Search Cool of the Wild Start typing...

72 Best Campfire Songs That Everyone Will Love

Family Singing Campfire Songs

I come from a musical family, and a family that also loves to camp almost as much as I do. Put the two together and there is just no escaping a good old campfire sing-song. However, being less musically inclined than other members of my family makes keeping up with the lyrics, harmonies and guitar chords of campfire songs somewhat challenging at times. OK, so three of them ‘do’ music for their jobs, but still, I love joining in as much as possible.

At our last family camping weekend, there were 21 of us – that’s three generations of crooners all with very different ideas of what campfire songs should be. I was a Girl Guide in my youth, so my repertoire of campfire songs generally suit the tastes of both the olds and the little ‘uns. And thankfully my siblings and cousins also know most of them.

A couple of the ‘olds’ have a history with folk music. They also know many traditional war songs, and a few camp songs that are a little less ‘suitable’ for the kids – they just can’t be trusted!

The kids love anything pop that they’ve heard on the radio, songs they’ve sang at school or anything silly that is easy to pick up. Clapping songs and ‘repeat after me’ songs always go down well!

And everyone else is more than happy with some 90’s anthems or 60’s classics to strum along to.

55 of the best campfire songs to suit everyone!

So now you can see how choosing campfire songs to please everyone can be somewhat problematic at times. So much so, that in the last few years my family have been using song sheets. Overly organised? Perhaps. Very necessary? Absolutely! And a total game-changer for a cracking campfire sing-song. Printed song sheets mean that everyone can join in, or at least try. Plus, it’s a great way to pass along some of the more traditional campfire songs to the younger generations.

So without further ado, may I present to you a comprehensive list of tried and tested campfire songs that’s guaranteed to have something for everyone to enjoy:

Campfire guitar songs

As the stars come out and the beers start flowing it’s unavoidable that the mood will move towards these great sing-along campfire guitar songs. Everyone knows the tunes to these classics. Add in some simple guitar chords and words that are actually correct, and you’ll be drawing in the crowds from the rest of the campground in no time.

  1. American PieDon McLean
    “A long, long time ago I can still remember how that music used to make me smile”
  2. DreamEverly Brothers
    “Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream”
  3. Hotel CaliforniaEagles
    “On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair, warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air”
  4. Brown Eyed GirlVan Morrison
    “Hey, where did we go? Days when the rains came”
  5. Shot GunGeorge Ezra
    “Homegrown alligator, see you later, gotta hit the road, gotta hit the road”
  6. Stand By MeBen E King
    “When the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we’ll see”
  7. Hey JudeThe Beatles
    “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better”
  8. Island In The SunWheezer
    “When you’re on a holiday, you can’t find the words to say. All the things that come to you, and I wanna feel it too”
  9. Build Me Up ButtercupThe Foundations
    “Why do you build me up (build me up) buttercup, baby”
  10. ZombieThe Cranberries
    “Another head hangs lowly child is slowly taken. And the violence, caused such silence. Who are we mistaken?”
  11. California Dreamin’The Mamas and The Papas
    “All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown), and the sky is grey (and the sky is grey)”
  12. Yellow SubmarineThe Beatles
    “In the town where I was born lived a man who sailed to sea”
  13. Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)Green Day
    “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road, time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go”
  14. Mrs RobinsonSimon and Garfunkel
    “And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know”
  15. Sweet CarolineNeil Diamond
    “Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing, but then I know it’s growing strong”
  16. WonderwallOasis
    “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you”
  17. Daydream BelieverThe Monkees
    “Oh, I could hide ‘neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings”
  18. YellowColdplay
    “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you, and everything you do, yeah, they were all yellow”
  19. No Woman, No CryBob Marley
    “I remember when we used to sit In the government yard in Trenchtown”
  20. TornNatalie Imbruglia
    “I thought I saw a man brought to life, he was warm, he came around like he was dignified”
  21. House of the Rising SunThe Animals
    “There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun. And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy, and God I know I’m one”
Eco-friendly camping

Ukulele campfire songs

Unless you’re pretty confident in your guitar skills, it’s unlikely you’ll take a full sized guitar camping with you, just in case. It will always get trumped by an extra quilt or sleeping bag, more beers or a load of firewood. Queue the ukulele! Not only is this compact little instrument small to pack, playing campfire songs on the ukulele is also often much easier than on the guitar. So you don’t need to be a whizz to make it sound half decent! With that in mind, here are a few ukulele campfire ideas to get you started:

  1. Raindrops Keep Falling On My HeadB.J Thomas
    “Raindrops are falling on my head. And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed, nothing seems to fit. Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling”
  2. Somewhere Over The RainbowIsrael Kamakawiwoʻole
    “Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high. And the dreams that you dream of once in a lullaby”
  3. Don’t Worry Be HappyBobby McFerrin
    “Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note. Don’t worry, be happy”
  4. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    “I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself: what a wonderful world”
  5. I’m YoursJason Miraz
    “Well you done done me and you bet I felt it. I tried to be cool but you’re so hot that I melted”
  6. Moon RiverHenry Mancini
    “Moon river, wider than a mile I’m crossing you in style some day”
  7. Better When We’re TogetherJack Johnson
    “There’s no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard. No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart”

Kids camp songs

Kick off the evening with some campfire songs for the kids. This popular selection can be noisy and fun, just in case they’re not worn out from a long day of activities and camping games! There are also some appropriate songs that will tire the wee ones out (even more) before bed. The best campfire songs for kids should be easy to pick up quickly if the kids aren’t familiar with them.

