songs about racing
Entertainment & Playlists

15 Best Songs About Racing

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Written By Will Fenton
Entertainment & Playlists

15 Best Songs About Racing

The racing genre of music has been a part of popular culture for decades.

Some of the most iconic and beloved songs of all time have been dedicated to the subject of racing.

This article presents a list of 15 of the best songs about racing, including some of the most iconic songs of all time.

From the Beatles’ “Drive My Car” to Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive,” these songs all capture the energy, excitement, and thrill of racing.

This article will discuss the themes of each of these songs and how they have helped to shape the racing genre of music.

Furthermore, the article will explore the historical context of each song and how it has been embraced by fans of racing across the world.

1. “Shut Up And Drive” by Rihanna

The 2007 hit single “Shut Up And Drive” by Rihanna is an upbeat pop-rock anthem that celebrates the joy of racing and the thrill of the open road.

Featuring a strong beat and infectious chorus, the track evokes images of speed and freedom while maintaining a sense of fun and lightheartedness.

The song’s lyrics focus on the joy of racing, with the singer’s call to ‘shut up and drive’ serving as a rallying cry to those looking for an escape from the mundane.

By combining these elements, the track succeeds in conveying the excitement of racing while remaining accessible to listeners of all ages.

2. “Drive My Car” by The Beatles

Driving is the subject of The Beatles‘ song “Drive My Car”, which was released as part of the 1965 album Rubber Soul.

The track is characterized by its upbeat tempo and catchy chorus, as well as its clever lyrical content which uses metaphors to represent the idea of getting behind the wheel.

The lyrics touch on the notion of freedom and the joy of being able to choose one’s own destiny, a sentiment that is echoed by many racing songs.

Musically, the song is driven by Paul McCartney’s bassline and George Harrison’s guitar work, which combine to create an energetic and uplifting atmosphere.

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As a result, “Drive My Car” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and thrill racing fans to this day.

3. “Mustang Sally” by Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett‘s 1966 single “Mustang Sally” is a classic R&B track that celebrates the joys of driving a Ford Mustang.

It is a mid-tempo song, with a simple chord structure and a driving beat that is a perfect accompaniment for the Mustang’s performance.

The lyrics are upbeat and catchy, with Pickett singing about how much he loves his car and how it can take him anywhere he wants to go.

The song has a positive message of freedom and joy that makes it an ideal choice for racing-related activities.

The song’s upbeat tempo and chorus make it an enjoyable listen and a classic of the genre.

4. “Low Rider” by War

Released in 1975, War’s “Low Rider” is a funk-influenced classic that celebrates the joys of cruising in a low-rider car.

The song is highlighted by a prominent, catchy bassline and the use of horns and percussion to create a driving funk groove.

Lyrically, the song focuses on the cruising culture of the low-rider car, with lyrics that emphasize the lifestyle of low riders and their cars.

The song has become an iconic piece of popular music and has been covered and sampled by artists from all genres.

Its lasting influence on music culture demonstrates its power as a song about racing.

5. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

Prince’s hit single “Little Red Corvette” is a funk-pop song that celebrates the joys of romance.

The song is built upon a rhythm guitar hook, a steady bassline, and a powerful drum beat.

Lyrically, the song compares the thrill of a romantic relationship to the joy of driving a fast car.

Prince’s vocal performance is energetic and passionate, conveying a sense of joy and excitement.

The song is an upbeat anthem that celebrates the freedom of the open road.

Ultimately, “Little Red Corvette” is an homage to the power of love and the liberating feeling of being in a relationship.

6. “Rapid Roy(The Stock Car Boy)” by Jim Croce

Jim Croce’s single “Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)” is an anthem of celebration for the thrill of stock car racing.

It is a fast-paced track with a simple, upbeat melody that is both catchy and memorable.

Lyrically, the song follows a stock car racer as he navigates the track and experiences the various highs and lows of racing.

Croce’s lyrics capture the excitement of the sport, as well as the camaraderie among the racers.

The combination of lyrics and music makes for an upbeat, fun song that honors the spirit of the race.

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7. “Formula 1 Theme” by Brian Tyler

Composed by Brian Tyler in 2018, “Formula 1 Theme” is an energetic and powerful track that captures the thrilling energy of the Formula 1 racing circuit.

Its driving beats and urgent rhythms create a sense of urgency and excitement as if one were a part of the race.

The song also features a combination of orchestral and rock elements, making it a great representation of the world of Formula 1 racing.

Moreover, the intense and dramatic melody provides a perfect background for the race, making it an ideal song for any fan of the sport.

8. “Riders On The Storm” by The Doors

Released in 1971, “Riders On The Storm” by The Doors is an iconic rock song that evokes a sense of mystery and suspense through its haunting lyrics and ethereal instrumentation.

Its combination of psychedelic rock and blues influences creates a unique soundscape that captures the surreal mood of the lyrics.

