Is there anything more cathartic for the soul than a singalong song in a car when no-one is listening?
Well, if it’s good enough for Billy Joel, it’s good enough for me – as long as I avoid car crashes when I’m running on empty.
Like, yeah, sex is great and all, but if you haven’t absolutely belted a Meatloaf single at midnight in a tiny Renault Clio from 2004, then you haven’t truly lived.
You may be pitchy, but you left it all out on the dash
Out of breath from singing ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ out the car window. Eventually, we realize that we are all ‘Born to be wild’ whenever Meatloaf comes on… Paradise by the Dashboard light is always The Jam as a road trip song on a country road.
We all have that perfect road-tripping song to sing; songs to blast. From Born to Be Wild to Little Red Corvette – via some Beach Boys and Bruce Springsteen.
Everyone loves rock and roll
We can all be a rock star in a car wash, playing Van Halen and listing off the greatest songs of all time about cars and driving.
Classic road trip playlists reassure us all that tomorrow is another day when The Driving song comes on. Be it, Tom Petty, for when you’re feeling petty, or Johnny Cash for when you’re broke – there are rock songs for you.
I don’t think I am physically capable of starting an article about upbeat songs without heading it up with something ABBA. This time is no exception as we head straight to the B-side of their greatest hits: Angel Eyes.
Ladies and gentlemen – I’m sure we all have ‘that’ story involving alcoholic beverages that we cringe about internally but love to laugh with our friends.
For me, it’s an initiation night, rolling down a grass hill with a bottle in one hand and Angel Eyes playing in the background.
It hits the spot
Great lyrics, a cool bridge – and the best note that you will never manage to hit as you shout it out in the club in the chorus.
I dare you not to gesture wildly and scream it to the heavens when you hear it. Not because it is a particularly intense song; it just absolutely slaps. Honorable mention: Drive My Car.
Next up, press play on Karma Chameleon by The Culture Club and get out the wine, my friends – they pair wonderfully. This has a wonderfully colorful music video, pumping out the 80s grooves and equally vivid chorus.
The lyrics describing dreams as ‘gold and green’ recurs smoothly, and you will find yourself bopping to the beat within seconds. The words truly resonate, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re paired with such a stylish, lilting word!
Blast it out like Don Henley on the electric guitar! Croon like John Denver, and slap out Bohemian Rhapsody just like Freddie!
After this, we need a little angst to calm us down in the car, and for that emotional nuance we need go no further than the immortal Carly Simon. And with Carly Simon, we have the address the elephant in the room…
You’re So Vain
Such a self-aware, biting critique – this is the perfect breakup song. Just angry enough to get a rise, but just sad enough to keep you in your seat.
‘You gave away the things you loved, and one of them was me,’ I mean, who hasn’t felt like that in a relationship before? Like they could be cut like the fat out of a keto diet, cleansed out of a person, and never to be noted again.
Phew, indeed. But it does remind us that these moments pass and clarity – along with love – comes.
Love is, of course, many things. It swings violently between things and doesn’t split the difference. While I don’t actually think that you need to be in love to write a love song, Carly Simon certainly Felt This.
Another in a trail of punchy female driven pop…
‘Gloria’ by Laura Branigan. Another relic of the 80s, unlike her more narrative-based songs, the sheer potency of her chorus blasted ‘Gloooooooriiiiiiaaaa’ will get your heart pumping again. You will grin, and you will close your eyes and raise your fist in the air in sheer unfounded triumph. When the car is idle, of course.
Taylor Swift –you belong with me – don’t lie to me; you know all the words to this and the dance to the music video – and the TikTok. Simply put, she has the range.
Fun – ‘At least I’m not as Sad as I Used to be.’ It is excellent when you’ve just got some perspective. Maybe you’ve just got that new job interview you were gunning for, or you scored a great goal in your Sunday league football tournament. Whatever the reason, let yourself celebrate!
‘Carry on my Wayward Son’ – Kansas
This is a fabulous song for showing the power of endurance and solitude. It’s a reminder that people are there for us, and they love us unconditionally on the side-lines. Even if we don’t always hear them!
‘Daydream believer’ by The Monkeys… Don’t Stop Believin’ – I mean, we all watched Glee, right?
Bryan Adams, Summer of ‘69… Need I say anything else?