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Anytime you get a bunch of people around the campfire it’s inevitable that someone is going to burst into song. Especially if there’s a guitar involved. Here’s the best campfire songs for singalongs so you can be prepared this summer!
The Best Campfire Songs for Singalongs
Next time someone has their guitar out save yourself the embarrassment of not knowing the lyrics to these popular songs. We’ve also included some guitar tabs so that you can brush up on how to play each one and wow your friends with your musical knowledge.
And no, these aren’t just a bunch of songs for kids to sing at summer camp. These campfire songs are great for all ages, because us grown-ups enjoy singalongs too!
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
Everyone knows the chorus to this one, but do you know the rest of the words? Yes, there’s more to this Neil Diamond classic than “Sweet Caroline, DUN DUN DUN”.
American Pie – Don MacLean
This classic is a bit long, but can be a really fun sing along because the melody and lyrics are pretty easy to remember.
Good Riddance “Time of Your Life” – Greenday
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right to learn the words or guitar tabs of this Greenday hit.
Take me Home Country Roads – John Denver
This song has had a bit of a resurgence lately, but it actually makes a great singalong. There aren’t a lot of complicated lyrics to remember and it’s kind of repetitive, perfect for the campfire.
Hey Jude – The Beatles
Actually, almost any popular Beatles song would be great for a campfire singalong, but Hey Jude’s repetitive lyrics and mellow melody make it a great option.
If I Had a Million Dollars – The Barenaked Ladies
Everyone knows the chorus to this Barenaked Ladies classic, but the rest of the song is super fun to sing too.
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Part song, part poem, this melody is easy to sing and fairly simple to play on guitar. What’s nice is as long as someone knows the verses everyone can join into the chorus with ease.
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
Who doesn’t love belting out Livin’ On a Prayer? Take the time to learn the rest of it if you only know the chorus!
California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
Another popular song that most people already know – but if you don’t, both the lyrics and guitar chords are super easy to memorise.
Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
The chord progression in this song is simple to play and easy to keep up throughout the song – making it perfect for beginners or experienced guitarists after they’ve had a few drinks.
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
You don’t have to love country music to enjoy Johnny Cash. Ring of Fire is one of his more popular songs, so you can be sure most people will at least know the chorus of this one.
Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Greenday
One of my favourite choices of songs for campfire singalongs if almost everyone there is a millennial – not only do most people know the words to this hit, the guitar is easy too.
Hurt – NIN/Johnny Cash
This was originally written by Nine Inch Nails, but Johnny Cash covered it too so there’s a nice acoustic guitar version out there. While always popular, it made a small resurgence after being used on the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
Yet another great campfire ballad, even if you just sing the chorus.
Californication – The Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Why are there so many songs about California? Any of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers hits will probably do for a campfire singalong, but this one is really fun to sing.
Wild World – Cat Stevens
I always think that Cat Stevens is overrated, personally. With a catchy chorus and pretty simple guitar chords, this song is a great addition to your repertoire.
Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
Super sad (but great for mellow vibes), Tears in Heaven was written by Eric Clapton for the movie Rush but inspired by Clapton’s own grief over losing his four year old son.
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
When you play Ben E. King’s Stand by Me on guitar it never takes long for people to recognize the melody and start singing along.
I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
This song is both easy to sing (even if you’re not a great singer) and the guitar is around intermediate level.
Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
You’ll need a capo to play this one on guitar, but it’s worth it. And yes, it does still sound great on acoustic!
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Guns and Roses
Half the song is comprised of the line “knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door” making this an excellent choice when there’s some fireside drinks involved. No complicated lyrics necessary, and the guitar isn’t too tough either!
Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain” – this CCR classic is mostly upbeat strumming in C key. On the surface it seems simple, but there is a trick to it – so make sure you practice before heading out on your camping trip if you want to impress your friends.
House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Rising Sun… Although popularly recorded by the Animals, this is actually a folk song.
Tribute – Tenacious D
If you haven’t heard this banger, now’s the time to brush up. Hilarious and super fun to sing, you’ll be the life of the party if you can remember all the lyrics or play this one on guitar.
Imagine – John Lennon
A classic that sounds amazing on guitar. It’s repetitive both with the guitar chords and lyrics, so you won’t have any troubles singing or playing this tune with a bit of practice.
Danny’s Song – Loggins and Messina
If you think you don’t know this one maybe the iconic line, “Even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with you honey” will refresh your memory. Recorded in the 70s, this folk song is a certified campfire singalong classic.
