Like many music lovers, I often play songs whose meanings corresponds to important or special events in my life.
A personal soundtrack of sorts, curated by yours truly.
November is an important month for me. Why, you may ask. Is it because of NaNoWriMo?
Hell no. I already waxed poetic on my feelings about NaNo (and Daylight Savings Time too, for that matter last November).
Is it because my birthday is in November?
We’re getting warmer.
This year for November (and my birthday, and to ensure I have no possible chance of doing NaNo should I feel susceptible or otherwise obliged to sign up during a moment of weakness), I’m taking off to Australia.
To help get myself in the mood to for the coming journey – as well as to inspire anyone else thinking about or themselves preparing for future travel – I thus present you with my personal soundtrack of top five travel songs.
1) “Fly Away” – Lenny Kravitz
I love the guitar riff so much in this song. Then again, I think I’m a little bit in love with Lenny Kravitz period. He is easily my favourite part of the Hunger Games movies.
2) “I’ve Been Everywhere” – Johnny Cash
I don’t think there’s any kind of “best of” music list that wouldn’t be improved by a song from The Man in Black, for his music is timeless and his song topics diverse.
I always experienced a childish sort of thrill at the fact that Toronto is mentioned in the song, which I suspect is both the most recognizable major Canadian city to Americans and that which is least often incorrectly pronounced (the most often mispronounced being Calgary).
An interesting fact about this song, though, is that it was written and originally recorded (appropriately enough) by an Australian singer. Originally, it comprised all Australian place names, although versions have also been created for New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada, Asia, Finland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, the Faroe Islands in Denmark, and various states within the United States just to name a few.
3) “Orinoco Flow” – Enya
Often mistakenly called “Sail Away” since that phrase featuring prominently in the chorus, this song remains one of Enya’s most popular songs of all time as well as one of my personal favourites.
This despite the likelihood of me actually “sailing away” anywhere is utterly minuscule. My seasickness is renowned in four provinces now, on everything from giant, hydraulically stabilized passenger ferries that carry vehicles to the stern seat of a sea kayak. Whenever I travel abroad, my biggest fear is that some international incident will shut down the country’s airspace and necessitate all travellers be transported home on naval ships.
4) “Go West” – The Village People
For the costumes and pure 70s kitsch alone, even though I’ll never truly agree that “West is best”, my heart remaining ever loyal to my east coast roots regardless of where I now happen to live.
5) “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Chantal Kreviazuk
My mother, I know, would much prefer I link the version of this song done by one of her celebrity crushes – the late John Denver. However, I’m very fond of this more raw, wistful cover by Canadian chanteuse, Chantal Kreviazuk as featured in the soundtrack to a movie much-loved by my university roommates and myself – the 1998 sci-fi flick Armageddon.
(I’m also pretty fond of the version sung by Armageddon character Bear – actor Michael Clarke Duncan – in the movie itself.)
BONUS: “Adiemus” – Adiemus/Karl Jenkins
This isn’t a song about travel per se, but still makes the list for having been commissioned for a stirring Delta Airlines International commercial in 1994.
It was the success of this commercial that actually led Karl Jenkins to compose an entire album’s worth of similar material (the album Songs of Sanctuary, upon which “Adiemus” appears), and subsequently five follow-up Adiemus albums.
The music of Adiemus also has a special place in my heart for being among that which I often listen to while writing. I do have to confess, though, it wasn’t the Delta commercial where I first heard it. Rather, it was an episode of the popular ‘90s, T&A-filled, L.A. County Lifeguard drama series Baywatch, of which, embarrassingly, I was a frequent viewer.
(In my defense, though, my favourite character was Lt. Stephanie Holden, the least hypersexualized of all the female characters. Her, and of course, David Hasselhoff’s character. Because who doesn’t love them some Hoff!)
My departure is mere days away now. While gone, I will try to keep up with blogging, but I don’t know if I’ll be as regular or as often as my usual schedule, or even if it will happen at all (although with NaNo going on at the same time, who knows if anyone will even miss me).
I will definitely return to regular blogging when I get back at the end of the month. Until then, bon voyage to me, happy birthday to me, happy NaNo to any NaNo’ers out there, and a very happy day.
What song best reflects your current activities or state of mind? What embarrassing TV show will you admit to watching or having watched in the past? Who is one of your celebrity crushes? Let me know in the comments.