100 Songs About Cars And Driving: Music To Move To
Ever since the advent of these sleek and powerful machines, musicians across all genres have been singing their praises.
If romance (or lack thereof) is the most popular subject for a song, then cars are certainly a close second. Ever since the advent of these sleek and powerful machines, musicians across all genres have been singing their praises. Here are 100 of the best songs about cars and driving.
2Pac – Picture Me Rollin’
As the quintessential SoCal rapper, it’s pretty much obligatory for 2Pac to have a few songs about driving. In this track from 1996’s All Eyez on Me, 2Pac sets the scene, as he cruises down the streets of LA in his tricked-out Mercedes Benz. Along the way, he checks out a Lexus and a Chevy Big Body.
50 Cent – Get in My Car
50 Cent is known for owning an impressive collection of cars, so it’s no surprise that he touts his passion in this 2005 song off The Massacre. While the video features 50 in a yellow Ferrari convertible, he raps about his Mercedes Benz – calling out the super shiny chrome finish on his rims. He also gives a shout-out to Dayton spokes – a classic, custom rim used on Lowriders.
AC/DC – Highway to Hell
AC/DC are on a one-way road trip to the underworld in this hard rock classic. The song, which became the title track to the Aussie band’s 1979 album, was inspired by the group’s arduous touring schedule, and their many trips down Perth’s Canning Highway.
Alan Jackson – Mercury Blues
In 1948, blues artist K.C. Douglas co-wrote and recorded this ode to the Mercury – a premium, yet affordable line of cars that Ford produced until 2010. While countless artists have since covered the tune (including Meat Loaf, the Steve Miller Band, and Dwight Yoakam), Alan Jackson made it a Top Five country song in 1993.
Ariana Grande – Honeymoon Avenue
In this wistful ballad off 2013’s Yours Truly, Ariana Grande skillfully compares her rocky relationship to a trip in a car – looking back through a rearview mirror to the bumps and turns that she and her partner faced. Stuck in traffic and feeling the pressure to make a decision, she wishes that they could simply be back on the smooth roads of Honeymoon Avenue.
Bass Mekanik – Bass Mechanic
Bass music pioneers Bass Mechanic (aka Neil Case and DJ Billy E) began their collaborations in a Miami car shop, creating test tones for car subwoofers. It’s easy to imagine this bass-heavy electro song (off 1999’s V 5.0) pumping on the stereo while driving down the palm-lined highways.
The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun
A teenage girl goes behind her father’s back to drive his Ford Thunderbird in this catchy 1966 number from The Beach Boys. As any fan knows, the SoCal group loved cars almost as much as they loved surfing, and they paid tribute to another Ford (the 1932 Model 18) just a few years earlier in “Little Deuce Coupe.”
Beastie Boys – High Plains Drifter
Beastie Boys take on the role of a blue-collar criminal in this gem from 1989’s Paul’s Boutique. As he drives across the country, our anti-hero is hot-wiring cars, stealing from Kmart, and trying to evade the police along the way. He might not always be successful, but at least he’s got an 8-track player and an early cell phone to keep him company.
The Beatles – Drive My Car
In this upbeat tune off 1966’s Rubber Soul, The Beatles sing about a girl with big dreams, who flirtily asks a boy to be her chauffeur. However, the song wasn’t quite as innocent as it seems. Years later, guitarist George Harrison penned his own ode to driving with “Faster” – but this time, it was actually about cars, and inspired by his 1977 travels with the Formula 1 World Championship.
Beck – The Golden Age
2002’s Sea Change revolved around themes of loneliness, solitude, and heartbreak. Its stripped-down opening song, “The Golden Age,” sets the scene for the album, as Beck sings about the peace that comes from getting in a car, rolling down the windows, and letting the cool, evening breeze take you away.
Big Tymers – Get Your Roll On
New Orleans’ Big Tymers rap about their expensive rides in this hit song from 2000’s I Got That Work. From Benzes to Bentleys, Birdman and Mannie Fresh like their cars with big rims, loud pipes, and preferably with the price tag sticker prominently displayed.
