Songs about the road
The road has always been full of allure and mystery and dreams to me. Born with a gypsy soul, one I like to say I inherited from my Grandfather, I have always been fascinated with trips in cars as a child, and as an adult, road trips with friends and family. I love driving. The hideous Los Angeles traffic has yet to lessen that love; I’m not sure anything could. There is nothing quite like driving with the windows down and the music playing loud. Besides standing by the ocean, there is nothing that makes me feel more free and myself than being behind the wheel.
Sometimes the road calls to me, that itch that nothing else will quell, to get in the car and just go, without a particular destination in mind, or map to follow. I love the long stretches of highway, the off-ramp diner stops, the roadside attractions, the stories just waiting to be told out on the road. I would have made a great drifter, I think, backpack and journals to fill and a book to read, stopping for long stretches in tiny towns and big cities, long enough to get my bearings, make a little money, get a feel for life in each place, and then move on.
But the wayward life is hard to live when you have responsibilities and family. I live for the moments when I can take off for a day trip, or sometimes a longer cross-country adventure. It’s been too long since there’s been a reason to take one, or any opportunity, and I know that I need to find the time, because I know what being on the road gifts to me, the inspiration it feeds, the muse it represents to me, my writing, and my peace of mind.
Sometimes you just have to get in the car and go.
“The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.” ~ Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
“This is a roadside attraction,’ said Wednesday. ‘One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.” ~ Neil Gaiman, American Gods
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road
“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!” ~ Bob Marley
“I try to live my life where I end up at a point where I have no regrets. So I try to choose the road that I have the most passion on because then you can never really blame yourself for making the wrong choices. You can always say you’re following your passion.” ~ Darren Aronofsky
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” ~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
Here are my top five “road” songs for this week’s Friday Five. I think this one needs a playlist, too – tune in tomorrow to listen. What are some of your favorite “road” songs?
1. Roads :: Portishead
in the morning light,
2. 200 More Miles (live) :: Ryan Adams & Cowboy Junkies
“I’ve got 200 more miles of rain asphalt in line,
before I sleep.
But there’ll be no warm sheets or welcoming arms,
to fall into tonight.”
3. The Long and Winding Road :: The Beatles
“The long and winding road that leads to your door,
will never disappear,
I’ve seen that road before,
it always leads me here;
leads me to your door.”
4. Blue Highway :: Billy Idol
“Oh, you know we’re gonna ride on a blue highway.”
5. Ride :: Lana Del Rey
“I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast,
I am alone in midnight.
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble,
I’ve got a war in my mind
So, I just ride.”