There’s not a more breathtaking wintry scene to behold than the sweeping views of Colorado’s majestic snow-capped mountains from inside a gondola. Whether you’re climbing to the top to carve a powdery trail back down, or you just want to kick back, relax, and enjoy the glistening sights, listening to music enhances the entire airborne experience.
Skiers and snowboarders from all over the world will likely attest that there’s nothing quite like queuing up the perfect playlist for spending a day on the slopes. Likewise, winter enthusiasts, hopeless romantics, and sightseers galore can turn up the tunes to set the mood as the ski lift transports them through the sky.
If you don’t quite know what to listen to on your journey up the mountain, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here at AXS, we’ve put together a list of our favorite songs to listen to on the gondola. Click on the song title links to listen to the tracks on YouTube.
1. Snow Patrol – “Run”
This Irish alt-rock band’s name alone conjures up images of frosty, snow-covered mountains. Beyond the obvious, though, the song is a huge power ballad that strikes a perfect balance for those who are craving the adrenaline rush down the mountain and those who are looking for an anthem to pledge their eternal devotion to the ski-lift love of their lives.
2. Elton John – “Rocket Man”
Here’s a sweeping tune that blasts off to celestial heights. Obviously, you can’t get to space on a gondola. But, Elton John’s Top 10 hit remains one of his signature classic rock songs. Given the recent success of John’s biopic film of the same name, it feels right to include it on a list of perfect picks for a ride that takes its passengers thousands of feet in the air.
3. Adele – “Skyfall”
There’s arguably something a little James Bond, 007 about sailing through the sky on a gondola. As for Bond movie theme songs, Adele’s Oscar, Golden-Globe, and Grammy-winning “Skyfall” is simply one of the best. It packs lots of vocal power and an incredible amount of emotional gravitas. Anyone jumping off the ski lift and onto the mountain will take an invigorating trip down with this track in their ears.
4. John Denver – “Rocky Mountain High”
Late country-folk legend John Denver lived in Aspen throughout most of his life. He shared his love for the Centennial State in this 1972 folk ballad, which became an official Colorado state song in 2007. How can anyone ride up a mountainside without listening to it?
5. The Beatles – “Got to Get You Into My Life”
If any song from the Fab Four belongs on this list, it’s this one. Right off the bat, Paul McCartney hooks us with “I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there.” The melody is catchy, the brass instruments pop, the catchy “ooh, then I suddenly see you, ooh, did I tell you I need you” refrain is infectious. Overall, it’s got all the right ingredients for a memorable gondola ride.
6. Queen – “We Will Rock You”
“We Will Rock You” has transcended generations and still flows out of sporting event speakers in stadiums all over the world. Queen wanted to give the audience a song they could perform and it remains the quintessential track for getting pumped up about anything – in this case, about the mountain you’ll carve when you eventually get off the ski lift.
7. Miley Cyrus – “The Climb”
This song finds a young Miley Cyrus at her inspirational best. There’s no song better suited for a lofty gondola ride than one called “The Climb.” “There’s always going to be another mountain” too, – and as far as ski lifts go, Colorado’s got some of the best!
8. Coldplay – “Shiver”
This track hails from Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes. Its title sets the mood for a blustery winter’s day on the mountain. Frontman Chris Martin pines for his unrequited love in this lush track that heavily evokes Jeff Buckley influences. If you want to spend some time quietly reflecting on your ride up the mountain, this song is a perfect backdrop.
9. The Cars - “Good Times Roll”
The smooth groove of this 1979 new wave hit from The Cars is addictive. Even though the song is said to be a sarcastic commentary about rock music, lead singer Ric Ocasek did a splendid job of convincing us to “let the good times roll” anyway. It became a fantastic party song and what better way to “let them leave you up in the air,” than in a ski lift.
10. John Mayer – “St. Patrick’s Day”
John Mayer’s sultry, bluesy vocals glide through this lesser-known ballad from his Grammy-winning debut album Room for Squares. It’s a sparkling winter gem of a song in which he sings about the virtues of having a love from November through Christmas and into St. Patrick’s Day. Lyrically and melodically, it makes a great song for snuggling up with someone special during the cold winter months — and there’s no better place to do that than in a gondola looking out at glistening snow.