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From its very first chords, Jack Johnson’s Big Sur captures the essence of traveling this famed California coastal region. Released on Johnson’s seventh studio album All the Light Above It Too, which also includes such hits as My Mind Is for Sale, Sunsets for Somebody Else, You Can’t Control It, and Love Song #16, Big Sur is a quintessential road trip song. And, the music video that goes along with it only adds to that.

In the below video, you can watch the narrator roll through several beaches, trails, and overlooks in a Volkswagen Westfalia camper van.

Note its unique cinematic style reminiscent of a film reel from the mid-1900s, whimsically describing the experience of being free amid the serenity of the Pacific Ocean. Bonfires and stargazing abound, with the lyrics often portraying what’s on screen.

One line, in particular, describes the essential items needed for any camping road trip in “a pocket knife, an old guitar, a coffee cup, a deck of cards.”

Big Sur Lyrics

Behind the wheel against the road next to you
The central coast
The central thought within my mind
Is how to stay within these lines
But still be free
Beneath the ground, the giants sleep
And maybe we’re just in their dreams
The setting sun with every turn
Above the ground the oak trees burn
And then we foray

And for this endless conversation
Instigated by the stars
A pocket knife, an old guitar
A coffee cup, a deck of cards

Quote it, quote it, dashboard feet
The flashlight, children by the stream
A box of books, a book of rocks
One for the birds, one for the knots
That I will learn how to tie
Around this day to keep my life
From slidin’ away

From this endless conversation
Instigated by the stars
A little wood to keep it burning
Fascinated by it all

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The first to wake will stoke the coals
The early morning river rose
The last one in, the swing will break
Stones will stack, the kids will make
Those lines
Rocks are boxing by the creek
Again, the lines begin to speak
Words are broken
Smoke signals that will lead us into the light
Into it all
And always

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Always endless conversation
Implicated by the stars
A little wood to keep it burning
Fascinated by it all
And always

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