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Playlist of the Week: Travelling Tunes

Here is a list of 20 songs for music therapists to add to their repertoire for sessions revolving around the theme of travel! At the bottom of the list you will find a song-writing intervention to the tune of 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' whichI have often used with groups of older adults.


1. Come Away with Me - Norah Jones

Lyric: Come away with me on a bus

Come away where they can't tempt us, with their lies

And I want to walk with you

On a cloudy day

In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high

So won't you try to come

2. Where the Streets Have No Name - U2

Lyric: I want to feel sunlight on my face

I see that dust cloud disappear without a traceI wanna take shelter from the poison rain

Where the streets have no name, oh oh

3. Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver

Lyric: So kiss me and smile for me

Tell me that you'll wait for me

Hold me like you'll never let me go'

Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane

Don't know when I'll be back again

Oh babe, I hate to go

4. Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel

Lyric: And each town looks the same to me,

the movies and the factories

And every stranger's face I see reminds me that I long to be,

Homeward bound

5. I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash

Lyric: I've been everywhere, man

I've been everywhere, man

Crossed the deserts bare, man

I've breathed the mountain air, man

Travel, I've had my share, man

I've been everywhere

6. Come Fly with Me - Frank Sinatra

Lyric: Once I get you up there,

Where the air is rarefied

We'll just glide, Starry eyed

Once I get you up there

I'll be holding you so near

You may hear the angels cheer

Just because we're together

7. King of the Road - Roger Miller

Lyric: Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room I'm a man of means by no means, king of the road.

8. Sentimental Journey - The Platters

Lyric: Gonna take a sentimental journey

Gonna set my heart at ease

Gonna make a sentimental journey

To renew old memories

9. California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas

Lyric: All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)

And the sky is grey (and the sky is grey)I've been for a walk (

I've been for a walk)On a winter's day (on a winter's day)

10. The Wanderer - Dion

Lyric: Oh yeah, I’m the type of guy that likes to roam around

I’m never in one place, I roam from town to town

And when I find myself a-fallin' for some girl

Yeah, I hop right into that car of mine and drive around the world

11. Proud Mary - CCR

Lyric: Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis

Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans

But I never saw the good side of the city'

Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen

12. Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lyric: If I leave here tomorrow Would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on, now Cause there's too many places I've got to see

13. On the Road Again - Willie Nelson

Lyric: On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been

Seein' things that I may never see again

And I can't wait to get on the road again

14. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers

15. This Land is Your Land

Lyric: As I was walking that ribbon of highway, I saw above me that endless skyway: I saw below me that golden valley: This land was made for you and me.

16. So Far Away

Lyric: So far away Doesn't anybody stay in one place any more? It would be so fine to see your face at my door And it doesn't help to know you're just time away

17. I'm Moving On - B.B.. King

Lyric: Might try Vegas And keep on playing till I win Or take it out to Hollywood And fall in love again

18. Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight & The Pip

Lyric: Goin' back to find Ooh, what's left of his world The world he left behind Not so long ago

19. I Lived - One Republic

Lyric: I, I did it all I, I did it all I owned every second that this world could give I saw so many places, the things that I did Yeah with every broken bone I swear I lived

20. Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf

Lyric: Get your motor runnin' Head out on the highway Lookin' for adventure And whatever comes our way

Songwriting Intervention:

The third song on this list is 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' by John Denver. This is often a familiar tune to use in settings with older adults such as in long-term care, retirement homes, and adult day programs.

When facilitating a group session, try having each group member fill in the blanks as indicated below. This can be based on a place they have visited in the past and can prompt them to share their experiences with each other.

I'm leaving to _________, where it is _________.

I love the _______________.


I'm leaving to Jamaica, where it is nice and sunny.

I love the sand in my toes!

Depending on the cognitive levels of the group members, rather than having them fill in the blanks, I often will go around to each participant and ask them prompting questions, i.e., Where are some places you have traveled? What is it like there? Is there an ocean? Do you like the warm weather?

Alternatively, if the participant is non-verbal, it would help to have background information on them, where they grew up, and their interests, so you can help to fill in the blanks and receive indications if you are on the right path by the facial expressions and body language.

Something fun to try after this experience is a sound bath intervention. For example, if many of the participants spoke about places they have traveled being near the ocean, the music therapist could provide them each with an instrument or sound to make that when brought all together, could resemble the sounds of the ocean. Once particiapnt could have an ocean drum, the other could have a drum that they slide their hand across to resemble sounds of the wind, and so on.

If you are travelling this summer - we wish you a happy journey!

Thanks for stopping by the MMT blog!

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