Since cars were invented, and especially since they have become a pivotal part of our everyday lives, we have been writing songs about them. So many things can happen in or because of cars, and it is natural that they are utilized as a setting in lyrics. Whether the song talks about working on a car, making out in a car, or hitting the road for a trip in your car, there is no doubt that cars make many appearances in our music, new and old.
- Get Out Of My Dreams, And Into My Car by Billy Ocean: In this song, the narrator has seen a spectacular woman, and wishes that she would join him. He wants her to jump right out of his dreams and into his car so they can hit the road, experience all that life has to offer, and drive off into the sunset together, happily ever after… and maybe even experience New York City Holiday Must-Sees and Dos together.
- Brand New Cadillac by The Clash: This song tells the story of a girl who
rolls up in a fancy new Cadillac to rub it in the narrator’s face. While it is speculated that the girl might have been cheating on the narrator, and her new boyfriend bought her the car, the song doesn’t really make it clear. While listening to this song, I also wonder if the narrator is more upset that his girl is leaving or that she has such a nice car.
- Little Deuce Coup by The Beach Boys: Like many great hit songs about cars, this one compares many of the aspects about a great car to a great woman. The song explains that she is “fast” and shiny, just like a new car, both of which are desirable to certain men.
- Low Rider by War: May be one of the catchiest songs written about cars, and the most memorable. Once you have heard this song, even with its limited lyrics, you cannot forget it. This song discusses how superior the narrator’s upgraded low-rider is. One “little trip” in the decked out car is all you need to realize how cool the ride is.
- Black Limousine by The Rolling Stones: As we have learned thus far, nothing goes together quite like cars and women. Especially if that car is a black limousine. Black stretch limousines have always been a symbol for wealth and partying, and The Rolling Stones utilize it for just the same. This song is about the good times they used to have in black limousines, and the women that made the times so great.
- Little Red Corvette by Prince: Like most of the late and great Prince’s songs, this one is one big sexual innuendo. While the woman Prince is referring to is compared to a little red Corvette, she also owns one. The way she drives and parks her car gives clues regarding her personality, and, ahem, past endeavors.
- Slow Ride by Foghat: Most songs that are written about cars are about driving really fast with a beautiful girl by your side. This classic, on the other hand, is about driving slow. It could mean slow down to enjoy the ride, or to increase your safety. If you want to read further into this song, it definitely wouldn’t be hard, but I like to imagine the narrator singing about slowing your roll and taking in your surroundings and enjoying life.
- Trans Am (Highway Wonderland) by Sammy Hagar: This song is quite literally a love song to his car. He details why his specific make and model is superior to any other, be it a car, van or truck. Whether his car is parked or screaming down the highway, Hagar finds his car to be his ultimate muse.
- Cadillac Ranch by Bruce Springsteen: While this song seems upbeat and like an homage to beautiful cars, upon reading the lyrics, an undertone is revealed. At first, the narrator admires his Cadillac; the car is beautiful and reliable, but towards the end of the song, you realize that heading to the Cadillac Ranch is a metaphor for aging, and the ranch itself is death. The narrator encounters a girl he likes, and she is picked up by a long black Cadillac, which, after a few listens, you realize is a hearse.
- Let Me Ride by Dr. Dre: This song perfectly encapsulates what it is like to cruise around town in your ride, bumping your music and going through your day. Some of the lyrics may be explicit, but it gives you an insider’s taste of what life is like for the narrator’s driving through the streets of California facts and weird traffic laws. While this song includes some extra-curricular activities that not everyone (especially your local police) may necessarily approve of, you can’t say that it is not a great song to blast out of your speakers while driving on the highway.
These ten songs just touch the tip of the iceberg of wonderful car songs. You can add your own and even make it into a playlist to bump in your ride while on a long road trip or to make it through the drive to work!