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As a frequent traveler, I’ve come to appreciate the role that music can play in making a journey more enjoyable.
Whether it’s a long flight or a road trip, the right music can set the tone for the entire experience.
But what makes a song or artist ideal for a passenger?
Perhaps it’s the ability to transport the listener to another place or time, like Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Or maybe it’s the way a song can bring people together, like Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.
As passengers, we are in a state of transition, moving from one place to another with a sense of anticipation or uncertainty. Music can serve as a kind of emotional anchor, providing comfort and familiarity amidst the unfamiliarity of travel.
The right music can make all the difference. With that in mind, here are some of the best songs for passengers, each one guaranteed to lift your spirits and get you in the mood for adventure.
This classic rock anthem has become synonymous with travel, thanks in part to its prominent use in the final scene of The Sopranos. But its connection to travel goes deeper than that. Originally released in 1981, the song tells the story of a small-town girl and a city boy, dreaming of escape and adventure. Its soaring chorus and uplifting message make it the perfect soundtrack for any journey.
by Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond’s ode to Caroline Kennedy has become a beloved sing-along at stadiums and arenas around the world. But did you know that the song was actually inspired by a photo of Caroline Kennedy as a child, riding a horse? Diamond saw the photo in a magazine and was struck by her youthful innocence and beauty. The song’s catchy melody and sing-along chorus make it the perfect addition to any road trip playlist.
LISTEN NOW: Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
by Whitney Houston
This iconic ballad was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1974, but it was Whitney Houston’s 1992 cover that made it a worldwide hit. The song’s message of enduring love and devotion has made it a go-to choice for long-distance relationships and farewells. Its soaring vocals and emotional depth make it a must-listen for any traveler.
This epic rock opera has become one of the most beloved and iconic songs of all time. Its blend of rock, opera, and pop influences creates a unique and unforgettable sound that has stood the test of time. The song’s lyrics, which tell the story of a man facing his own mortality, are both haunting and uplifting. Its grandiose structure and theatrical flair make it the perfect choice for any traveler looking for a musical adventure.
by Michael Jackson
This 1983 hit single by the King of Pop has become a timeless classic. Its infectious beat and catchy chorus make it a perfect choice for any road trip playlist. But beyond its musical appeal, the song’s lyrics tell the story of a man facing false accusations and rumors, a theme that is all too familiar to anyone who has ever been judged unfairly. Its message of perseverance and resilience make it an inspiring choice for any traveler.
by Bon Jovi
This 1986 hit single by Bon Jovi has become a rock anthem for travelers everywhere. Its catchy chorus and upbeat tempo make it a perfect choice for any road trip or flight. But the song’s lyrics, which tell the story of a young couple struggling to make ends meet, also speak to the universal experience of overcoming adversity and chasing your dreams. Its message of hope and perseverance make it a perfect choice for anyone embarking on a new adventure.
This 1985 synth-pop hit is instantly recognizable thanks to its iconic music video, which features a blend of live-action and animation. But beyond its visual appeal, the song’s catchy melody and upbeat tempo make it a perfect choice for any road trip or flight. Its lyrics, which tell the story of a man pursuing a woman who seems out of reach, also speak to the universal experience of chasing our desires and taking risks.
This 1982 hit single was originally written as the theme song for Rocky III, but it has since become a motivational anthem for anyone facing a challenge or obstacle. Its driving beat and empowering lyrics make it a perfect choice for any traveler looking to overcome their fears and push themselves to new heights.
by The Beatles
This 1963 hit single was the first song by The Beatles to become a chart-topping hit in the United States. Its simple and joyful melody, combined with its message of love and connection, make it a perfect choice for any traveler looking to connect with others and experience the joys of life.
by Cyndi Lauper
This 1983 hit single has become an anthem for women everywhere, celebrating the joy of life and the freedom to be oneself. Its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus make it a perfect choice for any road trip or flight. Its message of empowerment and self-expression make it a perfect choice for any traveler looking to embrace their inner adventurer.