I was driving to work the other day, listening to Tom Petty, when the song “Running Down a Dream” came on. I was struck by what a great driving song it is and how just listening to it makes me want to hit the highway and go. I decided to compile a list of songs that I think are perfect for road trips. Feel free to add yours to my list.
“Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. “It was a beautiful day. The sun beat down. I had the radio on. I was driving.” How can you argue with that as an opening? The song paints a perfect picture of cruising down the road with no cares.
“East Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed. I love Jerry Reed. The dude is funny. While I’ve never seen “Smoky and the Bandit” in its entirety, I get the gist of the movie and I think this song is perfect for out running the fuzz. Plus, you gotta love a guy who travels with a basset hound named Fred.
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. I’ll admit it; I love AC/DC, and sometimes you just gotta rock. This song has it all: attitude, grinding guitar and bagpipes.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO. Cheesy, yes, but a great song along song for the road. It just makes me feel happy.
“Viva Las Vegas” by ZZ Top. The bearded boys can rock and this is my favorite version of this song. It reminds me of the scene in “The Big Lebowski” when Bunny Lebowski is driving back from Vegas, in her convertible, and puts the pedal to the metal. Good stuff.
“Streets of Bakersfield” by Dwight Yoakum and Buck Owens. It’s no secret this is one of my favorite songs, but it’s also great on the road. I always crank up the volume when I listen to this.
“Boys of Summer” Don Henley. I’m not a fan of the Eagles or of Don Henley, but I do love this song. I think it’s because it conjures up images of summer and driving around with the windows open.
Other favorites are: “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys; “Locked Out” By Crowded House; “The Distance” by Cake; and “Vacation” by The Go-Gos. What are your favorite driving songs?