 4 boys ages 7-16. Wildfire is that song for us. Seafret is a relatively new band, but their music is rich and lyrical. No doubt we'll have more on this playlist soon.

7. 'Ophelia' - The Lumineers

I've been a fan of the Lumineers since before their big hit, "Ho Hey" and their music has been a common fixture in our playlists. Ophelia is the latest to echo through the car. Other greats include Stubborn Love, Submarines, and Dead Sea (with a little editing).

8. 'Still' - Great Lake Swimmers

Love the tune and love the lyrics, but I love meaning even more.

9. Food and Creative Love - Rusted Root

You may find this to be an enigma on this list. Well, it literally is. I introduced this song to our playlist 3 years ago, having been a huge fan of Rusted Root since the 90s. This song stood out because no one could figure out the Chorus line. It's become a game in our family, with some who still think the chorus is: All I want is food and green alien love." No, I still haven't told them what the name of the song is. It's just too funny to hear them try to figure it out, plus "green alien love" is classic.

10. 'Lakehouse' - Of Monsters and Men

This song is one of my favorite from one of the best bands to come out of Iceland, ever. Their music just has the feeling of travel and adventure, which is probably why the remake of "the Secret Life of Walter Mitty" featured their song, "Dirty Paws".

11. Madness - Muse

You might think Muse is a bit too intense for a road trip with kids, and for the most part, it can be. But there are a few songs that really inspire some sing-along. Madness is one of them. Another one is "Explorers" and if you're adventurous, "Supermassive Blackhole"

12. Wavin' Flag (Coca-Cola Celebration Mix) - K'naan

The undisputed theme of the 2010 FIFA Worldcup, or is it? Either way, great song for any road trip.

13. Ivan & Alyosha - All This Wandering Around

We've used this song for our own travel videos, that's how much we like it. Plus, it

14. 'The Re-arranger' - Mates of State

 I like to brag. I was a Mates of State fan before it was cool to be a know, when they became a household name among Mormons for their music on Studio C?  Their songs are uppity, catchy, and perfect for a drive. Their album Rearrange Us may be one of the best albums of the last 10 years. They're that good.

15. 'Careful' - Guster

This may be the mother of all sing-along playlist songs, as it was one of our first sing-along songs in the car. Yep, in between Disney hits, we were singing Guster. Their best album is Keep it Together, and the best song on that album is 'Careful'. Even after over 10 years of listening to it, it never gets old. 

16. 'Miracle Mile' - Cold War Kids

Upbeat, peppy,  full of energy, yeah, this song will work better than a 5-hour energy drink to get you through your drive. It was also the song we used on our very first travel video!

17. 'Creep in a T-Shirt' - Portugal. The Man.

There's something about your kids singing, "I'm a creep in a T-Shirt" that just gives you the feels. Seriously though, really upbeat and fun to sing along to. This song may actually hold the record for the longest stay on our playlist. "Evil Friends" is also a great song.

18. The One Moment - Ok Go 

This song was already amazing by its own right, and then they went and destroyed the Internet with the video they made for it.

19. Cousins - Vampire Weekend

Ok, this song is only on this list because one member of our family HATES it. Sometimes its fun to annoy people while you're driving. I still think it's fast and fun to listen to. 

20. Joan of Arc - Arcade Fire

So, the only reason why our kids love this song is because of the chance to sing some French. I think that's it. Still, Arcade Fire is an incredible band, so I'll take it.

21. 'Complicated Creation' - Cloud Cult 

Fast beat, pretty cool meaning. This also doubles as a great workout song.

22. Generator First Floor - Freelance Whales

Underrated song from an unheralded band. The song has quite a long intro, but once it gets going, it's great.

23. La Seine and I - Monster in Paris Soundtrack

The movie was mostly a knock off of the Phantom of the Opera, but when one of your voice talents is the son of John Lennon, you check it out anyway. Turns out that the music is pretty cool.

24. Buddy Holly - Weezer

 This is a classic. If your kids don't know it, they need to know it. Now.

25. Last Train to Clarksville - The Monkees

 Who doesn't know this song? Really? Just one of those timeless songs.

26. Hold Music - Architecture in Helsiniki
When a song has the lyric, "I bought me a dragon to lighten the load," you know it's a winner. 

27. Okay - The Piano Guys

Have to end this on a purely uplifting song. If you haven't heard the Piano Guys, this is nothing like what they normally produce (most of it is instrumental) but this is one heck of a great song.

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