Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Top 5 Songs about Ramblin’

Posted in Music, Top 5 by Jacob Zinn on August 4, 2009

Looking back at music from the late ’60s and early ’70s, there were a number of rock acts from back then who wrote songs about rambling. Though Urban Dictionary has a definition for rambling, it’s mostly about driving and rocking. A lot of bands did it. Here are the ones that did it best.

Top 5 Songs about Ramblin’

5. “Rambler, Gambler” by Bob Dylan (1960)

Taken off of the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan documentary, No Direction Home, Dylan sings about being a rambler and a gambler. After that, he just rambles. This is one of the earliest-known songs about rambling, so rambling hadn’t yet caught on (heck if I know).

“I’m a rambler, I’m a gambler
I’m a long way from home
and if you don’t like me,
you can leave me alone”

4. “Ramble Tamble” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)

The opener to Cosmo’s Factory, “Ramble Tamble” clocks in with over seven minutes of rambling. Though tensions between bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and the Fogerty brothers grew during the recording of the album, they still wrote a great record with a great track about rambling.

“Theres mud in the water,
Roach in the cellar,
Bugs in the sugar,
Mortgage on the home,
Mortgage on the home”

3. “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin (1969)

With a lot of references to Lord of the Rings, “Ramble On” isn’t about dirty women or riding on the highway. Rather, it’s about exploring majestic forests and meeting a beauty–and then rambling. Jimmy Page riffs, Jon Bonham slams on the drums and John Paul Jones lends a distinct bassline so that Robert Plant can ramble.

“Ramble on,
and now’s the time, the time is now
to sing my song.
I’m goin round the world, I got to find my girl
On my way,
I’ve been this way ten years to the day,
Ramble on”

2. “Ramblin’ Man” by The Allman Brothers Band (1973)

Wouldn’t you know it, the Allman Brothers Band’s biggest hit was about rambling. Simply put, “Ramblin’ Man” is a southern rock song about being a rambling man–one that brought on generations of rambling men! Okay, maybe not that last part, but still.

“Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man,
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can,
and when it’s time for leavin, I hope you’ll understand
that I was born a ramblin’ man”

1. “Midnight Rambler” by The Rolling Stones (1969)

Side two of Let It Bleed starts with this Keith Richards’ bluesy guitar and Mick Jagger’s harmonica, building up into a catchy but dark track about rambling. It’s not the midday rambler. It’s not the midafternoon rambler. It’s the midnight rambler.

“So if you ever meet the midnight rambler
coming down your marble hall
Well he’s pouncing like proud Black Panther
Well, you can say I, I told you so
Well, don’t you listen for the midnight rambler
Play it easy as you go
I’m gonna smash down all your plate glass windows
Put a fist, put a fist through your steel-plated door”


One Response

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  1. Top 5 Cock Rock Frontmen « jacobzinn.com said, on September 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    […] Top 5 Songs about Ramblin’ […]


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