To celebrate National Parks Week, we present our “National Parks Family Mix” – 10 of our favorite songs inspired by National Parks and nature. We love National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites, Battlefields, Recreation Areas, etc. and these songs inspire us to explore, reflect, and protect the natural and cultural resources of our National Park system. Enjoy and go #FindYourPark!
“Echo Mountain” – k’s Choice
Few rock bands blend melodic harmonies like the brother and sister team of k’s Choice. This song from their 2009 “Echo Mountain” album inspires us to “jump in” and always remember that “for every shadow cast there will be light.”
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
It’s hard to make a mix of National Park and nature inspired songs and not include a tune from the likes of John Denver, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, etc. So, we picked our favorite, a classic John Denver song of country roads and mountains.
“Moose on the Loose” – Ozomatli
Whenever we head to northern forests, we’re always on the lookout for a “Moose on the Loose”!
“Don’t Fence Me In” – Gene Autry
This classic song was sung by our parents to us and now we sing this song of Western longing to our children.
“Echo” – The Okee Dokee Brothers
For our National Parks mix, we could have included nearly every Okee Dokee Brothers song! But we had to pick one, so we went with “Echo.” Look for even more great National Parks and nature inspired tunes on their new album, Saddle Up!
“Cuyahoga” – R.E.M.
This song from R.E.M. reflects the spirit and challenge of National Parks with reflections on the past and hope for the future.
“Wapiti Hoppity” – National Park Service Youth Ambassador Program
In 2012, Ranger Jeff Wolin of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument wrote a collection of kid-friendly songs that was released by the National Park Service as “Songs for Junior Rangers”. Featuring several award winning musicians, the album is a great collection of songs about National Parks and this one, Wapiti Hoppity, was our favorite.
“I’ve Been Everywhere” – Johnny Cash
With 20,000 miles of road trips in just the last 3 years and visits to countless National Parks, Monuments, etc, we’ve lived this song! Okay, almost, there are still a couple places in the song we haven’t been, but this song always inspires us to hit the road.
“Mother Nature’s Son” – Caspar Babypants
This Beatles classic, reinterpreted by Caspar Babypants reminds us that National Parks don’t have to always be some grand vista, but rather simple moments you share with nature.
“Shenandoah” – Mormon Tabernacle Choir
While this classic American folk song may have nothing to do with the Shenandoah National Park, Shenandoah River, etc, it is a beautiful song of exploration and the feeling you have when you are sitting in the woods, on the bank of a river, listening to the water flow by.
So what are your favorite National Parks and nature inspired songs that we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know! Also, be sure to sign up for our mailing list and Follow Us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest so you don’t miss anything!
Don’t forget “Live Life” from the Book of Life! Every time we hit the road we blast it and sing along!! 🙂 Great tunes listed above. We are John Denver fanatics!! <3
Love it – going to add these to my hiking playlist (https://open.spotify.com/user/123843547/playlist/2XxU0WLF7oRamfqyVG2CJ2). Great selections!
Dave Wallburn’s “Going to the Sun” is a song that gets me dreaming about returning to Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road every time I hear it. The version online is a different mix than the one on the album, but it gives you the idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT8jGTbvgO8
One of the things I liked the most about the new IMAX movie ‘National Parks Adventure’ was the soundtrack: Woody Guthrie’s, “This Land Is Your Land.” performed by Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s rock hymn “Hallelujah.’ There’s also some John Denver and a few new songs from The lumineers and Jason Mraz.