Top Ten List: Songs About Moving

A couple weeks ago, I somehow got the idea of making a top ten list of songs about moving. There were several songs that came to mind right away, so I figured that coming up with ten wouldn’t be a problem. I was wrong.

After exhausting my brain by trying to think of songs, I decided to look online. While there are plenty of songs about moving on from a relationship, leaving someone you love, and traveling, there aren’t too many that deal with moving to a new place.

That being said, I did manage to find ten songs. While I could have made the list just classic rock and TV theme songs (the two music genres I know best), I tried to mix it up a little. Though you may disagree with their meanings or feel that there were some good songs I left out, here’s what I came up with:

1. “Movin’ On Up” (Theme song from The Jeffersons) - When creating this list, “Movin’ On Up” was the first song that came to mind, for obvious reasons. With its inspiring lyrics and gospel choir-like backing vocals, you would think that Weezy and George’s “dee-luxe apartment in the sky” is right next-door to the big man upstairs. Regardless, the uplifting song perfectly captures the joy and excitement of moving into a beautiful new apartment.

2. “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals - In this song, we hear the struggles of a couple trying to get by in “this dirty old part of the city.” Almost anyone can relate to this theme. Who hasn’t lived in a less-than-ideal situation and dreamed of getting out? While we don’t know if the couple ever found a way out, lead singer Eric Burdon makes this desire to find “a better life” palpable.

3. “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen - “Born To Run” also deals with the theme of wanting to move away. Living in a town that “rips the bones from your back,” Springsteen makes clear his desire to “get out while we’re young.” This song is also very relatable, as it captures that angst of wanting to get away from your hometown. Again, we don’t know if the characters ever got out. However, Springsteen himself sure didn’t; he’s still living in the New Jersey suburbs.

4. “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” (Theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies) - This song tells the story of a poor hillbilly who becomes rich after striking oil. With their newfound money, the family then “loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly…Hills that is.” The song’s banjo-plucking melody, accompanied with scenes of the family driving their overloaded jalopy, perfectly sets up the show’s fish-out-of-water storyline.

5. “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin - Just like the Clampetts, this Led Zeppelin song is about moving to the promised land that is California. Robert Plant sings, “made up my mind to make a new start, going to California with an aching in my heart.” Although the song details his quest to “find a queen without a king,” the melancholy mood displays the uncertainty and nervousness we all face when moving.

6. “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” by Billy Joel - “Movin’ Out” tells the story of Anthony, who’s parents want to move to the suburbs. However, he disagrees with their plans for upward mobility by saying, “good luck moving up, cause I’m movin’ out.” As a final insult to his parents, and to make Anthony’s intentions clear, the song includes the sound of a car revving up and peeling away.

7. “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks - Just like “Moving Out,” this song is about leaving your parents. The band describes how the main character of the song is going out on her own and knows that there will be risks and mistakes along the way. However, as the song states, everyone must leave “to find a dream and life of their own.”

8. “Home” by Chris Daughtry - While the two songs above are about leaving home, Daughtry’s song is about moving back. He sings about “going home, to the place where I belong.” Though this song was used as the send-off song for American Idol rejects, anyone longing for their home and family can relate. Also, as more and more people are moving back in with their parents to save money, the song is even more applicable.

9. “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straights - All of the other songs on this list are from the perspective of those people that are moving. This song, on the other hand, provides some insight into the thoughts of the people who move our stuff. The band sings, “We’ve got to move these refrigerators, we’ve got to move these color TVs.” As the movers do their work, they think about how rock stars get to make “money for nothing” while they have to slave away.

10. “Funky Town” by Lipps Inc. - This upbeat disco hit is the quintessential moving song: every verse is about moving. From the opening line “Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me,” to its repeated calls of “gotta move on,” the singer’s desire to relocate couldn’t be any clearer. Although she wants someone to take her to a place called Funky Town, I have yet to find this location on any map.

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