Billy Ocean – Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
Billy Ocean declares his love for a woman walking down the street – and begs her to jump into his car so that he can whisk her away for some romance. While the lyrics might be a bit creepy by today’s standards, this 1988 single was a massive global hit, landing at No.1 in the US, South Africa, Australia, and beyond. This driving song was also featured in the soundtrack to the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman teen comedy, License to Drive.
Bob Seger – Makin’ Thunderbirds
In this rollicking song off 1982’s The Distance, Bob Seger pays tribute to the 1950s Thunderbird – but with a twist. Rather than singing about driving the Ford classic, the Detroit-born artist takes the perspective of the worker at the plant, who proudly recalls making the luxurious cars in his youth.
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Teenage romance, dreams of greatness, and a fervent desire to escape one’s small town (specifically Freehold, NJ via Highway 9) are all part of this classic 1975 Bruce Springsteen song.
Cake – The Distance
This deadpan, alt.rock hit from Cake (off 1996’s Fashion Nugget) seemingly begins on a racetrack, as drivers rev up their cars and deftly maneuver turns. But then, we realize it’s much more than that. It’s about a guy who keeps on going, long after the race (or his relationship) has ended. He’s haunted by regret, but also by some innate motivation to keep going and strive for some unreachable goal.
Canned Heat – On The Road Again
Canned Heat scored their first big hit with an interpretation of this hypnotic, one-chord blues tune. The wistful song about driving, which appears on 1968’s Boogie with Canned Heat showcases the unique, falsetto vocals of guitarist and harmonica player Alan Wilson.
The Cardigans – Daddy’s Car
Swedish pop-rockers The Cardigans paint a dreamy picture of childhood summer road trips driving across Europe in this cheery song off 1995’s Life.
The Cars – Drive
This heartfelt, 1984 ballad from The Cars was one of the band’s biggest global hits, hitting the Top 5 in the US, UK, New Zealand, and West Germany, among many others. The song’s romantic theme carried over to the music video, where frontman Ric Ocasek met and later married model Paulina Porizkova.
Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone – Ridin’
In this chart-topping 2005 hit (off Chamillionaire’s The Sound of Revenge), the rapper and Krayzie Bone (of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony) dare the police not to catch them as they get up to all sorts of activities in their car. The duo also strikes a serious note, however, as they broach themes of police brutality and racial profiling – particularly in the song’s music video.
Charlie Ryan and the Livingston Bros. – Hot Rod Lincoln
In 1950, Arkie Shibley released a single about a hot rod race involving a Ford and a Mercury. Both drivers are taken by surprise when a young guy in a souped-up, Model A Lincoln, swoops in and leaves them both in the wind. Charlie Ryan’s 1955 song, “Hot Rod Lincoln,” is written from the point of view of that mysterious, rogue driver.
Chet Baker – Spinning Wheel
Legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker offers a lively, instrumental cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ “Spinning Wheel” in this 1970 recording (off Blood, Chet and Tears). While the wheel in this psychedelic tune is open to interpretation, the original lyrics remind the listener to not dwell on the small stuff, because everything will work out in the end.
Chuck Berry – No Particular Place to Go
Chuck Berry’s first big single, 1955’s “Maybellene” spun a tale about chasing after his unfaithful girlfriend (their cars in the song: she drove a Cadillac Coupe DeVille, he had a V8 Ford). Nearly 10 years later, Berry scored another car-related hit with “No Particular Place to Go.” The witty song finds the artist and his sweetheart driving around, listening to the radio, and sharing a few kisses. But just as things are about to get steamy, he can’t get her seatbelt off.
Cybotron – Cosmic Cars
Detroit techno pioneers Cybotron dropped this futuristic, pulsating track ahead of their 1983 debut, Enter. The group’s innovative electronic music and lyrics often reflected their city’s decline, and “Cosmic Cars,” with its message of escapism, is no exception.
The Dead Milkmen – Bitchin’ Camaro
One of The Dead Milkmen’s signature songs, 1985’s “Bitchin’ Camero” (off Big Lizard in My Backyard) offers a wild, punk parody of pop culture. Talking over a bluesy riff, the Philly group converses about driving down to the Jersey Shore in a bitchin’ Chevy Camero (purchased in the Bahamas) to buy Def Leppard and Motley Crüe T-shirts.
