Well, your bags are packed and the tank is full. You've plugged the destination into the GPS on the dash. Or, if you're keeping it old school, you've got a pile of road maps and a highlighter. But before you hit the highway on your next road trip, you better make sure that you've got a playlist full of road-tested tunes. Here is our list of the Top 20 Road Songs, in no particular order.
If it weren't for that road, so much would have been missed. Eyes would never have fallen upon Mary. The rowdy times wouldn't have led to redemption. In this classic, B&D make it known that the road trip is important in order to understand the destination.
The slow groove and nostalgic lyrics reminisce over carefree summers spent with great friends and exciting new love. With its everyman approach, "Dirt Road Anthem" delivers a quick escape through a freeing backwoods anthem.
The ultimate road song. Whether it's the Red-Headed Stranger's wistful lyric, restless melodies or "Ramblin' Man" beat, this is the perfect ‘until the next time we meet' song.
Chunky riffs, soaring guitar solos and a thumping rhythm section are the perfect set-up for a freeing chorus celebrating the journey we're all on. Throw in shout-outs to those Memphis nights and Vancouver lights, and this song's a summer road trip waiting to happen.
Written with her father and originally performed when Miranda was a contestant on the television competition Nashville Star, this song brilliantly captures the images and thoughts of a lonely woman headed down the highway while completely surrounded by strangers.
Willie, Waylon, Kris and Johnny were the outlaw country troubadours. So, it's undeniably fitting that the song that also bared their namesake is a beautiful, haunting piece wherein the spirit rides the road, even in death.
Big guitars and a thumping drum kit drive this tune, wherein everything from parking lots to the Western sky reminds Dierks of that one love. In the end, all these sights seen out the car window just push him farther down the road to hopefully find a new memory that doesn't ring her name.
Throw this golden oldie in your car CD player and drive around a little slower than the speed limit. See how good that feels. Yep, you just became . . . the king of the road.
Ain't gridlock the worst? Rodney feels your pain in this sweet summertime song about hitting the road with your honey. It's a tune about leaving your daily troubles behind and finding freedom where the pavement ends. It's a song that'll have you humming along when you hit that open road.
After a slow intro that effectively serves as revving the engine, Johnny launches into a quick little tongue-twister that name- checks everything from Buffalo to La Paloma and Chicopee. Add this one to the playlist for your highway drives, memorize it and try to sing along!
It's hard summing up the profound effect of a nonstop, however-many-hundred-mile ride, yet Troy Gentry needs just ten words in the first line of this adrenaline-pumping road song. I've been livin' on truck stop coffee, cigarettes and Vitamin-C, he sings about a wired road trip, while the band tears off the line.
Son, never mind them brakes, Jerry sings in the theme song from the classic film Smokey and the Bandit. It's all about getting the haul to the next stop, and along the way, this sing-along became the quintessential trucker anthem.
This is the classic tale of the hard rodeo life and uncontrollable urge to keep on that tough circuit; the perfect road song for those lonesome cowboys.
Zac does a masterful job conveying the emotion of a father making the joyous and unbearable drive to and from seeing his children every other weekend. Joyous when he counts down the miles. Unbearable when he leaves.
Part country twang, part roadhouse blues, Dwight's dark classic jam finds our hero contemplating ruin while he's being taken for a ride. Train whistle cries, lost on its own track, he sings during the hillbilly romp.
There's something uniquely special about the late John Denver's chorus, Country roads, take me home, to the place, I belong. It's the kind of melody that's instantly familiar and comforting. And the words, in their simple truth, manage to feel exactly like finding your way back home when you've been gone too long.
The rolling chord progression matches lyrics about hitchhiking down the coast in 17 hours on the way to Raleigh. It's all about making it to the land of the pines to see [his] baby tonight, and the stripped down instrumentation and old-time fiddle sound like a distant memory from a meaningful encounter.
A few meaty, bluegrass-inspired guitar riffs power this track and its main character. Leaving that cheater may be hard, but the freedom and new opportunity can build a lot of strength.
Amidst beautiful harmonies and laid-back guitars, the message comes through that the trip is much bigger than the walk down the street to see the object of your affection. If it's the right road, it'll lead to some pretty beautiful places.
It's an outlaw story of Sonny, Sherry, a pick-up truck and a briefcase full of cash. Throw in a wild getaway and you've got a classic tale of freedom found in living dangerously. REK's raspy vocal reveals new twists at every turn and his band's frenetic pace sends this tune roaring into the sunset.
Take a walk down memory lane with Kid Rock as he mashes up "Werewolves of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama" to create a nostalgic summertime classic. Only one question remains: which road for the lake party?
Southern rain, trains and haunting faces in crowds; the imagery is strong and the guitars epic in this rockin' ballad about weary traveler trying to find that safe place.
It's a celebration of what lies ahead and the realization that the only way to find out is to head on. I could make a million or wind up broke/ Free and easy down the road I go, Dierks sings over a thumping bass drum and rolling banjo lines.
Ain't no way Travis is getting pinned down in this southern rocker. It's all about following your true compass, and sometimes that means having to leave early the next morning. As Travis puts it so well, There's so much highway out there that I ain't never seen / All I need is cigarettes, guitars and gasoline.