The Top Ten Walking Songs

Some of you may be walking in a winter wonderland, so today, we're going to go the extra mile, walk softly and carry a big stick, and walk you through yet another list here at Rock The Jukebox. Hopefully, we won't have to walk on eggshells or, worse, walk the plank. If you haven't figured it out yet, this is our list of the Top Ten Walking Songs!

Walking can be many things besides the act of traveling by foot. It's also a metaphor for life. For example, when you hear the phrase, "You have to learn how to walk before you can run," it's a sentiment that's not limited to a good training method for running the New York Marathon.

As always the songs are organized by how well each has done on the various charts, although this time we slightly bend that rule on this list. I'll say it again: If you don't see your favorite (and that's bound to happen, by the sheer number of great walking songs,) be sure to leave a comment. Who knows, your submission could be the next entry!

Let's let our fingers do the walking and start at the bottom and work our way up to the #1 spot.

10. Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Joe South had a #12 (US) hit with this in 1969, but it's also been identified with Elvis Presley, who sang it live in concert in the 1970s. This is a song that basically says that you should never judge what you don't understand or haven't been through. True that.
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes

Walk Right Back

Here is is a song by written by Sonny Curtis that was recorded by the Everly Brothers. It went to #7 (US), and #1 in the UK charts. It's a great little song that was only half-finished at the time, with only one verse and refrain, so it was simply repeated twice. But hey, it was a big hit, so who am I to argue with that?

Walk right back

To me this minute
Bring your love to me
Don't send it
I'm so lonesome every day

Walk On By

Bacharach and David are one of the most successful songwriting duos of all time, and this tune is a good way of proving it. It's been recorded by many, but Dionne Warwick had the biggest hit of it (#6 US, #9 UK). It was recorded at the same session that produced another Bacharach/David-penned hit for Warwick: "Anyone Who Had a Heart". Hey, we'll have to do a list of the Top Ten Heart Songs...

If  you see me walking down the street

And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by

Walk Away Renée

Here's one that made our list of the Top Ten Girl Name Songs. It was written by the Left Banke's then-16-year-old keyboardist Michael Brown. It reached #5 in the US in 1966. It was also a big hit for the Four Tops, whose version reached #3 in the UK in 1969.

And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day

Just walk away Renee
You won't see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You're not to blame

You'll Never Walk Alone

This one is a classic inspirational song that transcends even this list's theme of bipedal transportation. "You'll Never Walk Alone" was penned by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for the musical Carousel. It was also a #1 (UK) hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964. It was also a #1 (US R&B) hit for Roy Hamilton in 1954.

Walk on
Walk on
With hope in your hearts
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

5. I'm Walkin'

No list of walking songs would be complete without "I'm Walkin'". The story goes that Fats Domino's car broke down, so as he walked down the road, a fan shouted, "Hey, look at Fats --- he's walking!" Domino thought to himself, "Yeah, I'm walking." Thus, a song was born. His version reached  #4 (US) and #1 (US R&B). Ricky Nelson's version, which was his first single, also reached #4 (US).

I'm walkin'

Yes indeed, I'm talkin'
By you and me
I'm hopin'
That you'll come back to me

4. Walk Like a Man

What can be said about this one except, "Walk like a man, sing like a girl"? Just kidding! The story goes that during recording, smoke and water were seeping into the studio, as the room directly above the studio was on fire and being fought by firemen. So there you go. It was the third #1 (US) hit for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, in 1963. It also reached #12 in the UK that same year.

Walk like a man
Talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman's worth
Crawling on the earth
Just walk like a man my son

Walk Right In

"Walk Right In"
dates back to 1929, when it was recorded by Gus Cannon and His Jug Stompers. The most successful version, with its distinctive 12-string guitar sound, was recorded by the Rooftop Singers. It reached #1 (US) and #10 (UK) in 1962. Before that, Gus Cannon, in his mid-70s, had been forced to pawn his banjo in order to pay his heating bill. The songwriting royalties he received and the renewed interest in his music led to Gus Cannon landing a recording contract. How about that?

Walk right in, sit right down
Daddy, let your mind roll on
Walk right in, sit right down
Daddy, let your mind roll on

2. These Boots are Made for Walkin'

You shouldn't be surprised to see this one so high up on a list of songs about walking. After all, it was so huge a hit, it was credited with increasing the sale of go-go boots! Wow! But wait, there's more! This tune, written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra, was #1 in both the US and UK (for four weeks) in 1966.

These boots are made for walkin'

And that's just what they'll do
One of these days
These boots are gonna walk all over you

And now it's time to finish up our long walk with the number one spot. If you don't agree with it, and think I'm crazy to have left out other more suitable selections, then feel free to hand me my walking papers. Hopefully, you will agree that, for this list of the Top Ten Walking Songs, the top song is...!

1. I Walk the Line

"I Walk the Line"
is one of the classic songs, one of those that transcends genre, space and time, and all that other stuff. Johnny Cash wrote and recorded this. Though it only reached #17 (US), it was a #1 US Country hit for Johnny Cash. It remained on the record charts for over 43 weeks, and sold over 2 million copies. But even forgetting all that, this is one of those songs that is a must-hear for any fan of good music. And it's number one.

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

And just for fun, here's an honorable mention that was a #1 hit in 1959 for Santo and Johnny...

Sleep Walk

Do you agree with this list? Have any suggestions for honorable mentions? I can think of a few myself, but I want you to decide.

Check out all of the lists here at Rock The Jukebox:

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