FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Move Forward a Step at a Time
From the time that we take our first steps (9-15 months), we are putting one foot in front of the other, ambling, rambling, and marching through life, some of us faster and more purposeful than others. According to a British study, the average moderately active person takes 6,839 steps a day, or 2,496,235 a year.1 I hope you have some good walking shoes because that equates to 1,182 miles each year or 74,462 miles over the average lifetime!
And if you're aiming for the daily step goal of 10,000, that's terrific. However, did you know that that the commonly touted number was the result of a Japanese marketing campaign for a pedometer in the 1960s rather than any intense scientific research?2
Walking is both an excellent source of exercise and an inexpensive and green mode of transportation. It reinvigorates mind and body. Keep moving and celebrate this activity with a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about putting one foot in front of the other.
1. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers
Oh, what some people wouldn't do for love! These Scottish twin brothers became a one-hit-wonder with this catchy 1993 alt rock tune. It details the lengths a besotted man declares he will go to demonstrate his devotion to his sweetheart. Enamored, he wants to wake up next to her, work hard for her, and give her nearly of his money. He plans to get drunk with her, grow old with her, and walk 500 miles just to be at her door.
Some American DJs misunderstood meaning of the Scottish word havering in the line, "I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you" (meaning "jabbering" or "talking nonsense"). Thus at first, the radio stations refused to play the song. Then, however, they walked back their decision.
2. "One Foot" by Walk the Moon
Internally you may feel like a bundle of nerves, but press on against the forces that threaten to defeat you and hold you back. Put one foot in front of the other. Press on during uncertain times.
So says this buoyant 2017 alt rock song that features a man whose survival instinct is kicking into high gear as he trudges forward into the unknown. As he does so, he builds an alliance with a close friend who is on the same path forward:
Cross my heart and hope to die
Taking this one step at a time
Got your back if you got mine
One foot in front of the other.
3. "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles
Well, Egyptians don't technically walk differently. This fun, chart-topping 1986 pop-rock ditty celebrates the human figures that are depicted in ancient Egyptian tomb paintings. It advocates doing an Egyptian sand dance and name-drops gold croccodiles, hookah pipes, and the Nile River.
The idea for the song originated when the songwriter witnessed ferryboat passengers on the English Channel holding out their arms stiffly in an attempt to maintain their balance on rough waters. The song was The Bangles' biggest hit.
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4. "Walking on Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox
Ouch! There's no tiptoeing through broken glass! The narrator's ex-lover has really put a hurtin' on her, and she still suffers deeply from the residual heartache.
In this 1992 pop tune, a woman has been abandoned and is nearly undone by the cruel transgressions of her former flame. She feels as if her heart is still broken into shards of glass. Surrounded by the emotional wreckage, the narrator ruminates about the past, feeling as if she is walking on broken glass. Ever been there?
5. "Walk a Little Straighter" by Billy Currington
This sad 2003 country song tells the story of emotional trauma and neglect from the perspective of the young son of an alcoholic. He desperately wants to look up to his father as a role model, however his old man is frequently drunk, swaying side to side and stumbling.
The father's behavior embarrasses the young man and fails to provide a good example. Ashamed, the youngster tells his father to walk a little straighter. As a result of his dad's alcoholism, the son vows to never put his own children through the trauma of what he experienced growing up as the child of an alcoholic.
6. "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves
The girl in this contagiously peppy 1985 pop song is doing a happy dance. She just confirmed that the one she loves indeed returns her affections. The discovery is making her feel energetic, alive, and oh, so, invigorated! As she waits for a letter to appear from him in her mailbox—remember, this was before email and cell phones—she feels as if she is walking on sunshine.
7. "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison
In this 1964 rock song, a beautiful woman sashays down the street, minding her own business, and she turns the head of Roy Orbison with his trademark dark glasses. (Note that he's not actually blind.)
The man in the song hits her up with pick up lines and comments about how good she looks, and he even growls at her. The guy tries to get her to stop and chat, but she passes him by, much to his chagrin. Are his overtures welcome or not? He gets his answer when for some reason the pretty lady turns around and walks back to him. It must have been the growl that sold her.
8. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day
Depression is the #1 cause of disability around the world, with more than 300 million people suffering its affects. The man in this Grammy Award-winning alt-rock song from 2004 is one of them.
The narrator in this worldwide hit feels lonesome and disconnected from his dreams as he walks the empty city streets alone. He has just moved to a new home and feels isolated from the American Dream and from other people.
