River Sports, Music and Movement: Tunes For The River

It’s been around since ancient times, and evolved through countless generations, but whatever your preference, music has a habit of making you feel good. It’s great company and it livens up the soul. Add some river sports with your music and you have a perfect recipe for relaxation and fun.


Enthusiasts always say this is one of the best workouts on the river. You can gently pace yourself and take in some great scenery from a low level. So, what would be playing on your device while you paddle downriver? Something with a maritime theme?


Photo courtesy of MaxPixel

How about Across the River by Bruce Hornsby, Albatross, Fleetwood Mac’s golden oldie, or Otis Redding’s timeless classic (Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay? Add Loch Lomond (Live) by Runrig and you have a stirring contrast to start things off.


It can be as gentle or as exhilarating as you wish. From a gentle cruise along the coast to adrenaline-pumping white water. With that in mind, why not fashion your playlist to suit the surroundings?

For a gentle paddle try Driftwood by The Moody Blues, Gordon Lightfoot’s Long River, or even the timeless Moon River by Henry Mancini. Three classics which should give you loads more ideas.

If white water kayaking is more your style, there are plenty of songs to suit. To set the theme, River People by Weather Report is a moderate paced instrumental. To crank things up, Phil Collins’ River So Wide and River’s Rising by Edgar Winter should start getting the pulse climbing.


serene canoe

Photo courtesy of MaxPixel

Much like kayaking, the environment sets the pace. However, there are still loads of choices for your playlist. Dan Fogelberg’s The River is a great seven minutes worth for a slow paddle. Imagine gliding silently along to the melodic River by Joni Mitchell – one of her classics.

If you prefer something more upbeat, there’s always River Deep, Mountain High. This one has a number of versions – including the original. But that’s one great thing about music: no barricades.


You might think fishing should have a purely downbeat theme, as it is a more relaxing of the river sports. But, again, your playlist is your taste.

Music can set the fishing mood. Photo courtesy of MaxPixel

The Moody Blues’ appropriately named Watching and Waiting, has a gentle pace, while Demis Roussos’ Forever and Ever carries that eternal Summer theme. To keep you in a summery mood, how about the Beach Boys’ Darlin’ or Julio Iglesias’ classic Begin the Beguine from 1981.


Not a river sport for the faint-hearted, so it makes sense to go for music which keeps the adrenaline pumping. And there’s plenty.

Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit, Led Zeppelin’s classic Whole Lotta Love, and Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) instantly come to mind. Or if you’re a Stones fan, Brown Sugar and It’s Only Rock and Roll, with a side helping of Ted Nugent’s Stormtroopin’. That selection should give you enough food for thought.

Choose Your Own

So you get the point. Music is personal. I’ve said it before – no-one else is listening, so make it your own.

Note: Whichever river sport you prefer, it’s worth mentioning that not all devices are waterproof. For a selection of suitable covers and cases go to

What’s your favorite river sports tune?

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