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6 Songs to Get You in the Mood for Traveling

6 Songs to Get You in the Mood for Traveling

There’s nothing better than researching, packing and planning for a trip abroad and from Africa to South East Asia, these days the entire world is literally on your doorstep. One of my favourite pre-trip rituals involves loading up my iPod with travelling tunes and no matter whether I’m off on adventure holidays or just going shopping for mozzi spray, I find songs that feature destinations in the title are perfect for getting me in the mood.

Perhaps you might consider doing the same next time you’re preparing for a trip because there are plenty of songs to choose from including: Amsterdam by Peter Bjorn and John, The Belfast Child by Simple Minds and the awesome L.A. Woman by The Doors, to name but a few.

Wherever you’re going, I can guarantee that the following six ditties will help to get your travelling juices well and truly flowing and no matter what you’re looking forward to: walking holidays, cultural sightseeing or one night in Bangkok, I hope you have a fantastic time.

Below are six of my favourite travel songs.

Across 110th Street

-Bobby Womack
Bursting with Blaxploitation funk and soul, this song about the divide between Harlem and Central Park was originally written for the 1972 film of the same name. The song has become a cult classic and used in a couple of modern-day gangster flicks i.e. Jackie Brown and American Gangster.

My favourite lyrics:

I was the third brother of five
doing whatever I had to do to survive
I’m not saying what I did was alright
trying to break out of the ghetto was a day to day fight.

Across 110th Street - American Gangster (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

London Calling

-The Clash
Dirty rotten punk with a reggae bass line, can you get any better? This song (social statement) is all about the underclass and the down-trodden who bear the brunt of an officious police state and the ever-increasing threat of world events such as: nuclear disasters, global warming and right-leaning political ideologies.

Also, said to be considered as an anthem for the 2012 London Olympics – hmm, interesting!

My favourite lyrics:

The ice age is coming, the sun’s zooming in
engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
a nuclear error, but I have no fear
’cause London is drowning, and I… live by the river

London Calling - London Calling

Whipping Piccadilly

Bouncy, boppy and fun lyrics depicting a typical students’ day out. Although Ian Ball and Ben Ottewell were studying at Sheffield University at the time, this away day adventure encapsulates a trip to watch the singer Beck perform at neighbouring Manchester’s university. Music, football and wine-fuelled tomfoolery – brilliant.

My favourite lyrics:

Played a bit of football, fell into the union
barged our way into the toilet with the kung fu king
there’s not enough hours in the day

Whippin' Piccadilly - Bring It On

No Sleep till… Brooklyn

-The Beastie Boys
The Beastie’s entered the mid-eighties with a unique fusion of hip-hop, rap and rock which took the UK by the scruff of its middle-of-the-road pop music neck. The name of the song tips a wink to Motorhead’s No sleep till Hammersmith album and also features an awesome riff by Slayer guitarist Kerry King.

My favourite lyrics:

Foot on the pedal – never ever false metal
engine running hotter than a boiling kettle
my job ain’t a job – it’s a damn good time
city to city – I’m running my rhymes

No Sleep Till Brooklyn - Licensed to Ill

Marrakesh Express

-Crosby, Stills & Nash
This cheerful little ditty is all about Graham Nash’s adventure holidays travelling by train through Morocco. After getting bored out of his mind in First Class he opts for a seat with the livestock and locals and has a thoroughly more enlightening journey.

My favourite lyrics:

Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
travelling the train through clear Moroccan skies
ducks and pigs and chickens call
animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue

Marrakesh Express - Crosby, Stills & Nash: Greatest Hits


-Led Zeppelin
With a guitar riff to announce a thousand entrances, this track from the Physical Graffiti album takes its name from the northwest Indian state of the same name. Although the band had never actually been to Kashmir when Robert Plant wrote the lyrics while travelling through southern Morocco, the verve, chemistry and feeling behind the composition have made it one of the best Zeppelin songs ever created and perfect for accompanying you on your walking holidays.

My favourite lyrics:

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveller of both time and space, to be where I have been
to sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
they talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

Kashmir - Mothership (Remastered)

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About the author

Chris is looking forward to taking a train through India with his eyes peeled and his head phones on.

View all articles by COwen
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