20 Songs About Racing

Exploring songs about racing dives into a captivating array of tracks that ignite the spirit of speed, freedom, and adventure. From anthemic rock hits to soulful ballads, these songs take listeners on a high-octane journey through the thrill of racing and the open road.

1. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen is a powerhouse anthem that encapsulates the raw energy and unstoppable drive of racing and the quest for freedom. Springsteen’s passionate delivery and the song’s exhilarating composition make listeners feel the rush of the open road and the desire to escape to a better place. The song’s compelling narrative and energetic vibe have made it an enduring classic that resonates with anyone longing for adventure and liberation.

2. “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman weaves a poignant story of hope, dreams, and the yearning for a better life through the metaphor of a fast car as a means of escape. Chapman’s soulful voice and the acoustic-driven melody convey a powerful sense of longing and the fervent desire to break free from the constraints of poverty and misfortune. This timeless track not only connects with listeners on an emotional level but also inspires a sense of resilience and the pursuit of freedom.

3. “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett

“Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett offers a playful and spirited take on car culture and the allure of racing, centered around the iconic Ford Mustang. Pickett’s lively vocals and the catchy rhythm create an infectious atmosphere that celebrates the joy and excitement of driving. It’s a song that not only pays homage to a classic car but also captures the fun and freedom associated with hitting the road and letting loose.

4. “Drive My Car” by The Beatles

“Drive My Car” by The Beatles cleverly uses the metaphor of cars to explore themes of ambition and relationships, blending witty lyricism with infectious melodies. The song’s upbeat tempo and catchy chorus deliver a humorous yet insightful commentary on the pursuit of success and the dynamics of personal connections. It’s a testament to The Beatles’ iconic songwriting, showcasing their ability to craft songs that are both entertaining and thought-provoking.

5. “Low Rider” by War

“Low Rider” by War is a funk-infused anthem that celebrates the unique and vibrant car culture associated with cruising in lowrider vehicles. The song’s distinctive groove and catchy horn section have made it an iconic track that encapsulates the laid-back, cool essence of the lowrider lifestyle. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to capture the spirit of freedom and style that cruising embodies.

6. “Route 66” by The Rolling Stones

“Route 66” by The Rolling Stones is a rock and roll tribute to one of America’s most legendary highways, encapsulating the allure of road trips and the sense of adventure they bring. The Stones’ energetic rendition of this classic tune evokes images of racing down the open road, exploring new sights, and embracing the freedom that comes with journeying along Route 66. It’s a musical homage to the quintessential American road trip, capturing the excitement and liberation of hitting the highway.

7. “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar

“I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar is a high-octane expression of rebellion against speed limits, resonating deeply with the racing culture and those who crave the thrill of high-speed adventures. Hagar’s driving guitar riffs and forceful vocals capture the frustration and defiance of being confined by rules, making it an anthem for speed enthusiasts and anyone who’s ever felt the urge to break free and push the limits. This track not only rocks hard but also speaks to the spirit of independence that defines the heart of racing.

8. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

“Little Red Corvette” by Prince skillfully uses the imagery of a car, specifically a Corvette, as a vibrant metaphor for love, passion, and the fast life. Prince’s genius lyricism and the song’s seductive groove draw listeners into a tale of fleeting romance and the dangers of living at full throttle. This iconic track not only showcases Prince’s extraordinary talent but also serves as a cautionary tale wrapped in the allure of a sleek, fast car, highlighting the complexities of love and desire.

9. “Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane

“Life Is A Highway” by Tom Cochrane is an uplifting anthem that celebrates the themes of adventure and the irresistible call of the open road. With its catchy chorus and driving beat, the song encapsulates the freedom, resilience, and excitement that come with life’s journey. Cochrane’s message of embracing the road ahead, with all its twists and turns, has resonated with audiences worldwide, making it a timeless ode to exploration and discovery.

10. “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen

“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen masterfully paints a picture of racing off into a better life, utilizing vivid imagery and a hopeful tone to capture the listener’s imagination. This song tells a story of escape and the promise of freedom that lies just down the road, with Springsteen’s evocative lyrics and the song’s dynamic composition propelling the narrative. It embodies the longing for change and the belief in the possibility of a brighter future, set against the backdrop of a heartfelt and rousing musical journey.