Deep Purple – Highway Star
Declaring himself a “Highway Star,” the subject of this 1972 song is passionate about his car. Appropriately written on a tour bus, the tune opened Deep Purple’s Machine Head and features epic guitar and organ solos.
Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg, Ruben & Jewell – Let Me Ride
Dr. Dre, joined by a young Snoop Dogg, plus singers Ruben and Jewell, is all about his tricked-out lowrider in this 1993 hit (off his legendary 1992 LP, The Chronic). As he cruises down the streets of Compton, he references his 1964 Chevrolet Impala, his Dayton rims, and his impressive 16 hydraulic switches.
The Dresden Dolls – The Jeep Song
Punk cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls sing about being haunted by an ex and his 1996 Jeep Cherokee – a ubiquitous sight in their native Boston. As the protagonist navigates her blue Volvo around town, she can’t help but shudder every time she sees another one of those mid-priced yet sensible compact SUVs.
Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ Else
In this 1959 single from rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran, a young man dreams of affording a new convertible to impress the girl he likes. In the end, the song sees him buy an older car: an older 1941 Ford – and eventually mustering up the courage to ask out his crush!
Elastica – Car Song
Elastica sings about doing the deed in a Ford Fiesta (a Honda will do as well) in this cheeky Britpop tune, off their self-titled 1995 debut.
Foghat – Slow Ride
While this song might be about a different sort of ride, readers of a certain age will forever associate the song “Slow Ride” with 70s cars and billows of pot smoke, thanks to films like Dazed and Confused. The iconic hard rock track marked the first single off Foghat’s 1975 LP, Fool for the City.
Frank Ocean – White Ferrari
Frank Ocean gets wistful about a past, teenage romance in “White Ferrari.” The song, which appears on 2016’s Blond, also includes an interpolation of the Beatles’ “Here, There, and Everywhere.”
Gary Numan – Cars
British artist Gary Numan feels safest in his car in this new wave classic. Deceivingly simple yet utterly catchy, “Cars” (off The Pleasure Principle) hit No.1 in the UK and Canada and was a Top Ten hit in the US.
The Go-Go’s – Skidmarks on My Heart
This 1981 tune, off Beauty and the Beat, finds the Go-Go’s getting jealous and frustrated at a boyfriend who pays too much attention to his car, a Pontiac GTO. Perhaps the song is best summed up in the lyrics: “I buy you cologne/You want axle grease/You say get a mechanic/I say get a shrink.”
Golden Earring – Radar Love
Dutch rockers Golden Earring scored an international hit with this 1973 cult favorite. The song, off their LP Moontan, tells the tale of a long-haul driver who gets sweet, telepathic messages from his girlfriend (aka “Radar Love”).
Grace Jones – Pull Up to the Bumper
In this funky, 1981 club hit, Grace Jones delivers a deliciously naughty double entendre, as she sings, “Pull up to my bumper baby/In your long black limousine.” The iconic song, off Nightclubbing, has been included in numerous Best Of lists, including Pitchfork’s “50 Songs That Define the Last 50 Years of LGBTQ+ Pride” and Slant’s “100 Best Dance Songs of All Time.”
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Iggy Pop celebrates the life of the musical nomad in this classic 1977 cut off Lust for Life. In an interview with The Guardian, he shared that his inspiration for the song was “riding around North America and Europe in David [Bowie’s] car ad infinitum. I didn’t have a driver’s license or a vehicle.”
Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats – Rocket 88
Considered by many to be the earliest rock‘n’roll song ever recorded, this jaunty, 1951 tune pays tribute to the super sporty Oldsmobile Rocket 88. While the single, which was based on an earlier tune about another car – Jimmy Liggins’ “Cadillac Boogie” (1947) – was written and recorded by Ike Turner, it was credited to his saxophone player, Jackie Breston.
Jan & Dean – Dead Man’s Curve
This eerily prophetic 1964 hit details a tragic teen road race between a Corvette Stingray and a Jaguar XKE in Los Angeles. Two years later, the duo’s Jan Berry was in a serious accident in his own Stingray near “Dead Man’s Curve” (a tight turn at the corner of North Whittier Drive and Sunset Blvd in Beverly Hills).
Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz
In this tongue-in-cheek commentary on consumerism, Janis Joplin asks God to prove his love by sending her a color TV, a night on the town, and a brand new Mercedes Benz (because all of her friends drive Porches). The a cappella song appeared on Joplin’s posthumous, sophomore album, Pearl (1971).
Jimmy Smith – King of the Road
Organist Jimmy Smith (who popularized the Hammond B-3) and jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery deliver a bluesy instrumental interpretation of Roger Miller’s oft-covered country song, “King of the Road.” The recording, which also features the talents of percussionist and Latin bandleader Ray Barretto, appears on 1968’s Further Adventures of Jimmy and Wes.
John Fogerty – Hot Rod Heart
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty celebrates the simple joys of joy-riding in the country (specifically in a Buick or a Harley). It’s all about cranking up the radio, enjoying the fresh air, and getting away from it all in this 1997 song off Fogerty’s Grammy-winning album, Blue Moon Swamp.
Kanye West feat. Paul Wall & GLC – Drive Slow
One of the great hip-hop songs about cars, Kanye West, Paul Wall, and GLC use cars and car culture as a metaphor for a fast-paced lifestyle in this 2005 cautionary tale off West’s Late Registration. The trio calls out a multitude of cars and accessories, including the Chevy Caprice, Lincolns, the Oldsmobile Aurora, and the high-end Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, as well as Vogue luxury tires and fancy Brabus rims.
Johnny Cash – One Piece at a Time
This 1976 novelty song – a No.1 country hit for Johnny Cash – tells the story of a man who builds Cadillacs in a GM plant and devises a plan to steal one part a day, in order to build his own car. The one hitch? Once he finally has his finished car, every part is from a different year, from 1949 – 1970.
Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle
Kendrick Lamar offers a bit of tongue-in-cheek social commentary in this 2012 single, off Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, in which a teenager dreams of owning a Maserati and living large.
Kesha – Gold Trans Am
Kesha sings about doing the deed in a gold Trans Am in this 2012 tune (a bonus song off the deluxe edition of Warrior). Fun Fact: the pop star actually owned a gold Trans Am at the time, while her mother (songwriter Pebe Sebert) has a co-writing credit on the highly suggestive song.
Kraftwerk – Autobahn
There are few more iconic songs about driving ever penned. Named after the famous German highway, the 22-minute title track off 1974’s Autobahn not only marked Kraftwerk’s first song to feature lyrics performed by the group but was also one of their biggest international hits (the single edit comes in at about three and a half minutes). Simple, yet effective, the German lyrics translate to: “We drive drive drive on the Autobahn.”
L’Trimm – Cars That Go Boom
Female hip-hop duo L’Trimm pay their respects to boys with subwoofers in this infectious, 1988 classic. As long as the bass is pumping, Tigra and Bunny will pull over their Jaguar or Lamborghini to say hello.
Lana Del Rey – White Mustang
Who hasn’t fallen for a Mustang-driving musician at one point or another? Lana Del Rey certainly did, and she mourns the ill-fated summer fling in this 2017 ballad.
Les McCann – Green, Green Rocky Road
Jazz pianist Les McCann offers a soulful, high-energy performance of “Green, Green Rocky Road” in this 1965 single. The folk song, which is credited to Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman, was based on a traditional children’s game.
Lil Troy feat. Fat Pat, H.A.W.K., Lil Will & Yungstar – Wanna Be A Baller
This 1999 hit, off Lil Troy’s Sittin’ Fat Down South, features performances by Fat Pat, H.A.W.K., Lil Will, and Yungstar. While the song samples Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” the artists rap about driving a Chevy Impala, decked out with 20-inch rims, as well as a high-end Mercedes Benz, complete with Vogue tires and a custom “presidential package.”
LL Cool J – The Boomin System
LL Cool J wrote this anthemic song (off 1990’s Mama Said Knock You Out) for all the guys (and girls) who like to pump up the bass on their EQ, roll down their windows, and blast songs from their cars.
Lost Boyz – Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz
The lead single off Lost Boyz’ 1996 debut, Legal Drug Money, “Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz” finds the Queens, NY crew giving shout-outs to the East Coast, West Coast, Jeeps, luxurious Lexus Coupes, BMWs, and Mercedes Benzes.
Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
The title track to Lucinda Williams’ Grammy-winning fifth studio album, this nostalgic 1998 song finds the singer-songwriter recalling the sights and sounds of her southern childhood road trips.
Luke Bryan – My Ol’ Bronco
Country star Luke Bryan pays tribute to the simple pleasures of his well-loved 70s Ford Bronco in this 2015 cut, which opens the final installment of his Spring Break EP series.
M.I.A – Bad Girls
This anthemic 2012 song from M.I.A. celebrates female empowerment, as she sings about driving around in her Jeep Cherokee and “leavin’ the boys behind.” The music video, shot in the deserts of Morocco, promoted the Women to Drive movement, which campaigned for Saudi women to have the right to drive (it would be another 6 years before it was enacted into law).
Massive Attack – Be Thankful for What You Got
Trip-hop stars Massive Attack transformed this 1974 soul tune (originally written and released by William DeVaughn) on their landmark 1991 debut, Blue Lines. The song reminds listeners that even if they don’t own a fancy Cadillac, they can still be proud and thankful for the things that they do have in their lives.
MC Nas-D & DJ Freaky Fred – It’s My Cadillac (Got That Bass)
One of the best Miami bass songs about cars ever recorded, MC Nas-D and DJ Freaky Fred celebrate the joys of a Cadillac (and a high-end sound system) in the title track to their 1992 album.
Meridian Dan feat. Big H & JME – German Whip
British MC Meridian Dan, plus rappers Big H and JME, wax poetic about high-end German cars (Audis, BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, and Porsches, among others) in this 2014 single. Peaking at No.12 in the UK, the fast-paced song helped reinvigorate the country’s grime scene.
Metallica – Fuel
Motor racing imagery runs throughout this single, off Metallica‘s 1997 LP, Reload. While the Grammy-nominated song’s meaning has been interpreted in a myriad of ways, it is often said that this fan favorite is about living a fast lifestyle. Nearly 20 years later, Dodge licensed the song for an ad that showcased their performance vehicles.
Mike Jones feat. Paul Wall & Slim Thug – Still Tippin’
Rapper Mike Jones (with help from Paul Wall and Slim Thug) pays tribute to Vogue tires, flashy rims, Cadillac Escalades, and his hometown of Houston in this song off 2005’s Who Is Mike Jones?
Model 500 – Night Drive (Thru-Babylon)
Detroit-based DJ and producer Juan Atkins (aka Model 500) was inspired to write this supremely funky, 1985 electro track after his many late-night drives across Michigan’s I-96 interstate.
Natalie Cole – Pink Cadillac
In the spring of 1988, Natalie Cole scored a Top Ten single with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac.” The song finds Cole declaring “My love is bigger than a Honda, it’s bigger than a Subaru/Hey man there’s only one thing and one car that will do.” The answer, of course, is a luxurious, pink Cadillac.
Nelly – Ride Wit Me
In this Top 5 hit off 2000’s Country Grammar, Nelly gives a shout-out to a variety of luxury vehicles, including the Mercedes Benz E-Class and Range Rovers. The music video, meanwhile, incorporated a classic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am as well as a giant Peterbilt 379 truck…filled with women.
Olivia Rodrigo – drivers license
Olivia Rodrigo’s record-breaking debut offers an epic (and relatable) tale of teenage heartbreak. She’s finally received her driver’s license – and all the freedom that it offers. But after a crushing breakup, all she can do is drive around her town and reminisce about her lost love.
Outkast – Two Dope Boyz (In a Cadillac)
The Cadillac, and its connection to Southern culture, played a big role In Outkast’s cosmic sophomore album, ATLiens. In this song off the 1996 LP, the duo rap about driving around in Atlanta in the luxury brand, giving a special shout-out to models like the Coupe DeVille and the Fleetwood.
PJ Harvey – Driving
This haunting, early demo of PJ Harvey’s tells a tale of a woman in a white gown escaping in her car. Is she running from a wedding? A relationship? Or something else more abstract?
