10 Greatest Walking Songs of All Time

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The Proclaimers

Long day in the office……….mind beginning to wander …………..thinking about an upcoming hiking trip I have planned.

The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)”, is on in the background ………….still love that song after all these years …… hmmm……what other songs do I know about walking?

Ten minutes pass.

Jeez, that’s a boatload of tunes……….. hold on, let me pare it down, throw in a suitably hyperbolic title and make a post out of it……………

So here it is, my completely subjective, Friday afternoon, too much time on the computer, shoulders are beginning to hunch listicle of the world’s greatest walking songs:

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Johnny Cash

10.   I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)After losing the “I”, they used the title of this song for the 2005 biopic of the ‘Man in Black’. How great was Joaquin Phoenix in the role of Johnny Cash? The guy may be a few biscuits short of a full packet, but he sure can act.

9.  Walkin’ to New Orleans (Fats Domino)In reality Fats didn’t do a lot of walking, but there’s no denying the guy could belt out a tune.

8.  Walk of Life (Dire Straits)It’s a little known fact that the suits worn by some of the band members in the video were borrowed from the set of Miami Vice.

7.  You’ll Never Walk Alone (Gerry & the Pacemakers)There are a lot of excellent versions of this Rogers & Hammerstein classic (e.g. Elvis, Sinatra & Cash), but generations of Liverpool football fans can’t all be wrong can they?

6.  These Boots Were Made For Walkin’  (Nancy Sinatra) – After Bang, Bang (featured in Kill Bill Vol.1) my favourite Nancy Sinatra song. One of the best advertisments for mini skirts I have ever seen.

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Nancy Sinatra

5.  Baby Elephant Walk (Henry Mancini) – The only instrumental on the list. Almost impossible not to bop up and down when you hear it. Seriously, how could you not like a song titled Baby Elephant Walk? 

4.  Walk This Way (Run DMC & Aerosmith)Great number; the “daddy” of rap-rock tunes.

3.  Walking On Sunshine (Katrina & the Waves)The only one hit wonder band on the list………ok, ok………technically speaking they did have a couple of other songs that hit the charts, but really, who can remember them?

2.  Walk On the Wildside (Lou Reed) – “Holly came from Miami F.L.A. / Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A./Plucked her eyebrows on the way/Shaved her legs and then he was a she/ She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.” Gotta love Lou. In fact, I think I’m going to put on a Velvet Underground record as soon as I finish this post.

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Lou Reed

1.  I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) / (The Proclaimers)The song that inspired this post. The song that introduced a new generation to the word “haver.” The only song on the list that doesn’t have “walk”, “walkin” or “walking” in the title. The best walking song of all time!


Comments

10 Greatest Walking Songs of All Time — 14 Comments

  1. There are some good ones on your list! I think Walking on Sunshine might really move you down the trail at the end of a long day.

  2. Ok, just can’t let this one slide by without comment!
    My old man, also a Honan with walking in his blood (his epitaph literally reads ‘let it unravel & it can be a path on which to travel’ So too, a few of my siblings/we’re possibly related!) was a die hard AC/DC fan and was happy to blast the house at all hours during my teenage years….so ‘Walk All Over You’ from ‘Highway to Hell’ album was a bit of an alternative anthem for a teenager who couldn’t wait to get the hell outta there! The lyrics are a bit dodgy of course but the chorus/Bon Scott at his best could be really motivating at the end of a long haul. Btw I’m probably the only one who can listen to AC/DC at full throttle….the others are all country music fans!

    • Good call! Considering you may well be family (there aren’t that many Honan’s out there), I’ll have to give you that one. Great song!

  3. I love the 500 mile song. I have not heard it before. I’m not sure the woman version would apply though! Ha ha
    I met you briefly on the PCT right before you caught up with my friend Christy (Rockin). I was hiking in flip flops!
    I enjoy your blog😊

  4. Cam… what about ” walking matilda ” ? Maybe it was a waltz but aussie swagmen definitely did a lot of “walkin “and its a great campfire song anyway.
    Pass the billy-can will ya !
    Cheers
    DadD

  5. To my husband’s chagrin I have been known to belt out bad versions of ‘Lost in France’ as well as ‘Walkin’ in the Rain and the Snow’ while engaged in those exact activities on the trail!

  6. I have recently done a beach walk. Big km, pretty boring. To pass the time I was singing “Onward Christian soldiers” a great walking song.

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