While musing through some old recordings, I was struck by the way some of them dealt with issues related to students' experiences abroad. I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of such songs, so I sent out a query on SECUSS-L.

The response was far greater than I had ever imagined it would be. (You can see the list of contributors here.) I was particularly struck by the number of people who commented that individual songs, or in some cases entire albums, had special meaning to them because of connections to their own experiences abroad: some had special songs that helped them through difficult phases of their stay abroad; some remembered songs because they were popular at the time, and were frequently being played on the radio; and others had songs that seemed to echo their own experiences.

While I was initially planning to limit the list to songs that related to education abroad, and not "merely" travel, many of the responses I received indicated that I should include a separate category for travel. And a few suggested that I include US travel, which might relate to experiences that foreign students have in the US.

Although I have included many songs that relate to travel, it would be impossible to list every song that mentions a geographical location. American rock and roll is full of such examples, from well-known cities such as New York and San Francisco, to imaginary destinations like Surf City and Margaritaville. So I've tried to include only those that convey some special character of the destination, or of the experiences one might have getting there. A few are included because respondents mentioned that they trigger special memories or thoughts for them, and I thought they might do the same for others. But I have generally not included traditional songs that deal with travelling (like "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," "Marching to Pretoria," or favorite camp songs like "Valdaree, Valdara").

As I was compiling songs, I came across one useful website that provides a list of every "Number 1" song from 1930 to 1999 which also has an index to search for lyrics or artists of "Top 40" songs since 1930. But many of the songs related to this project never made it to the Top 40, much less to Number 1.

As I began receiving suggestions for the list, I quickly realized that some singers/songwriters seemed to stand out as having more songs that people immediately remembered than anyone else. In particular, people mentioned tunes by Bob Dylan (whose "Boots of Spanish Leather" started me on this quest), Joni Mitchell (especially her "Blue" album), and Jimmy Buffett. Paul Simon's two albums, "Graceland" and "The Rhythm of the Saints, also deserve special attention. Jimmy Buffett can make up a list with his own songs, so rather than fill up this page with too many of his, I have created a separate Jimmy Buffett compilation, as well as including a few of his most relevant songs in the general listing. To reach the list of Jimmy Buffet songs, click here.

I realize that this list is not complete. I doubt that it ever can be. But it's been nearly twenty years since I first created this list. There is a new generation of study abroad professionals, and many of them will undoubtedly have ideas about songs that should be included here. Thus I welcome suggestions for additions to this list. Simply send me an e-mail by clicking the e-mail link at the bottom of this page . I will add suggestions as quickly as possible, as well as add names to my list of contributors.

I have tried to group songs into fairly general categories. Where possible, I've included a little information about the songs. When I originally set up this page, I included links to web sites or lyrics whenever I could find them. But over the years, many of those sites disappeared, or changed their URL. Some were "official" websites, while others were created by fans. Since many of the links went dead fairly quickly, I decided to do away with that feature altogether in this revision. Given the effectiveness of search engines today, it's fairly easy for anyone interested in finding lyrics to a given song to simply search for "[song name] lyrics" and pursue the options on their own. Similarly, you can listen to many of the songs on youtube.com, or the many music sites now available. I will leave those for others to explore on their own.

In addition to the songs listed here, I also received a few suggestions that were not really related to education or travel (abroad or in the US). Instead, they were submitted because they struck a sympathetic chord with students (or advisors) who have spent time abroad. In most cases, I did not include those, in order to at least try to keep this on my original focus, but some are here, nonetheless.

I hope you enjoy this list, and that it leaves you with a song in your mind and a smile on your face.

--Marv Slind


Revised March 12, 2019

PLEASE NOTE: I take no responsibility for anything
you may find on these links. Explore to your
heart's content, but also at your own risk.

The lists below include the following information:

Song Title
(Writer where available)


Education Abroad and Its Effects


Boots of Spanish Leather
Bob Dylan His girl friend is headed for Spain,
their relationship is headed for disaster:

"Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way,
I'm sure your mind is roamin'.
I'm sure your heart is not with me,
But with the country to where you're goin'."


Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Jimmy Buffett (I think this title pretty much
sums up the education abroad experience:)

"Reading departure signs in some big airport
Reminds me of the places I've been
Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again . . .
These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane"


Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)
Green Day "So make the best of this test, and don't ask why.
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time.
It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right.
I hope you had the time of your life."

