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62 Pop, Rock & Country Songs About Cars & Driving

Cars represent freedom and youth for many Americans. Celebrate the automobile with a customized playlist.  We have a long list of pop, rock, and country songs about cars and driving to get you started.
Cars represent freedom and youth for many Americans. Celebrate the automobile with a customized playlist. We have a long list of pop, rock, and country songs about cars and driving to get you started. | Source

Start Your Engine!

Americans have a love affair with their cars. On average, we spend 101 minutes each day driving. Cars mean freedom and independence. They connect us with adventure, they take us to work, to the mall, and to the doctor's office. Cars are an extension of ourselves whether we keep them shiny and spotless or carelessly toss used fast food bags in the back seat.

Regardless of what car you own — a minivan, a sedan or a hot rod — celebrate our grand love affair with the automobile with a customized playlist about cars and driving. Here's a long list of pop, rock and country songs to get you started.

1. "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" by Billy Ocean

Imagine being the woman in this 1988 song who is the target of the narrator's hooting and hollering. She's on the side of road minding her business, and the driver yells, "Hey (hey) you (you), get in to my car!" She asks, "Who me?" and our narrator replies, "Yes you, get in to my car!"

Now seriously, if any stranger shouted at me like that, I'd get his license plate and and run in the other direction. But this was the 1980s, and Billy Ocean continued flirting with his new gal pal. He invited her to get into his back seat. Then he turned his attentions to a lady driver and made some suggestive remarks about touching his bumper.

Sheesh! Put the brakes on, fella. Sounds like someone needs a long drive through a cold car wash.

Approximately 84% of Americans travel to work in a private automobile.
Approximately 84% of Americans travel to work in a private automobile. | Source

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2. "Little Red Corvette" by Prince

Because the Corvette is known for its speed and for its great looks, it was a natural pick for the narrator of this song in recounting his one night stand with a gorgeous, promiscuous woman. He uses the car metaphor to depict his lover's wanton ways and to caution her about her risky behavior:

I say little red Corvette, baby, you're much too fast
Little red Corvette, you need a love that gonna last. ...

He also alludes to horsepower and mentions keys and gas. This 1983 song is one of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Sales of the song spiked again after Prince's tragic death in 2016.

3. Life is a Highway by Tom Cochran

This 1991 hit compares life to a wide-open and bendy road. The guy in the song realizes that the sun is setting all too soon, and he's intent on taking to the open road, preferably with some fun-loving company:

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long.

The age of the average American automobile is now more than 10 years old. Many are not as beautiful or well cared for as this 1970 Chevrolet Camaro.
The age of the average American automobile is now more than 10 years old. Many are not as beautiful or well cared for as this 1970 Chevrolet Camaro. | Source

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4. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen

In the "don't try this at home" category there's this classic 1975 hit about joyriding. It's from his album of the same name that is one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. A young lover glorifies racing down the highway way too fast and taking risks that he knows could result in tragedy.

5. "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is most widely associated with this country cross-over 1980 hit; it won a Grammy Award and was named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song is delightfully simple and is about a group of musician friends who live on the road. On tour, they sing their songs then pack it up and drive on down the highway to their next gig.

What a gorgeous pink Cadillac.  Mary Kay Ash, founder of the cosmetics brand, started a tradition in 1969 of awarding pink Cadillacs to top sales performers.
What a gorgeous pink Cadillac. Mary Kay Ash, founder of the cosmetics brand, started a tradition in 1969 of awarding pink Cadillacs to top sales performers. | Source

6. "Pink Cadillac" by Natalie Cole

Natalie Cole nails this 1988 hit, originally sung by Bruce Springsteen. In the song, the narrator loves her honey for his pink Cadillac, complete with crushed velvet seats that tempt anyone to want to climb in the back and test them out. Some people claim the Cadillac is a car that's too old or a gas guzzler, but she likes that it's one that's large enough to have a party in.

7. "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry

This 1955 tune was the first hit for rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry. It tells the story of a lovesick man who is driving a V8 Ford. He's in hot pursuit of his cheating girlfriend who is in a Cadillac Coupe DeVille.

8. "The Corvette Song (The One I Loved Back Then)" by George Jones

George Jones was nicknamed "The Possum" because he allegedly looked like one from the side with his beady eyes. In 1985, The Possum gifted country music this fun song. It was about a man who stopped by a convenience store for some beer and cigarettes and began a conversation with the store cashier.

The cashier covets what the narrator has and recounts that he had one just like her in 1963 before the man at the bank took her away. The narrator assumes they are discussing the man's Corvette:

Oh, she was hotter than a two dollar pistol
She was the fastest thing around.
Long and lean, every young man's dream
She turned every head in town.
She was built and fun to handle, son.
I'm glad that you dropped in
She reminds me of the one I loved back then.

When the Corvette owner offers the cashier the keys for a quick spin around the block, the cashier explains that it's not the Corvette he covets but the brunette in the passenger side.

