Campfire Playlist

Our actual handwritten pass-it-back-and-forth campfire playlist game

We were driving along a short stretch of forested Highway 354 on the north side of Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia, where we were camping for the weekend on site 107.   We’d gone to The Corner Store to get a couple of longneck Blue Moons and an orange to enjoy by the campfire after dinner as we searched for stars through the smoky haze of evening. We know this place – we forget something every time we camp here, so we know where to buy essentials like water hoses, beer, aluminum foil, fruit, and matches. 

On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha

You can listen to the engine moanin’ out its one-note song

“See, I just never hear any music coming out today that’s really good like this,” my husband preached, shaking his finger at the dashboard screen revealing in large blue letters: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Turn the Page before looking at me for agreement.

“You’ve got that right,” I confirmed from my AMEN passenger seat of his pickup truck. 

But your thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do

“This generation will never know the good stuff.  I know every generation says that.  My parents said that.  But it’s true,” he went on, as we crept campward along the drive.

Earlier in the afternoon, I’d proposed a game – knowing full well he does not like games.  But I thought he might play this one.  

Here I am, on a road again

There I am, on the stage

Here I go, playing star again

There I go, turn the page

I’d turned the page of my journal and explained the rules (there really weren’t any to speak of, but still…). “I’m going to start.  We’ll each add a song for a campfire playlist, and then pass it back and forth until we’re finished. And then I’ll load the songs.”   

He’d agreed to this one, this man of mine who comes home from work and unwinds by pulling up music videos on YouTube to songs of the ‘70s on his iPhone in his recliner, dogs flanking him on both sides and the back of his chair behind his shoulders – listening, too, immersing themselves in this afternoon routine of his. 

And so it went, until we had the playlist completed; we were listening to it on the way to town and back to our peaceful little haven on the backside of nowhere. 

Out there in the spotlight you’re a million miles away

Every ounce of energy you try to give away

Red sockeye salmon grilling, broccoli florets and wild rice simmering, and one single longneck into dinner, we rethought the evening campfire since we’d enjoyed one all morning. We decided instead to call it a day and finish watching another replay of Expedition Happiness on Netflix.  

Here I am, on a road again

There I am, on the stage, yeah

Here I go, playing star again

There I go, there I go

And I realized – – we have become our parents’ generation.  We’ve turned the page.

Morning campfire at FDR Site 107, May 7, 2022

1 Thessalonians 5:21 

But test everything; hold fast what is good.

Special thanks to Slice of Life for giving writers space and voice!

Our Current Campfire Playlist (growing):

Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer – Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes

Rock Star – Nickelback

Love Can Build a Bridge – The Judds

Lowdown – Boz Skaggs

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves – Cher

Smoke from a Distant Fire – Sanford Townsend Band

County Roads – John Denver

Calypso – John Denver

I Love – Tom T. Hall

Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney & Wings

Could I Have this Dance – Anne Murray

Magnet & Steel – Walter Egan

Welcome Back by John Sebastian

Fooled Around and Fell in Love – Elvin Bishop

Shannon – Henry Gross

Kiss You All Over – Exile

Sooner or Later, Love is Gonna Get Ya – The Grass Roots

I Go Crazy – Paul Davis

Knock Three Times on the Ceiling

Turn the Page – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Joy to the World – Three Dog Night

Life’s Been Good – Joe Walsh

Southern Cross – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Hooked on a Feeling – BJ Thomas

Constant Craving – K.D. Lang

When You Say Nothing At All – Keith Whitley version and Allison Krauss version

Don’t Close Your Eyes- Keith Whitley

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys – Willie & Waylon

He Thinks He’ll Keep Her – Mary Chapin Carpenter

I Love the Way You Love Me – John Michael Montgomery

Into the Night – Benny Mardones

I Hope You Dance – LeeAnn Womack

5 Replies to “Campfire Playlist”

  1. That is one eclectic playlist! That must have been a special trip, too–nostalgic, romantic, philosophical. Your way of weaving the lyrics with your recollections and insights makes this all the more enjoyable to read. I, too, am quick to temper my observation that each succeeding generation will not know the music of its predecessors. We fogeys can’t imagine Kanye and Drake as campfire music, but it will be. Natural, though, that we would wince nauseously and be thankful that we have our own playlist. As always, I enjoy reading your posts.

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  2. Kim – first: Your narrative is so clear that I feel right there in the moments. I see the notebook, hear the conversation – and those songs! – feel the mood, smell the salmon cooking, taste the campfire on my tongue. There’s an undercurrent of quiet celebration… and gratitude. My husband and I were just talking last night about having turned into the previous generation…which is really saying something for him, as his parents were the same generation as my parents (he came along late). I often think about songs that might be the soundtracks of our lives – perfect examples here.

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  3. Oh, how I love a good playlist, Kim! We share similar tastes in music; some these songs I haven’t thought of for awhile. (I had to pull up “Into the Night” and it made me smile.) One of the perks of this “modern age” is the ability to create playlists within minutes at our fingertips, and listen to them through any Bluetooth speaker nearby. I recently discovered the “Digster Road Trip Singalong” list on Amazon Music, and it made a four hour highway trip go by in a flash. Your storytelling is spot on; you were present in the moment, and so were we.

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  4. Kim,
    I recently listened to Questlove’s “Music is History” and certainly have reached the oldies are better than newbies stage of life, although I still search for those current story-songs. Love the game and had songs popping in my head as I read. “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi made an appearance first. “Galveston” by Glen Campbell is a ho-to road song, and of course “Take It Easy” by the Eagles is perfect for the road. I also live sitting around the fire drinking a beer (or glass of wine). I think forgetting something is a requirement of camping and travel. It’s how we support local businesses.

    Liked by 1 person

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