Music and cars have always shared a deep connection, and nothing quite captures the freedom, excitement, and adventure of the open road quite like a great driving song. Whether you’re cruising down the highway with the windows down, taking a long road trip, or just looking for some high-octane inspiration, there’s nothing quite like the perfect driving song to get your blood pumping and your engine revving. From rock and roll classics to modern pop hits, there are countless songs about cars and driving that have become timeless classics, and continue to inspire generations of drivers.
In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the greatest songs about cars and driving, spanning multiple genres and decades, that are sure to get your pistons firing. We’ve scoured the archives and compiled a list of the top 22 driving songs that are sure to make your next road trip an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a classic rock aficionado or a modern pop fan, there’s something for everyone on this list. So buckle up, hit the gas, and let’s dive into the top 22 songs about cars and driving.
1. ‘Mercury Blues’ by Alan Jackson
‘Mercury Blues’ by Alan Jackson: This upbeat country song tells the story of a man who loves his old Mercury car and the freedom it provides him on the open road. With its catchy melody and infectious rhythm, the song celebrates the joy of driving and the thrill of speed. Alan Jackson’s smooth vocals and the twangy guitar riffs give the song a classic country feel, while the lyrics capture the excitement and nostalgia of cruising down the highway in a beloved car. ‘Mercury Blues’ is a fun and lively tune that will have listeners tapping their feet and singing along.
2. ‘Highway Star’ by Deep Purple
‘Highway Star’ by Deep Purple: This classic rock anthem is a tribute to the power and freedom of the open road. The driving beat and electrifying guitar solos capture the thrill of speed and the rush of adrenaline that comes with driving fast. Ian Gillan’s powerful vocals and the thundering drums create a sense of urgency and excitement that make the listener feel like they’re flying down the highway. The lyrics describe the experience of being a “highway star” and the sense of invincibility that comes with it. ‘Highway Star’ is a timeless rock classic that embodies the spirit of adventure and the thrill of the journey.
3. ‘Cadillac Ranch’ by Bruce Springsteen
‘Cadillac Ranch’ by Bruce Springsteen: This high-energy rock song pays tribute to the legendary Cadillac Ranch, a public art installation in Amarillo, Texas that features ten half-buried Cadillacs arranged in a row. The song tells the story of a group of friends who drive out to the ranch and spray-paint their names on the cars. With its driving beat and catchy chorus, ‘Cadillac Ranch’ captures the sense of adventure and rebellion that comes with being young and free. Bruce Springsteen’s gravelly vocals and searing guitar riffs make this song a classic of American rock and roll.
4. ‘Long May You Run’ by Neil Young and Stephen Stills
‘Long May You Run’ by Neil Young and Stephen Stills: This sentimental ballad is a tribute to a beloved car that has been a faithful companion on many journeys. The lyrics describe the car as a “silver beauty” that has “kept me runnin’ strong and true.” With its gentle melody and heartfelt vocals, ‘Long May You Run’ is a touching ode to the memories and experiences that are associated with a cherished vehicle. Neil Young and Stephen Stills’ harmonies blend seamlessly together, creating a sense of warmth and intimacy that makes this song a favorite of fans of folk and rock music alike.
5. ‘Maybellene’ by Chuck Berry
‘Maybellene’ by Chuck Berry: This classic rock and roll song is a tale of a man chasing after his unfaithful girlfriend in his car. With its driving beat, catchy guitar riffs, and clever lyrics, ‘Maybellene’ is a perfect example of Chuck Berry’s signature style. The song’s high energy and sense of urgency capture the excitement and freedom that comes with cruising down the highway. Chuck Berry’s smooth vocals and electrifying guitar playing make this song a timeless classic that continues to inspire and influence musicians today.
6. ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ by The Beach Boys
‘Little Deuce Coupe’ by The Beach Boys: This catchy surf rock song celebrates the iconic hot rod car, the Ford Model B, also known as the “Deuce Coupe.” The song’s upbeat melody, catchy lyrics, and driving beat capture the sense of excitement and freedom that comes with owning and driving a powerful car. The Beach Boys’ trademark harmonies and catchy chorus make ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ an instantly recognizable and beloved classic of the surf rock genre. The song’s celebration of car culture has made it a favorite of hot rod enthusiasts and music lovers alike.
