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The 50 Greatest Campfire Songs of All Time

by Steve Jackson Jul 24, 2020

Ever laughed when setting up camp as some random dude puts a worn acoustic guitar next to his chair? “He’s not actually going to sing and play campfire songs on the guitar in front of all these people, no way,” you tell yourself. Thing is, he definitely is. He’s also going to toss in a bit of Kumbaya and a couple of ghost stories. And you’re going to sing along, the bellow of your harmonies echoing louder as the hour gets later. Corny? Yes. A memorable and fun activity to do with a beer in your hand? Also yes.

All of a sudden this guy is the hit of the party, jamming songs until the wee hours and leading the crew in singalongs of campfire classics and modern pop hits. It’s the summer of 2020, and this is the closest thing we have to live music right now. So take it in and don’t be bashful — you too can be the cool kid around the campfire.

These are the 50 greatest campfire songs of all time:

1. “House of the Rising Sun” – The Animals
2. “Let It Be” – The Beatles
3. “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers
4. “Time of Your Life” – Green Day
5. “Blowin’ in the Wind” – Bob Dylan
6. “Our House” – Crosby, Still Nash & Young
7. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House
8. “Something Inside So Strong” – Labi Siffre
9. “Love Song” – The Cure
10. “True Colours” – Cyndi Lauper
11. “Hotel California” – The Eagles
12. “In the Ghetto” – Elvis Presley
13. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Frank Sinatra
14. “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” – Harry Belafonte
15. “Fire and Rain” – James Taylor
16. “Hallelujah” – John Cale
17. “Working Class Hero” – John Lennon
18. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” – John Denver
19. “Wandering Star” – Lee Marvin
20. “California Dreamin'” – The Mamas and the Papas
21. “Redemption Song” – Joe Strummer & Johnny Cash
22. “Talkin’ About a Revolution” – Tracy Chapman
23. “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees
24. “Down in Albion” – Baby Shambles
25. “Forever in Blue Jeans” – Neil Diamond

26. “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” – Neil Young
27. “Come As You Are” – Nirvana
28. “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” – Otis Redding
29. “Baby, I Love Your Way” – Peter Frampton
30. “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
31. “Dirty Old Town” – The Pogues
32. “King of the Road” – The Proclaimers
33. “Everybody Hurts” – R.E.M.
34. “Killing Me Softly with His Song” – Roberta Flack
35. “Vincent” – Don McLean
36. “Handbags and Gladrags” – Rod Stewart
37. “Wonderwall” – Ryan Adams
38. “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” – Sacha Distel
39. “New Slang” – The Shins
40. “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel
41. “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” – The Smiths
42. “Grazed Knees” – Snow Patrol
43. “Lost in Hollywood” – System of a Down
44. “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” – The Temptations
45. “Africa” – Toto
46. “Handle with Care” – Traveling Wilburys
47. “All I Want Is You” – U2
48. “Island in the Sun” – Weezer
49. “She’s Not There” – The Zombies
50. “There She Goes” – The La’s

This post about campfire songs was last updated in July 24th, 2020 by Tim Wenger.

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