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On the Road Again

And other songs to listen to while you're heading home for break

By Alaina Burris
On November 20, 2018

Photo by Alaina Burris

Imagine: You’re anywhere between one hour and 30 hours away from home. Everything is packed into your car and you have to get on the road. The only thing you’re missing is some music to get you through the long drive. Here are the top 10 songs to add to your road-trip playlist:

10. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

  • Starting our list at No. 10 is Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Released in June 1969, the soft rock song was said to be inspired by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy. As of November 2014, the song had more than two million digital downloads.

9. On the Road Again - Willie Nelson

  • In the No. 9 spot is Willie Nelson’s own “On the Road Again.” Nelson wrote the song during his work on the movie “Honeysuckle Rose.” The movie is about an aging musician on the road with his family and his band as he tries to achieve national fame. Fun fact: The song was written on a barf bag.

8. Highway Don’t Care - Tim McGraw

  • The No. 8 spot is taken by Tim McGraw’s country song about the narrator’s lover who is on on a long drive. She knows he cares, but the “Highway Don’t Care.” The song features not only McGraw but Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. The music video reveals the truth of cell phone usage while driving, which is the underlying theme of the song as a whole. (Stay safe!)

7. American Pie - Don McLean

  • The song that told us of the day the music died takes the No. 7 spot on our list. “American Pie” was released originally in 1971, with McLean just stating that it was poetry with absolutely no meaning behind it. In 2015, the true meaning of the song was revealed after the original manuscript was sold for $1.2 million.

6. Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts

  • “Life is a Highway” has many different versions, but Rascal Flatts’ version takes the No. 6 spot. This one debuted in 2006 on the “Cars” soundtrack and is featured during Mack and Lightning McQueen’s road trip to California. How much better can it get?

5. Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Sweet Home Alabama” came out in 1973 but didn’t appear on an album until 1974. The hit was written in a controversial setting surrounding racism and the American South, but nonetheless, it is a classic rock song today that works well as a road-trip song.

4. Highway to Hell - AC/DC

  • In the No. 4 spot is one of AC/DC’s 1979 hits, “Highway to Hell.” The song was initially released as a single but was included as the title track to an album the same year. The song itself is about being on the road all the time, as seen through the band’s eyes.

3. Mamma Mia - ABBA

  • Sitting at No. 3 is Swedish pop group ABBA’s “Mamma Mia.” After the success of a musical and two movies of the same name, the song is almost always the answer -- and has easy lyrics to catch on to.

2. I’m Gonna Be - The Proclaimers

  • At No. 2, we have the 1988 hit “I’m Gonna Be.” This song is an ultimate road-trip song that makes its listeners ask this question: Who would you be the man for, to walk 500 miles, then walk 500 more, and fall down at their door?

​1. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

  • Coming in at No. 1, Queen’s 1975 hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” has reentered the top-100, placing at No. 33 after the success of the new movie of the same name. It’s an operatic rock song that would make almost six minutes of your ride move a bit quicker.

For a successful roadtrip, remember a few things: Have a designated DJ! If you are traveling with someone else, let them control the music (unless they’re driving). If you’re traveling by yourself, set your playlist before you leave! This keeps you safe on the road. If you must change songs, wait until there is a safe time to do so.

Everyone at the university would like each student to return from break safely; stay safe and have fun!

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