10 Awesome Songs About Driving Fast

Tracy Chapman

Many people love the thrill of driving fast, as it gives them an adrenaline rush. Music is often associated with fast driving because people react to the music they play while in the car, so it is no wonder driving fast is used as a theme for music across all genres. So, what are some of the best songs about driving fast? Here are ten awesome songs about driving fast and information about each single.

10. Bad Girls, M.I.A., 2012

In Bad Girls, M.I.A. sings about female empowerment and leaving the boys behind when she drives her Jeep Cherokee fast. She shot the music video for the single in Morocco, says U Discover Music. The single was used to promote the Women to Drive Movement, a campaign supporting Saudi women having the right to drive.

9. Speedway at Nazareth, Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, 2000

Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris recorded Speedway at Nazareth, and it featured on Knopfler’s 2000 album ‘Sailing to Paradise.’ The song is a fictional account of a race at Long Beach in the 2001 CART racing season. Although the event inspired it, no racers suffered three broken vertebrae during the races, as the song suggests. According to K1 Speed, Dire Straits lead singer and guitarist Knopfler was inspired to write the song after meeting F1 and Indy driver Stefan Johansson.

8. Faster, George Harrison, 1979

Beatles artist George Harrison recorded Faster for his 1979 self-titled solo album. Harrison took inspiration from his time traveling with Formula 1 drivers, including Niki Lauda and Jackie Stewart, when he took a break from music in 1977. Although the song is about racing and achieving success in the field, the lyrics apply to other situations. The song commemorates driver Ronnie Peterson who died following an accident at the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, and it also raised funds for driver Gunnar Nilsson’s cancer research fund.

7. Hot Rod Lincoln, Charlie Ryan, 1955

In 1950, Arkie Shelby released the song ‘Hot Rod Race.’ Five years later, Charlie Ryan released the rockabilly single ‘Hot Rod Lincoln as a response. The song is about a race on US Route 99 in San Pedro, Los Angeles, between a Ford Model A and a Cadillac. A Lincoln unexpectedly overtakes the two cars. In the original version, Ryan is accompanied by the Livingstone Bros. He then released a second version in 1959 with the Timberline Riders. Many other artists have covered the song, including Johnny Bond and Commander Cody.

6. Autobahn, Kraftwerk, 1975

Autobahn is the titular single of the second album released by German electronic band Kraftwerk. It is about driving fast on the autobahn, where there are no speed limits. The song was the band’s biggest hit in the United States, peaking at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Interestingly, many people mistakenly believed the band used the Beach Boys’ song ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ as inspiration.

The German lyrics of the song read ‘fahren, fahren, fahren.’ The word fahren means driving, but it sounds like fun on the single. Band member Wolfgang Flur said that people’s assumptions are incorrect, although the word fun does work, as driving fast on the autobahn is fun.

5. Drive Fast (The Stuntman), Bruce Springsteen, 2019

Bruce Springsteen recorded Drive Fast (The Stuntman) in 2019 for his album Western Stars. A film version of the album was filmed by Warner Bros. Pictures and featured an almost identical track list to the album, including Drive Fast (The Stuntman). If you take the lyrics literally, the song is about the thrill of driving fast and risk-taking. However, the subliminal message in the song is to live life by taking risks even if there are negative consequences because you only live once.

4. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf, 1968

Born to Be Wild is about riding a motorbike fast rather than driving a car, but this is not specified in the song. The lyrics simply talk about getting your motor running, heading out on the highway, and racing with the wind, says The Forty-Five (https://thefortyfive.com/opinion/best-songs-about-cars-and-driving-road-trip-playlist/). Born to Be Wild peaked at number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Canadian singles chart.

3. Mustang Sally, Wilson Pickett, 1966

Mack Rice wrote and recorded Mustang Sally in 1964. However, Wilson Pickett released the best-known version of the song a year later. Another well-known version of the song was recorded for the film The Commitments, which is about an Irish band. It appeared prominently throughout the film and was included in the film’s soundtrack. The song is about a woman called Sally riding her Mustang too fast around town, and the narrator tells her she had better slow down.

2. Highway to Hell, AC/DC, 1979

The lyrics of Highway to Hell talk about there being no stop signs or speed limit and that nobody will slow the narrator down. It was the titular and lead single of hard rock band AC/DC’s sixth studio album. It was written by Bon Scott, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young. The song peaked at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1992, the band rereleased the single, and it topped the US Billboard Mainstream Rock and Billboard Hot Digital Songs charts.

1. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman, 1988

While many songs about driving fast reflect the speed of a car with their upbeat tempo, Fast Car is a bluesy ballad. Although the lyrics talk about driving fast, the song has a deeper meaning. It is about getting away from poverty and searching for a better life. Chapman wrote and recorded the song in 1988 as the lead single from her self-titled debut studio album. Fast Car topped the charts in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Portugal. It peaked at six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and five on the UK Singles Chart.

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