9. "I Can’t Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar

Back in 1985 when Federal law forbade speed limits above 55 mph, this song lamented a lead-footed driver's inability to comply. He's taking his chances because he's got a need for speed.

He might get an expensive traffic ticket or his license may be revoked, but he doesn't care. This guy is riding risky, pedal to the metal.

10. "Born to be Wild" by Hinder

This 1968 classic is a timeless celebration of youth, risk taking and the adventure of driving on a wide open highway. It's one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, originally recorded by Steppenwolf but admirably remade by Hinder in 2005.

11. "White Walls" by Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Schoolboy Q & Hollis)

The narrator in this 2013 song is going total old school in his off-black Cadillac, tricked out with a brand new paint job and white walled tires. He cruises through town then speeds in and out of traffic in his souped-up convertible that he's poured both his money and his heart into. Look at all those heads turn this way.

Distracted driving is any activity that could take your attention away from your main focus:  the road.  Examples: texting, using a cell phone, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, grooming, reading, using a navigation system or radio.
Distracted driving is any activity that could take your attention away from your main focus: the road. Examples: texting, using a cell phone, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, grooming, reading, using a navigation system or radio. | Source

12. "Cars" by Gary Numan

The man in this 1979 song describes his car as his sanctuary from the world. He seems to be having some problems coping and retreats to the security of his car where he can think better.

13. "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys

This 1964 Beach Boys classic is about a teenage girl who borrowed her dad's car under the pretense of going to the library. Instead of studying, she used the car for cruising and hot rod racing. Her old man found out, however, and took the keys away. The song's narrator celebrates that he's coming to her rescue, offering to let her ride in his car.

14. "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson

This sensual song from 1979 describes riding around the streets with a love partner with no particular destination. Together, they appreciate good music and each other, passing the time in each other's company.

15. "You Can Sleep While I Drive" by Melissa Etheridge

Ready for a road trip, the narrator in this 1989 song has a full tank of gas in her convertible and enough money for a little adventure. She seeks to explore the open road in search of a destination she's never been before and encourages her sweetheart to come along for the ride.

16. "Drive" by The Cars

The narrator in this 1984 song perceives himself to be the steadiest, most reliable influence in his friend's life, and he's using example to try to convine his friend of that. He asks the friend rhetorical questions about who is going to do specific things for them, such as

  • tell you when it's too late
  • pick you up when you fall
  • pay attention to your dreams
  • hold you down when you shake
  • gonna come around when you break
  • drive you home tonight.

While at first blush the song might seem to be one of friendship, closer examination reveals it's an issue of one person's control over another. The narrator/driver is in the "driver's seat" of the relationship and of the friend's life.

17. "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin recorded this 1970 a cappella song three days before her death by heroin overdose. It was released the following year. The song takes a jab at consumerism, as the narrator asks God to buy her an expensive car, a color TV, and a night on the town.

Joplin famously drove a used 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet that she paid one of her roadies $500 to paint with a psychadelic mural.

18. "Slow Ride" by Foghat

This hard rock song from 1975 is now used in commercial contexts and as background music on both video games and television shows. If you listen to its lyrics, however, you'll find a song with sexually suggestive double meanings:

Slow down, go down, got to get your lovin' one more time
Hold me, roll me, slow ridin' woman you're so fine.

19. "Trans Am" by Thompson Square

Fast, loud and good-looking: that's the Trans Am. In this 2015 country song, a Trans Am owner invites his girlfriend to take a spin:

Girl let’s fly, jump inside, take a ride in my Trans Am
Hammer down, cruise around, rock this town in my Trans Am
Everybody wants to ride, hey, everybody wants to ride, hey
Girl, you know you wanna ride, take a ride in my Trans Am.

20. "Radar Love" by Golden Earring

The guy in this 1989 song has been driving all night to get back home to his beloved. This was back before cell phones were technologically available to the masses, so he can only communicate with her with a mysterious thing called "radar love."

Americans drive an average of 101 minutes each day. In an average lifetime, an American spends 37,935 hours driving a car.
Americans drive an average of 101 minutes each day. In an average lifetime, an American spends 37,935 hours driving a car. | Source