7. ‘Hey Little Cobra’ by The Rip Chords
‘Hey Little Cobra’ by The Rip Chords: This catchy surf rock song tells the story of a man who races a powerful Cobra sports car and wins, impressing all the girls. The song’s upbeat melody, catchy lyrics, and driving beat capture the sense of excitement and competition that comes with car racing. The Rip Chords’ harmonies and catchy chorus make ‘Hey Little Cobra’ a classic of the surf rock genre. The song’s celebration of car culture has made it a favorite of hot rod enthusiasts and music lovers alike.
8. ‘Mercedes Benz’ by Janis Joplin
‘Mercedes Benz’ by Janis Joplin: This a cappella song is a tongue-in-cheek critique of consumer culture and the desire for material possessions. Janis Joplin’s soulful vocals and wry lyrics create a sense of irony and humor that make the song both playful and profound. The song’s minimalist arrangement and Joplin’s raw, unaccompanied voice give it a sense of intimacy and authenticity that make it a standout track in her discography. ‘Mercedes Benz’ is a unique and powerful song that showcases Joplin’s talent for blending humor and social commentary with her distinctive musical style.
9. ‘Little Red Corvette’ by Prince
‘Little Red Corvette’ by Prince: This classic pop song is a tribute to a beautiful and powerful car, the Chevrolet Corvette. The song’s lyrics use car metaphors to describe a fast and wild romance that burns out just as quickly as it began. With its catchy chorus, funky guitar riffs, and Prince’s signature falsetto vocals, ‘Little Red Corvette’ is a standout track in his iconic catalog. The song’s combination of pop sensibility and rock and roll attitude have made it a favorite of music lovers across generations.
10. ‘Mustang Sally’ by Wilson Pickett
‘Mustang Sally’ by Wilson Pickett: This soulful R&B classic is a celebration of the Ford Mustang and the freedom and power it represents. The song’s driving rhythm, catchy chorus, and Pickett’s powerhouse vocals make it an instant party anthem. ‘Mustang Sally’ has become an enduring symbol of car culture and has been covered by countless artists over the years. The song’s energy and exuberance have made it a favorite of music fans and car enthusiasts alike.
11. ‘I’m in Love with My Car’ by Queen
“I’m in Love with My Car” is a rock song by British band Queen, originally released in 1975. The song is an ode to a man’s love for his car, with lyrics describing the car as his baby and an extension of himself. The driving guitar riffs and energetic drumming capture the excitement of the open road and the thrill of the driver’s connection with his car. “I’m in Love with My Car” became a cult classic and a fan favorite, showcasing Queen’s versatility as a band and their ability to craft catchy and memorable songs.
12. ‘Get in the Car’ by Echo and the Bunnymen
“Get in the Car” is a post-punk song by English band Echo and the Bunnymen, released in 1999. The song features a driving bassline and jagged guitar riffs, creating a sense of urgency and restlessness. The lyrics speak of the desire to escape and go on a road trip, leaving behind the monotony of everyday life. The chorus urges the listener to “get in the car” and drive away, seeking adventure and freedom. “Get in the Car” showcases the band’s ability to blend punk energy with melodic hooks and poignant lyrics, making it a standout track in their discography.
13. ‘I Drove All Night’ by Roy Orbison
“I Drove All Night” is a song by American singer-songwriter Roy Orbison, released in 1987. The song features Orbison’s distinctive voice, with soaring high notes and emotive delivery. The lyrics speak of a man who has driven all night to be with his lover, capturing the sense of longing and desire. The driving rhythm and guitar work create a sense of urgency and momentum, making the listener feel as if they are on the road with Orbison. “I Drove All Night” is a classic love song, showcasing Orbison’s talent as a songwriter and performer.
14. ‘Drive’ by The Cars
“Drive” is a song by American rock band The Cars, released in 1984. The song features a synth-driven melody and a haunting, ethereal quality. The lyrics speak of a man who is conflicted about his relationship, wanting to leave but also wanting to stay. The chorus repeats the phrase “Who’s gonna drive you home tonight?” creating a sense of longing and loss. The song’s melancholy tone and introspective lyrics make it a standout in The Cars’ discography, showcasing their ability to blend rock and new wave elements with emotional depth. “Drive” remains a beloved classic to this day.
15. ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol
“Chasing Cars” is a ballad by Northern Irish-Scottish alternative rock band Snow Patrol, released in 2006. The song features a simple yet effective guitar riff, with lead singer Gary Lightbody’s emotive vocals conveying a sense of yearning and devotion. The lyrics speak of a couple who have lost themselves in each other, with the chorus repeating the phrase “If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?” creating a sense of romantic escapism. “Chasing Cars” has become a modern classic, a timeless anthem of love that resonates with listeners of all ages.
16. ‘Drive My Car’ by The Beatles
“Drive My Car” is a rock song by English band The Beatles, released in 1965. The song features a catchy guitar riff and driving rhythm, with Paul McCartney’s lead vocals delivering a playful and flirtatious performance. The lyrics speak of a woman who is looking for a driver, with the narrator offering to “drive her anywhere.” The song’s upbeat tempo and fun lyrics make it a standout in The Beatles’ discography, showcasing their ability to craft memorable hooks and catchy melodies. “Drive My Car” remains a beloved classic to this day, a testament to The Beatles’ lasting impact on music history.
17. ‘Always Crashing in the Same Car’ by David Bowie
“Always Crashing in the Same Car” is a song by English musician David Bowie, released in 1977. The song features a driving, motorik beat and atmospheric synth work, with Bowie’s vocals delivering a haunting and introspective performance. The lyrics speak of a man who is stuck in a cycle of self-destruction, unable to break free from his destructive habits. The chorus repeats the phrase “Always crashing in the same car,” creating a sense of hopelessness and despair. “Always Crashing in the Same Car” showcases Bowie’s talent as a songwriter and his willingness to explore dark and introspective themes in his music.
18. ‘Passenger Side’ by Wilco
“Passenger Side” is a song by American alternative rock band Wilco, released in 1995. The song features a laid-back, country-inspired melody and Jeff Tweedy’s signature vocals, delivering a wistful and nostalgic performance. The lyrics speak of a man who is riding in the passenger seat of his friend’s car, observing the world around him and reflecting on his own life. The chorus repeats the phrase “I’m the passenger,” creating a sense of detachment and introspection. “Passenger Side” showcases Wilco’s ability to blend genres and create music that is both catchy and emotionally resonant.
19. ‘The Passenger’ by Iggy Pop
‘The Passenger’ by Iggy Pop is a classic rock song that embodies the free spirit and thrill-seeking attitude of the 70s. The song features a catchy guitar riff and Iggy Pop’s unique vocals, which give it a raw and rebellious feel. The lyrics describe a person riding in a car, taking in the sights and sounds of the city, feeling alive and free. The song’s driving beat and energetic chorus make it a perfect anthem for anyone who wants to escape the mundane and live life to the fullest.
20. ‘Cars’ by Gary Newman
‘Cars’ by Gary Numan is a groundbreaking synth-pop song that became a hit in the late 70s. The song’s futuristic sound, created using synthesizers and electronic drums, was ahead of its time and paved the way for the new wave and electronic music genres. The lyrics describe the singer’s love for cars and the freedom they provide, as well as his alienation from society. The song’s catchy melody and repetitive chorus make it an instantly recognizable and unforgettable tune. ‘Cars’ is a classic example of how electronic music can be used to create emotion and meaning.
21. ‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman
‘Fast Car’ by Tracy Chapman is a poignant and powerful folk-rock ballad that tells the story of a young woman’s struggle to escape poverty and build a better life. The song’s stripped-down acoustic guitar and Chapman’s soulful voice create an intimate and emotional atmosphere, as she sings about the hope and dreams of a better future. The lyrics touch on themes of love, family, and the American Dream, and the song’s universal message has resonated with listeners for decades.
22. ‘Driving in My Car’ by Madness
‘Driving in My Car’ by Madness is a fun and upbeat ska-pop song that captures the joy and freedom of driving. The song’s bouncy melody, catchy chorus, and playful lyrics make it an infectious and memorable tune. The lyrics describe a person driving around in their car, enjoying the simple pleasures of life, and forgetting their troubles for a while. The song’s upbeat tempo and carefree attitude make it a perfect soundtrack for a summer road trip or a carefree day out. ‘Driving in My Car’ is a classic example of how music can lift your mood and make you feel alive.