50 Songs for an Epic British Road Trip
If you’re planning a road trip around Great Britain then some upbeat British tunes are essential for making your vacation memorable. I spent months curating a song list before our big adventure, selecting songs spanning from the 1960’s to today. Below are 50 of my favorite songs to add to your British music playlist. Cheers!
1. “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd
Let’s start off this playlist with a classic. This music video freaked me out when I was a kid but the song is amazing.
2. “Argyll Broadswords” (any band)
“Argyll Broadswords” is one of the most famous bagpipe songs, a traditional tune you’ll want to listen to if you’re visiting Scotland.
3. “Blinded By The Light” by Manfred Mann
While this song was originally written and recorded by American Bruce Springsteen it’s the British version by Manfred Mann that gained popularity.
“Blinded by the light
Revved up like a deuce
Another runner in the night
Blinded by the light”
4. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
Any of the songs by the British rock band Queen will be a great addition to your playlist but “Bohemian Rhapsody” is my absolute FAVORITE song by them. Such an excellent song to sing along to!
5. “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne is another classic singer who’s got a ton of songs to add to your playlist but if you’re looking for something upbeat you can’t go wrong with “Crazy Train”.
“Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe. it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate”
6. “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees
This is another upbeat song I love singing along to. There’s a few different versions but only the one by The Monkees fits into our “British only” playlist.
“Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
7. “Donald Where’s Your Troosers?” by Andy Stewart
A hilarious song about a Scottish man named Donald who struts around in a kilt. Andy Stewart sung the original but there’s another good remake by Enter the Haggis.
“Let the wind blow high
Let the wind blow low
Through the streets
In my kilt, I’ll go
All the lassies say hello
Donald, where’s your troosers”
8. “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” by The Police
Sting as well as his former band The Police have dozens of hit songs that are great for a British music playlist but this gem from my birth year (1981) is one of my personal favorites.
9. “Flower of Scotland” by The Corries
This is the unofficial national anthem of Scotland. It was written by The Corries in the 1960’s about Robert the Bruce’s victory of Edward Longshanks. It’s played at the beginning of many rugby games.
10. “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is a British-American band and their hit song “Go Your Own Way” is a nice upbeat song to listen to while driving.
“If I could
Maybe I’d give you my world
How can I
When you won’t take it from me”
11. “Harlaw” by Enoch Kent
“Harlaw” is a Scottish song that narrates the story of the famous Battle of Harlaw, fought between Scottish clans in 1411. I just love Enoch Kent’s thick accent.
12. “Help!” by The Beatles
No British music playlist is complete without some Beatles! I love so many of their songs that it was hard to choose just one so I added four to my playlist.
13. “Hey Jude” by The Beatles
I like to include a handful of mellow songs on my playlists and “Hey Jude” is a perfect addition.
“Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better”
14. “Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones
Who doesn’t love this chart-topping hit from the 60’s?
“I laid a divorcee in New York City,
I had to put up some kind of a fight.
The lady then she covered me in roses,
She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.”
15. “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford & Sons
Don’t be fooled by the mellow opening, this is a pretty upbeat song! Not to mention the music video is HILARIOUS.
16. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones
Another favorite song of mine from The Rolling Stones.
17. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles
It’s said that this was the song that started the British Invasion in the United States so of course “I Want to Hold Your Hand” deserves a spot on our British playlist!
18. “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees
Yes, Smash Mouth did a better version of this song. No, you can’t include that one because they’re not British.
“Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace, of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, and I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried”
19. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers
This Scottish duo only has 2 songs that I enjoy listening to but I included both on this playlist to balance out the number of English and Scottish bands.
20. “I’m Henry VIII” by Herman’s Hermits
This simple but catchy tune is one you’ve probably heard but have long forgotten.
“I’m Henry the eighth, I am
Henry the eighth, I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She’s been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam (No Sam)
I’m her eighth old man, I’m Henry
Henry the eighth I am”
21. “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone” by The Monkees
This song has versions by many artists including Tom Petty and Sex Pistols but the most popular rendition was by The Monkees.
22. “I’m On My Way” by The Proclaimers
I love this song but ever since it was featured in the movie Shrek that’s all I think about when I hear it. Git oot ov mah swamp!
“I’m on my way from misery to happiness today
I’m on my way from misery to happiness today
I’m on my way to what I want from this world
And years from now you’ll make it to the next world
And everything that you receive up yonder
Is what you gave to me the day I wandered”
23. “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred
I had no idea Right Said Fred was British but I’m glad he is because this song is AWESOME for a road trip playlist!
24. “Imagine” by John Lennon
I don’t usually like to include somber songs on my travel playlists but “Imagine” is a must if you’re visiting England.
