You’re right. A lot of songs are written about events or ideas that are important to the people who create them. Music is about a lot of things-togetherness, heartbreak, love, and a bunch of other stuff. But strangely enough, there are also tons of tunes written about cars and driving.
Preface on the Songs about Cars and Driving
No matter what nationality or social status, most people share a cultural fascination with the idea of leaving, and getting on the road. These are new opportunities. This is freedom.
Since the invention of cars, American songs have been about cars. Billy Murray, a 1915 singer, sang about a “little Ford” that was “rambling.” The song stated that gasoline would run out in the big car, but the “little Ford” doesn’t need gasoline (in fact, many of Ford’s original cars were electric).
It was the automobile that the songwriters took the most pride in among all the inventions of 20th century. Why? It’s because not everyone can afford an airplane or ship. People kept their phones and turntables in the house if they had them. The cars were a different story. It was affordable for most people. Then, if you bought it, you had to show it in public.” People soon began to see the differences between different types of cars.
For a long time in America, brands and models were the things you wanted to aim for. Many Americans believed that cars were just a young technology in 1919. A car driver thinks about Ford one way, while someone who drives a Rolls-Royce or Cadillac another.
Songs reflected this, as well as something else about cars. Many people believed that cars were dangerous in the beginning, and that money and danger combined made them attractive. Songs like “You Can Get a Girlfriend if You Have a Car” were popular. They warned young women that “his car could get you too far from your mom and dad.”
In those early days cars didn’t move fast enough, nor did the songs. The situation changed after the Second World War. The war is a conflict with death, and it has had a profound impact on the lives of young people who went abroad. “If you can survive machine-gun bullets and torpedoes, you’ll get something more. You will live. All that was old is old again.
It was your dad’s music. The music that survived war was the one that children gravitated towards. It had a rhythm and movement that made them feel alive, that they were moving forward. This is what identified the Hot Rod car.
He said that the children who returned from war wanted new music, and a different car. Both were theirs. They got both.
It was impossible to put the bag back into the bag after rock and roll became a reality in the form of Elvis Presley. You can also remove the fenders from a ’32 Ford Ford to raise it up a bit higher so that the nose can be positioned down. This allows you to race further down the highway.
It’s no wonder that hot rods were merged with rock’n’roll. They share something in common. Both of them are easy to make up as you go. Rock and roll is a place where there is improvisation all the time. The melody is the first thing you need. The lead instruments can then sing the song around it. This is the person who creates it.
It’s the same with car setup. You do it yourself. You can convert it to a convertible. It can be made lower than the ground or narrower. The wings can be removed. You can paint any color you like. The main topic was being improvised at the time.
From the 1950s to the present, the era of hot rods lasted until the automobile’s electronics became too complicated for easy disassembly and modification. Songs about cars and driving have been written for decades – Mustang Sally (G.T.O.), Hot Rod Lincoln (Hot Rod Lincoln). Highway of Love, and other songs.
Not all “Car Songs”, however, are songs about cars. Listening to loud, fast music is like driving a car. What is the motivating factor when you attend a concert? To reach the front of the stage. You are effectively pushing yourself to the top, raising your fists and shouting loudly to get to the front of the audience.
There are many parallels between getting in a car and strapping your seatbelts, then rushing forward with the music playing.
Certain music sounds “especially cheerful, righteous, and move forward in a car,” and the artists created songs that did just that. For children in the suburbs, they wrote songs like Legs or Layla. In the city, there was slower music for driving, which became known as “Crusin” – songs such as Riding Dirty or Two Dope Boys in a Cadillac – Outcast.
These songs, and many of the cars they sing about, are American. This is no accident. It’s not that America is different from other countries, but rather there are certain things about how we build and how we handle it. It may have been invented in France or Germany.
It was “implemented very quickly” by the Americans. The USA is a country of large size with many territories. Therefore, the states are often located far from one another. A freeway is our favorite American feature. It’s as simple as shifting into gear and driving slowly on the highway. Then it can fly.
The same could be said for England, Russia, Italy and Greece. The car should be opened – musicians and music fans fully understand what we’re trying to communicate to them!