It Wasn't Me
Chuck Berry "I met a German girl in England
who was studying in France
I danced with her in Mississippi
at an Alpha Kappa dance."

Nineteen in Naples
Jonathan Richmond "When I was 19 I went across the sea
and I found myself in italy
oh, 19, 19 in naples"

Road to Nowhere
Talking Heads "Maybe you wonder where you are
I don't care
Here is where time is on our side
Take you there...take you there
We're on a road to nowhere"


Coming Home


Back Home Again
John Denver "Hey it's good to be back home again"

Back in the USA
Chuck Berry On the pleasures of coming home:
"Oh well, oh well, I feel so good today,
We touched ground on an international runway
Jet propelled back home, from over the seas to the U. S. A."

Joni Mitchell
"Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad

      .       .       .

Still a lot of lands to see
But I wouldn't want to stay here
It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here
Oh, but California
California I'm coming home"


Crash & Burn
Savage Garden
"When you feel all alone
and the world has turned its back on you
give me a moment please
to tame your wild, wild heart

I know you feel like
the walls are closing in on you
it's hard to find relief
and people can be so cold

when darkness is upon your door
and you feel like you can't take anymore

let me be the one you call
if you jump I'll break your fall
lift you up and fly away with you into the night
if you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
if you need to crash then
crash and burn, you're not alone . . . "


Edward Sharp and
the Magnetic Zeros
Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Not that way that I do love you

      .       .       .

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I'm with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I'm with you


Homeward Bound
Simon and Garfunkel
(music and lyrics by Paul Simon
written on Widnes Train Station,
between Liverpool and Manchester
while waiting for the last
train back to Manchester
after a gig)
"Homeward bound,
I wish I was,
Homeward bound"

I'll be home for Christmas
By Kim Gannon, Walter Kent,
and Buck Ram
Recorded by Bing Crosby
"I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams"




"I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had"

All Around the World; or, The Myth of Fingerprints
Paul Simon
About the commonalities shared
by people around the world, despite
historical & other differences

"He says there's no doubt about it
It was the myth of fingerprints
I've seen them all and man
They're all the same"


All I Want
Joni Mitchell
"I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Traveling, traveling, traveling
Looking for something, what can it be"

Along the Road
Dan Fogelberg
"Joy at the start, fear in the journey,
joy in the coming home.
A part of the heart gets lost in the learning,
somewhere along the road....
Cursing the Quest, courting disaster,
measureless nights forbode.
Moments of rest, glimpses of laughter,
are treasured along the road."

Another Suitcase in Another Hall
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
From the soundtrack of Evita
"Call in three months time and I'll be fine I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I'll survive anyhow
I won't recall the names and places of this sad occasion
But that's no consolation -- here and now

So what happens now?
Another suitcase in another hall
So what happens now?
Take your picture off another wall
Where am I going to?
You'll get by, you always have before
Where am I going to?
Don't ask anymore"


Anthem [The Russian]
From the musical "Chess"
(British version)
"How can I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart"

Back in the U.S.S.R.
The Beatles
"Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn't get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
You don't know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R."

The Bergen
Written by John Gerard Lowe
recorded by Cherish the Ladies,
Tannahill Weavers, and others
"Sleep while you wake me with these dreams you bring
Dreams come to me where I lay,
And deep the melody the wild waves sing
My love is far, far away.
Oh, and pity the hearts
The wild waves part
My love sails the bonny boat, the Bergen"

Beaujolais Nouveau
The Humpff Family
"The hardest part's not leaving
The hard parts not going away
It's the life you have to take with you
And the price the other people have to pay"

By Weary Well
Robin Williamson
About going back home to Scotland and
reminiscing about his first true
love while visiting a historic site:

As I came down by the weary well
Going there to fill my can
My fortune there I do declare
She took me by the hand
The lark gives tongue when summer comes
Though time cracks every song
As if newborn and as forlorn
Twas me that loved her long


Jethro Tull
"Her heart was spinning to the west-lands
and she didn't care to be
that night in Budapest.
Hot night in Budapest."