The Playmates – Beep Beep
This 1958 novelty song from The Playmates tells the tale of a guy riding proudly in his Cadillac when he’s approached by a less-than-sporty Nash Rambler. While the two cars engage in an impromptu road race, the tempo of the song picks up, and up, and up, until the punchline at the end.
Primus – Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
This funky little number from Primus’ 1991 debut (Sailing the Seas of Cheese), tells the tale of two men: Jerry, a Hank Williams Jr.-loving race car driver who meets a tragic end in his Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 after a night of drinking, and Captain Pearce, a retired firefighter.
Prince – Little Red Corvette
In this iconic Top Ten hit (off 1982’s 1999), Prince uses the metaphor of a sleek, red corvette to describe a one-night stand with a gorgeous (and wild) woman who likes to “Love ‘em and leave ‘em fast.”
Queen – I’m in Love with My Car
Written and sung by drummer Roger Taylor, this 1975 song (off Queen’s A Night at the Opera) tells the tale of a lad who’d much rather spend time with his car than his girlfriend. In addition to featuring some incredible riffs by guitarist Brian May, the song also includes a cameo by Taylor’s Alfa Romeo.
Reba McEntire – I’d Rather Ride Around with You
Reba McEntire skips out on her cousin’s wedding to joyride with her sweetheart in this jubilant country hit off 1996’s What If It’s You.
Rich Boy feat. Polow Da Don – Throw Some D’s
The aptly-named Rich Boy (with help from Polow Da Don) raps about his making money – and buying a Cadillac – in this Top Ten single off his 2007 self-titled debut.
Rick Ross feat. Drake & Chrisette Michelle – Aston Martin Music
Rick Ross, Drake, and Chrisette Michelle pay tribute to the sleek (and expensive) Aston Marton in this 2010 single off Teflon Don. Ross also gives a shout-out to the world’s most famous Aston Martin driver, James Bond.
Rihanna – Shut Up and Drive
This new wave-influenced hit from Rihanna (off 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad) is full of sultry metaphors, in which she hopes to go “0 to 60” with her new flame. The best-selling artist sings about Maybachs and Ferraris, and declares that she’s “got class like a ‘57 Cadillac/And overdrive with a whole lot of boom in the back.” Shut up and drive, indeed.
Roger Miller – King of the Road
Country singer Roger Miller sings from the perspective of a vagabond in this chart-topping, crossover hit. In the 1964 tune, the character (a “man of means by no means”) finds joy in his freedom, despite having little money.
The Rolling Stones – Route 66
The Rolling Stones open their 1964 self-titled debut with a classic ode to the most famous highway in America. Adding a dose of swagger to this R&B standard (written by Bobby Troup in 1946), the British rockers might have been envisioning their first US tour as they sang about each stop across the country.
Ronny & the Daytonas – GTO
Surf rockers Ronny & the Daytonas demonstrate their admiration for the sporty Pontiac GTO in this jaunty 1964 tune. As their very first single, “GTO” marked an auspicious beginning for the short-lived group, earning them a gold record and their only Top 5 hit.
Rose Royce – Car Wash
“You might not ever get rich/But let me tell you, it’s better than digging a ditch,” sing the boys of Rose Royce in this chart-topping 1976 disco hit. The funky song was also the theme to Car Wash – a blockbuster comedy starring Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
Roy Orbison – I Drove All Night
Although this enduring power ballad was originally written for crooner Roy Orbison in 1987, his recording wouldn’t be released until 1992, several years after his death. Instead, the song is popularly attributed to Cyndi Lauper, who made it a massive, global hit in 1989. Younger fans may recognize yet another version of the song by Celine Dion, who transformed it into a dance hit more than a decade later.
Rush – Red Barchetta
Rush spin a vivid tale about a young man sneaking out to the country to drive his uncle’s well-preserved, decades-old Ferrari Barchetta. The song, off 1981’s Moving Pictures, was inspired by Richard Foster’s A Nice Morning Drive – a short story set in a futuristic era, in which smaller, sporty vehicles have been replaced by giant, militaristic vehicles.
Sam Hunt – Body Like a Back Road
Country star Sam Hunt compares his relationship (and his girlfriend’s body) to driving slowly down a back road in this crossover hit off 2020’s Southside. Having been together a long time (they go “way back like Cadillac seats”) these two lovers are on “a highway to heaven.”
