Road-Trip Songs You’ve Never Heard

Whenever I plan for a road-trip one of the things that never fail to excite me is preparing the perfect playlist. It always bring a smile to my face, imagining that very soon I’ll be rocking it out on the road with these tunes. For me personally, this is often a tedious process.

The perfect road trip song has got to be just right. It needs to stay up-beat and inspiring, but also sound unique to each other, less you get bored with the same old tunes over and over.

There are numerous great Travel Song lists for your perusal, but these are usually populated by English (American/British) songs. As such, I’d like to showcase here the following nine Asian travel songs you (probably) never heard before. You may not understand them, but I am of the opinion that the music matters most, not the lyrics (still, translations are provided). I do hope you’d consider them for your next road-tripping playlist!

Fly Away by F.I.R. (Taiwan)
Right from the starting church bells to the infectious guitar riffs that opens this song, everything screams travel, adventure, and especially.. flying away.

“Fly away! No matter how many tears I have shed, I still have the will to hold on, Nothing I will be afraid!”

“The morning breeze, so ordinary. It looks so simple, but the fog is cleared. In the gentle sunlight, I slowly awake, Getting ready to face my challenges!”

Ready, Steady, Go by L’arc en Ciel (Japan)
We fly away, touched down, got our car keys and then… we roll! Another upbeat song. Whenever this track is on I have an insatiable urge to start air-drumming.

“Let’s get started, Ready, Steady, Go! Sceneries being blown away seem to whirl in front of me. Even if I get desperate I won’t overlook my target anymore.”

“An unreliable map should be burnt. I’ll grasp onto the buried truth with my hands”

Sunshine Homeboy (Yang Guang Zhai Nan) by Jay Chou (Taiwan)
A hopeless geek falling for a beautiful lady. Not a travel song per say, but this is a song that keeps inspiring me to chase my dreams no matter how silly or impossible it may be.

“Let us ride the sunshine, Dash against the tide on the sea, Attract her sight, Don’t be afraid to show your chest,”

“Perspire some sweat, You’ve become a cool guy, Let us ride the sunshine, Watching far into the distance!”

MOAI by Seo Taiji (South Korea)
“All the way from leaving, I just kept trying to justfy myself. Real stories inside me though.”

“Sometimes with sweet lies, sometimes like a fretful child, You’re still standing with a stony face.”

“Now All I need, I gotta say to you, what I really wanted to say.”

Now what the hell is a MOAI you ask? Good question. Monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian Islands, so says Wikipedia.

Traveling by Utada Hikaru (Japan)
Psychedelic, colorful and out-of-this-world. Utada Hikaru’s Traveling is a strange beast indeed.

It’s a little bit of futuristic pop married with electro dance tunes and a music video you definitely won’t find anywhere else but Japan.

“Riding on the wind, Climbing up to the moon. My place is here, right next to you. The problem is it’s hard to go home. Amidst the dreamy spring night”

You’ll Be Safe Here by River Maya (Phillipines)
Long intro title, song starts at 0:45. And old favorite!

“Nobody knows just why we’re here. Could it be fate or random circumstances. At the right place, at the right time, Two roads intertwine.”

“And if the universe conspired. To meld our lives, to make us, Fuel and fire. Then know where ever you will be, So too shall I be.”

“Close your eyes, dry your tears ‘Coz when nothing seems clear, you’ll be safe here.”

Sun Will Never Set (Ri Bu Luo) by Jolin Tsai (Taiwan)
“Gonna send my love, with you and me in our hearts. Let’s go round the world together..”

Travel the world? With you? Anytime Jolin, anytime…

Rainbow Squad (Laskar Pelangi) by Nidji (Indonesia)
Rainbow Squad is the OST to an Indonesian film that mirrors Slumdog Millionaire in its truthful portrayal of life in the slums. It talks about dreams, aspirations, and never giving up.

“Dream is the key for us to conquer the world. Keep on running tirelessly, until you achieve it.”

“Keep on dancing, and keep on laughing. Though this world isn’t as beautiful as paradise. Give thanks to the almighty, for our love in this world, is forever.”

Jiu Shi Zhe Yang (This is the Way It Is) by Stephanie Sun (Singapore)
“Not gonna wear my shoes, I want to feel the earth. Gonna travel the world. Today or tomorrow, I don’t give a damn.”

“It’s my world, my dreams, im gonna get it. Send the signal, receive my call? Im gonna take the risk, with a heart that seeks.”

A risk-taking devil-may-care attitude cause I’m gonna do what I wanna do? Yeah, that’s a Traveler all right!

And that right there is number nine on our list. How is this little tasting of Asian music sounded to you? If you have any additions to this list, feel free to let us know cause I may just compile another list in the future. Additionally, you may want to check out our latest feature – the magazine. Check it out online or download a PDF copy!

About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. Freelance graphic artist and travel fanatic. Twiter-addict and social media novice. Adventure budget traveler and stay home weekend worker. Before working on Unearthing Asia, Nik’s journeyman career has seen him do work for various creative studios in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Singapore and Jakarta. Now that he’s settled down for the time being, he’s focusing his efforts on Unearthing Asia.

Comments

16 Comments on "Road-Trip Songs You’ve Never Heard"

  1. Martinha on Tue, 10th Mar 2009 1:52 pm 

    Hi..
    Nice blog..
    Congratulation..
    ? Martinha ?
    =)
    http://travelandtrips.wordpress.com/

  2. juliano on Tue, 24th Mar 2009 2:57 am 

    You should add 2 more awesome Rivermaya song just to your collection. Anyways, here’s the 2 fantabulous songs I was talking about;

    Sunday Driving
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXFMpq8trug&feature=related

    Bali Song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci5J5fth2u8

  3. Nik on Wed, 25th Mar 2009 1:14 pm 

    Hey now thanks for that suggestion! Bali Song I actually heard before but I felt it’s more of a Love song instead of a Road-trip song. But Sunday Driving definitely fits! =)

  4. megan on Wed, 6th May 2009 4:24 am 

    Glad to see F.I.R. get a nod! I’ve been digging their music since I picked up ‘The Fairyland in Reality’ a couple of years ago in China. Great band!

  5. Juliano on Wed, 17th Jun 2009 1:32 am 

    Another gem of a travel song that I recently found. Try to guess who sang it. It’s the band’s tribute to one of their major influences and idols. If you listen carefully it sounds eerily like Penny Lane by the Fab Four. Hope you like it as well..:)

    One Good Afternoon
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQVyfoLrN44

    Lyrics;

    One Good Afternoon

    There’s got to be one good afternoon
    Indescribable magic powers can make this come true
    I don’t see any changes, any changes
    In time there’ll be no one else to follow you

    Only if I could see a cavalry of different voices
    Helping hands, holding a pole, with bright white fabric
    There’s got to be something I can do
    Make a song that could make you sing with me

    Only then can I be as happy as unity
    Ride with me, take a stroll into humanity
    Can you see a fruitless waste of energy
    Efforts, in time, will be a part of history

    Knock, knock, knock, knock
    Where have you been?
    Talk, talk, talk, talk
    All that you’ve been doing

  6. Nik on Thu, 18th Jun 2009 4:08 pm 

    That’s a good one Juliane, thanks much! Sweet tunes, but it’s a hard one to sing along to.. heh.. =D

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