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
A perfect mellow tune for winding down the evening. It’s not particularly challenging to sing, and only needs intermediate guitar skill to pull off too.
Dead Inside – Younger Hunger
Although you might not think of it from the original, there’s actually an acoustic version of this song that sounds amazing. The pattern and chords are easy to learn and the lyrics are super fun for your campfire friends to sing along to.
Everybody Walkin’ This Land – Paul Cauthen
This is a great mixed group sing-along for friends. Moody and deep, it’s worth learning if your lot enjoys country or folk music.
Sea of Love – Cat Power
A great love song if you want to serenade a lover (or hopeful one) or just to sing together with friends.
Dust In The Wind – Kansas
You can’t beat this distinctive classic that can be enjoyed by multi-generational gatherings. Perfect for family camping trips!
Wonderwall – Oasis
“And afterall, you’re my wonderwa-a–all.” Catchy and easy to learn, Wonderwall sounds great played on acoustic guitar.
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
With an upbeat tune this classic is perfect for lightening the mood – and almost everyone knows the chorus, even if they don’t realise it. Even better, the guitar chords are super easy, even for beginners.
Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Personally one of my favourite songs, this one sounds great when played on acoustic guitar. The chords are straightforward, but practice the strumming and the riffs to make it sound just like the real song.
Hippies and Cowboys – Cody Jinks
Cody Jinks is great if you like outlaw style country music (think: Johnny Cash). This and Must be the Whiskey are both great campfire songs, but you just can’t deny how much fun the chorus of Hippies and Cowboys is to sing. Especially when that may very well be the crew you’re hanging out with.
Drops of Jupiter – Train
Pretty much every older millennial is going to know the words to this song. Pretty to sing and easy to play, it’s a great choice for campfire singalong songs.
Dear God – XTC
This is probably one of the harder songs on this list to play on guitar, but it sounds fantastic if you can master it. Plus you need at least one 80s punk songs to sing by the fire!
Pumped up Kicks – Foster the People
Another one with a catchy chorus, this 2010 indie/alternative song managed to climb the charts – making it a great choice to play by the fireside. Great for beginners, too!
Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
Losing my Religion sounds great as an acoustic song, even without any other accompaniment. A great song for beginners to learn (and show off with).
With or Without You – U2
Lots of repetitivity makes this an easy song to learn both lyrically and on guitar.
Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band
If you like catchy country songs, this one’s for you. Even if it’s not your taste, the agreeable lyrics (who doesn’t love fried chicken and cold beer on a friday night?) are super fun to sing by the fireside.
Piano Man – Billy Joel
Kind of ironic to play this one on guitar but it does make for a great campfire singalong song!
Sweet Child of Mine – Guns n Roses
Ohhhh, sweet child of mine! You don’t have to remember a lot of words to sing along to the chorus of this song. The guitar sounds impressive, but isn’t that tricky if you practice.
Hotel California – The Eagles
The guitar work for this song is really distinctive, so your friends will immediately know what you’re playing if you nail the melody. If you find it too tricky, though, you can get the sound right by simplifying with chords.
Africa – Toto
Another one you just can’t help singing whenever it’s playing. It actually works well with two guitars (replacing the synth), so you and a friend could really jam to this classic.
A Horse With No Name – America
America was formed by the children of US servicemen who were stationed in England, and this early 70s hit was inspired by the song’s writer visiting the US deserts for the first time. It has a folky feeling, catchy tune, and easy to learn lyrics.
Cocaine – Eric Clapton
Although it’s played a bit better on electric guitar, Cocaine also works on acoustic for a fireside pick-me-up. Who doesn’t love this edgy tune?
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
This has to be one of the most fun songs to sing (or belt, even) on this list. The tricky part is getting the tempo right when strumming.
Ob-La-Do, Ob-La-Da – The Beatles
Part love song, this upbeat tune is still popular today because of the catchy chorus,
“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, La-la, how their life goes on”. You do need a capo to play it on guitar, though.
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Is there really a better way to end the night? Whether you love or hate Journey one thing that’s for sure is most people can’t resist belting this song out anyway if it happens to be playing.
The Best Campfire Songs for Singalongs – Conclusion
The best campfire songs for singalongs are usually the ones that can be played on, or adapted for, acoustic guitar. Usually they’re folky, country, or some type of rock – since these are usually already guitar songs to begin with.
With a bit of practice an intermediate guitar player can learn almost all the songs on this list. Singing enthusiasts would also be wise to learn the lyrics to these popular campfire songs, that way you’ll be ready for anything come bonfire season.
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