The tension created by the juxtaposition of the dark, brooding lyrics and the dreamy instrumentation evokes a sense of urgency and speed, making it an ideal song to associate with the thrill of racing.

9. “Beep Beep” by The Playmates

Awarded a Gold Record in 1958, “Beep Beep” by The Playmates has become a timeless classic in the rock and roll music genre.

Written by Carl Cicchetti and recorded by the group, it is a lyrical narrative about a street race between two cars.

The song’s instrumentation is unique in that it features a car horn and an electric bass guitar, giving it a driving force and rhythm that is suitable for its lyrical theme.

The Playmates’ creative use of musical elements provides a strong foundation for the lyrics to be interpreted in their intended sense, making it a memorable song for listeners.

10. “Drag City” by Jan And Dean

Recording artist duo Jan and Dean released the single “Drag City” in 1963, a song that encapsulates the rock and roll era’s fascination with drag racing.

It is an upbeat tune that celebrates and glamorizes the drag race lifestyle, using metaphors and cleverly worded lyrics to emphasize the excitement and adrenaline rush associated with drag racing.

The song also incorporates elements of doo-wop and surf rock, which further emphasizes its youthful, carefree attitude.

The song was well-received and is still popular today, a testament to its enduring appeal.

11. “Race Car Joe” by Adam Carroll

Adam Carroll’s “Race Car Joe” is a fun-filled folk-rock tune that pays homage to the drag racing lifestyle.

The song is about a man, Race Car Joe, who loves the adrenaline rush of the racetrack and the cars he drives.

Carroll’s lyrics and upbeat melody present a vivid picture of the thrill-seeking lifestyle of drag racing.

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The chorus is catchy and the tempo is upbeat, making the song enjoyable to listen to.

The song is a celebration of the drag racing culture and the freedom of the open road.

It is a feel-good track that captures the spirit of the lifestyle.

12. “Dirt Track Thing” by Kenny Montgomery

Kenny Montgomery’s “Dirt Track Thing” is a blues-infused folk-rock song that celebrates the dirt track racing lifestyle.

The song features an upbeat tempo and an anthemic chorus, which serves to emphasize the thrill and excitement of racing.

The lyrics are filled with imagery that evokes the thrill of the race track.

The song also captures the camaraderie among racers, with references to the ‘brothers and sisters’ who gather at the track.

The song provides a unique insight into the racing culture and is an excellent example of how music can be used to capture the thrill and excitement of a racing lifestyle.

13. “Rockin’ Down The Highway” by The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers’ “Rockin’ Down The Highway” is a classic rock song that celebrates the freedom of the open road.

Written in 1972, the song speaks to the power of the journey, with lyrics about the thrill of the ride.

Musically, the song features an upbeat rhythm, strong guitar riffs, and a memorable chorus.

Its success is evidenced by its enduring popularity among classic rock fans.

The song is a fitting tribute to the joys of racing and the freedom of the open road.

14. “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar

Released in 1984, Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” is a hard rock anthem that tackles the struggle of obeying speed limits.

It features driving guitar riffs and pounding drums, with Hagar’s characteristically passionate vocals.

The lyrics describe the frustration of being unable to take advantage of one’s need for speed due to the legal constraints of speed limits.

It is an anthem for drivers everywhere who feel the same way.

The song is an enduring classic that captures the spirit of racing and rebellion.

15. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring

Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” is an iconic rock song from 1973 that captures the feeling of being on the open road.

Written by guitarist George Kooymans, the song follows the story of a man traveling to see his love, using the metaphor of a car racing down a highway to describe his journey.

The song is propelled by the pounding of drums and the crashing of cymbals, creating a sense of urgency and excitement that reflects the thrill of driving.

With its layered guitars and catchy chorus, “Radar Love” has become a classic, a song that speaks to the experience of the open road.

Best Songs About Racing – Final Thoughts

Racing is a thrilling and exciting activity that has been celebrated in song for many years.

From the classic rock of The Beatles to the funky soul of Wilson Pickett, the best songs about racing capture the spirit of the sport with a combination of lyrical wit, driving rhythms, and joyful melodies.

Whether it’s the raw energy of “Mustang Sally” or the dreamy nostalgia of “Radar Love”, these songs are sure to get your engine revving.

So, the next time you’re ready to hit the track, turn up the volume and enjoy the best songs about racing.

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Will Fenton

Introduced to good music at a young age through my father. The first record I remember being played was "Buffalo Soldier" by Bob Marley, I must've been six years old. By the time I was seven, I was taking drum lessons once a week. The challenge but the euphoric feeling of learning a new song was addicting, and I suppose as they say the rest was history. Favorite album of all time? Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones Best gig you've ever been to? Neil Young at Desert Trip in 2016 Media mentions: Evening Standard Daily Mail

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