Song Spotlight: “King of the Road”

Railroad tracks reaching into the distance.
  • Mood: Relaxed
  • Themes: Transportation, Country songs
  • Tempo: Moderate
  • Genre/Style: Country

Roger Miller was said to be the Class Clown of Country Music. With his humorous novelty songs, he used his voice as an instrument, with rhythmic vocalizations and catchy melodies. His songs often speak to comedic situations and light hearted or true to life topics with a witty twist. 

Roger Miller was attempting to make it big in Hollywood in the early 60s. He was short on money, so he signed with a record company by the name of Smash Records. He then wrote “Dang Me” in four minutes and recorded it along with “Chug-a-Lug.” Both were more popular than any songs he had previously released.

His 1965 hit “King of the Road” was inspired by a sign he saw in Chicago that read “Trailers, for sale or rent.”  Unlike the four minute song “Dang Me,” it took Miller several months to write “King of the Road.” When it was released, it soon became popular with country listeners and with those who liked easy listening. Surprisingly, it even became popular in the UK and Norway. Miller won a total of six Grammys for the song in 1965.

This is a great song to use in a 1:1 setting or group and would go well with a collection of songs that explore transportation or country songs. This song is a great opportunity for singing, movement, and more.

Try This:

Themes – This song would fit well into a collection of songs about transportation or country songs. Other complementary songs may include: “England Swings,” “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd,” and “Orange Blossom Special.”

Move along to the song with rhythmic movements that change on the different sections of the song.

Add instruments to tap or clap along with the snaps featured in the start of the song. 

Display the lyrics of the song and sing along with the tune, or encourage the group to sing along with the chorus of the song, or with the words they know.

Encourage the group to discuss whether they ever wrote any songs. Discuss favorite Roger Miller songs. Invite the group to share their favorite song about transportation or from the country genre. 

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