Backpackers Tokyo

Today, we’re out adventuring ourselves, so we dug into our big gear shed of archival stories to pull out this beauty for new and old readers alike to enjoy. – Ed.

As he crawled back down to base camp after shattering his leg on the descent from 20,813-foot Siula Grande, after his climbing partner had cut the rope and dropped him into a crevasse, in the midst of three days without food or water, Joe Simpson began to experience disco hell: He could not get the song “Brown Girl in the Ring” by Boney M out of his head.

We’ve all been there. The rhythm of your steps plodding those last few miles down the trail back to the car jiggles something in your head, and suddenly you can’t stop hearing “Jingle Bells” between your ears. Or “YMCA.” Or “Who Let The Dogs Out,” DAMMIT. Earworms.

We conducted a completely informal survey and asked folks what songs got stuck in their heads on backpacking trips. Here are our favorites. Er, least favorites. If we missed yours, leave it in the comments.

1. “Yellow Submarine” – The Beatles Because: We all live in a yellow submarine A yellow submarine A yellow submarine

2. “Just a Friend” – Biz Markie Because: Bay-bee YOO you got what I NEE-EED

3. “Send Me on My Way” – Rusted Root Because: Simmee omma way Simmee omma way Simmee omma way Simmee omma way Simmee omma way Simmee omma way Simmee omma way

4. “Get Lucky” – Daft Punk with Pharrel Williams Because: We’ve come too far To give up who we are So let’s raise the bar And our cups to the stars

Also, good lord, what an earworm.

5. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers Because: I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles To fall down at your door

6. “What’s My Name?” – DMX Because: ANGER

7. “Ironic” – Alanis Morrisette Because: It’s like ray-ee-ain…

8. “Robots” – Flight of the Conchords Because: the world is quite different ever since the robotic uprising of the late ’90s

9. “It’s Tricky” – Run DMC Because: It’s tricky to rock a rhyme that’s right on time. It’s tricky.

10. “Low Rider” – War Because: ba-dump bump ba bump ba ba-dump ba

11. “Gangnam Style” Because: Najeneun ttasaroun inganjeogin yeoja Keopi hanjanui yeoyureul aneun pumgyeok inneun yeoja Bami omyeon simjangi tteugeowojineun yeoja Geureon banjeon inneun yeoja

Naneun sanai Najeneun neomankeum ttasaroun geureon sanai Keopi sikgido jeone wonsyat ttaerineun sanai Bami omyeon simjangi teojyeobeorineun sanai Geureon sanai

12. “No Woman No Cry” – Bob Marley Because: Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right Everything’s gonna be all right

13. “Three Little Birds” – Bob Marley Because: Every little thing gonna be all right.

14. “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles Because: Here comes the sun Here comes the sun And I say it’s all right Here comes the sun Here comes the sun It’s all right It’s all right

15. “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” – Ylvis Because: Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow

16. “Theme from Golden Girls” – Cynthia Fee Because: Thank you for being a frayyyy-yend

17. “Livin la Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin Because: 1999

18. “Tables and Chairs” – Andrew Bird Because: There will be snacks There will There will be snacks There will be There will be snacks

19. “Intro” – The XX Because: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm-ViInMmlw

20. “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-A-Lot Because: I like big butts and I cannot lie

21. “The Hills Are Alive” – Julie Andrews Because: Julie Andrews

22. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga Because: ah wan yah lauv lauv lauv lauv ah wan yah lauv

23. “Theme from Rawhide” – Frankie Laine Because: Billy Crystal in City Slickers and/or Jake and Elwood in The Blues Brothers

24. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” – Meatloaf Because: Do you love me Will you love me forever Do you need me Will you never leave me Will you make me so happy For the rest of my life Will you take me away And will you make me your wife

25. “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” – Boston Pops Orchestra Because: hike becomes death march

26. “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” – Rupert Holmes Because: you like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain. You’re not into yoga, you have half a brain. You like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape. You’re not much into health food; you’re into champagne. You like the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne.

27. “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes Because: I was following I was following I was following I was following I was following I was following I was following I was following I was following the pack

Photo: Frantisek Duris