Songs for the road

songs-for-the-roadEvery trip I have ever been on comes with a soundtrack.

This all started with the annual drive to South West Rocks. My Dad always played tapes of the Johns – Williamson and Farnham. I know all the lyrics to ‘Hey True Blue’ and ‘You’re the Voice’, a handy skill if ever there was one.

Mum, on the other hand, was more of a James Taylor fan. The road trip up to Nanna’s in Katoomba was always characterised by ‘Fire and Rain’, a song that to this day, makes me cry. Poor Suzanne.

Years later when I was a very depressed and homesick teenager living in Thailand, I had a single friend. Her name was Clare and her favourite band was Counting Crows so ‘August and Everything After’ became the soundtrack to that very lonely year. That, Bjork’s ‘Debut’ and Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’. He drowned that same year.

All my travels throughout Asia are underscored by clanging, clashing, ear-breaking traditional music. The water puppets in Hanoi nearly did me in for good (there was wailing and screeching too. The banshees in the audiences were shamed into silence, knowing they could never truly compete with this).

In South America, pan flutes were the background music du jour. It was like watching ‘Cities of Gold’, such was the themesong and emphasis on condors. In fact, my whole trip started to feel a little bit like shopping in Tree of Life, so addled was my musical brain.

But my favourite travelling soundtrack of all time is for a very humble journey. The first time my fiance ever drove me to his holiday house at The Entrance, he played Tim Rogers’ ‘What Rhymes with Cars and Girls’ all the way there. Upon listening to that album, in the dark in his 1969 Mercedes, I really did leave my heart all over the place.

Just because it’s Tuesday and because I love you, here are the lyrics:

You Am I – Left My Heart

So I was talking with my friend over a glass or four
She said it just don’t seem like holding hands means anything anymore
Well, I’m here to say that it just couldn’t be true
‘Cause something shifts the floor everytime I get on next to you
So, last night I went and left my heart all over the place
Just to try and stop me thinking about each corner of your pretty face
I left it out all dressed like a Christmas ham
Just to remind myself what a whining sack of shit I am

So, hold my hand
I don’t look quick, but I fall down often if you understand
Let me plant this kiss right on you
and nothing else but to keep the cold away for a minute or two

Yeah, so I smile, because it takes less muscle than to furrow the brow
I swing around like a meat hook, just to catch what else is falling down
Even if it’s all hitch and a borrowed car
It’s gonna take me blind and far away from where you are

‘Cause I’ve been workin’ so hard on keeping my shoes there alone
But you mess me up like rocket fuel a long, long way from home
So I leave myself all dressed like a Christmas ham
To remind you what a sorry sack of shit I am

So, hold my hand
I don’t look quick, but I fall down often if you understand
Let me plant this kiss right on you
and nothing else but to keep the cold away for a minute or two

Last night, when I left my heart all over the place
Just to try and stop me thinking about each corner of your pretty face
I’m here to say that it just could be true
But something just ain’t letting me get away from you.

Have you got a special travel song or album? What is it?

Comments
4 Responses to “Songs for the road”
  1. Cousin Mick says:

    You forgot to mention that legend has it, that house at the Entrance was won in a Poker Game!!!
    ‘Born to be Wild’ – riding around Ko Panang on a motorbike for 4 days with that song in my head
    &
    ‘Sail Away’ (David Gray) floating down the Nam Song river, Laos in a tyre tube. (White Ladder was the soundtrack of every Pommy bakcpacker on that trip!)

  2. Hehe my parents never played music ever, even at home. When I grew up I realised how bizarre that was and it probably made me love music even more! On our last trip to NZ we listed to Guns and Roses 🙂

  3. mel says:

    Our family trips were set to the tunes of Jade Hurley, Charley Pride, and, to a lesser degree, a tape of good old 70s hits. LIke you, I still remember the words to all those old songs for no good reason other than the fact we heard them a million trillion times when our brains were still forming!

    One memorable musical journey – on our year 10 trip around Australia, I almost wore out the tape of Madonna’s Erotica. I felt so grown-up…

  4. Steve says:

    Our family car trips were made up of Dad’s mixed tapes, which I give him credit for as mixed tapes take time and effort! Dad’s were a total mixed bag which ranged from Dire Straits, Elton John, Madonna and the Doobie Brothers to name some. I remember an 8 hour round trip to Coffs from Tamworth one Christmas were the only tape played was Daryl Braithwaite’s new release “Taste the Salt”…god that hurt… That’s just the way it had to be little darling!

Leave A Comment