sailing songs

A playlist of the best songs for sailing, according to sailors.

Music choices while sailing, like boats, are oddly personal. One woman's earworm is another woman's beloved ditty. So it's always interesting to see what fellow sailors blast when they're aboard. 

I wrote awhile back about my favorite songs for sailing, and was delighted a few days ago when one of my favorite sailing groups sounded off on what they love to listen to. 

It's a diverse list that I thought was worth sharing, whether you're regularly onboard or not. As of today, we're snowed in and definitely not going anywhere, so I appreciated trying on some tunes that I was either unfamiliar with or hadn't heard in a long time, while I waited out the storm. 

Since I was listening to all of them anyway, I pulled them together in a Spotify playlist for others to enjoy as well. I've set the list to be collaborative and If you think I'm missing something perfect, please add it in or message me in the comments and I'll add it for you. 

Here you go! Enjoy responsibly, with rum, whiskey or coconut water in hand. Also, if you'd like to add to it, here's the link in Spotify.

What is the perfect song for sailing?

With the barest hint of the weather turning cooler, nothing sounds better than a good nostalgic tune.

Every adventure has a soundtrack, and for us, sailing usually evokes a tune that's a little slow and whimsically old-fashioned. When the sails are full, we're big fans of classic Brazilian jazz (if you've never been initiated, the old soundtrack of Next Stop Wonderland is a fun place to start, as well as Seu Jorge, whose songs you may recognize from The Life Aquatic

When we're floating quietly, watching a sunset, something folksy from Songza usually does the trick

Recently though, I've been returning again and again to Dawes, a Los Angeles band that's been around for awhile but I'm re-delighted by every time I remember to turn their music on. They're a folk-rock band that sound like how old polaroids of Los Angeles look -- easygoing and drenched in the gold of a setting sun.

My favorite of their songs is Time Spent In Los Angeles.The first time I heard it, I felt like I had known it by heart forever. It's timeless and a little heart-tightening, with a nautical reference thrown in here and there.

I used to think someone would love me
For places I have been
And the dirt I have been gathering
Deep beneath my nails
But now I know what I’ve been missing
And I’m going home to make it mine
And I'll be battening the hatches and pulling in the sails.

It's the perfect song for our traveling spirits, and for sailing as the days get shorter here.