Jackson Hole Vacation Playlist
Where I travel, music follows. Driving through Monument Valley? Can’t go wrong with some old Western film scores. Hiking through the Scottish highlands? You can be sure the Braveheart and Outlander soundtracks are playing on repeat in my head. Trekking across Scandinavia? You haven’t lived until you’ve heard some Nordic jams. But what about this neck of the woods? Below you’ll find the perfect Jackson Hole vacation playlist.
The name of the band aside, this song is perfect. It actually has the line “We belong here with the great Tetons.” If you ever make an art film about two road-trippers falling in love, this is the song playing during the montage while they’re driving through Jackson.
Despite a popular conception that this song is about a very specific kind of high, John Denver himself insisted that it’s just about the joy of connecting with the outdoors. Which is what Jackson is all about, right?
Indulge me here. Film scores are my favorite genre of music. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve salted in a few scores that fit the subject material well. In this case, the main theme from Dances with Wolves feels right at home among the sprawling vistas of the West (and on your vacation playlist).
Ennio Morricone was the greatest composer of spaghetti Western soundtracks to ever live. Is that an oddly specific honor? Yes. Is it completely true? Also yes.
If you want a Western soundtrack of a different flavor, look no further than the rousing main theme to Silverado. Every dad has a favorite Western; this movie is my dad’s.
When you get down to it, this song isn’t really about horses. It’s about the pain of loss. But the legacy of the West isn’t a simple one, and loss is just one of the many themes woven into our story. So yeah, this one works.
While this song takes place “on a cold Nebraska night,” its description of a wild horse feels apt for Jackson Hole.
Full disclosure: I hate country music. The back-of-the-throat, molasses-clogged drawl with which country singers belt out their saccharine lyrics makes me yearn for deafness. Country music belongs solely in Texas Roadhouses, because at least there I have delicious rolls to take my mind off the music. But this song is literally called “Jackson Hole,” so I had to include it.
Okay, this isn’t about the same Jackson, but you can’t deny that it’s catchy.
Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments.
This post was brought to you by Flat Creek Inn.
Ryan Kunz is a copywriter and freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including media, the outdoors, and whatever else strikes his fancy. he does not have a full Jackson Hole vacation playlist, but he does have a film score playlist that’s over 36 hours long.