Suggestions for a roadtrip songbook?
June 23, 2016 9:41 AM   Subscribe

My friends and I are working on a fairly large project of assembling our favorite songs to sing along to, plus a book of lyrics that can live in the backseat of the car so that people don't actually need to memorize the song. I was hoping people might have suggestions for the book that fit the following criteria:

1. "Most people" are excited to sing along with the song when it comes on.
2. The song is not actually boring to sing (e.g. repeating the chorus half the time). The whole point of the lyrics book is that we'll be able to sing along to songs that have interesting, complex lyrics.
3. The song is reasonably high energy (does anyone like to sing downers?)

We have a list so far, and here are some of the examples:

Carry on Wayward Son: Although heavy on instrumentals, all our friends are always excited to sing this song. Also, the lyrics are interesting and complicated.

Don't Stop Believing: We have a ton of Journey and also Queen on the list, as well.
The General (Dispatch)
Some Nights (Fun)
Uptown Funk

In short, we're looking for a big range of well-known groups across a lot of eras and styles. Probably no death metal, though.
posted by heyforfour to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Graceland by Paul Simon
posted by fourpotatoes at 9:52 AM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

We didn't start the fire, by Billy Joel, or similarly, The End of The World by REM.
posted by hydra77 at 9:55 AM on June 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

Midnight Train to Georgia, by Gladys Knight and the Pips
Stay, by Alanis Morissette
Living on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi
Little Lion Man, by Mumford and Sons
Regulate, by Warren G
Ignition Remix, by R Kelly
Nothing but a G Thang, by Dr Dre
posted by 23skidoo at 10:03 AM on June 23, 2016 [5 favorites]

Route 66
posted by brujita at 10:07 AM on June 23, 2016

American Pie
Hey Jude
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Come Together
Take It Easy
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 AM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Subterranean Homesick Blues!
posted by threetwentytwo at 10:17 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

What's Up - 4 Non Blondes
Bloodletting - Concrete Blonde
The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels
Jack and Diane - John Mellancamp
Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Sabotage - Beastie Boys
Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Rapper's Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
posted by xyzzy at 10:24 AM on June 23, 2016

Cecelia - Simon and Garfunkle
Like a Prayer - Madonna
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
Love Shack - B52s
posted by rozee at 10:34 AM on June 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Just went to a Weezer show and it was insanely fun to sing along with Say It Ain't So and Beverly Hills, among others.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:34 AM on June 23, 2016 [4 favorites]

How about Rise Up Singing and its sequel Rise Again? You can flip through the books to build a playlist, and YouTube channels exist for both books where you can find almost all the songs. If you can channel smartphone audio into your car speakers this would give you plenty of music.
posted by cubby at 10:35 AM on June 23, 2016

Sugar Hill Gang, Rapper’s Delight
Beastie Boys, Sounds of Science
Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue
De La Soul, Tread Water
Tribe Called Quest, I Left My Wallet in El Segundo
Run-DMC, King of Rock (or It’s Tricky or You Be Illin’)
Steely Dan, Reelin’ in the Years
Magnetic Fields, Papa Was a Rodeo
Squeeze, Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)
Dolly Parton, Nine to Five
Ben Folds Five, Army
posted by miles per flower at 10:37 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I Love Rock n Roll
Hungry Like a Wolf
Tainted Love
Sweet Child of Mine
Smells Like Teen Spirit
What's Up
Rocket Man
posted by metasarah at 10:58 AM on June 23, 2016

Stand By Me
Me and Bobby McGee

Where are you? If you are Australian I would add Khe Sanh and Throw Your Arms Around Me.
posted by goo at 10:59 AM on June 23, 2016

Stay, by Alanis Morissette

Stay is by Lisa Loeb and should absolutely be on a roadtrip songlist
posted by Flamingo at 11:17 AM on June 23, 2016

"Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:18 AM on June 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

TV themes:


"Gilligan's Island"

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (then you can have fun swapping lyrics/tunes with the "Gilligan's Island" theme)

"It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" (from "Mr. Rogers")

"Sesame Street" theme (silly, but very road-trip-appropriate: "...on our way, to where the AIR. IS. SWEET!!)

Broadway standards are also something to consider.
posted by amtho at 11:59 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues
posted by lakeroon at 12:16 PM on June 23, 2016

You need some Neil Diamond. Probably Sweet Caroline but there is so much that's good for this.

Also: Better Be Home Soon by Crowded House.
posted by shelleycat at 1:21 PM on June 23, 2016

The bad touch - Blood Hound Gang
Blue dabba dee - Eiffel 65
Lose Yourself - Eminem
In the end - lincoln park
Hotel California - the eagles
Girls just wanna have fun - cyndi lauper
Be a man - Mulan soundtrack
Whole new world - Aladdin soundtrack
1985 - bowling for soup
stacy's mom - fountains of wayne
What I've got or Santeria or Date Rap by sublime
posted by TomFoolery at 1:26 PM on June 23, 2016

Throw in some Neil Young too. Heart of Gold is probably the most obvious car singalong song, but I'd probably go for Powderfinger.
posted by shelleycat at 1:27 PM on June 23, 2016

Whitesnake - here i go again
Sam the sham and the pharaohs - Woolly Bully
Pat Boone - Speedy Gonzales
Otis Redding!!
Jimi Hendrix!!
Pearl Jam!!
Joni Mitchell - big yellow taxi
Paul Simon - me and julio down by the school yard
The White Stripes - doorbell, blue orchid
Nirvana - Smells like teen spirit
Edward Sharp & the Magnetic zeros - home
posted by speakeasy at 2:09 PM on June 23, 2016

Sorry, one more!
Ryan Adams - New York, New York
posted by speakeasy at 2:15 PM on June 23, 2016

Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls.
posted by clavicle at 8:46 PM on June 23, 2016

Jimmy Buffett! Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano, Why Don't We Get Drunk...any of his songs.
Wham! Rap - Wham!
Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
Telephone - Lady Gaga & Beyonce
You've Lost That Loving Feeling - Righteous Brothers (or Hall and Oates)
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Hotline Bling - Drake
Roxanne - The Police
Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads
Bust A Move - Young MC
posted by SisterHavana at 12:48 AM on June 24, 2016

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