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10 CAMPFIRE SONGS: THE ONES WITH HAPPY MEMORIES AND THE ONES THAT DRIVE YOU BANANAS

19 Aug 2016

Nothing brightens up the camping spirit like singing to some classics with friends and family around the campfire. Unless, of course, the song is one everyone has heard before - and really no one cares to hear again. Here’s a list of the oldies but goodies and the songs that should be forgotten. Don’t lead the group with too much confidence and no preparation! Check out these winners to include in your set list (and a few that you should probably avoid).


10. OBLADI OBLADA – THE BEATLES


The chords are simple to learn and the chorus is easy to remember – perfect as a sing-along for the nostalgic adults (and kids, too!). The Beatles remind you that no matter the stresses and worries you have, embrace the holiday and take a deep breath: because life really does go on.  

9. WONDERWALL – OASIS



Ugh, again? I thought we said we wouldn’t invite Brad. He totes his guitar everywhere and wears a beanie in summer. Yes, Brad, we heard you play Wonderwall the last time we saw you. We haven’t heard you play any other song since. Do you play anything else, Brad? No, Laura was not particularly impressed both times she heard you play and still does not want to go on a date with you. She doesn’t think she’s your wonderwall. Maybe next time, mate.   

8. SWEET CAROLINE – NEIL DIAMOND

The song that makes everyone wish their name was Caroline. Having a double date of a camping trip with some friends? Sweet Caroline will be surely yelled out by the end. Never forget the trombone though. No, no – not an actual trombone, that isn’t the way. A happy “BAH-BAH-BAH” by the group will do.  

7. STAND BY ME – BEN E KING


At the end of a long day of exploring, settle back to your tent with this crowd favourite. It’s emotional and loved by all. Sing with your buddies or sing with your partner. Be ready for tears to be shed, though. Ben E King’s lyrics will tug at your heart strings time and time again.    

6. GING GANG GOOLIE

Ahhh, the songs we put up with in order to make the kids smile. Bonus points: the lyrics are silly, the chords are a cinch, and the whole family can join in. They’ll love repeating “Ging Gang Goolie” every chance they get. In the car, during a hike, late at night…every chance.  

5. LEAN ON ME – BILL WITHERS

You don’t even need instruments for this one! The power of your voices will do. Give your friend a pat on the back and let them know that whenever they need some support that you got ‘em, brother. Or sister. Whichever works.  

4. I LIKE BEER BY TOM T HALL

This is probably (definitely) a no-no for a family holiday. But when you’re out under the stars with your buddies, this is the perfect song to feel happy that you can finally unwind and have that beer. Because you like beer. Did you know it sometimes it makes you feel mellow? Tom T Hall can tell you all about it.  

3. FAST CAR – TRACY CHAPMAN


Look, the 80s were great. Mullets reigned king and it was still okay to stand outside the front yard of your girlfriend’s house with a boombox on your shoulders. But we have to stop with this song. People will be fumbling along and mumbling the words they haven’t heard on the radio in 25 years. You’ll all pretend to know the lyrics, but really only remember “You got a fast car...I want uh…I have a feeling I can be someone, be someone.” Don’t be that someone. Put down that guitar, friend.  

2. KUMBAYA

It wouldn’t be camping unless Kumbaya was involved! Hold hands and sway to the lovely strumming during this relaxing ditty. Full of soul and folky enough to give you the real essence of a trip away from home. Just close your eyes and sing.  

1. AMAZING GRACE

Anywhere there is a good echo, this song goes down a ripper. Most people at the very least know the chorus. If they don’t know all of it, then do a quick print out of the lyrics. Sure to lull the children to sleep after a day of fun and a tune to peacefully end the night before returning to your sleeping bags, Amazing Grace is the ultimate campfire song.  

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