Long, summer nights were made for sitting beside a campfire with loved ones, eating s'mores, reminiscing, and of course, singing campfire songs. Here are just a few tunes you'll definitely want to include in your next summer gathering.
Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker
The former Hootie and the Blowfish front man successfully crossed over to country years ago, and one hit that seems tailor made for campfire singalongs is this upbeat crooner about a traveling musician hitchhiking home to see his lady. The refrain invites his love to "rock me momma like a wagon wheel," making it just clean enough for kids to sing along.
Show Me the Way to Go Home by Irving King
This classic by James Campbell and Reginald Connelly (aka, Irving King) has been covered by several bands, but it is probably best known as the song a drunken threesome belts out in Jaws, right before the movie's dead-eyed villain starts making a meal of their boat. Simple, repetitive lyrics make for a fun and easy singalong.
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
"Hey, where did we go?", Van Morrison asks, taking a trip down memory lane, back to the carefree days of young love with his brown-eyed girl. We all remember that "hearts a thumpin'" feeling of first love, and when the sha-la-las start, no one will be able to stop themselves from joining in.
Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
You can hardly have a campfire singalong without at least one Beatles addition, and there are plenty of good options from which to choose. This silly number from the album of the same name is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and kids will have no trouble participating in the chorus and imagining themselves living beneath the waves, aboard the brightly-colored vessel.
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Arguably one of the most famous songs from a man who has no shortage of well-known ditties, this number about reaching out and touching hands has a refrain that won't quit, as evidenced by audience singalongs at endless sporting events. No guitar necessary.
Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson
This Australian ballad was originally penned more than a century ago by poet Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson, back when "waltzing" was a common term for walking and a "matilda" was a backpack. It's essentially about a vagabond who steals a sheep and then drowns himself rather than be caught. Still, the song features a campfire and the chorus is familiar enough that everyone can sing along.
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
As the night winds down, there are few better songs to wrap with than this melancholy ode to inevitable loss. Roger Waters wrote it in the absence of former Floyd front man Syd Barrett, who had suffered a mental breakdown. This popular song is sure to elicit bittersweet sentiment and spontaneous hugging.