Campfire songs unite a group around a central flame in some wilderness or even someone’s backyard. Singing around a campfire provides childhood memories for many with family, friends, and even childhood camp experiences.
Someone may break into a famous song or an impromptu ballad that starts the whole group singing along. When planning your trip, consider the moment you wish to create and the songs you want to in your memories’ background.
- 1 Characteristics of a Good Campfire Song
- 2 How Do You Play Campfire Songs?
- 3 What Songs Do You Sing Around a Campfire?
- 4 Best Campfire Songs To Play During Camping
- 5 Best Family Songs To Play When Camping With Kids
- 6 Best Adult Songs To Play When Camping
- 7 Best Kid Songs To Play When Camping
- 8 Best Traditional Songs To Play When Camping
- 9 Best Funny Songs To Play When Camping
- 10 Best Country Songs To Play When Camping
- 11 Best Rock Songs To Play When Camping
- 12 Campfire Music Playlists
- 13 FAQs
Characteristics of a Good Campfire Song
There are countless campfire songs, but what makes a good campfire song memorable? Some characteristics of a fun song for all to sing around the campfire include:
- a catchy tune
- a strong refrain or repeating chorus
- a purpose
We’ve all had an earworm, a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head on repeat. Good campfire songs also have catchy melodies, and the songs play on repeat in their heads.
These catchy tunes also have a simple, repeating chorus for an easy sing-along, and everyone can remember the lyrics.
Lastly, all good campfire songs have a purpose. Whether it has a deep meaning or it serves as something silly and fun to lighten the mood, it serves to create memories while spending time around an open fire.
How Do You Play Campfire Songs?
Although your voice is enough, musical instruments usually enhance campfire songs. Instruments such as the guitar, ukulele, and harmonica are commonly associated with campfire songs.
The travel guitar comes in many forms and sizes, but it is usually small enough to carry around and does not need much management and fine-tuning. The acoustic guitars also allow you to play any music genre.
The ukulele is a type of guitar that embodies the camping spirit. The four-stringed instrument is easy to play, travel-friendly, and has become synonymous with its island and happy-go-lucky sound. It is perfect for creating a comfortable environment for upbeat folk songs.
The harmonica is a harp of French origin, more commonly known for being a mouth organ. It is portable as it can fit entirely in some people’s palms.
The harmonica is perfect for any campfire song and is frequently used to give a tune where everyone can chime in. It is not hard to play since the keys are simple, and even a child can understand the basics of blowing into the instrument.
Forgot the instruments at home? You can still play campfire songs on all sorts of camping gadgets, and improvising makes singing around a campfire so special. So don’t be ashamed to start using a water bottle, a cooler, a foldable chair, or a flashlight to generate a tune.
What Songs Do You Sing Around a Campfire?
There is no limit on what type of song you can sing around a campfire. However, certain kinds of songs usually break out around a campfire, including:
- Funny campfire songs
- Campfire songs for families
- Campfire songs for adults
- Campfire songs for kids
- Traditional campfire songs
Campfire songs are a category of folk music known for their simple tunes and entertaining characteristics.
Best Campfire Songs To Play During Camping
There are many songs to choose from when camping and many things to consider. The company you keep around the fire will help determine the best campfire songs for your group.
Best Family Songs To Play When Camping With Kids
“Rock The Boat” has persisted for generations as the perfect song for family, children, and even friends. It gets everyone involved as one person stands up and performs dance moves that match the lyrics.
They point at someone else when they finish and dance something different on the spot. This song allows for creativity and fun participation. There are even versions where there is no dancing for those that cannot or do not want to. It’s simple and easy to perform.
Although “A Camping We Will Go” debuted in Barney’s Campfire Sing-Along, it is not exclusively for children. The song provides fun for all the family as it repetitively lists camping itineraries like pitching a tent, collecting firewood, etc.
Campers sing this song to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell,” and it only needs a willing audience to join in on the festivities. It is a treat for all the family, with or without a guitar.
Best Adult Songs To Play When Camping
Don McLean’s classic “American Pie” is considered the rock and roll anthem of America. It is a great song for adults to enjoy whiskey or a strong beer around a bonfire.
Even those unfamiliar with this song will start joining in, singing around the campfire when the chorus drops, singing, “So bye-bye, Miss American Pie…”.
In 1969, Neil Diamond wrote “Sweet Caroline” for his then-wife. The uplifting tone fits the atmosphere of a bonfire like no other, where adults can lay back and enjoy the soothing fuzzy lyrics and friendly, warm melody.
Even if you do not know this song, it will get you moving or singing along, even if it’s just a few lines.
