Various songs that interpret the theme of adventures and traveling have some common features. In particular, they describe the desire of the singers to see other countries and cultures. This theme is chosen because it has specific relevance to my life because I like to travel, and I want to explore what the singers have to say about their experiences and emotions. The six songs reflect the positive and vivid emotions associated with the theme of adventures.
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Ethel Waters’ song “Georgia Blues,” recorded in 1929, is a jazz song that explains the desire of the singer to travel to Georgia. This piece of music keeps a steady beat, and its tempo is slow (Waters). The consonance of the song makes the impression of repose, which also coincides with the enjoyable mood of the singer. These characteristics contribute to the emotional charge with the feeling of joy.
“Traveling Man,” Ricky Nelson’s song, recorded in 1961, is a Rock and Roll piece of music that describes the singer’s adventures around the world in his search for love. The active tempo and the consonance of the music presented by the orchestra reflect the cheerful and inspired mood of the singer. He sings that he is a “traveling man,” demonstrating the idea of this piece of music (Nelson 1:11). The lyrics and the soft dynamics contribute to the development of the atmosphere of ease.
Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s funk rock song “Californication” was released in 1999 and described the traveling of cultural ideas throughout the countries. Its lively tempo and the employment of such instruments as guitar and drums define the song’s catchy rhythm (Red Hot Chilli Peppers). All these features contribute to the creation of the specific idea of globalization and travel.
David Bowie’s “Heroes” is an experimental rock song, released in 1977. The singer chants, “I wish you could swim,” demonstrating the desire to travel the world with the beloved person (Bowie 0:19). The conjunct melody and the vivid tempo define the song’s emotional intensity, revealing the singer’s intention to travel together with the woman he loves around the world.
Frank Sinatra’s song “Come Fly With Me” is a 1958 traditional pop song that explains the plans of the singer to have an adventure with his beloved lady to different countries. The song’s structure includes the repetitions that reflect the steady pulse that organizes beats into groups (Sinatra). The bright timbre and soft dynamics of the song reveal the lively mood of the singer and his hopeful plans for the future.
The Four Lads’ “Istanbul” swing-style song, released in 1953, reflects the theme of the changes that happen in the city’s name. Its combination of pitch and rhythm, sounding like a bounce or a pulse, is intended to accompany a specific type of dance called swing (The Four Lads). Its tempo is quick, and it evokes the emotion of cheerful and casual talk that can contribute to the development of the theme of travel.
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Thus, the emotional effect of the travel songs is associated with the casual and lively feelings of the singers. Although the melodies and tempo of these songs differ, their combination with the lyrics and instrumentation impact the listeners in a specific way, making them perceive the positive attitude of the singers. Therefore, the travel pieces of music have similar features of adventurous mood and cheerfulness.
Bowie, David. “Heroes”. 1977.
Nelson, Ricky. “Travelin’ Man”. 1961.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers. “Californication”. 1999.
Sinatra, Frank. “Come Fly With Me”. 1958.
The Four Lads. “Istanbul”. 1953.
Waters, Ethel. “Georgia Blues”. 1929.