For some reason, probably the season, my musical mind has been wandering down roads. Country roads, roads home, whale-roads, various byways and highways.
People have been listening to “road music” or at least to pace-keeping sounds for a very long time. One of my favorite albums, which can only be found in Spain, is a collection of music for pilgrims on the route to Santiago Campostello. It starts with a brisk march, the lyrics of which say “We are all going to Campostello, to see the great thing there.”
And of course, in the 1970s, John Denver popularized “Country Roads.” It was even in the songbook I had in grade-school.
No, it’s not John Denver, but I kinda like this version better. Aside from the nasal voices, but that’s just me.
For something different, I first heard this one recorded by a high-school or college choir, but with military pictures, done as a tribute from a defense contractor. It also works with adult voices. I’ve posted it here before:
Some years ago I was introduced to the following when I did a concert based on ideas about travel and home. And my ear picked up that it is actually a variant on a hymn tune, Prospect, from The Sacred Harp. You may know the melody as “The Lone Wild Bird,” which has an interesting history of its own. I suspect the tune has older bones than even that, but it’s hard to say. Stephen Paulus, “The Road Home”:
In case you are curious about the tune’s roots:
We have a tune that has traveled the world, from the British Isles, to the American South, to West Texas, and Ireland again.
And a capstan-shanty style song from Scotland. It was written in 1928, but didn’t become popular until the folk-music surge of the 1960s-70s and later:
This is one I prefer as a men’s chorus, but I’m not going to fight with fans of The Corries. 🙂