No campfire is complete unless someone takes out their guitar so everybody around can jam to a sing-along session! You can get on board with this session as well, and you don’t even have to be a master guitarist. You just know some of the best guitar songs meant for campfires.
This article will cover 20 of the best campfire guitar songs. So, if you want to become skilled at singing and playing the most well-known campfire songs on guitar while enjoying them with your family and friends, this is the list for you!
One final note before we get started: don’t forget to tune your guitar! These songs won’t sound right if your guitar is out of tune… If you need a great tuner, here’s my favorite clip-on guitar tuner (on Amazon).
Ok, here are 20 of the best campfire guitar songs of all time:
L.A. County – Lyle Lovett
Lyle Pearce Lovett was born on November 1, 1957, and has been an active American singer, producer, and songwriter since 1980.
L.A. County is a traditional love song. The woman companion of the protagonists walks away. He travels to L.A. with his fully stocked car.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan wrote A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall during the summer of 1962 for his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, released in 1963. The song’s lyrical structure is like a modern ballad which is perfect for singing along at a campfire because it makes you feel at ease.
However, the true meaning behind this song is symbolist imagery that communicates pollution, suffering, and warfare. One thing that is said about this song constantly is that Dylan was immaculate at seeing the crossroads of life and expressing himself through his songs so poignantly.
Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett is an American singer-songwriter who released the song Margaritaville in 1977 as part of the collection Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. It involves locating a mental state in which nothing looks incorrect.
Jimmy refers to Margaritaville as his “happy spot.” We all have a mental location where we go when we want to escape it all. Even though your campsite isn’t in the tropics, you may still play tropical music like this one. This song is not only a big hit with the crowd but also catchy and enjoyable to play the guitar and sing along to.
Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
The American pop rock group, Plain White T’s song is titled Hey There Delilah. The third single from their third studio album, All That We Needed, was made available in May 2006. The song is about a long-distance romantic relationship and all its difficulties.
The narrator lovingly resists going into “complaining mode,” nevertheless. Tom Higginson, the band’s lead singer, wrote the song’s lyrics for American distance runner Delilah DiCrescenzo. It has been a go-to campfire guitar song since it was released because of its smooth tune.
Why Georgia – John Mayer
The third single from John Mayer’s debut album, Room for Squares, is titled Why Georgia. The song, in my opinion, is his art. You can love a theme for its beat and the cuteness of the vocalist, but genuine love for a piece of music comes from being able to stop and appreciate the lyrics and their profundity. One of those songs is this one.
Mayer doubts his decision to move to Atlanta during his brief residence there. He is missing home and going through the self-doubt and bewilderment that most of us in our mid-20s experience. A beautiful song to be played on guitar to help the campers feel understood.
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Green Day
Green Day, an American rock band, released Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) as the second single from their fifth studio album, Nimrod, in December 1997.
The song reminds us how cruel life can be when it simply forces events upon us that we didn’t ask for, want, or are otherwise unhappy about. However, we have little control over how our lives unfold; we are forced to accept what happens.
More than Words – Extreme
Extreme, an American rock band, released More Than Words in 1991 as the third single and fifth track off their second album. It is an acoustic guitar-based ballad perfect for jamming to at the campfire.
The song expresses how people continue to utter the phrase “I love you,” hoping that it will make their significant other feel loved even though it has become meaningless due to overuse.
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks wrote the song Landslide, performed by the British-American rock group Fleetwood Mac. This song’s ability to be understood in so many ways, which is part of its genius, makes me think it is terrific.
The Landslide represents time. Time is changing a great deal and moving quite quickly. Can you handle those adjustments, the upcoming new phases of your life once they move on? This is a song meant to be sung with a guitar strumming.
Dust in the Wind – Kansas
Kerry Livgren, a member of the American progressive rock band Kansas, wrote the song Dust in the Wind, first included on their album Point of No Return. When compared to the vastness of the universe, we are pretty minor.
I think it’s about a man who recognizes he only has a short time left to live, and he sums up life by the feelings and sights he is experiencing in that brief minute as he realizes he is dying. This tune is simply the best for playing with your acoustic guitar.
Country Road – James Taylor
Country Road is found on Sweet Baby James, James Taylor’s second album from 1970. It effectively depicts the anxious, apprehensive, hazily hopeful emotion that significantly influences James’ character.
