General Discussion

campfire songs in 25 years?
arteestx at 10:36AM, Aug. 29, 2007
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I was putting together a campfire songbook for my friends and me to use at retreats, camping trips, etc. To me, a campfire song has these characteristics:

1) has been on the radio so people recognize it (don't want to use anything too obscure that nobody knows and therefore can't sing)
2) has a fairly simple rhythm and melody (shouldn't have to be a professsional vocalist or know some bizarre rhythm to sing halfway decently)
3) shouldn't be a pure love song (these are group gatherings, after all, not only for couples)
4) can be played on guitar well enough (if you need a piano to recognize and/or lead the song, then you're generally out of luck at a campfire)
5) nothing that demands a guitar solo (this is a singalong, not a “listen to some person play”-fest)

So those are my rules for good campfire songs as I'm putting this book together. And I wanted to put together a nice mix of songs from different decades, some classic rock stuff, some modern stuff, etc. And I found something very interesting to me.

All the good campfire songs are from at least 25 years ago.

“Let It Be,” “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard,” “For What It's Worth,” “Get Together,” “Cat's in the Cradle,” “Closer to Fine,” anything by the Eagles or Creedance Clearwater Revival. The 60s-70s are full of great campfire songs, from James Taylor, Jim Croce, John Denver, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan… and it doesn't have to be limited to folk music; hell, even AC/DC's “You Shook Me All Night Long” works (I know, it's technically the 80s, but just barely). Those are great songs to sing around the campfire. And they're all several decades old.

So it got me to thinking; what are people going to be singing around the campfire 25 years from now?

I tried to come up with some more modern stuff, and here are the only things I could come up with:

- Rain King: Counting Crows, but this is a disaster to sing. The syncopation of the verses is really difficult to sing in a group format and it's never worked when I've tried to do it, no matter how many Counting Crows fans there are in the group (see Rule #2 above).
- One Week: Barenaked Ladies, only because it IS a disaster to sing, but it's a fun disaster, especially after people have had a few too many drinks.
- Angel: Sarah Maclaughlin, beautiful song
- Sheryl Crow has a couple; “Soak Up the Sun” is great, “All I Wanna Do” is questionable in terms of rhythm, but it's doable
- The Way:Fastball, is kinda cheesy, but at least it works
- Babylon: David Gray, works well, although it wasn't a HUGE hit, so not enough people are familiar with it (see Rule #1 above)
- Time of Your Life: Green Day, very schmaltzy for my tastes, but ok
- U2 has some good stuff; “Pride”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, and “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” all work
- Indigo Girls are fantastic, but we're still talking pre-1990 music, not *that* modern
- If I were still adding songs at this point, I'd probably add “Hey There Delilah”

….and that's about it.

Seriously, what modern stuff would work around a campfire? “How to Save a Life”?? “Rehab”?? Destiny's Child?? Nickelback?? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying modern music sucks, I love a lot of music coming out these days. I'm just saying they aren't appropriate campfire songs.

So tell me, am I wrong? Are my rules too limiting? Am I overlooking songs with great campfire potential? Or will people 25 years from now still be singing “Blowin' in the Wind”?

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
marine at 9:47PM, Aug. 29, 2007
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Why isn't the rehab song on there? Or Ridin' Dirty. I'd suggest Beat That Bitch from Hustle & Flow as a future campfire song as well! I hope that helps!

Also Lil Kims how many licks Kelis's milkshake or maybe Nine Inch Nails Hersesy would make good catchy songs to sing around the campfire in 25 years?

Course, in ten years Duran Duran and Prince could be sang around the campfire.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 10:38PM, Aug. 29, 2007
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I don't even listen to music from my time. It lacks that pinch of talent everyone is dying to possess.

Singing older stuff will have more people interested, trust me. That's because everyone already knows the words, and it's fun to reminisce the good ol' days (I wish I could have experienced those days…).

The music that has developed over past decade has lost its grip, and the reason why it is so popular is because children that are being born with this shit.

If I were to bring you a tip about your camping ‘adventures’, I would tell you to sing songs from:
-The Beatles (They're very well known, and there is usually one guitar part in there, or it can be made to be played with a guitar.)
-Lynyrd Skynyrd (Hey, what's better than singing Free Bird around a camp fire? Better learn that solo!)
-Queen (Yeah, their songs usually revolve around piano parts, but you can sing ‘We will rock you’ or ‘Another one bites the dust’ easily.)
-Kansas (Carry on my wayward son! Who DOESN'T know that song?!)
-AC/DC (Also well known… They have some pretty interesting guitar parts, so… have fun!)
-White Stripes (Not so popular anymore and slightly more recent, but their songs have one guitar part and drums. Not too crazy.)
-Red Hot Chili Peppers (I don't know why, but I seriously enjoy singing their songs. Sorry, but 90's is the best you can really get out of me! No more recent than that!)

Well, I wasn't too much help with your whole ‘i want to learn some recent songs’ situation, but trust me… You really don't want to hear recent stuff.


This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
marine at 4:34AM, Aug. 30, 2007
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White Stripes released a new album to commercial success rather recently. I think this summer even.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Insane Video Gamer at 11:18AM, Aug. 30, 2007
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Hey, what about the Campfire Song Song?
The C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song, the C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song, the C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song…
no i kid i kid….
heheh
My comic link is:
Random Insane Sprite Comic
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
Neilsama at 12:55PM, Aug. 30, 2007
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What if the future turns out like Demolition Man, in which case we'd all be singing commercial jingles around the campfire?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:10PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 8:12PM, Aug. 31, 2007
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marine
White Stripes released a new album to commercial success rather recently. I think this summer even.

Is that so?

I'm not that big of a fan, so I wouldn't know :)

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Rori at 2:42PM, Sept. 2, 2007
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I'm surprised no one said Dave Matthews or John Mayer, not that I advocate that.

Obviously the ideal campfire song would be Bottom of the World by Tom Waits. Sure, probably a lot of people don't know it, but that's their problem ;)

May I also suggest “Kiss me, I'm shitfaced” by Dropkick Murpheys. From experience I can say that it's easy to sing under any condition, and usually camping involves the drunken condition, at least among my friends…

EDIT: How could I forget! American Music by the Violent Femmes would be perfect, baaaby! In fact, you should incorporate that now :D
Also, Particle Man, by TMBG and Ghost of Tom Joad by the Boss (a little long, but a lot of people have probably heard the Rage… remake). And Rock Lobster.

It seems like some REM song should be perfect, but I can't think of one.

For some reason I can imagine people singing “Ironic” around a fire, and it scares me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM

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