Joni Mitchell
"The wind is in from Africa
Last night I couldn't sleep
Oh, you know it sure is hard to leave here Carey
But it's really not my home"

Randy Stonehill
"A billion hearts are beating
Far across the water
And when the sun is shining
Their land is cloaked in darkness

Closer to Fine
Indigo Girls
"I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There's more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine"

Come Sail Away
By Dennis DeYoung,
recorded by Styx
"I'm sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board I'm the captain so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try oh Lord I'll try to carry on"

Written by Mick Hanley,
sung by Mary Black
"There's a wilderness,
it's a no man's land between
Alice Springs and the ocean;
17 hundred miles of burning sand
And a silken thread keeps a hold on
you when the emptiness like a potion
Tends to fray your reason
strand by strand."

Dance on a Volcano
(Written by Steve Hackett,
Anthony Banks, Michael
Rutherford, and Phil Collins)
"The music's playing, the notes are right
Put your left foot first and move into the light
The edge of this hill is the edge of the world
And if you're going to cross
You better start doing it Right"

(Elton John and Bernie Taupin,
recorded by Elton John)
"Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain"

Dublin Blues
Guy Clark
"I loved you from the get-go and I'll love you till I die.
I loved you on the Spanish Steps the day you said goodbye"

Early Morning Rain
Gordon Lightfoot
"I'm a long way from home
And I miss my loved ones so
In the early morning rain
With no place to go"

Embassy Lament
From the Musical "Chess"
(British version)
An example of the bureaucracy of obtaining a visa:

"Oh my dear how boring
He's defecting
Just like all the others
He's expecting
Us to be impressed with what he's done here
But he hasn't stopped to think about the paperwork
His gesture causes
We've an embassy to run here
If these people can't strike
Blows for freedom
With a valid visa
We don't need 'em"


England Swings
Roger Miller
"England swings like a pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two,
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben,
The rosy red cheeks of the little children."

Englishman in New York
A "quirky ode to English ex-patriots"

"See me walking down Fifth Avenue
A walking cane here at my side
I take it everywhere I walk
I'm an Englishman in New York

Oh, I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien
I'm an Englishman in New York
Oh, I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien
I'm an Englishman in New York


Eurotrash Girl
The misadventures of a man travelling
across Europe, doing most of the things
we don't want our students to do.

"Well I've been up to Paris
and I've slept in a park.
Went down to Barcelona
someone broke in my car
And I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl."


Fairytale of New York
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
(Written by Jem Finer and
Shane MacGowan)
Deals with the reality of immigration to America:

"It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The rare old mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you"


Ferry 'cross the Mersey
Gerry And Pace Makers
(Written by Gerry Marsden)
In favor of NOT going anywhere:

"Life goes on day after day
Hearts torn in every way
So ferry 'cross the Mersey
'cause this land's the place I love
and here I'll stay"


Jean Sibelius--words as
performed by the Indigo Girls
"This is my song
Oh god of all the nations
A song of peace
For lands afar and mine

This is my home
The country where my heart is
Here are my hopes
My dreams my holy shrine

But other hearts
In other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams
As true and high as mine"


5 A.M. in Amsterdam
Michelle Shocked
"It's 5 a.m. in Amsterdam
And this is how I know
There's a church beside a park
And it fills the dying dark
With five strokes
There it is again
Did you hear that?"

Fisherman's Blues
The Waterboys "I wish I was a fisherman
tumbling on the sea
far away from dry land
and it's bitter memories
casting out my sweet life
with abandonment and love
no ceiling bearing down on me
save the starry sky above
with light in my head
and you in my arms

I wish I was the brakeman
on a hurtling fevered train
crashing a-headlong on into the heartland
like a cannon in the rain
with the beating of the sweepers
and the burning of the coal
counting the towns flashing by
and the night that's full of soul
with light in my head
and you in my arms

tomorrow I will be loosened
from the bonds that hold me fast
with the chains all hung around me
will fall away at last
and on that fine and fateful day
I will take me in my hand
I will ride on the train
I will be the fisherman
with light in my head
you in my arms"


Words and music by
Lawton Williams, recorded by
Bobby Helms, as well as
Steve Lawrence, Chuck Berry,
and others
"Far across the blue water lives an old German's daughter
By the banks of the old river Rhine
Where I loved her and left her but I can't forget her
I miss my pretty Fraulein"

From a Distance
Written by Julie Gold,
performed by Nanci Griffith,
Bette Midler, and others
"From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flight "

Get out the Map
Words and music by Emily Saliers
Performed by The Indigo Girls
"Get out the map
Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down
We'll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town
Don't drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone
I'm gonna clear my head
I'm gonna drink that sun
I'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young"

Girl from Ipanema
Antonio Carlos Jobim and
Norman Gimbel
Performed by Astrid Gilberto,
and others
"Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes
Each one she passes goes "a-a-ah!"

