6 songs about cars and romance

We dedicated the May/June 2023 issue of Hagerty Drivers Club magazine to the deep connections between music and cars, including several fun lists featuring your favorite car songs. Come back often or click the Music & Cars tag to stay up to date on these stories as they roll out online. You can also jam with our custom Music & Cars playlist on Spotify, available here.

If there’s a recorded music subject that tops cars, it’s the related topics of sex and romance. Going back to the beginning, almost 120 years ago, “In My Merry Oldsmobile”—which urban historian Kenneth T. Jackson once called the “best-known song written about the automobile”—is riddled with double-entendre couplets about the young motorist and his passenger, so many that when Oldsmobile later used it in advertisements, the company changed the lyrics. With lines like They like to ‘spark’ in the dark old park, and You can go as far as you like with me, in my merry Oldsmobile, such “aftermarket” modifications by Olds’ ad men surely made sense.

Jumping ahead a century, those squeamish Oldsmobile agency types would be glad they’re not still alive, as Rihanna’s considerably more licentious “Shut Up and Drive” from 2007 illustrates:

’Cause your Maybach ain’t got what I got
Get it, get it, don’t stop, it’s a sure shot
Ain’t a Ferrari, huh, boy, I’m sorry
I ain’t even worried, so step inside
And ride, ride, ride
So if you feel me, let me know, know, know
Come on now, what you waiting for, for, for
My engine’s ready to explode, explode, explode
So start me up and watch me go, go, go, go

The following six songs also fit the theme of cars and romance …

Cyndi Lauper, Céline Dion, Roy Orbison
“I DROVE ALL NIGHT” (covered by)

I had to escape
The city was sticky and cruel

These are the very first words of the song, and no matter whose version you prefer, has there ever been a better lyric about the need to jump in the car and get out of town for a while? That there’s some nooky at the end of the road just sweetens the deal.


Simon & Garfunkel

They call me Baby DriverAnd once upon a pair of wheelsI hit the road and I’m goneWhat’s my number?I wonder how your engines feelScoot down the road, what’s my number?I wonder how your engines feel

If those engines are big-blocks in traffic, they probably feel pretty damn hot, Paul Simon. If they’re 911 flat-sixes with IMS bearing failure, I’d wager they’re cold and dead.


Scissor Sisters

There’s lovers in the backseat Jealous glances now I’m looking for another song On the radio I’ll take you to a side street In the shadows you can touch one another now And I’ll just watch the show

Whatever, creepshow Uber driver.


Hot Chocolate

Can’t stand it
Can’t stand it, baby
When I’m close to you I wanna touch youThere are people everywherePeople who like to stare

Yeah, people like that creepshow Uber driver. Eyes on the road, pal!


Meat Loaf

Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth,There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle,Look at him go. This boy can really fly! He’s rounding first and reallyTurning it on now, he’s not letting up at all, he’s gonna try for second

They just don’t write sexy baseball songs like they used to.


Lana Del Rey

I drive fast, wind in my hair, push it to the limits ’cause I just don’t careI’ve got a burning desire for you, baby

Well, just wait ’til you’ve got points on your license, girl. It’ll affect your insurance rates, and that’ll make for some tough choices in the monthly budget. Then you’ll care. Then you’ll care.



This article first appeared in Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. Click here to subscribe and join the club.

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    Hey, what about that fine tune by Damaskas (and staple of the Dr. Demento Show), Making Love in a Subaru?

    Simon and Garfunkle? Right

    Well you can still rock in America last I looked.

    Night Ranger When You Close Your Eyes

    What do you do
    When it’s falling apart
    And you know it was going
    From the very start
    Do you close your eyes
    And dream about me

    A girl in love
    With a gleam in her eye
    I was a younger boy
    All dressed in white
    We’re older now
    Do you still think about me

    I remember we learned about love
    In the back of a Chevrolet
    Well it felt so good to be young
    Feels like yesterday

    When you close your eyes
    Do you dream about me
    When you close your eyes
    Do you dream about me

    Little Big Town Pontiac

    Tired of living a life like that
    Giving a love she don’t get back
    Lies as big as a Pontiac
    Rolling all over her
    Tired of the words that just won’t stick
    She knows not to believe it
    No more hanging on to what will never be
    (No more hanging on)
    No more hanging on to what will never be

    Having collected auto (and truck/driving/racing/motorcycle) songs since the 1980s (with an iPod playlist of over 800 selections) I have to question some of the selections posted on Hagerty. Great songs yes, but just because a car is named in the song or the events take place in a car, it hardly makes it a car song – for me anyway.

    A few from the underrated band NRBQ:
    – Ridin’ In My Car
    – When It Rains at the Drive-In
    – Me and The Boys
    – Green Lights
    – Get That Gasoline Blues
    – Howard Johnson’s Got His Ho-Jo Workin’

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