Sammy Hagar – I Can’t Drive 55
After receiving a ticket for driving seven miles over the speed limit, Sammy Hagar was inspired to write the song “I Can’t Drive 55.” Referencing the 55 MPH speed limit (the highest legal speed at the time in the US), the 1984 fan favorite also spawned an iconic music video, in which Hagar attempts to outrun the cops in a Ferrari BB512i.
Shania Twain – In My Car (I’ll Be The Driver)
This witty and empowering 2002 tune (off Shania Twain’s chart-topping crossover hit, Up!) finds the star warning her man not to be a backseat driver. When she’s behind the wheel, she’s in charge.
Shirley Horn – The Rules of the Road
Jazz singer Shirley Horn offers a supremely cool performance of this classic tune on her 2001 album, You’re My Thrill. The song, which Tony Bennett first recorded in 1962, compares the rules of romance to “The Rules of the Road.”
Sir Mix-A-Lot – My Hooptie
While “My Hooptie” sounds like it could be the ego-boosting prequel to “Baby Got Back,” this 1989 single from Sir Mix-a-Lot is actually just about his dilapidated old car. The rapper paints a sad picture of his 1969 Buick, which is missing a hubcap, has mismatched tires, and is sporting a loose bumper. But on the bright side, he’s got heat and a pair of giant fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror.
Slick Rick feat. Doug E. Fresh – Sittin’ in My Car
In this 1995 single featuring Doug E. Fresh, rapper Slick Rick sits in his Jeep, waiting for his latest girlfriend to meet him. As he continues to wait, he bemoans all the times that he’s been scorned by women.
Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’
Smokey Robinson’s smooth-as-silk “Cruisin’ was one of his biggest hits outside of his work with The Miracles. The sultry, 1979 ballad (off When There’s Smoke…) is also a perfect soundtrack for a romantic Sunday drive.
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Snow Patrol’s 2006 love song (off Eyes Open) reminds us how little we really need, and how simple pleasures – like walking through blooming gardens, taking a pause, and watching the cars driving by – can be just as impactful as life’s big moments.
Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild
Thanks to its inclusion in Easy Rider, Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” is perhaps the most famous song about driving a motorcycle. The hard-rocking, 1968 hit is all about the freedom that comes from revving up your bike, driving out into nature, and seeking adventure.
Taylor Swift – Getaway Car
In this dramatic single off 2018’s Reputation, Taylor Swift realizes that escaping one relationship by jumping into another (aka a “Getaway Car”) isn’t going to end well for anyone.
Tom Cochrane – Life Is A Highway
Tom Cochrane compares life’s twists and turns to driving down a highway on this song – and vows to make the most of it (especially if his love is by his side). The rollicking, 1991 single, off Mad Mad World, was a No.1 hit in Cochran’s native Canada and a Top Ten hit in the US.
Tom Petty – Running Down a Dream
The late, great Tom Petty revels in the joys of driving a car on a sunny day on this song as he reflects on his dreams of becoming a musician. The artist also gives a shout-out to one of his musical heroes, Del Shannon, with a reference to his 1961 single, “Runaway.”
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
Tracy Chapman dreams of a better life in this bluesy, Top Ten hit off her 1988 self-titled debut. Working as a check-out girl, Chapman wonders, “You got a fast car/Is it fast enough so we can fly away?/We gotta make a decision/Leave tonight or live and die this way.”
Traveling Wilburys – End of the Line
The Traveling Wilburys (George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison) offer a wistful, yet joyful, message about being at peace with one’s self. The 1989 single, which appears on the supergroup’s debut (The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1) proclaims, “Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive/I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive.”
Vince Taylor & His Playboys – Brand New Cadillac
English rock’n’roller Vince Taylor wrote this 1959 single about a girl who leaves her boyfriend in the dust (literally and figuratively) in a shiny new Cadillac. The protagonist chases her in his Ford, as he pleads with her to return to him. While Taylor didn’t have much success on the UK charts, a swath of other artists have had better luck covering the rockabilly favorite, including The Clash, who recorded it for 1979’s London Calling.