Goodnight Dallas
Carlene Carter "Nothing's felt better than my feet
on the ground on the road that leaves out of town"

Green & Grey
By Heaton / Sullivan
Performed by New Model Army
"The time I think most clearly
The time I drift away
Is on the bus ride that meanders
Up these valleys of green and grey

I get to think about what might have been
And what may yet come true
And I get to pass a rainy mile
Thinking of you"

Halfway Round/Walking the Line
from the CD "the weird set"
"just another day, lying in the sun,
can in your hand, all the best intentions
a well laid plan, the pieces all in place,
forget to check the time, everything flies in the air

farewell, I'll see you again
I'll see you when the world comes around again

talk to anyone, that you meet,
don't expect hello, from a total stranger
pass you as you go, not say anything
and look at you like you're from another country

I really meant to write you, how can I reach you,
your lying on beach,
somewhere in Central Asia
every time I see the papers, feels so strange,
I think the place you are's
the only place that I should be"

Havana Moon
Chuck Berry
Similar to Louie, Louie:

"Havana moon, Havana moon
Me all alone, me open the rum
It's long the wait for boat to come
American girl come back to me
We'll sail away across the sea
We'll dock in New York, the buildings high
We'll find a home up in the sky"


I know What I know
Paul Simon "She moved so easily
All I could think of was sunlight
I said aren't you the woman
Who was recently given a Fulbright"

I Would Bring You Ireland
Nanci Griffith
"I would bring you Ireland, the cool sweet of the Dublin rain
If you would keep my heart for me, in the quiet of your Texas days
And my old friend, will you shelter me from pain
In return I'd bring you Ireland"

In the Times of India (Bombay Valentine)
Ian Anderson
Based on Valentine's classified ads in the Bombay newspaper

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
Words by Jimmy Kennedy and
Music by Nat Simon
Performed by the Four Lads,
They Might be Giants, and others
Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Been a long time gone
Old Constantinople's still has Turkish delight
On a moonlight night

Jamaica Farewell
Harry Belafonte
"Down the bay where the nights are gay
And the sun shines daily on the mountain top
I took a trip on a sailing ship
And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop"

Judgement Day
Randy Stonehill
Contrasts US/western wealth with impoverishment elsewhere:
" The cruise ships painted white
Are anchored in the bay
The tourists fill their plates from the
lunch buffet
And the people on the shore
Gazing up like silent ghosts
Are doomed within a life
That is worlds away"

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Bob Dylan
"When you're lost in the rain in Juarez
And it's Eastertime, too"

Led Zeppelin
"My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon,
I will return again,
Sure as the dust that blows high in June
When movin' through Kashmir."

Bob Seger
"I got no quarrel with the Midwest,
the folks out there have given me their best.
I lived there all my life, I've been their guest,
I sure have loved it, too.

I'm tired of looking at the TV news.
I'm tired of driving hard and paying dues.
I figure, baby, I've got nothing to lose,
I'm tired of being blue.

That's why I'm going to Katmandu,
up to the mountains where I'm going to.
If I ever get out of here,
that's what I'm gonna do.

take me, baby, 'cause I'm going with you.
If I ever get out of here
I'm going to Katmandu."


Beach Boys
"Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go, Jamaica"

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
Words by William Butler Yeats
Music by Aoife Clancy
Performed by
Cherish the Ladies
and others
Recognizing the power of memories to evoke
deep feelings about special places.

"I will rise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made.
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core."


Land of Canaan
Indigo Girls "You can go to the East
to find your, inner hemisphere
You say we're under the same sky babe,
You're bound to realize, Honey, it's not that clear.
I'm not your promised land
I'm not your promised one
I'm not your Land of Canaan, sweetheart,
Waiting for you under the sun. . . .
It's not the fallen man,
It's not the call of time,
It's just the London skyline
telling me you're not mine."