American songs almost exclusively describe the car and the song about it. They represent where we are today and what we have. They also talk a lot on how these events have shaped us.
Top Songs about Cars and Driving
Since the invention of automobiles, they have been an integral part our society. We live in a world that has been transformed by the automobile. It’s hard to imagine a time before cars, and how different it would be if they didn’t exist.
Cars are not just a means of transport. They have become symbols for status and identity. We associate them with our identities and who we are (and what type) today. Let’s look at the top 50 songs about cars, and songs about driving, that you can listen while you drive home from school or work.
1. “Drive my car” by The Beatles
The song is about a dude who convinces a chick to get in his car so they can go somewhere and hook up.
2. “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” By Nat King Cole
This song is about Mother Road, US Route 66. Most people from the US get around via long distance driving, but there are a few other options like buses and subways. Getting to some parts of the country can be hard though, because some old roads have been abandoned.
3. “Drive” by Incubus
This song sounds like it’s about someone in love with someone they can’t have. It’s as if all they want to do is go for a drive or be with their partner. They really can’t get them out of their mind. It’s hard to be completely satisfied with anything in life. But don’t let that stop you from aiming for what you really want.
4. “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts
This song was originally composed for the movie, Cars. The lyrics are all about taking chances and following your heart because you never know where it will take you in life. It means to tell listeners that they should live out their dreams, despite any obstacle or hardship.
5. “Mercury Blues” By Steve Miller Band
The song relates to cars, a Mercedes Benz and a Mercury – it’s all in the lyrics. Some listeners think it is about “an enduring love that transcends death.” Looks like the singer is trying to see if they can get with Mercury.
6. “Ride Wit Me” by Nelly
This song is about a dude who’s always showing off his girlfriend and they’re a big pair of show-offs. He feels like he can take on anything when he’s around her because she makes him feel so good.
7. “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” By Billy Ocean
The song is about wanting to be with someone. The speaker in the song suggest he could give them a ride, if they wanted it.
8. “Greatest Love Story” By LANCO
He is trying to hint that he isn’t interested in her by saying “I didn’t know what to do with you” (which can be interpreted in different ways). He might have said that she can use his Cadillac.
9. “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna
Another song that makes a car and driving metaphor is this one. This scenario has an intimate feeling. Rendered as one person describing their car to another, each of the songs deals with aspects of the vehicle.
10. “Drive By” by Train
It sounds like this song talks straight to you if you’ve ever seen your SO getting close with someone else. When bad things happen and they don’t know what to do, their first reaction is driving away and trying to stay clear-headed. The album is beautifully melancholy and worth a listen.
11. “Drive” by R.E.M
I think this song’s about a person who has just witnessed some kind of violent act, whether it be murder or war. They are overcome with emotions because they can’t focus straight in what they saw. The song is meant to tell the listener that it’s important to enjoy life and all its beauty.
12. “Highway Blues” by Marc Seales
Fun fact: Windows XP came with this song. Have a listen now!
13. “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC
This song sounds really despairing. It’s about a person who’s mostly upset about the way their life has turned out. They feel like they’re heading for disaster and there’s no turning back. This song is definitely one of the most recognizable guitar riffs of all time!
14. “I Drove All Night” by Cyndi Lauper
This song is about a person who can’t sleep so they decide to drive all night. Sometimes taking off on the open road and leaving your problems behind can make you feel better!
15. “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys
This song is about someone who is leaving their hometown for a more promising place. They’re saying to the listener: it’s worth being brave and taking chances in order to have a new start and not just stay where they are.
16. “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots
This song is about someone who’s fallen in love with somebody. They think it was fate, because their paths crossed and now they plan to spend the rest of their lives together. It means to tell the listener you meet people in life at the right time and everything would be perfect.
17. “Hot Rod Race” by Arkie Shibley and His Mountain Dew Boys
This song is about two young guys who are racing their cars on the main street downtown. A lot driving skills are being displayed, but there are also some bragging songs.
18. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
This is a song about someone who feels like they were born to run, and wants out so bad. They’ve been running around, searching for freedom and happiness in life…
19. “See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet” by Dinah Shore
This song tells the story of a woman who has received an invitation from her boyfriend to go somewhere exciting in his new car. She doesn’t know where he is taking her, but she feels like she will be able to see all of America along the way.