War – Low Rider
While the lyrics to “Low Rider” are deceptively simple, this 1975 classic driving song (off War’s Why Can’t We Be Friends?) paints a vivid picture. Listening to it, one can easily imagine a mix of reefer and exhaust as a slow-moving custom low-rider comes into view. The sun is out, the toke is strong, and life is good.
White Zombie – Black Sunshine
White Zombie sings about a fast-racing Ford Mustang named “Black Sunshine” in this 1992 metal classic. The song, which appears on La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One, features a spoken-word intro by Iggy Pop (who also makes an appearance in the music video).
Wilco – Passenger Side
In this song off Wilco’s 1995 debut, A.M., a guy laments his demons – and his suspended license – as he relies on his sober buddy to get around town.
Willie Nelson – On the Road Again
Willie Nelson celebrates life as a touring musician in this Grammy-winning 1980 hit. The driving song, which quickly became one of his signature hits, was written for the film Honeysuckle Rose, in which Nelson starred as a struggling country artist.
Wilson Pickett – Mustang Sally
Wilson Pickett laments buying his girlfriend, Sally, a 1965 Ford Mustang, because now all she ever wants to do is drive around in it. Originally written and recorded by Mack Rice in 1965, Pickett made the R&B song a global hit one year later, landing on the charts in the US, UK, and Canada.
Think we missed one of the best songs about cars and driving in our list? Let us know in the comments below.
May 28, 2021 at 11:27 pm
Big missing: Ol’55, Tom Waits!
May 31, 2021 at 4:58 am
I would have gone with “Cruiser” or “Let’s Go” instead of the “Drive” by the Cars
May 31, 2021 at 5:09 pm
Terraplane Blues/Trampled Under Foot
September 18, 2021 at 2:46 am
NRBQ – Riding in My Car… no New England Summer is complete without this song..
September 22, 2021 at 11:52 pm
Fun, Fun, Fun? If you can only pick one BB song for this list, not sure that is the one. But why choose 1? they have several that are actually car focused: 409, Little Deuce Coupe, Shut Down.
January 7, 2022 at 12:27 pm
Windows are Rolled Down by Amos Lee is a catchy tune.
Road to Nowhere by The Talking Heads should have made the list.
January 12, 2022 at 1:40 am
My favorite line from Rush’s Red Barchetta:
Drive like the wind,
Straining the limits of machine and man
Laughing out loud
With fear and hope, I’ve got a desperate plan
January 12, 2022 at 9:24 pm
if you want rollicking, how about Long White Cadillac by The Blasters
May 15, 2022 at 12:36 am
Commander Cody’s Hot Rod Lincoln
May 19, 2022 at 4:01 am
Driver’s Seat by Sniff N’ the Tears
June 28, 2022 at 1:24 am
coupe de ville
July 30, 2022 at 12:36 am
Always crashing in the same car – David Bowie
Cars & Cars – Nits
August 2, 2022 at 5:09 pm
Jeepster by T Rex (1971)
One of the best lyrics ever: “Just like a car you’re wondrous to behold/I’ll call you Jaguar, if I may be so bold….!”
December 11, 2022 at 7:50 pm
Jimi Hendrix – Cross Town Traffic
January 22, 2023 at 12:34 am
I’ve been Everywhere, Man, I’ve been Everywhere. Johnny Cash
February 8, 2023 at 2:32 am
Dude, Little Deuce Coupe!!
“She’s got a competition clutch with the four on the floor
And she purrs like a kitten ’til the lake pipes roar
And if that ain’t enough to make you flip your lid
There’s one more thing, I got the pink slip, daddy
And coming off the line when the light turns green (deuce coupe)
Well, she blows them out of the water like you never seen (deuce coupe)
I get pushed out of shape, and it’s hard to steer (deuce coupe)
When I get rubber in all four gears”
There are a lot of songs on the list about being in a car, or liking a car, this song is actually about a car. and it is a wicked track to boot!!
April 17, 2023 at 9:12 pm
Jud Strunk a song about taking a vacation in a “little orange thing”
a song from the early ’70’s I had this song on an LP or a tape. I have been hunting for it for 50 years. Hope someone can find it