Top 10 Songs for the Campfire

As you sit around the campfire this summer, with your beer in hand and friends and family by your sides, it might be nice to have a little music to compliment the crackling of the fire. But some of the classic songs we learned as children don’t always fit the mood. If you’ve ever experienced this, here’s a playlist just for you:

House of the Rising Sun
The Animals
It’s hard to say what exactly makes “House of the Rising Sun” such a perfect fit for the campfire, but it sure has something to do with that incredible folk rock arrangement and lead singer Eric Burdon’s incredible vocals. It’s a dang good song and one everybody’s heard, making a great one to enjoy with your friends.

Don’t Stop Believing’”
What makes “Don’t Stop Believin’” perfect for a camping trip? Everyone knows it and you can’t help but sing along. It’s the ultimate bonding song.

California Dreamin’”
The Mamas and the Papas
Though you’ll be by the fire and not freezing in the winter, and likely not dreaming of California, this song has the perfect feel and beat to listen to while chatting around the campfire. It’ll sound just right mixed with the crackling of the fire.

She Lit a Fire
Lord Huron
A new one, but a good one. With a nice acoustic feel and soft vocals, the opening lyrics to “She Lit a Fire” give off a perfect outdoorsy feeling, “I’ve been through the desert/And I’ve been across the sea/I’ve been walking through the mountains/I’ve wandered through the trees.” Does it get better than that?

Take Me Home, Country Roads
John Denver
A classic, this song practically needs no explanation for being on this list. But in you case you needed it anyway: “Country roads/Take me home/To the place where I belong/West Virginia/Mountain Mama/Take me home.”

The Cure
Who doesn’t love this the Cure’s “Love Song”? If you’re having trouble connecting the song choice to the outdoors just imagine that the “you” in the lyrics, “Whenever I’m alone with you/You make me feel like I am home again” is the outdoors.

For a Fool
The Shins
The bridge of this song is so ridiculously catchy and the nice low-key acoustic feel of the song is perfect for the campsite. You’ll be singing along in no time.

Where I’m Going
Sir Sly
“That’s what I want/That’s what I need/That’s where I’m going/That’s who I want to be/And all of my love is wasted on you/That’s how it happened/That’s what I want to do.” Powerful lyrics sung by Landon Jacobs’ incredible voice will soothe you to relaxation and set the mood for the evening.

Good Riddance [Time of Your Life]
Green Day
Most often known as “Time of Your Life,” this is easily one of those songs we can all agree to listen to, despite personal opinions about Green Day. Kind of sad, kind of hopeful, it’s a listen that’ll inspire you to make the most of the time you have.

Chasing Cars
Snow Patrol
Thanks to it being overplayed on the radio for a couple of years, most will probably recognize the bridge, “If I lay here/If I just lay here/Will you lie with me and just forget the world.” And isn’t that just what you want to do when you’re out in the wilderness?

By Sarah Esterman