25. “Invisible Touch” by Genesis
This playlist is a little heavy with 80’s music because I’m an 80’s kid. “Invisible Touch” is one of the more upbeat songs of Phil Collins’ former band, Genesis. I left off “Land of Confusion” from this list because that music video just creeped me out as a kid. Am I the only one?
“She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
She reaches in, grabs right hold of your heart
She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
It takes control and slowly tears you apart.”
26. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club
Continuing with the 80’s we’ve got this little gem. It’s one of my favorite songs to dance to!
27. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
If you’re looking for something a little mellow “Landslide” is a perfect song for your playlist.
28. “Loch Lomond” (any band)
Practically every Scot knows the lyrics of “Loch Lomond” and many others probably recognize the tune as well. It’s sung by many artists but the one I have is by Alastair McDonald.
“O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.”
29. “My Generation” by The Who
Another incredibly talented rock band that deserves some recognition. “My Generation” is my personal favorite from their hit songs.
30. “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones
This song is a little dark (pun intended) but it’s a good choice for jamming along to in the car.
“I see your red door and I want it painted black
No colors any more, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes”
31. “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.
M.I.A. is a female British rapper who’s known as much for her fashion as her songs. Her music has slight Sri Lankan flair to it, a nod to her heritage. My favorite song of hers is “Paper Planes”.
32. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard
This is one of my all-time favorite songs and I just LOVE belting the lyrics out when I’m driving.
“Pour some sugar on me
Ooh, in the name of love
Pour some sugar on me
C’mon, fire me up
Pour your sugar on me
I can’t get enough”
33. “Ready to Run” by One Direction
This English-Irish boy band has plenty of hit songs but “Ready to Run” is my favorite. I’ve also got it on my general travel playlist.
34. “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse
I just Amy Winehouse’s deep, soulful voice. Most of her songs are slow and mellow but “Rehab” is one of the more fast-paced songs. If you could call it that.
35. “Rocket Man” by Elton John
OF COURSE Elton John has to be included in this playlist!
“And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone”
36. “Scotland the Brave” (any band)
Another popular bagpipe song “Scotland the Brave” is another unofficial anthem for Scotland. Lyrics were later written in the 1960’s but I prefer the bagpipe version.
37. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” by Adele
Another soulful singer whose songs are usually sad and somber, Adele does have a few that are a little more upbeat. “Send My Love” is one of her more recent hits.
38. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran
I am in LOVE with the beat of this song by Ed Sheeran. This guy is going places.
39. “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane
A nice, mellow song from British band Keane. This song was one of their most popular songs worldwide.
40. “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield is a British pop singer whose most popular song, “Son of a Preacher Man”, landed in the top 10 songs in the U.S. in 1968.
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was”
41. “Story of My Life” by One Direction
I love so many songs from One Direction that I couldn’t choose just one!
42.”Tiny Dancer” by Elton John
This is quite possibly the BEST song for a British road trip. This new music video is pretty amazing too.
43. “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles
Another upbeat song by The Beatles, “Twist and Shout” is featured in one of my favorite movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
“Well, shake it up, baby, now (Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout (Twist and shout)
C’mon C’mon, C’mon, C’mon, baby, now (Come on baby)
Come on and work it on out (Work it on out)”
44. “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay
Coldplay is a good band to feature on your playlist if you’re a 90’s rock fan like myself.
45. “Walk of Life” by Dire Straits
LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. Can you tell I’m an 80’s kid?
46. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!
Another excellent road trip song, again from the 80’s!
47. “Wannabe” by The Spice Girls
Ok, we’ve got to include a song from The Spice Girls on this playlist and “Wannabe” is the best of them for a road trip.
48. “Welly Boot Song” (any band)
This is a hilarious Scottish song about the importance of wearing your rain boots. There’s multiple artists that have sung this song. If you’re looking for a more traditional tune check out the one by Alex Sutherland. Stramash makes a good punk rock version.
“If it wasnae for your wellies, where would you be?
You’d be in the hospital or infirmary,
Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pluracy,
If you didnae have your feet in your wellies!”
49. “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zepplin
Obviously Led Zepplin deserves a spot on this playlist. Since “Stairway to Heaven” is SO long I don’t think it’s a good road trip song so I’m including “Whole Lotta Love” instead.
50. “Wild Thing” by The Troggs
“Wild Thing” is an excellent song for singing along to in the car.
This list is only a sampling of the dozens of British songs and bands you can add to your playlist. If you want to round out your music playlist with some family friendly songs for the kids you should check out the soundtracks from the Disney movies Brave, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins. Also take a look at “Kings and Queens of England” by Beethoven’s Wig.
What other songs would you recommend for a British road trip playlist?
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