Maybe it’s the weather, June gloom, scattered showers, humidity that we are never used to in Southern California, heat when it looks cold outside, and yet, its summertime. Maybe its months of being mostly indoors, knowing that this is where we all need to keep staying. Or it could just be that I’ve always had a gypsy soul that longs for the road. Whatever the reasons, I am itchy for a road trip. Craving long drives, roadside attractions, diner coffee, gas station trinkets, and kitschy motels.
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I love motels just like I love road trips. I grew up staying in them, mostly with my grandparents, often sleeping on a rollaway cot at the foot of the bed my grandmother and aunt shared. My grandfather taking the one closest to the window, snoring like a grizzly bear at night. He loved road trips, too. Loved to drive. Loved diners and motels and silly touristy things to see. I inherited it from him. This itch. This desire to get in the car and just go.
My favorite motels are the ones made to look futuristic, all oblong shapes, and space-age themes. Bonus if they have an ice machine just out the door, a plastic bucket inside to fill. Bonus if they have a coin-operated bed that shakes and bad art on the walls. Bonus if you can tell the walls could tell stories that no one would believe. Someday I’d like to spend a month at different motels, writing, seeing what the rooms inspire. Maybe some of the stories would bleed into mine.
Hotels are nice, too, of course. Fluffy pillows and robes, baths, and showers that blow my mind, posh beds, and delicious room service (my favorite, breakfast in the middle of the night). Bonus if you are up high enough to have a city view. Bonus if there’s a balcony, and a separate room to sleep in. All that said though, I’m really more of a motel girl. Always have been, always will be. They have more character, more history, more stories to tell.
Do you like motels? Do you prefer hotels? Which is your favorite? What about motel and hotel songs? Any that come to mind? Favorites? I put together of my Top 10 favorite motel and hotel songs – trimming quite a few I love, but for today, these are the ones I love the most.
Meet Me at the Motel 6
My Top 10 Motel and Hotel Songs
1) “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang
from the album, Rapper’s Delight (1979)
“Ho-tel, Mo-tel, Holiday Inn.
Say if your girl starts actin’ up,
then you take her friend.
Master Gee! My mellow!
It’s on you, so whatcha gonna do?”
2) “Hotel” by Tori Amos
from the album, From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998)
“Met’em in a hotel.
Met’em in a hotel.
You say he’s the biggest thing,
there’ll be this year.
I guess that what I’m seeking.
I guess that what I’m seeking isn’t here.”
3) “There’s a Small Hotel” by Ella Fitzgerald
from the album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Song Book (1956)
“There’s a small hotel,
with a wishing well –
I wish that we were there together.”
4) “Hotels” by Juliana Hatfield
from the album, Beautiful Creature (2000)
“Hotels, hotels –
welcome me when I need a home.
Hotels, hotels –
think of me when I’m leaving.”
5) Grammercy Park Hotel” by Bel Lee
from the album, Something To Remember Me By (1997)
“It’s 3 am in New York.
We sat for a while.
We started to talk.
We started to smile.”
6) “Hotel Yorba” by The White Stripes
from the album, White Blood Cells (2001)
“Well its one, two, three, four,
take the elevator,
at the Hotel Yorba,
I’ll be glad to see you later.
All they got inside is vacancy.”
7) Blue Hotel by Chris Isaak
from the album, Chris Isaak (1987)
on a lonely highway.
life don’t work out my way.
I wait alone each lonely night.”
8) “Hotel” by Mark Lanegan
from the album, Scraps at Midnight (1998)
“Oh, I remember your voice,
turnin’ around and around and around in my head.
Now it’s just like you said.
Everything inside is dead.”
9) “Motel Room In My Bed” by X
from the album, Under the Big Black Sun (1982)
“I like coffee and I like tea,
I like a pretty boy and he likes me.”
10) “Chelsea Hotel #2” by Leonard Cohen
from the album, New Skin For the Old Ceremony (1974)
“And clenching your fist for the ones like us,
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty.
You fixed yourself,
you said, ‘well, never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music'”
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOTEL AND HOTEL SONGS?
If you want to hear all 10 on Spotify – click here