There are top 10 travel song lists all over the internet. Favorites like Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and Roger Miller's "King of the Road" litter lists found on many popular travel sites. And there are not many among us who don't love these songs. In fact, I can distinctly remember several long road trips taken in my '87 Honda Accord that involved me singing in a wonderfully horrible off-key voice:
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no CIGARETTES!
Then there are those songs that inspire us to travel. These songs often find us in a rut, perhaps sleepwalking through a dreary part of our life or maybe dealing with a bad breakup. They trigger a wandering mechanism or put a jolt in us and away we go. Two that come to mind and have sent me roaming soon after hearing them are U2's "Stuck in the Moment" and TLC's "No Scrubs" (ask me about this one-great story for a different post). To this day every time I hear Bono sing the lyrics:
You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it
-I want to head for someplace far away and experience..........not being stuck. After spending some time reflecting on these moments I came up with several trips I have taken where musical experiences moved me. They moved me in different ways each time but nonetheless they changed my life. I'll share one with you.
For my final semester in college I studied abroad at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. The course "Caribbean Carnival and Literature" was taught by the incredible Professor Gillespie. Classes were in markets, on the beach, or at rum shacks. We read and discussed authors like Jamaica Kincaid and Paule Marshall, debated the effects of tourism on the island, listened to the political messages in Soca Music and Calypso, and stood 5 feet from Fidel Castro as he railed against the imperialists to the North. On the final night a storyteller told a musical story of hope on the beach. Alternating between spoken words and a soft song she described a time of a great flood when Love was stranded and Lust, and Greed, and many others left her behind to be lost to the sea. But, then Hope saved Love. As the storyteller told her story under the full moon and bright stars and lapping waves-her friend blew on cue into a conch shell. It was a farewell musical moment for people who never wanted to leave.
What incredible music experiences have you had on your travels?