Music for the Road

The best type of music to play while driving is something you can sing along to at the top of your lungs. It may not be pretty, but it will definitely keep you awake and your mind off those road trip snacks which are almost impossible to open with one hand and get crumbs all over the upholstery and down your neck. Belting out those vocals is hands-free. And relatively safe, unless you get totally carried away by your own incredible talent.

It’s a definite plus to know all the words. Or at the very least, be able to make them up as you go along. Hit those high notes! Or not. Who cares? Nobody can hear you. Practice those latent harmonizing skills. Throw in some crazy background vocals. Do you stare at other drivers at a stop light? Of course you don’t – so nobody is staring at you either and there’s absolutely no need to interrupt your own brilliant performance by humming while pretending you’re not.

The music I remember best is what I listened to in my teens. So I tune into a radio station that plays the golden oldies; perfect for this golden oldie. Hearing myself get the lyrics right is kind of astonishing; sort of like when I’m playing Trivial Pursuit and the right answers seem to pop into my brain without any effort at all. (Okay, I admit that happens RARELY, but it does happen.) I don’t know why I know all the words to every Lovin’ Spoonful song ever written but it is what it is and I’ve resigned myself to the fact.

Sharing my dubious ‘talents’ with the rest of the world would probably be mortifying, for everyone. My car acts like a little sound proof box on wheels. I can crank up the volume and turn up the bass and suddenly I sound amazing. Passengers, unfortunately, seem to ruin the acoustics and curb the enthusiasm somehow. Best to do this on your own. And if it’s a long trip, think up some plausible reasons for your croaky hoarse throat before you reach your final destination. Damned air conditioning or something like that.

I’ve tried audio books, talk shows with phone-in participation, classical stations and easy listening – they all lull me to sleep. Whereas my brilliant one woman concerts keep me focused and alert. Plus they’re funny as hell. I’m almost sorry you can’t share them with me, but keeping them private is probably for the best.

Poor radio reception? No problem. Five cd’s of Rod Stewart singing the American standards along with one jumbo pack of red licorice (no crumbs) and I’m set. You’d be surprised at how fast those deafening miles fly by.

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