9. "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra
Originally, this 1966 ditty was intended to be sung by a man. However, Frank Sinatra talked the songwriter into allowing his daughter to release it, arguing that "coming from a guy it was harsh and abusive, but was perfect for a little girl to sing." As a result, "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" became Nancy Sinatra's signature song.
The tune addresses a woman's lover who professes love although he has been betraying her. (Some men cannot help themselves.) He's been lying, sneaking around, and refusing to change his ways in spite of empty promises to the contrary. This gal has had enough so in rightful revenge, she threatens to walk all over him. If you watch the video, those ladies in miniskirts and boots are someone's grandmas by now!
10. "Walking the Wire" by Imagine Dragons
If you've ever had a high risk romance, then you might identify with the feelings expressed in this indie pop 2017 song. But isn't every love relationship potentially high risk? It's chancy to give your heart fully to another human being, to make yourself that vulnerable to being hurt.
The narrator describes the intense feeling of walking a tightrope. In this exciting love affair, the couple faces adversity together, confronting their fears and insecurities. They also know that they might falter and it could all be over at any moment. Together, they "walk the wire" of love.
11. "Dead Man Walking" by Jeremy Camp
In this vibrant 2019 contemporary Christian song, God has made all the difference in the life of the narrator. The man expresses that he could not breathe, that he was a slave who didn't know freedom until God pulled him from the lies and darkness into the light of His love. This fellow is forever grateful to have been transformed from a lowly dead man walking to a soul who walks with God.
12. "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn
Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn became both a Grammy Award winner and a one-hit-wonder as a result of this bluesy folk-rock song from 1991. It was born of his ardent desire to become famous, and it worked.
Cohn was in his early thirties when he realized that none of his songs were truly inspired. A James Taylor interview suggested traveling to a new location, so the musician chose Memphis. This tune is like a tour through the city and surrounding area.
In this track, the narrator makes a number of references to Elvis and the blues, for which Memphis is famous. He also visits the church of Rev. Al Green, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award soul singer who turned to preaching after his girlfriend died by suicide. The man also visits a cafe outside of Memphis where he talks and sings with an old black woman in her 70s named Muriel. In real life, Muriel listened to Cohn describe how he lost both parents by the age of 12, and she encouraged him in his journey. Cohn refers to the song as his "spiritual awakening."
13. "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick
In this 1964 pop tune of unrequited love, a rejected woman instructs her ex to not bother her if he sees her walking down the street. That's because she'll be nursing her wounded heart after the clod dumped her, no offense. (What a way to make the guy feel guilty!)
Dionne Warwick's smooth vocals put this hit song on the Rolling Stone list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." She is one of the most charted female singers of all time.
14. "Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun
After a while of being together with a partner, separate personas tend to meld together a bit as two individuals become a couple. They don't call one's lover his or her "other half" for no reason!
This 2008 synthpop recognizes this merging of identities and celebrates the fact that the narrator has found the love of his life. The man highlights that his lover has his support as needed. He also expresses dreamlike awe that he found a love this special and that she feels the same way about him. The future looks so idealistic and thrilling that he can't wait for what comes next to begin. He's so happy that it almost doesn't seem real, like it could end at any moment.
15. "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash
The Man in Black wrote this 1956 country crossover classic as a vow to be true to his first wife, Vivian Liberto, to whom he was married for 12 years. They shared four daughters (including country musician Roseanne Cash).
It unfortunately turned out to be mostly aspirational. Johnny Cash fatefully met June Carter backstage at the Grand Ole Opry when touring in 1956. Despite both being married, the two later began an affair, and they were eventually married until their deaths in 2003.
The song pledges a lifestyle of commitment, faithfulness, and avoiding temptation:
I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I'll admit I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine,
I walk the line.
"I Walk the Line" was named to Rolling Stone magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and was recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll."
24 Health Benefits of Walking
increases endurance & reduce fatigue
can help you avoid osteoporosis & osteoarthritis
improves depression & enhances mood
helps maintain a healthy weight & reduces body fat
improves memory, slows cognitive decline, & lowers risk for Alzheimer's disease
lowers blood pressure & prevents high blood pressure
boosts immune fuction
eases joint pain, especially arthiritis
boosts energy level/decreases fatigue
improves your breath
lowers cholesterol & risk for heart disease, diabetes, & cancer
discover new places
halts bone loss for people with osteoporosis, thus reducing the risk for hip fractures
curbs sugar cravings
improves sleep quality
strengthens & tones muscles
decreases carbon emissions (if you walk rather than drive) and saves money
increases balance & coordination
can give you time to meditate
16. "Walking in the Rain" by The Ronettes
Recorded in just one take, this 1964 R&B song paints the picture of the narrator's desire to find love and what she imagines her future sweetheart will be like. She dreams about walking in the rain and stargazing. Cher serves as a back-up vocalist. "Walking in the Rain" was the last Top 40 hit for the iconic girl group and was lauded by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
17. "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton
Don't be fooled by the perky, upbeat energy in this 2002 love song. It's a pop tune about heartbreak and unrequited love. A woman edges her way through the crowd in the city downtown, staring blankly ahead because she misses her lost love.
