My Seven Open Road Songs


I’ve been driving so much in the last month that I finally used up all of my gas receipts in my cup holder for my chewed up, flavorless gum.

I’ve crossed into Pennsylvania so many times this summer that I can say the Delaware Water Gap toll plaza has the kindest tellers I have ever encountered. I’ve been in so much traffic in the last couple weeks that I have started to develop a serious, physiological condition whenever I see those orange “road work ahead” signs.

The point is, my Jeep Grand Cherokee and I have seen a lot this summer, from the misunderstood scenic beauty of central and western Pennsylvania to the perfectly understood monotony that is Delaware (I didn’t see a building in Delaware larger than a two-story firework emporium. That should tell you all you need to know about our nation’s first state).

In between the rubbernecking, bathroom stops and gas fill-ups, I played my mixes so much I memorized the placement of every track on each cd. And out of all of those songs, a few of them have a greater, sometimes undefinable meaning when I’m on a highway journey. A couple songs assist me when I want something to enhance the expansive landscape before me, or when I pretend the drive isn’t south, but west, on a cross-country road trip, Kerouac-style. And others are there when I simply need to boogie down, pump my inner fist out the window, or become overwhelmed with joy to see the people I adore. Whatever the purpose may be, these are the seven songs that bring me somewhere else, if only for a little bit, when I’m on the road and low on fumes.

“The First Song”–Band of Horses

“Windows Are Rolled Down”–Amos Lee

“Beth/Rest”–Bon Iver

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”–Stevie Wonder

“Country”–Empire of the Sun

“All My Friends”–LCD Soundsystem

“California Zephyr”–Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar 

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2 Comments on “My Seven Open Road Songs”

  1. Liz Connolly
    08.31.11 at 11:02 PM #

    You’re welcome for Califonia Zephyr. Now if only I could get you to read Big Sur.

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  1. TRANSATLANTIC WEB SEARCH: THIS MONTH ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC [MONTH 9/2011] « the transatlantic diablog - 09.27.11

    […] And finally some open road songs  […]

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