Leaving on a Jet Plane
John Denver
(also recorded by
Peter, Paul and Mary)
On the loneliness of travel:
"I'm leaving on a jet plane,
Don't know when I'll be back again"

Words and Music by Emily Saliers
Performed by The Indigo Girls
"It's dark at 4 pm in Leeds
the steeples pierce the skylight till the last of it bleeds
the absent sound of another day as it recedes
into the shadows
until it's nothing"

Let's Go To Tahiti
by Bill Boatman and Roger Tillison,
Recorded by JJ Cale
In the spirit of "Margaritaville":

"Everybody on board, let's see if she'll float
Let that old jet plane fly on by
We've got the time till the day we die
Let's go to Tahiti"


London Calling
By Strummer/Jones,
recorded by the Clash
"London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look at us
All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain't got no swing
'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing"

Louie, Louie
Words and Music by Richard Berry,
Most famous version recorded by
The Kingsmen (also recorded by
dozens of others, including
Chuck Berry in 1955)
The unofficial state song of Washington
(Similar to Havana Moon)

"See Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I'll never leave again"


Marrakesh Express
Crosby, Stills and Nash
"Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes,
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies . . .
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express,
they're taking me to Marrakesh.
All aboard the train.

Me and Bobby McGee
Kris Kristofferson
(recorded by Janis Joplin,
Roger Miller, Gordon Lightfoot,
Jerry Lee Lewis,and others.)
"Busted flat in Baton Rouge; Waitin' for a train,
feelin' nearly faded as my jeans,
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained;
Took us all the way to New Orleans"

James Taylor
"Oooh, Mexico
I've never really been
But, I'd sure like to go
Whoa, oooh Mexico
I guess I'll have to go now."

Montego Bay
Bobby Bloom
"Vernon'll meet me when the BOAC lands
Keys to the MG will be in his hands
Adjust to the driving 'n' I'm on my way
It's all on the right side in Montego Bay"

Bob Dylan
"And when it's time for leaving Mozambique,
To say goodbye to sand and sea,
You turn around to take a final peek
And you see why it's so unique to be
Among the lovely people living free
Upon the beach of sunny Mozambique."

Never Been To Spain
(Hoyt Axton,
recorded by Three Dog Night)
As one colleague put it,
"How many times a day do study
abroad advisors hear this one?":

"Well I've never been to Spain
But I kinda like the music"


by Justin Sullivan
Performed by New Model Army
"Two nations under one crown divided more and more
In our own sweet green and pleasant land in 1984"

No Plane on Sunday
Jimmy Buffett Advice for anyone travelling by plane:

"You can throw your luggage down
Lose your cool and stomp around
But there's nothin', nothin' you can do
Wipe away your girlfriend's tears
Go to the bar and have some beers
There ain't no way that bird's gettin' through
No plane on Sunday
Maybe be one come Monday
Just a hopeless situation
Make the best of it's all you can do"


On a Slow Boat to China
Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser,
performed by Kay Kyser,
Jimmy Buffett, and others
"I'd love to get you
On a slow boat to China,
All to my self alone."

On the Other Side of the World
Chaka Khan
"I'll be waitin' for you
Never believe their hearts are stone
They may warm your bed when you're alone
But I can warm your heart and soul
On the other side of the world"

On the Road Again
Willie Nelson
Actually about life as a musician on the road,
but it deals with some of the
general aspects of travel as well:

"On the road again.
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again.
I can't wait to get on the road again"


One Night in Bangkok
From the Musical Chess
Written by Murray Head
"One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free"

Only a Dream in Rio
James Taylor
"More than a distant land
over a shining sea
more than the steaming green
more than the shining eyes"

Peace Train
Cat Stevens
"I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Something good's bound to come"

The Rhythm of the Saints
Paul Simon
Most of the album deals
with foreign sights, sounds,
tastes, and experiences.

"Roam if you want to
Roam around the world
Roam if you want to
Without wings, without wheels
Roam if you want to
Without anything but the love we feel"

Romance in Durango
Bob Dylan
"Past the Aztec ruins and the ghosts of our people
Hoofbeats like castanets on stone."