The trip removes him from his family’s grasp, removing him from failed relationships, prep schools, psychiatric hospitals, and other pitfalls. Carolina’s liberty and perfect existence are at the end of the road. This song represents the happiness of having freedom.
We’re going to Be Friends – White Stripes
White Stripes, an American alternative rock band, released the song We’re Going to Be Friends on their album White Blood Cells. This song, in my opinion, is about humankind’s stay on earth in a broader sense.
Jack and Meg want us to understand the meaning of their lyrics, which is why they chose a seemingly straightforward guitar riff. They are incredibly talented musicians, and this song is nothing less than a masterpiece to be played during cold campfire nights.
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore, Johnny Cash made Ring of Fire famous in 1963. Cash compares love to a ring of fire that encircles the victim and torments them while also warming them. The flames and the affair grow hotter the longer one remains in love or the ring of fire.
June Carter wrote the song about Johnny. Although she was in love with him, she was also aware of his unstable nature and propensity for self-destruction.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
Take me Home, Country Roads is a song by John Denver, the father of country music, from 1971. There is no question that this is the country legend’s defining tune. The lullaby-like quality of the chords will put you at peace.
Your brain and fingers won’t be duped by the tempo no matter how hard you attempt to coordinate your voice and strumming. Whatever method you use, this composition will make a fantastic sing-along guitar song. This is undoubtedly among the most incredible pieces for a campfire.
Family Tradition – Hank Williams Jr.
The singer wrote the song, which was made public in May 1979. It resembles a hymn of rebellion. The singer’s unrelenting desire to develop his style is expressed in the lyrics.
Williams concurrently expresses his happiness and gratitude for becoming a part of his father’s illustrious heritage. The song has impeccable guitar strumming and, if done right, can make you the camp star overnight.
Free Falling – Tom Petty
The first song of American musician Tom Petty’s debut solo album, Full Moon Fever, is “Free Fallin”; a lovely tune. The first stage is focused on the idea that he and other musicians are “bad boys” who shatter the hearts of “good girls.”
But he isn’t celebrating this or anything similar at all. Instead, it’s more like an initial generalization and remorse that he later has. The second stage, “an escapist’s hymn to Los Angeles,” is used without mentioning romance or the “good girls.”
American Pie – Don Mclean
If this Don McLean classic from 1971 isn’t on your list of fantastic sing-along guitar songs, it would surprise me. American Pie is a highly recognizable hook that people can chant and sing along to at any moment, just like all great rock songs.
The song’s most thrilling hook is the line “the day the music died,” although it can seem somewhat ominous. If you want, play it with a more upbeat beat. Alternately, you might slow down the rhythm and make it a ballad.
I Got a Name – Jim Croce
Jim Croce released I Got a Name as a single in 1973, with melody and lyrics by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel. The day after Croce passed away in a plane crash on September 20, it was released as the first single from his album of the same name. It conveys pride in terms of self-respect rather than a sense of superiority.
This song, in my opinion, also acknowledges the debt we owe to our ancestors and shows appreciation for the opportunities they were unable to enjoy. He offers a challenge to himself and Croce’s thanks for the chance to live his goal.
Paradise – John Prine
John Prine composed the song Paradise for his father and included it on his self-titled debut album in 1971. The tune dealt with the upsetting effects of strip mining for coal and how they altered the landscape in western Kentucky.
The events Prine witnessed as a child served as the inspiration for the song. The song is also about remembering and losing someone. The storylike lyrics make this a favorite amongst campers to sing and play the guitar.
Southern Cross – Crosby Stills & Nash
The rock group Crosby, Stills & Nash performed Southern Cross, a song written by Stephen Stills, Rick Curtis, and Michael Curtis. The song’s lyrics refer to the Crux constellation, which can be seen from much of the Southern Hemisphere, and is about using the power of the universe to cure your wounds.
The constellation’s four brightest stars are arranged in a cross pattern. The song is perfect to be sung on a night at the campfire while watching the stars.
Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson
The country song Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, penned by Ed Bruce and his wife Patsy Bruce, was first performed by Ed Bruce. It is a word of caution to mothers of young boys with huge visions of the open range. For both men, who were known for their restless (and occasionally reckless) natures, this was undoubtedly not a new sensation.
The song captures the essence of many a man’s hearts in under three minutes—a perfect addition to your campfire sing-along moments.