11. “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone

“Ridin'” by Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone offers a compelling look at cars and police presence, reflecting a more contentious aspect of car culture. The song’s catchy hook and sharp lyrics explore themes of racial profiling and the desire for freedom and respect on the streets. It’s a powerful commentary set to a backdrop of smooth beats and engaging flows, making “Ridin'” not just a track about cars, but a statement on society and the quest for justice and dignity behind the wheel.

12. “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

“Hot Rod Lincoln” by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen stands out for its humorous storytelling and lively tempo, making it a beloved classic in hot rod culture. The song narrates a high-speed chase with wit and a sense of excitement that captures the listener’s imagination, celebrating the thrill of driving a hot rod. Its engaging narrative and energetic rhythm have cemented “Hot Rod Lincoln” as an anthem for car enthusiasts and a pivotal track that celebrates the fun and rebellious spirit of hot rodding.

13. “Panama” by Van Halen

“Panama” by Van Halen is an energetic ode to fast cars and the racing lifestyle, bursting with the band’s signature electrifying guitar riffs and dynamic vocals. This song captures the essence of speed and adrenaline, embodying the exhilaration of racing through its powerful sound and infectious energy. Van Halen’s “Panama” invites listeners into a world where the thrill of the ride and the roar of the engine reign supreme, making it a quintessential track for fans of fast cars and high-octane adventures.

14. “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna

“Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna cleverly fuses car references with themes of empowerment and self-confidence, delivering a powerful anthem that’s as bold as it is catchy. Rihanna’s commanding vocals and the edgy rock-infused beat drive the message home, encouraging listeners to take control and assert themselves. This track stands out for its unique blend of automotive imagery and a strong, confident attitude, making “Shut Up and Drive” a memorable hit that empowers as much as it entertains.

15. “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car” by Billy Ocean

“Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car” by Billy Ocean is a vibrant and catchy tune that takes a playful approach to inviting someone on a journey. With its irresistible chorus and upbeat rhythm, the song captures the excitement of embarking on a new adventure with a sense of fun and flirtation. Billy Ocean’s smooth vocals and the song’s engaging lyrics create an inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect soundtrack for hitting the road and chasing dreams.

16. “Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin

“Mercedes Benz” by Janis Joplin offers a satirical take on consumerism and the desire for luxury cars, delivered with Joplin’s iconic raw vocal style. The song’s a cappella format strips everything back, allowing the lyrics to shine and providing a poignant commentary on materialism and the quest for happiness through possessions. Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” is a thought-provoking and timeless piece that critiques society’s values with wit and wisdom, making it more than just a song about a car—it’s a reflection on the human condition.

17. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring

“Radar Love” by Golden Earring captures the intense feeling of a deep connection that acts as a force, compelling one to race down the highway. The song’s driving beat and compelling lyrics convey a sense of urgency and longing, as if the road itself is an extension of this powerful emotional bond. “Radar Love” is celebrated for its portrayal of love as an unstoppable pull, akin to a beacon guiding someone home, making it a standout anthem about the magnetic draw of relationships and the open road.

18. “Greased Lightnin'” from “Grease”

“Greased Lightnin'” from “Grease” is a high-energy number that celebrates ’50s car culture and the exhilaration of speed. With its catchy melody and spirited lyrics, the song evokes the era’s passion for hot rods and the dream of the ultimate car that can outshine and outrun the rest. “Greased Lightnin'” not only captures the essence of the 1950s obsession with automotive excellence but also serves as a vibrant tribute to the era’s style, speed, and the sheer joy of driving.

19. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf has become an anthem of the open road and freedom, deeply resonating with both motorcycle and car culture. Its iconic opening riff and the call to “get your motor runnin'” capture the essence of hitting the road and embracing adventure. This song’s association with the counterculture movement and its feature in road movies have cemented its status as a timeless ode to the spirit of independence and the lure of the highway.

20. “Drive” by The Cars

“Drive” by The Cars offers a poignant contrast to the more adrenaline-fueled entries on this list, delving into the emotional depths of introspection and care within the context of a relationship. Its melodic pace and reflective lyrics invite listeners to consider the role they play in supporting those they love. The song’s gentle delivery and the emotional resonance of its message highlight a different aspect of the journey, reminding us that the drive can also be about the care we show on the way.