Rotterdam (or Anywhere)
Beautiful South "This could be Rotterdam or anywhere
Liverpool or Rome
'Cause Rotterdam is anywhere
Anywhere alone"

Rum and Coca-Cola
Words by Morey Amsterdam,
music by Jeri Sullavan and
Paul Baron
Recorded by the Andrews Sisters
An example of the many Calypso's
from the English speaking
Caribbean that deal in clever,
tongue-in-cheek ways with
cultures in contact.

"If you ever go down Trinidad
They make you feel so very glad
Calypso sing and make up rhyme
Guarantee you one real good fine time"


A song from the Cold War:
"We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us me and you
Is that the Russians love their children too"

Safe European Home
By Strummer/Jones,
recorded by the Clash
"Well, I just got back an' I wish I never leave now
Who dat martian arrival at the airport?
How many local dollars for a local anaesthetic?
The Johnny on the corner was a very sympathetic

I went to the place where every white face is an
Invitation to robbery
An' sitting here in my safe european home
I don't wanna go back there again"

"Lightning flashes across the sky
East to west, do or die
Like a thief in the night
See the world by candlelight.
USSR, DDR, London, New York, Peking
It's the puppets, It's the puppets
Who pull the strings "

Send Me on My Way
Rusted Root
I would like to reach out my hand ombe seyo ombe
tell you to run bobodey see bobodeyam
Well pick me up with golden hands
ombe seyo ombe tell you to run
bobodey see bobodeyam

Well I would like to hold my little, hand we will run we will crawl"

Serengeti Moon
Dan Fogelberg
"The grass is high and the work is done
Send the sun to his sleeping place
Now we'll dance and make love beneath the Serengeti moon
The Gods are laughing their twinkling eyes
Shine on us in the clear night sky
Take my hand...let us walk beneath the Serengeti moon"

Shanghai Breezes
John Denver On being far away from one's loved ones:

"And though I seem a half a million miles from you
you're in my heart and living there"


Silver Wings
Merle Haggard
"Silver wings shinning in the sunlight,
roaring engines headed somewhere in flight.
Their taking you away, leaving me lonely,
silver wings slowly fading out of sight.

So Far Away
Dire Straits
"So far away from me
So far I just can't see
So far away from me
You're so far away from me"

Song for Ireland
Words and Music: Phil Colclough;
recorded by Mary Black,
Dick Gaughin, Mary J. Blige,
and others
"Living on your western shore
Saw summer sunsets, asked for more
I stood by your Atlantic sea
And sang a song for Ireland"

Southern Cross
Crosby, Stills and Nash
"When you see the Southern Cross
For the first time
You understand now
Why you came this way"

Sunny Goodge Street
Donovan (also
recorded by Judy Collins)
What we hope we and our students
won't encounter on the London Tube:

"On the firefly platform
on sunny Goodge Street,
violent hash smoker
shook a chocolate machine,
involved in an eating scene."


Tangier to Casablanca
Philip Baites
A song inspired by a year studying abroad in Morocco,
in particular by the death of his host mother's father.

"The train from Tangier to Casablanca never runs on time."
. . .
"I am here, you're there."

Watch his video of the song on YouTube.

or listen to it on a variety of music sources here.


Time to say goodbye (Con te partirò)
Written by
Francesco Sartori (music)
and Lucio Quarantotto (lyrics)
Recorded by Andrea Bocelli
(alone, and with Sarah Brightman),
and others
"Time to say goodbye
To countries I never
Saw and shared with you,
now, yes, I shall experience them.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
which, I know,
no, no, exist no longer,

with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you
On ships across seas
Which, I know,
No, no, exist no longer;
with you I shall experience them again.
I’ll go with you,
I with you."


Under African Skies
Paul Simon
"Joseph's face was black as night
The pale yellow moon shone in his eyes
His path was marked
By the stars in the Southern Hemisphere
And he walked his days
Under African skies"

What a Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong
"I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world."

When I Paint My Masterpiece
Bob Dylan
"Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,
Ancient footprints are everywhere.
You can almost think that you're seein' double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs.
Got to hurry on back to my hotel room
. . .
Sailin' 'round the world in a dirty gondola.
Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!"

When the Ship Comes In
Bob Dylan
Re-entry fantasies?
" Oh the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'.
Like the stillness in the wind
'Fore the hurricane begins,
The hour when the ship comes in."