20. “Riding in my car (Car Song)” by Woody Guthrie
This song is about a guy who is in his car, listening to music on the radio and driving around. He’s looking for adventure and hopes to find something new.”
21. “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry
This song is about a guy who is driving around and trying to pick up women. He’s using all of his charms and skills to try and impress them. The message for listeners is that it’s important to be confident in your own skin and make a girl laugh when you interact with her.
22. Hot Rod Lincoln” by Charlie Ryan
This is a song about a guy who just got a new car and he’s showing it off to his friends. He mentions how fast the car is so that they’ll be impressed.
23. “Little Deuce Coupe” by The Beach Boys
This song is about a dude who just got a new car so he’s driving around to show it off & tell everyone how fast it goes.
24. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince
This song is about someone who just got a new Corvette car and has a lot of intent to drive with it. He’s showing off his new purchase and getting all the attention from his friends.
25. “Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin
The song is about a girl who falls victim to the wrong environment and becomes addicted to drugs. Over time, she loses sight of who she once was and ends up dying in a car accident.
26. “Chevy Van” by Sammy John
The song is about a guy who falls in love with the woman of his dreams. He invites her on a road trip and she says yes as long as he promises not to fall asleep while they’re driving.
27. “Two Of Us” by The Beatles
“You and me Sunday driving, not arriving on our way home.” This is a sad song about someone who himself to reconnect with the past and loved ones he lost along the way. The lyrics make me want to pack my bags and head out into the world!
28. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman
The song is about a woman who decides to make a change in her life. She’s tried everything else, so she decides to leave her abusive relationship and drive away with her daughter. It’s hopeful and shows promise for the future.
29. “Keep on Truckin’” by Eddie Kendricks
The song is about a guy who loves to drive and features all the fun and exciting aspects of cruising in his Chevy. It’s an upbeat song that encourages people to keep going, even in tough times, because life ain’t all bad when you’re feeling good.
30. “Lord, Mr. Ford” by Jerry Reed
The song’s about a guy who meets the woman of his dreams and is planning on happily following her wherever she goes. As long as he’s in his Ford, he doesn’t want her leaving town.
31. “Slow Ride” by Foghat
The song is about a guy who’s out with his friends and is determined to have the time of his life. While he would rather enjoy the evening, his friends are all about getting drunk and starting fights.
32. “Revenge of The Middle Aged Woman” by Tracy Byrd
This song offers a good break from the other ones on this list, due to its humorous narratives. We won’t spoil it, but you can be certain that the woman gets back at her spouse in more ways than one. You should definitely listen to it!
33. “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” by Primus
Looking to have a dance-friendly song about cars? Primus’ “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver” will do just the trick.
34. “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
The song’s about a man who’s out traveling but can’t wait to get back home to his family. He talks about all of the places he’s been and all of the people he’s met, but in the end, he just really wants to be with the ones he loves.
35. “Pink Cadillac” by Natalie Cole
The song is about a woman who loves this man, and he drives a Pink Cadillac. He loves the way she likes to ride in it, and takes it anywhere to please her, but mostly he just wants someone adventurous like her.
36. “Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)” by The Playmates
This song is a bit hard to dance to because of its underlying tempo. That said, it does make for a very interesting, unique listen. Give it a shot if you’re looking for something different.
37. “My Car” by Gary Numan
This song is so amazingly catchy! You’ll know it’s from the start when you hear the opening beat.
38. “Drive” by The Cars
The Cars wrote this song and it’s iconic. It has many opinions on what it’s about, but all we can say is that it’s mildly depressing and really realistic – so it’s a good addition to your playlist.
39. “409” by The Beach Boys
If you love cars as much as The Beach Boys do, then you are in for a treat. They have numerous songs about the topic throughout their music’s history and one of them is coming up next.
40. “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys
You can’t force a smile when your whole world is crashing around you. The lyrics on this song are meant to be about the perils of youth, with Ocean detailing the multifaceted pressures that make it so hard for kids and teens nowadays.
