I love being on a long car journey. Call me mad but as a non driver and always passenger, I find it very relaxing to be chauffered around from place place while I sit back and listen to music. I’ve had friendships form on car journeys and fallen a little bit more in love even, while tracks from times gone past have blasted our ear drums and we’ve sung out as loudly as we can, mixing singing and conversation. Memories with music have been formed and the just moving along to get somewhere, just to get some place I don’t remember, but the friendships and the songs have stuck with me.
I love that a snippet of music can take me right back to those journeys and times. As an actress I use sense memory to conjur up emotions and music provides such a feast for the senses that of course it can throw you right back to a time once was, a moment, a journey, a friendship… Songs and singing are a wonderful way of expressing yourself too and somehow, in the car, it is acceptable for even the tonest of deaf to open up their lungs and embrace those moments that will become smiling memories with people we love.
Yes, I love a car journey with music and although I love it any time of the year, there’s something especially bright about singing in a car in the sunshine. A summer of car songs and my favourites would be made up of memories to listen to, live again and of course make more. People don’t make mixed tapes anymore and playlists are the things we create for ourselves these days. But you can’t give a play list in the same way as a tape, with scribbled handwriting explaining why each track has been chosen, that’s the one shame so I am going to explain my Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist as I would if it was for a mixed tape for someone I love…
Dancin’ On The Ceiling – Lionel Richie:
My Mum and I had a wonderful sunny holiday when I was about 14 years old and the hotel played Lionel Richie on repeat. The holiday was amazing and on landing back in Blighty we stopped immediately at a supermarket to buy a tape. This song played on the way home and we sang out loud remembering our amazing time in Tunisia. It always makes me think of that car journey home with a holiday happy us!
I Won’t Last A Day Without You – The Carpenters
Not particularly up beat but my best friend Eve and I used to listen to this in the car. I think its how we felt about each other and how I would always feel about her, even now when life has moved on and we don’t have time to speak every day. It’s a love song meant for lovers but it’s also about friendship and I remember her and I in the car on the way to Cromer beach for camping jaunts with us singing this to the max!
Away From Here – The Enemy
Not a band I particularly love but on a car journey with another best friend Emily, on our way to The Reading Festival, this blared out of her sports car as we sped along with the roof down. I fell out with Em about something silly, something unimportant in the grand scheme of things and I miss her so I think of this journey lots. It was a good day but the car journey was especially special. We saw the band live that day but I preferred it in the car!
It’s Only Natural – Crowded House
I have many, many songs that I sing with my husband in the car and if I listed them all then we’d be here all night. This seems to be the song for this summer though and we play it all the time that we’re allowed (we’re not often in charge of the CD choices these days with a little person taking over the role of chief music chooser)! We both sing REALLY loudly and I put it on again and again and again. I love this song and love looking over to him with sunlight filtering through the windows as I watch him singing with a smile on his face. The ‘BE QUIET YOU TWO’ coming from the back is drowned out and we can lose ourselves in the song, if just for a minute or two before the CD is changed for something with a little more ‘wheels’ and ‘buses’!
On Our way To Mars – Kids Travelling Songs
I don’t know the artist, only the album title I’m afraid. This is on one of Florence’s CD’s and I had to include it because I probably hear this album more than any other at the moment. The ‘On Our Way To Mars’ song is actually brilliant. Florence thinks it’s a song about going on holiday and always asks for it. She is at an age where she can sing along and we all join in with her on this one as it’s great and really picks up the mood! The lyrics, ‘The driver comes from Venus, you won’t see much of him, he’s got three heads and twenty four legs and he’s covered in purple skin’, make her shriek with laughter which in turn has us all in fits! This is the song of our trip to a recent holiday and despite my husband getting so sick of it at the time that he told her the CD wouldn’t work, we all like to sing along to it!
Private Dancer – Tina Turner
There are so many songs I could choose from summer journeys with my Dad, Step Mum and siblings but I think this one sticks out more than most. We listened to it on a journey from Calais to Brittany in France. A LOOOOOONG journey with my brother Phil, who was then about 2, being sick after eating mini cheddars and my Dad not wanting to stop for anyone to go to the loo. There were certainly fraught moments in that car but when this song was playing, as it did on repeat at times, we all sang along with smiles on our faces. I have sad memories of arguing with my Dad on that trip but the song brings me to remember the smiles we had too.
This Love – Jonny Knowles
My husband hardly ever lets me listen to his music in the car but on the odd occasion he has done and this is the song I love more than any other. Jonny writes amazing songs but this one is perfect for filling up your lungs and blasting out a ballad! He would cringe if he knew I’d included it but what kind of Rock ‘n’ Roller Babies would we be if we didn’t include a track from Rock ‘n’ Roller Daddy on our play list?! If you’re not familiar with this song then you can hear it here.
Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
Ok, so I know this is a Christmas song but it’s actualkly one of my most favourite songs in the world. When I was a little girl, maybe only four, my Dad had to put this on a tape over and over again so that I could listen to it constantly in the car. It was the only thing that kept me quiet and I still love it now so I would ALWAYS have it on my play list, even in the sun shine!
She’s Electric – Oasis
When I was fifteen I had a Saturday job in Top Shop. I hated it but I LOVED the massive TV screens with music blaring out. All summer long that year this and ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls played. I wouldn’t say I particularly love either but we have this song on a CD in the car and it’s grown on me in a strange way. I listen to it now and sing as loudly as I can while remembering that summer many moons ago when I thought I hated my job but was actually having a really good time. A great singing out loud song with memories for me and perfect for the car!
I Feel The Earth Move – Carole King
Another song that I associate with my husband but also with my Mum. We love the Tapestry album and all the songs on it but this one is great to sing on a journey! Everyone loves it and it’s beautiful just like the artist! I have many car journey memories of singing along with Carole and my family!
I was going to do just ten songs but as this next song’s sentiments suggests, I thought there was room for one more for the road…
One For My Baby – Bette Midler
I know that there are lots of artists who have performed this song including the great Frank Sinatra but for me, Bette takes the crown with it. This is a holiday song for Jonny and I. We listen to it together and always sing every single lyric. Naturally we have a copy in the car… This is true sunshine car song singing for me! I love it and it’s ‘One for my baby and one more for the road…’
And that’s my ultimate summer play list! I could create many play lists for many things and have really enjoyed making this one! I wrote this post for a competition with MoneySupermarket who have asked bloggers to share their Ultimate Summer Driving Playlist. The competition has been really great fun to enter but it has a good message behind it too. THINK! research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep or tiredness related. Long journeys on motorways can lead to a lack of concentration and, as well as other preventative measures, listening to songs you love can be a great way to stay alert and focused on the road.
Why not join in? What’s your Ultimate Summer Playlist?