You Belong to Me
Words and music by Pee Wee King,
Chilton Price, and Redd Stewart
Recorded by Jo Stafford,
as well as Patti Page,
Dean Martin, and the Duprees
"See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sun rise on a tropic isle
Just remember, darling, all the while
You belong to me.
See the marketplace in old Algiers
Send me photographs and souvenirs
But remember when a dream appears
You belong to me"

You Can Call Me Al
Paul Simon
"A man walks down the street
It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity"

Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea
"I wanna lay by a lake in Norway
I wanna walk through Swedish fields of green
I wanna see the forests of Finland
I wanna sail on a boat on the Baltic sea
I wanna feel a Russian winter
I wanna go to my Polish grandmothers home
I wanna see Hungarian lanterns
I wanna walk on a road that leads to Rome

I wanna be free as the winds that blow past me
Clear as the air that I breathe
To be young as the morning and old as the sea

I wanna lose myself in the Scottish highlands
The west coast of Ireland the Cornish breeze
I wanna rest my bones in the Spanish sunshine
The Italian coastline is calling me"




An American in Paris
George Gershwin
I know, it's not "popular music",
but I heard those sounds
all around me in Paris, and it
can't fail to remind one
of "the City of Lights."

April in Paris
By Freddy Martin, Recorded by
Billie Holiday, and others
" I never knew the charm of Spring,
Never met it face to face,
I never knew my heart could sing,
Never missed a warm embrace,
'Til April in Paris,"

Free Man in Paris
Joni Mitchell
"I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one's future to decide"

Give Paris One More Chance
Jonathan Richmond
"Well if you've been to cities but you've had enough
Have you been to Paris, France?
And if you doubt that Paris was made for love
Give Paris one more chance
The home of Piaf and Chevalier
Must have done something right to get passion this way
If you don't think Paris was made for love
Give Paris one more chance"

He went to Paris
Jimmy Buffett "He Went to Paris
looking for Answers
to questions that bothered him so"

History of Us
Indigo Girls
"I went all the way to Paris to forget your face
Captured in stained glass, young lives long since passed
Statues of lovers everyplace
I went all across the continents to relieve this restless love
I walked through the ruins, icons of glory
Smashed by the bombs from above"

I Love Paris
Cole Porter,
recorded by Nat King Cole
"Every time I look down on this timeless town
whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
more and more do I realize:
I love Paris in the springtime . . . "

My Father
Judy Collins
"My father always promised us
That we would live in France
We'd go boating on the Seine
And I would learn to dance"

Paris In The Spring
Ray Noble
"Paris In The Spring,
Love is in the air
Life's a love affair
And ev'ry pair of arms a rendezvous for two."

Raspberries, Strawberries
Will Holt, recorded
by the Kingston Trio
"A young man goes to Paris
as every young man should"


Travel in the USA


Maggie Rogers
"I was walking through icy streams
That took my breath away
Moving slowly through westward water
Over glacial plains"

City of New Orleans
Written by Steve Goodman
Also recorded by Arlo Guthrie
and others
"I'm the train they call the 'City of New Orleans,'
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the days is done"

"Flowers are Red"
Harry Chapin
Not about travel, but about seeing things from different perspectives

Lubbock Texas in my Rearview Mirror
Mac Davis
Changing perspectives:

"I thought happiness was Lubbock, Texas in my rearview mirror."


No Particular Place to Go
Chuck Berry
The ultimate "cruisin' song":

"Cruisin' and playing the radio
with no particular place to go"


"Portland, Maine"
Donovan Woods
I don't wanna be talking on the phone every night
6 pm, which timezone, yours or mine?
Ain't gonna worry where ya are, who you're with
Let's just agree this is it
Portland, Maine
I don't know where that is

Promised Land
Chuck Berry
"Los Angeles, give me Norfolk Virginia,
Tidewater four ten O nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin'
And the poor boy's on the line."

"The red sandstone it fell
Right smack on top of Sedona Arabella
The Jon boats said won't you hop on in
And the stagecoach baby gonna take you for a spin, oh oh, oh oh"





Mr. Acker BilkStranger on the Shore

Dave Brubeck Jazz Impressions of Japan
Jazz Impressions of Eurasia

Duke EllingtonFar East Suite
Latin American Suite
Togo Brava Suite
Afro-Eurasian Eclipse

Martin Denny
Quiet Village
Afro-Eurasian Eclipse
Latin Village
(and others)

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