Is it because it’s summer and I’m longing for a faraway getaway? Is it my weird list making mind? I don’t know what it is, but for a week songs about running off to some far flung locale and loving it seemed to haunt me. They popped up at the gym, they poked at my concentration as I worked, they emerged from hidden corners of my iTunes throughout the day. By the time I had a running tally tucked away in my pocket, I knew these songs needed a home other than my brain and the back of a Walgreens receipt. So here are five songs for when you need to getaway, stat. Enjoy.
“Roam,” by the B52s
The B52s think you need to roam, but only if you want to. Go all over the world, shake your hips, go on adventures, do whatever you need to do and feel extremely happy about it because the B52s have okayed it and given you a happy, head-bopping, dance-worthy soundtrack to get you started. (I’m a B52s novice, except for the obvious hits, so this might be a frequent occurrence, but I really prefer Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson’s voices. Without Fred Schneider’s cagey, tense vocals, their music has a way more benevolent vibe) (I know we all like Love Shack and Rock Lobster, but act like those songs don’t have a heavy dose of tense creepiness.)
“Let’s Get Out of this Country,” by Camera Obscura
A classic travel song in the vein of “Lets go somewhere so we don’t have to be here anymore.” It’s a song for jaunts and escapades, for rolling down the windows and running away, at least for a little while. The narrator’s confession “I’ll admit, I’m bored with me” and plea that she and her companion “Wave goodbye to their thankless jobs,” or her insistent question about her hometown “What does this city have to offer me?”—it all sums up that deep in your bones ennui, the kind that makes you want to run as fast and far as you can, to anywhere at all, as long as it’s somewhere else.
“Daydreaming,” by Aretha Franklin
Early Aretha Franklin covers love, lust, and wanderlust, all at once. This is a dreamy, luscious song about daydreaming. The subject of those daydreams is a guy you’re hilariously in love with, and of all his lovely qualities, perhaps the best one is that “He’s the kind of guy who can say hey baby let’s get away, let’s go somewhere far, where I don’t care.”
“Take Me Anywhere,” by Tegan and Sara
If you’re having an aggresively-wanting-to-get-away sort of day, maybe the kind that has you trapped at your desk or the kind that ends in an angry, too-fast walk to the Metro, this is your song. It builds and blares, with their voices and guitars growing louder as they chant the chorus “Take me by the hand and tell me you would take me anywhere.” And anywhere sounds nice, especially anywhere with someone who’s taking you by the hand and helping you escape, and suddenly you can imagine running away to some far off anywhere with some wonderful someone and it’s not so bad, at least for four and a half minutes. And it’s not too sweet: No one wants the Go-Gos telling them that vacation is all they ever wanted when they can feel their jaw locking and their forehead creasing.
“Vacation,” by The Go-Gos
But what about once you’ve gotten away? Now you want some Go-Gos, right? Right?
You know, a couple years ago we made a decision to embrace terrible 80s music, which is the reason that as a person who could only legally drink at the tail end of 2007, I’ve had to listen to the same Journey songs my parents were avoiding at bars in college. But what about the girls? The Go Gos? The Bangles? Cyndi Lauper? Why are we only left with the 80s boys and a weird yogi robot iteration of Madonna? Listen to some Go-Gos. Vacation, all you ever wanted! Vacation, all you ever needed! You know the words, and the sentiment.