Road Songs: …These Two Lanes Will Take Us Anywhere

Road Songs: …These Two Lanes Will Take Us Anywhere

on the road in VirginiaWhenever I hear the harmonica breeze in at the opening of Thunder Road, I’m immediately transported somewhere else. Now, I’m not what you’d call a Bruce Springsteen fan but there is something nostalgically romantic about this song. It’s the kind of tune that makes me want to hop on my bike and ride off into the sunset.

Freedom, escape, hope… they’re weaved throughout the lyrics. The Boss reminds us  that taking a chance on life or maybe even redemption is tangled up in wheels, and gasoline and the wind in our hair.

Whatever that thing is that I’m seeking when I hit the road is just around the next bend. Or the next. Or maybe over the next hill? Wherever it is I’ve got to get out there to find out.

…roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night’s busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back
Heaven’s waiting on down the tracks…

What are your favorite road songs?

12 Replies to “Road Songs: …These Two Lanes Will Take Us Anywhere”

  1. Hi, the name’s Ry, long-time lurker, first-time poster… Frankly, my playlists are designed around riding and camping, but here a few “road” or related tracks that I like.

    Cliche, yet lovable:
    On the Road Again – Willie Nelson, of course
    Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf (superior to that Born to Be Wild song)

    Cheesy late ’80s (and junior high school all over again):
    Joyride – Roxette

    Simply great:
    Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams
    The Road Goes on Forever – Joe Ely
    Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Take Me Home, Country Roads – Mike Doughty (though the original stands on its own–heck, so does the cover by Toots & the Maytals)

    Big sigh–so many roads, so much great music, and so, so little time.

    By the way, Fuzzy, I happened upon your blog only about a year ago, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Thank you for your unique perspectives.

  2. Van Morrison – “Way on down the road” is got to be my most fav road song, I didn’t listen to music before, but once I started I can’t ride without it now.
    I agree with Ry “:Big sigh–so many roads, so much great music, and so, so little time.”

    ~~ I hear those gypsy horses calling me!

  3. Well, I was born to be mild, so that one is out. Not a road song per se, but Born to Run has the proper spirit and enough relevant references to make my list, as well as Queen’s I’m In Love With My Car, Red Barchetta by Rush, and for those long highway drones at night: Autobahn by Kraftwerk (full album version only please.) And of course, lots of the Beach Boys early stuff is good for cruisin’ around town in summer.

    1. Hmmm, I’ll have to take a closer listen to Kraftwerk. I think that no genre regularly lends itself better to riding than Electonic / Techno / Trance (whatchamacallit), even Dubstep: I’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than Dubstep to carve and throttle to.

      As Doug indicated, though, there are some albums that work best when kept intact, start to finish…

      When I was a kid, my family went on a night bicycle ride on Hwy. 6, between Wellington and Green River in Utah. It isn’t a very remote stretch of pavement, but it crosses desolate desert. It was a very warm summer night; it was raining; lighting flashed periodically against the Book Cliffs, to the east; and on a loop on my Walkman was Enigma’s debut album. What a transcendent experience that ride was. Surreal.

      Needless to say, that album of Enigma’s became one of those start-to-finish albums for me. Underworld’s dubnobasswithmyheadman is another album like that.

  4. I sing “the crow flies straight” from time to time but two other songs generally clog up my head when music is involved and I’m not sure why.

    Behind Blue Eyes by the Who, and Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen.

    Go figure.

  5. I have several riding playlists. Some highlights include:

    “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (Greg Brown’s version)
    Robert Earl Keen’s original “The Road Goes On Forever”
    Both Neil Young’s original and Jimmy Thackery’s cover of “Unkown Legend”
    “As the Crow Flies” by Rory Gallagher (well, written by Tony Joe White)
    “Tramp on the Highway” by the Nighhawks
    Howlin’ Wolf dong “Highway 49”
    Little Feat’s “Two Trains”
    “All Down the Line” by the Rolling Stones
    Bruce Cockburn doing “Silver Wheels”

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