Summer is always just around the corner, regardless of where you live. What brings people together better than s’mores and a campfire? No one is more popular than the person in the group with a guitar or ukulele for sing-alongs!
We have compiled a list of the best campfire songs that are guaranteed crowd pleasers. These aren’t your average Girl Scout songs, but popular hits everyone can enjoy. Also, these songs are relatively easy. No need to be an expert musician!
Best Campfire Songs!
Campfires were once a necessity for our ancestors to cook meals and get warm by the fire. Today, we associate campfires to relaxing with friends and family, sharing stories, or singing songs. If you have a guitar or ukulele handy, we’ve picked some of the best songs to sing around the campfire.
“Let It Be” – The Beatles
The infamous song “Let It Be,” was the last single released by The Beatles before news of the band’s split hit the press in 1970. Paul McCartney was inspired to write the song when his deceased mother came to him in a dream. The gist of her message to McCartney was to “let it be.” He thought it was in regards to the band breaking up. I’m sure many screaming fans would beg to differ.
In Swift Lesson’s video (below), Rob provides a play-a-long version to help you practice at home, before you hit the stage of the great outdoors. This version of “Let It Be” is great for playing around the campfire. Most people know the Beatles and will be happy to sing-along.
“Leaving on a Jet Plane” – John Denver
This song was written by a very young John Denver, when he was still a member of the band, Peter, Paul, and Mary. The song was originally titled “Babe, I Hate to Go,” but his producer convinced him to change the title. Theorists suggest that Denver was writing about a man who was being sent off to the Vietnam War and leaving his lover behind.
Jerry’s Guitar Bar video makes learning how to play “Leaving on a Jet Plane” super simple. You use the same fingerpicking pattern throughout the song. This simple fingerpicking is typical to most of John Denver’s songs.
There are only three chords (technically four if you count Dsus4 and Dsus2) in Jerry’s version. The chords are: G, C over G, Dsus4, and Dsus2. This is a great song for a sing-along with your friends and family around.
“Hallelujah” – Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen is a notorious perfectionist. It’s rumored Cohen told Bob Dylan it took him two years to write “Hallelujah.” The song is one of the most famous cover songs. There are over 100 versions. Cohen has said the following about the song’s meaning: “It explains that many kinds of hallelujahs do exist, and all the perfect and broken hallelujahs have equal value.”
Now, I think the meaning of “Hallelujah” can be left open to interpretation. You can sing with your friends about the good things, like making it up the mountain with food to eat for dinner. Or, maybe the not so good things, like Fred having ants in his sleeping bag.
This song, taught by Justin Guitar, has fairly simple chords, but a slightly more complicated strumming pattern. It’s written in 6/8. Don’t worry, Justin explains how to tackle this tune by breaking it down into easily digestible pieces.
“Margaritaville” – Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffet wrote “Margaritaville” in 1977. Listening to the song you can close your eyes and imagine yourself on a beach in Mexico. The easy chorus of Margaritaville makes it a fan favorite and easy for groups to sing-along to. This song was a must have for our best campfire song list.
Totally Guitars posted the video below with instructor Neil Hogan (sweet mustache not included). This song only uses three chords of D, G, and A7. The simple chord progression makes it easy to learn. There are a couple strumming patterns, your choice between easy and intermediate. After watching this video, all you’ll need is a margarita canteen in your favorite campfire chair cupholder.
“Down On The Corner” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Down On The Corner” became popular in 1969. It was released on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys. The song tells the story of a fictional band, Willy and the Poor Boys, and how they’d play on the corner to cheer up the people as they walk by.
We are going to mix it up a little and show how to play this campfire song with a ukulele. The great part about “Down On The Corner” is that it’s written in the key of C. If you’ve got a lower voice, or have a hard time hitting the high notes, this song is your jam.
In Ten Thumbs’ video, you are going to focus on 3 chords: C, F, and G. Tyler also covers the interesting strumming pattern you need to play “Down On The Corner.” You’ll be learning a combination of fingerpicking and palm muting. You’re friends are going to be so impressed!
These five best campfire songs will be guaranteed crowd pleasers while you sit around the fire, just like your ancestors used to do. Now, all you need are the s’mores!
Guest Post Author Bio – Colleen
Colleen has a passion for guitars and ukuleles. She enjoys jamming, teaching, and getting others involved in music. Her website, www.coustii.com, focuses specifically on guitars and ukes. Colleen loves to travel and uses her ukulele as a conversation starter on the road.