Travel broadens the mind. It’s time to get the Summer travel brochures out. Decide on a location, and pack the suitcase. The music catalogue is full of references to travel songs.
Travel Songs on the Road
While Willie Nelson was ‘On the Road Again,’ Roger Miller claimed he was the ‘King of the Road.’ Spare a thought, though, for Chuck Berry who had ‘No Particular Place to Go.’
On a journey from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles Bobby Troup composed ‘Route 66’ in 1946. The song is all about the famous highway and the cities it passes through along the way.
In fact, it describes the freedom and exhilaration of travelling. A theme also taken up by Bruce Springsteen in his anthemic ‘Born To Run’. Also by Steppenwolf with their classic ‘Born To Be Wild’.
More Travel Songs
Additionally, one song that regularly features in our concerts and weddings is ‘The Rose.’ Composed by Amanda McBroom who, while driving down a freeway, listened to a song played on her car radio.
It posed the interminable question. What is love? Words and phrases in the song raced into her mind. She drove home, sat at her piano.
Ten minutes later, ‘The Rose’ had completely blossomed.
Recorded by Bette Midler, ‘The Rose’ then became the title song of the film of the same name. It changed McBroom’s life for ever.
Not to mention the Burt Bacharach and Hal David composition ‘Trains and Boats and Planes.’ It cleverly captures all modes of transport. It caused painful separation or joyous connections.
John Denver was definitely ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane.’ Gene Pitney was ‘24 Hours from Tulsa.’ If only he could have caught that same jet plane.
Travel Songs by Train
Comparatively, trains and train journeys are immortalised many hundreds of times in songs.
Such classics as ‘Freight Train’ by Nancy Whiskey and The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group. ‘Last Train to San Fernando’ by Johnny Duncan and the Bluegrass Boys.
Those songs do take us back a bit!
Likewise, somewhere along the line, pun intended, Paul Simon composed ‘Homeward Bound.’ The night he became stranded at Widnes railway station, in the north of England.
Moreover, a railway station features in the composition of one of Wales’s greatest hymns.
Composer Arwel Hughes (1909 – 1988) often travelled by train from Cardiff to Bangor.
Furthermore, at Shrewsbury Station in 1938 he composed ‘Tydi a Roddaist‘ (Thou Gavest) in about twenty minutes.
Words by renowned poet, dramatist and novelist T. Rowland Hughes.
Moreover, ‘Tydi a Roddaist’ is rated by many as Arwel Hughes’s most famous song. It is performed and recorded by hundreds of artistes and choirs the world over.
Railway Station Plaque
Since 2004 a plaque appears on Shrewsbury Station and it reads as follows:
In summary, when packing your belongings for your next journey, make sure you take that notebook and pen.
Travel songs may come from any source of inspiration.
Now, where did I put that Bus Pass?
MEG & ROGER says
Found a Wi-fi spot so we have particularly enjoyed your comments about travel music whilst nearing our objective – Santiago del Compostela, then on to Finisterre. After that hoping to return through the Picos mountains and then cross to the Lot Valley, gradually making for Calais on 29th June.
Weather has been quite wintry but, at last, the winds have dropped and there is Spring light & sunshine.
Good to read Choir news whilst so far from home.
Best wishes to all. Meg & Roger.
Richard Thompson says
Hi Meg and Roger
How nice of you to write in to the website as you travel – technology is now so accessible and makes it all possible.
Thank you for your kind words and I wish you both a wonderful time.
Best wishes on behalf of the choir