Desperately yearning to reunite with her ex, she wonders what it would take to just hold him. He clings to that memory and declares that she would walk 1,000 miles just to see him again.
18. "Walk the Way the Wind Blows" by Kathy Mattea
With true regret, the woman in this 1986 country song mourns the failure of a long marriage. As she surveys years of family photos along the hallway, before love died, she takes responsibility for the demise of their relationship. Did her infidelity perhaps ruin the marriage?
Now she considers where to go without her significant other. Aimlessly, she decides to "walk the way the wind blows," at least for now.
19. "Walk Me Home" by Pink
In times of uncertainty, we crave the comfort of trusted confidantes. Pink does just that in this 2019 pop single as she feels insecure in her romantic relationship and unsure about her dark surroundings. With so much on her mind, she requests her love interest to walk her home at night and sleep over. Clinging to him for comfort, safety, and reassurance, she wants to know that all is okay.
20. "Walk Like a Man" by The Four Seasons
Those vocals are so high pitched that you'd swear that somebody's underwear is too tight! In this classic 1963 rock song, Frankie Valli and his crew describe a teen boy's heartbreak when his girlfriend allegedly spreads lies about him. His father advises him to simply walk away from the relationship. Just cut her loose.
During their recording of the song, the building caught fire, and the group continued recording, hoping to perfect their take. The fire department had to break down the studio door with an axe. "Walk Like a Man" topped the charts and was later named to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." The song is often used when major baseball players draw a walk.
Even More Songs About Walking
21. You'll Never Walk Alone
Gerry & The Pacemakers
22. Walk on the Wild Side
23. Walkin' on the Sun
24. Walkaway Joe
Trisha Yearwood (Featuring Don Henley)
26. Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine
27. Walk Right Back
The Everly Brothers
28. Walk It Out
29. Walk This Way
30. Walkin' After Midnight
31. Walk On
32. Walk Away Renée
The Four Tops
33. Walk Away
34. The Walk
35. Walk All Over You
36. I'm Walkin'
37. (You're the) Devil in Disguise
38. He Walked on Water
39. Walk Away
Five Finger Death Punch
40. Walking the Dog
41. Walk Away
42. Walker's Walk
43. Walk It Off
44. Walk Right In
The Rooftop Singers
45. Walk on Water
46. Walk Away
47. Walk of Life
48. Walk to the Light
Jo Dee Messina
49. Walk Believer Walk
The Black Crowes
50. Walk On
51. Walk Me Down the Middle
The Band Perry
52. Walks Like a Lady
53. The Stroll
54. Walking on the Moon
55. Walking the Floor Over You
56. Just Walkin' in the Rain
58. Walking Shoes
59. Walking in the Wind
60. Walking Contradiction
61. Walking Disaster
62. Winter Wonderland
63. Walking in the Air
64. The Walk
65. Take a Walk
66. Walking Down Your Street
67. Walk a Mile in My Shoes
68. Walk a Thousand Miles
69. Walking in My Shoes
70. Do Wah Diddy Diddy
71. Dead Man Walking
5 Seconds of Summer
73. Walkin' After Midnight
74. Walking After You
75. Walking to Jerusalem
76. Walking on the Moon
77. Alligator Stroll
78. Walk Me Home
79 Take a Stroll Thru Your Mind
80. Walk on Water
Thirty Seconds to Mars
81. Walking on a Thin Line
Huey Lewis & The News
82. San Antonio Stroll
83. The Things We Do for Love
1 Hughes, A. (2020, September 24). The average adult 'walks around world three times' in their lifetime. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/step-count-adult-lifetime-round-world-three-times-b573751.html.
2 Rosenbloom, C. (2019, January 25). The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/the-10000-step-goal-isnt-based-on-science-but-its-still-a-decent-idea/2019/01/25/7bdf4946-1e7f-11e9-8b59-0a28f2191131_story.html
© 2022 FlourishAnyway