Brave New Traveler has an excellent list of the thirty songs that capture the spirt of travel, and while they’ve got most of the great ones – Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude by Jimmy Buffett (actually, any Jimmy Buffet works), Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills & Nash, America by Simon & Garfunkel, and many more (along videos for all of them), there are a few that I just have to add.

Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash – How could they not include this one?  I consider the ultimate inspiring traveller’s anthem (to point out the obvious).

Running Down A Dream by Tom Petty– Because some of the best moments happen when “you’re workin’ on a mystery, going where ever it leads”.  Perfect for those who wander are but are not lost.

Buenos Aires from Evita – I know, I know, it’s from a campy musical, but just listen – it is filled with anticipation and the delicious excitement of arriving in a big new city that you’ve been dreaming of visiting for years. 

Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan– On a more melancholy note, this song captures the sadness of separation and the feeling of leaving loved ones behind, in that sparsely beautiful way only Bob Dylan can.

End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburies – Its just a great feel good road-or-train trip song.  And any group that has George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan is worth a listen. 

I Can See For Miles by The Who – It calls to mind epic vistas and miles of stunning scenery (yes, I know that is not really what it is about).  Quick story: the last time I listened to this song was in Spain, on a train speeding towards Granada, and I woke up just as the sun was rising over the fields.  There were miles and miles of lush olive trees in every direction framed by the still snowcapped Sierra Nevadas.  It was just a perfect moment.

Mexico by James Taylor – This one should be self-explanatory.

A Horse With No Name by America – This song always reminds me of being out in the Sahara desert exploring and channeling Indiana Jones, or driving through the Badlands in South Dakota.

Desolation Row by Bob Dylan – No other reason except that it’s a simply incredible song.  And if you’re on a long flight or ride, you can try to interpret the lyrics.  A song and an activity.  Brilliant.

Peace Train by Cat Stevens – It is not so much about travel per se, but it seems to go with the idea of traveling and learning about other lands and cultures. 

What songs would you add to the playlist?

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A Changin’

This could be the theme song of the media industry at the moment.  On a slightly related note, here’s another cool example of viral marketing for Bob Dylan album that drops October 1st  – you can have Bob send a message to your friends, Subterranean Homesick Blues style.*

Cat Stevens

August 21, 2007

Cat Stevens – Ruins / Peace Train

Thanks to much busy-ness on my part, I’m going with the video-is-worth-a-thousand-words. Here’s Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam singing Ruins and Peace Train live in 1976.

Link to the video.

Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett: It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere

I think I’m going to start asking myself “what would Jimmy Buffett do?” whenever I find myself at some kind of quandary. That is all.

James Taylor: Sweet Baby James

Speaking of incomparable artists, is there anyone else who can compose beautiful ballads like James Taylor?  His songs are so simple but so evocative at the same time.


More YouTube fun – two of my favorite songs.

Is there anyone comparable in the singer/songwriter category these days (pun not intended)?

Simon and Garfunkel: America

Listen to the intro – and all the people that they thank in it.  I was amused.

It’s time for another Monday music post.  This time it’s a chill playlist that will send you (mentally, at least) on vacation.

First, we’ll head to Mexico with James Taylor, because “it sounds so simple and I’ve just got to go.”  If you can’t relax while listening to this song, you need a trip to Margaritaville

Jimmy Buffett’s Parrothead anthem is an obvious choice, but Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, also fits the bill, since it reminds us not to take ourselves so seriously, and nothing is too serious in the islands – “if we couldn’t laugh we would go insane.” 

No trip to an island paradise is complete with a little Bob Marley, so Don’t Worry Be Happy has to be on the list, along with Jammin’

Although Marrakesh isn’t an island, it’s certainly can be an exotic paradise, so catch a train from Casablanca going south with Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the Marrakesh Express.

Get even further away from it all with Bob Seger (By the way – Bob and I share a hometown – he actually played at my dad’s high school dances – so I can call him Bob and all that.) and escape from everything by going to Katmandu.

Lastly, Miles From Nowhere by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is a good finale, because who hasn’t wanted to be miles from everything at least once in a while?