You’re all cozy and relaxed from a summer day on the camping trip. Had your cooked Spam, hot dogs or stew. Now the fire and campers are settling down with a happy glow. About to begin the marshmallow roast, it’s time for campfire songs.
Do it a capella, with a guitar or sing along with an electronic doodad. Whatever your choice, make it hearty and loud enough to shake the trees and keep the bears away. You can find the lyrics online, and choose campfire songs:
1. Take me Home, Country Roads: John Denver wrote this nostalgic song about West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s now the theme of the state’s university and required at sports events. Sing it at your campfire with gusto and/or liquid encouragement.
2. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head: The catchy tune was the theme song of the Robert Redford-Paul Newman movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It lends itself to great harmony and maybe couples dancing around the fire. Because the lyrics complain about rain, plan to sing it after a downpour has forced you from the washed-out campfire back into tents.
3. Home On the Range: Even if your campfire is nowhere near deer and antelope playing together, this old Western favorite is good for harmonizing. If, after singing your sentimental solo, don’t listen to any discouraging words, nor snide voice comparisons with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry nor Willie Nelson.
4. On Top of Old Smoky: Campfire singers have to be very sentimental to wail out this sad song of rejection and loneliness. You may need to explain “courtin’ too slow” to some of the younger singers. They must realize the lyrics were written long before today’s Twitter, Smartphone and the other quick courtin’ methods.
5. Kumbaya: This could stick in the craw of many who don’t share the politics of Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary. Singing it is easy, because Kumbaya, whatever that means, is about every other word in the lyrics. Singing the song may make you warm all over, then go to Woodstock and dance around naked.
6. Campfire songfest finale: How about patriotic tunes to honor family members who are vets and those in the service who aren’t with you in person this evening, but in hearts and thoughts. Break out with a hearty God Bless America, This Land is My Land and/or service songs of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.