Even More Songs About Cars and Driving

Song
Artist
Year Released
21. Mustang Sally
Wilson Pickett
1966
22. Car Wash
Rose Royce
1976
23. No Particular Place to Go
Chuck Berry
1964
24. Glitter and Grease
Lady Gaga
2010
25. Mercury Blues
Alan Jackson
1992
26. Highway Star
Deep Purple
1972
27. My Ol' Bronco
Luke Bryan
2015
28. Red Camaro
Keith Urban
2013
29. 409
The Beach Boys
1962
30. Revenge of a Middle Aged Woman
Tracy Byrd
2005
31. Little Deuce Coupe
The Beach Boys
1963
32. Red Camaro
Rascal Flatts
2010
33. The Passenger
Iggy Pop
1977
34. Shut Down
The Beach Boys
1963
35. Greased Lightning
John Travolta
1978
36. Car Song
Elastica
2012
37. The Distance
Cake
1996
38. Queen of the Highway
The Doors
1970
39. I Gotsta Get Paid
ZZ Top
2012
40. Passenger Side
Wilco
1995
41. Brand New Cadillac
The Clash
1979
42. Thunder Road
Bruce Springsteen
1975
43. Skidmarks on My Heart
The Go-Go's
1981
44. All I Wanted Was A Car
Brad Paisley
2007
45. Brand New Cadillac
Vince Taylor
1959
46. Hot Rod Lincoln
Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen
1971
47. One Piece at a Time
Johnny Cash
1976
48. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
Primus
1991
49. Daddy Let Me Drive
Alan Jackson
2002
50. Bitchin' Camaro
The Dead Milkmen
1985
51. Drive My Car
The Beatles
1965
52. Hot Rod Heart
John Fogerty
1997
53. Cadillac Ranch
Bruce Springsteen
1980
54. Hey Little Cobra
The Rip Chords
1964
55. I'm In Love With My Car
Queen
1975
56. Mercury Blues
Steve Miller Band
1993
57. Gold Trans Am
Kesha
2012
58. Low Rider
War
1975
59. Racing in the Streets
Bruce Springsteen
1978
60. The Distance
Cake
1996
61. Roadrunner
Bo Diddley
1960
62. Beep Beep
The Playmates
1958
Got a song suggestion for our Cars & Driving Playlist? Leave us a comment in the Comment Section below.

What's In A Name? Locations With Names Associated with Cars

show route and directions
A markerAccord, New York, USA -
Accord, NY 12404, USA
get directions

B markerBuick Point, Australia -
Buick Point, American River SA 5221, Australia
get directions

C markerCadillac, Michigan, USA -
Cadillac, MI 49601, USA
get directions

D markerCamaro, Guinea -
Camaro, Guinea
get directions

E markerCorvette, Tennessee, USA -
Corvette, Tennessee 38485, USA
get directions

F markerDodge, Texas, USA -
Dodge, TX 77320, USA
get directions

G markerFord County, Illinois, USA -
Ford County, IL, USA
get directions

H markerMercedes, Texas, USA -
Mercedes, TX, USA
get directions

I markerPontiac, Michigan, USA -
Pontiac, MI, USA
get directions

J markerThunderbird, California, USA -
Thunderbird, San Jose, CA 95116, USA
get directions

© 2016 FlourishAnyway

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Comments 18 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

teaches12345 - I was surprised myself once I got to listing them out!


teaches12345 2 months ago

I didn't realize there were so many songs about a car. I will have to pass on the corvette video to my son who has a classic model. On The Road Again, that brings back memories!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Linda - Glad you enjoyed this! Have a great weekend!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I didn't think that an article about cars could be so interesting! Thanks for the entertainment and the information, Flourish.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Faith Reaper - I've always had sensible cars, too. One day perhaps I'll rent a hot rod. I like that you just went with the illusion with the boys in the neighborhood. What the didn't know didn't hurt them.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

MsDora - That's an oldie but goody. Some songs are timeless! Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 months ago from The Caribbean

If I know Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again," I guess everybody else does. I listened while I read through the list. "The life I love is making music with my friends, and I can't wait to get on the road again." Energizing as I'm sure some of the other songs are!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

Oh, these are great, Flourish. I love riding around in my car listening to my tunes. I have always felt such freedom when I am able to just jump in my car and go. I've never really had a cool car of my own, and I am happy with just having a car that goes LOL.

One time growing up my dad bought this really cool classic GTO, I believe it was, and some boys in the neighborhood saw my out washing it one day, thinking it was my very own car, and they said, "Cool car" and I responded as if it were mine LOL. Shameful.

There are too many great ones here for me to choose my favorite one, for I love them all.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Linda - I have never heard this one, but I looked it up and listened to it on YouTube. I'l add it. Thanks for the suggestion!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Thanks, Larry!


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

Another wonderful list.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 2 months ago

Fun read. But you have to add one more. I recognize this is waaay before your time (and boy howdy am I showing my age). "The Little Nash Rambler", aka "The Beep Beep Song."


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Kyriaki - So glad that your favorite made the list. My all time favorite has to be "Little Red Corvette." Thanks for stopping by, an have a great week!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Bill - Glad this topic registered some songs for you! There are a bunch of them! Have a great week.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA Author

Devika - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you knew a few of these!


DDE 2 months ago

You have created a unique list of songs. I am familiar with a few songs.


Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

Kyriaki Chatzi 2 months ago from Greece

"Red Camaro" is my absolute favorite!! It sounds like summer, ain't it?


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

So many popped into my head I was overwhelmed....staring with the early Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, right through to Tom Petty and The Beatles and Meatloaf....great topic!

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