  1. The Wheels On The Bus
    “The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round”
  2. I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
    “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she’ll die”
  3. Agadoo
    “Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree”
  4. My Grandfather’s Clock
    “My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, so it stood ninety years on the floor”
  5. She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain
    “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes, she’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes”
  6. The Music Man
    “I am the music man, I come from down your way, and I can play (what can you play?)”
  7. Our Sergeant Major Jumped From Forty Thousand Feet
    “He jumped from forty thousand feet without a parachute”
  8. Any Dream Will Do
    “I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain to see for certain”

Country campfire songs

To cover the full musical spectrum in one evening of campsite entertainment, it’s only right to include some country campfire songs. Whiling the night away around the fire wouldn’t be complete without featuring some Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. These country campfire songs are the most mainstream of their genre, but much loved, all the same. So, pour a cup of cowboy coffee, get out your latest whittling project and sing your heart out!

  1. The GamblerKenny Rogers
    “On a warm summer’s evening on a train bound for nowhere, I met up with the gambler, we were both too tired to sleep”
  2. Sweet Home AlabamaLynyrd Skynyrd
    “Big wheels keep on turnin’, carry me home to see my kin. Singin’ songs about the south-land
    I miss Alabamy once again and I think it’s a sin”
  3. JoleneDolly Parton
    “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man”
  4. Take Me Home, Country RoadsJohn Denver
    “Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River”
  5. Ring of FireJohnny Cash
    “Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring”
  6. Islands In The StreamDolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
    “Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown, I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb. I was soft inside, there was somethin’ going on”
Backyard camping banner

Guide, Scout and traditional campfire songs

These classic Girl Guide and Boy Scout songs will provide entertainment for everyone, and are especially nostalgic for past and present members of the Guide and Scout movements. Upbeat and fun, these traditional campfire songs are also surprisingly familiar even for non Guides and Scouts. Just make sure The Meatball Song features after you’ve finished your camping dinner!

  1. Ging Gang Goolie
    “Ging gang goolie goolie goolie goolie watcha, ging gang goo, ging gang goo”
  2. Kookaburra
    “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry, merry king of the bush is he”
  3. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
    “My Bonnie lies over the ocean, My Bonnie lies over the sea”
  4. Barges
    “Barges, I would like to go with you, I would like to sail the ocean blue”
  5. I Went To The Animal Fair
    “I went to the Animal Fair, The birds and the beasts were there”
  6. I’m A Nut
    “I’m an acorn, small and round, lying on the cold, cold ground. Everyone walks over me, that is why I’m cracked you see”
  7. The Meatball Song
    “On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed”
  8. The Quartermaster’s Store
    “There are snakes, snakes, snakes big as bloomin’ rakes in the stores, in the stores!”
  9. Oh When The Saints Go Marching In
    “O when the Saints (when the saints), go marching in (marching in)”
Eco friendly camping gifts

Campfire songs that the oldies love

This selection of campfire songs is guaranteed to get the “olds” crooning and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. They are also songs that the “youngs” will probably know or be able to learn quickly. Just make sure you keep the setlist limited, as once they get started there’s just no stopping them!

  1. A Bicycle Made For Two
    “Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you.”
  2. White Cliffs Of Dover
    “There’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow, just you wait and see”
  3. It’s A Long Way To Tipperary
    “Up to mighty London came an Irish man one day”
  4. Show Me The Way To Go Home
    “Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed”
  5. You Are My Sunshine
    “The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms”
  6. Molly Malone
    “In Dublin’s fair city where the girls are so pretty, I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone”
  7. Shine Your Buttons With Brasso
    “My fathers a lavatory cleaner, he cleans them by day and by night”
  8. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    “Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home”
down jacket gear guide

Campfire songs for the end of the night

A dwindling campfire is the perfect accompaniment to these pretty ditties. If you’ve got any voice left in you, or wood left to burn, then these mellow melodies will slow the mood down nicely for a sound sleep out under the stars.

  1. More Than WordsExtreme
    “Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you”
  2. Baby Can I Hold YouTacy Chapman
    “Sorry is all that you can’t say. Years gone by and still words don’t come easily, like sorry, like sorry”
  3. Edelweiss
    “Edelweiss Edelweiss, every morning you greet me”
  4. Everybody HurtsR.E.M
    “When your day is long and the night, the night is yours alone. When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on”
  5. Killing Me SoftlyRoberta Flack
    “Strumming my pain with his fingers, singing my life with his words”
  6. Land Of The Silver Birch
    “Land of the silver birch home of the beaver, where still the mighty moose wanders at will”
  7. Lean on MeBill Whithers
    “Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow”
  8. Kumbaya
    “Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya, Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya”
  9. Leaving on a JetplaneJohn Denver
    “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m standin’ here outside your door. I hate to wake you up to say goodbye”
  10. Campfire’s Burning
    “Campfire’s burning, campfire’s burning, draw nearer, draw nearer”
  11. Blowing in the WindBob Dylan
    “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?”
  12. Hallelujah
    “I’d heard there was a secret chord, that David played and it pleased the Lord”
  13. Amazing Grace
    “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me”

There are thousands more brilliantly fun campfire songs out there and many that you will hold close to your heart. Silly, simple, loud or gentle, whether you can sing or not I hope that whatever campfire songs you choose to sing on your next camping trip, will be sung with soul and gusto. If you manage to exhaust all your song ideas and the fire is still burning strong, then it’s time to tell some of your spookiest campfire stories!

Sing it loud, happy campers!

About the author

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard, and hiking small mountains and big hills.

Open Menu