The outdoors seem to lend themselves to music. Majestic vistas, vivid green trees, and sparkling blue waters inspire songwriters to describe them and set them to music. Here’s a list of ten songs inspired by nature. They may be just what you need loaded onto your MP3 player for a hike or simply to lift your day when you’re stuck inside.
1. Annie’s Song – John Denver
A playlist like this one could be entirely filled with John Denver music, but I especially enjoy this song. It is a beautiful love song that works in two ways: love for a woman and love for the outdoors. You can’t get much better than that.
2. A Horse with No Name – America
This familiar piece is unique because it speaks of the desert, instead of the usual forest or flowers that outdoors songs tend to focus on. I think that it’s an interesting song because it’s both fun and calming. Any rumors about the song’s meaning aside, it’s perfect for a leisurely walk outside.
3. Miles from Nowhere – Cat Stevens
Cat’s voice seems to come out of nowhere for the peaceful beginning to this song. One aspect of the outdoors that I love is the ability to get out and be free from the trappings of a city, which feeling this piece really speaks to.
4. This Land is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
Perhaps the ultimate ode to the natural world of the United States, Guthrie’s beautiful descriptions inspire conservation. It’s an older song, but it definitely is an apt depiction of the variety in the country that is great for listening to on a hike.
5. River of Dreams – Billy Joel
The outdoors are a great place to meditate and find answers to important questions. I identify with Billy Joel’s lyrics of searching through mountains, valleys, jungles, and rivers for something hard to find. It’s an upbeat and beautiful description of the outdoors found in dreams.
6. Acadian Driftwood – The Band
This song is not exactly about the outdoors, but it has fantastic little hints of the mystique of the Canadian outdoors. I like the bits about the snow and ice fishing set against sugar fields. A very poignant piece.
7. Faithful Land – Gaelic Storm
For a move from the North American, I really love this song for its powerful emotions. It’s about feeling tied to the land of Ireland, even when far away. It’s a beautiful love song to the green fields and gray skies, which we may be confused by, but it’s definitely a rich and vibrant description.
8. Wild Bird – Laura Light
This song has some amazing violin work that really calls to mind a bird. Laura Light has a unique, pure voice that is perfect for the piece’s lilting melody about a healing journey.
9. Rain on the Roof – The Lovin’ Spoonful
One of their lesser-known songs, this cute piece is all about enjoying nature from inside, which sometimes it’s nice to do – especially during a summer shower. Its simple sketch of a rain that soaks flowers and is perfect for conversation is a striking concept of the outdoors.
10. Poison Ivy – The Coasters
For a super upbeat and fun song, look no further than this. Of course, the song is about a woman, but it’s a perfect analogy using the outdoors. Plus, it’s a really good reminder for your hikes to stay away from poison ivy – it will definitely make you itchy.