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wonders never cease

33 Songs for Our Pals On The Road

Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s been almost 58 years since Jack Kerouac published the adventures of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty in classic road trip novel On The Road.  The nominally fictitious adventures of Kerouac and Neal Cassady captured the imagination of a nation and inspired countless brave souls to pack a bag and hit the highway. We’ve been checking in with some of our friends to hear about their travels this summer and posting their reports here, so we dedicate this play list to those of you just hitting the road or already relaxing somewhere fun. We’ve paired each song with a quote from On The Road for added inspiration. There are a few more hours of traveling tunes on our Spotify play list to help you reach your destinations. Happy trails, amigos.


1. On The Road – Keane
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

2. Real Gone – Sheryl Crow
“ 'Sal, we gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.'
'Where we going, man?'
'I don't know but we gotta go.' ”

3. First One In The Car – The Wallflowers
“This was really the way my whole road experience began, and the things that were to come are too fantastic not to tell.”

4. Slow Rollin’ – Lady Antebellum
“... because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars...”

5. Hello? Goodbye! – Lake Street Dive
“It's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

6. Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty
“And I said, 'That last thing is what you can't get, Carlo. Nobody can get to that last thing. We keep on living in hopes of catching it once and for all.' ”

7. Keep On Moving – Bob Marley
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”

8. Don’t Slow Down – Matt and Kim
“As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, 'Pass here and go on, you're on the road to heaven.' ”

9. King Of The Road – She & Him
“Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree.”

10. I Love LA – Randy Newman
“LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; NY gets god-awful cold in the winter but there's a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.”

11. All Of This Ugly – Crash Test Dummies
“His friends said, 'Why do you have that ugly thing hanging there?' and Bull said, 'I like it because it's ugly.' All his life was in that line.”

12. I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
“This can't go on all the time-- all this franticness and jumping around. We've got to go someplace, find something.”

13. Let’s Get Lost – Lloyd Cole
“... all I wanted to do was sneak out into the night and disappear somewhere, and go and find out what everybody was doing all over the country.”

14. East of the Sun (And West of the Moon) – John Rauhouse and Neko Case
“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”

15. Who Needs Sleep – Barenaked Ladies
“ 'I just won't sleep,' I decided. There were so many other interesting things to do.”

16. The Girl From Ipanema – Nat King Cole
“A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.”

17. Roman Candle – Vandaveer
“...because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!' "

18. (I’d Go the) Whole Wide World – Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
“The road must eventually lead to the whole world. Ain't nowhere else it can go - right?”

19. Trailways Bus – Paul Simon
“A feeling of sadness that only bus stations have.”

20. Rollin’ (The Ballad of Big & Rich) – Big & Rich
“I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”

21. Hit The Road, Jack – Ray Charles
“There was nothing to talk about anymore. The only thing to do was go.”

22. Be Kind To The Boy On The Road – Billy Bragg and Wilco
“Life is life, and kind is kind.”

23. Surprise, AZ – Richard Buckner
“But why think about that when all the golden land's ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?”

24. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams
“...but I preferred reading the American landscape as we went along. Every bump, rise, and stretch in it mystified my longing.”

25. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
“And here for the first time in my life I saw my beloved Mississippi River, dry in the summer haze, low water, with its big rank smell that smells like the raw body of America itself because it washes it up.”

26. That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas) – Lyle Lovett
“Texas is undeniable...We were already almost out of America and yet definitely in it and in the middle of where it's maddest.”

27. Keep The Car Running – Arcade Fire
“He knew the road would get more interesting, especially ahead, always ahead.”

28. Call Me The Breeze – J.J. Cale
“You boys going to get somewhere, or just going.”

29. Going To California – Led Zeppelin
“I left with my canvas bag in which a few fundamental things were packed and took off for the Pacific Ocean with the fifty dollars in my pocket.”
“And for the first time in my life, the following afternoon, I went into the West.”


30. Another Reason To Go – Vetiver
“He was alone in the doorway, digging the street. Bitterness, recriminations, advice, morality, sadness--everything was behind him, and ahead of him was the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being.”

31. California Sun – The Ramones
“And for the first time in my life, the following afternoon, I went into the West.”

32. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day
“The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled - Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon field; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragrant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.”

33. On The Road Again – Willie Nelson
“The bus roared on. I was going home in October. Everybody goes home in October.”

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