41. “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett
This song is about a guy who falls in love with the woman that drives his favorite car, a red Mustang. He talks about how great it was to ride around in her car, and he also sings about how passionate he feels for her body on top of him.
42. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
This song is about a man who’s considering giving up on life and settling for a boring routine. It’s time for him to stop living an outlaw life and get back in touch with his old self. He spoke about how fun it can be when you don’t fear taking risks. But the really good part is, he talked about the freedom that comes with living this way.
43. “If I ruled the world” by Nas
Nas is in the car with city lights blasting behind him and his rap video from the 1990s has become one of the best of all time thanks to its iconic imagery. He raps about this car scene and what it means to him.
44. “Takin’ It to the Streets” by Michael McDonald
Different people have speculated what this song is about and sadly, we don’t know exactly. While it might not be too clear in the lyrics, this is a great driving anthem.
45. “Moonlight Drive” by The Doors
Doors fans will probably know this song as the first that Jim Morrison wrote. It seems that it had a big impact on how they worked together as it made them more cohesive.
46. “Going Mobile” by The Who
The song is about a man who has quit his job to focus on the fun stuff in life & not live by what people expect of him. He doesn’t need anything to feel free.
47. “’92 Subaru” – Fountains of Wayne
Fountains of Wayne’s fourth album, Traffic and Weather, contain quite a few songs about travelling. They cover “I-95”, “Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim”, “Seatbacks & Traytables” & the wanderlust celebration anthem “New Routine”.
When we were picking our favourites for this playlist, we had to include the song about souped-up arts. “Here I come!” said the driver. They made room in their lane as they approached them in a “late ’92” baby blue Subaru.
48. “G.T.O.” – Ronny & The Daytonas
Pontiac first rolled out the G.T.O in 1964, the same year that Ronny and The Daytonas wrote this hit song celebrating the model. Little did they know, the G.T.O would soon become famous, earning its status as one of the most memorable American muscle cars!
49. “Brand New Cadillac” – The Clash
The song “Brand New Cadillac” was originally by Vince Taylor released in 1959, but 20 years later The Clash covered it for their album London Calling. It’s a great tune to get your toes tapping when you’re on the road-but DON’T tap the gas or you’ll find yourself flying through the air!
50. “Get In The Car” – Moxy Früvous
It was a tough choice but we think “Get in the Car” from The Beach Boys is the perfect choice for our road trip playlist. With its lively music and imagery of starting out on a journey, it captures the thrill of driving and that’s something we can all agree on! (The Billy Ocean 8-track line is…not so great).
FAQ for Songs about Cars Driving
What do the lyrics of a song about cars driving say?
The lyrics of a song about cars driving can be interpreted in many ways. The song could be talking about the feelings that come with being in a car and traveling on the road, such as freedom and excitement.
Why do people listen to songs about cars driving?
People listen to songs about cars driving because they can relate to it. They like the feeling of freedom that comes with driving and the excitement of being able to go on a road trip. Songs about cars are also a way for people to express themselves, whether it’s through lyrics or just by listening.
Which car driving songs think do people are the best?
Some people like to have their favorite songs playing in their car at all times, but most people don’t know what songs are good or bad for driving.
The best car driving songs that most people think of are from “Grease” and “Carrie Underwood.”
Why do people listen to music/songs in the car?
Songs that are sung while driving are a personal preference. Some people like to listen to the radio while they drive, while others prefer their own playlist.
Some songs people like because they want to be reminded of the good times, or songs that remind them of someone else when they hear them.
Some people like songs that make them feel happy, and some people like songs that make them feel sad.
Which car driving songs think do people are the worst?
In a survey of over 2,000 people, the most hated car driving songs were “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley and “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.
How do write a song about cars driving?
The first step is to listen to the song that you want to write a song about. You can start by listening to it over and over again. When you have listened to the song enough times, you will have an idea of what the lyrics should be like and what kind of sound they should make.
Once you know what your lyrics are going to be, it’s time for you to practice singing them out loud until they sound perfect. This will help with your creativity as well as your voice in preparation for writing the song down on paper or in a computer program like GarageBand or Logic Pro X.