Best Kid Songs To Play When Camping
B-I-N-G-O, the hit that charms the ears of kids of young kids, will lighten the campfire mood with the repetitive lyrics and engaging clap-along. Spelling out the name, B-I-N-G-O is something even adults enjoy doing, and the activity will excite children and be the learning tool they need.
The classic folk song “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round The Mountain” appeared in written form around 1927, but people sang it even longer. The popular American nursery rhyme appeals to children for its repetitive lyrics, joyful tune, and action-enhanced storytelling, such as clapping or even gestures like pretending to ride a horse.
The interactive segments are what make it fun for the whole camping group.
A recent viral hit released in 2016, “Baby Shark,” has swept babies and toddlers and become recognizable to all ears. With its simple and catchy lyrics and the hand motions accompanying each verse, it’s perfect for a campfire song.
Best Traditional Songs To Play When Camping
“You Are My Sunshine” is the state song of Louisiana, popularized by the frequent singing around campfires. A sweet and simple anthem, the tune is easy to learn and a nostalgic, traditional campfire classic.
Although a Christian hymn, “Amazing Grace,” also serves as a camping song, and Christian retreats and summer camps have popularized singing it around a bonfire while the members act as a choir. The spiritual tune is perfect for guitar, giving a spin to the traditional song.
Originally an African American spiritual song, “Kumbaya” mixes Pidgin and English to say “come by here.” Over the years, the song has become synonymous with campfires and happy groups of people and is a traditional camping song in America for scouting and summer camps.
Best Funny Songs To Play When Camping
Spongebob Squarepants has successfully influenced the world, where some people immediately think of “The Campfire Song Song” when they think of campfires. Sung by the characters Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward, the song is a parody of actual campfire songs.
Spongebob lover or not, all will appreciate this song’s quick and quirky comedy while trying to play or sing along as the tempo gets faster with each verse.
At first, “Boogie Woogie Washerwoman” seems childish, but it creates a silly atmosphere and acts as an icebreaker. The wacky lyrics and the matching actions can be fun for any group of friends who want to spend time together around a bright flame.
Best Country Songs To Play When Camping
Tim Mcgraw wrote “Where The Green Grass Grows” in 1997, and the tune inspires listeners to head outside and enjoy nature. The country life described in the song is the ideal setting for camping, hence its popularity around a campfire.
“Take Me Home Country Roads” is a fun folk-country song staple in West Virginia. Written by John Denver in 1971, it resonates with anyone who grew up in a small town and missed the back roads of their country life.
The sweet and heartfelt tribute to the state is Denver’s most popular song and has represented the country in its natural form, the reason why it is a signature at camps. A great song to learn on the guitar while sitting around a bonfire and staring at the starry night sky.
Best Rock Songs To Play When Camping
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas is one of the most recognizable rock songs. It’s easy to learn and acts as a throwback camp song to the 1960s.
The Beatles hit song “Hey Jude” is a catchy song that is perfect for a group of friends or family. Even if there is no musical bone in your body, you’ll be singing along when you get to the iconic “na na na nas.”
Campfire Music Playlists
If you’re struggling to compile music titles for your upcoming camping trip, music channels and streaming service providers have you covered with their playlist suggestions.
Check out Spotify’s 50 Greatest Campfire Songs Ever or Camping Playlist with nearly 300 songs.
Apple Music offers popular music playlists for your campsite with Campfire Mixtape and Campfire Songs playlists.
Amazon will have your campsite singing along with its Camping Music and Greatest Campfire Songs – Ultimate Camping Playlist.
YouTube has the kids at your campsite covered with their Campfire Songs For Kids playlist.
Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about campfire songs to dig a little deeper into their history and popularity.
Where do camp songs come from?
There is no evidence as to where campfire songs originated. We only know that the tradition of singing songs in the wilderness has existed for centuries.
History tells us that soldiers would gather around fires, and slaves would gather secretly in the woods to gather and sing in the woods. For this reason, many songs have deep roots in spiritual music from many cultures.
Singing around a campfire for entertainment remains a popular activity for children, families, summer campers, and adults because of its interactive and fun nature.
What are campfire chords?
Campfire chords are regular guitar chords, and the term comes from the basic chords used to teach beginners how to play guitar.
Campfire chords are different based on the tune associated with campfire music. They are ‘easy chords’ since most beginners learn with these tunes.
What are the most popular campfire songs everyone knows?
There are too many to choose from, but a few of the most popular campfire songs for kids and campers include:
- “Five Little Speckled Frogs”
- “Going On A Bear Hunt”
- “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain”
- “The Green Grass Grows All Around”
- “Ants Go Marching”
More popular campfire songs for adults and everyone gathered around a campfire include lyrics everyone knows the words to, including songs such as:
- “Hey Jude”
- “American Pie”
- “Sweet Caroline”
- “Brown Eyed Girl”