You may be able to think of many songs about cars off the top of your head–there are more than a few famous tracks that celebrate cruising and tearing up the highway! How about “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen, or “Little Red Corvette” by Prince?
However, there are also tons of songs that don’t directly pertain to cars, but still name drop them in lyrics. In conversations about car-related media, these songs would probably fly under the radar unless you really sat down to study their lyrics in-depth. Luckily, we’ve compiled this list that will do that work for you! If you’re ready to find out which of your favorite songs contain lyrics about iconic cars, keep on scrolling down below!
10 “Rapper’s Delight” – Sugarhill Gang
I got bodyguards, I got two big cars, that definitely ain’t the whackI got a Lincoln Continental and a sunroof Cadillac
Back in 1979, hip hop was coming into prominence more and more. This wasn’t the first song to introduce rap to audiences, but “Rapper’s Delight” definitely helped to pave the way for rap tropes that are pretty common today!
In this lyric, member Big Bank Hank raps about his affluent lifestyle, which reportedly includes lots of clothes, a huge house and pool, and of course, the two aforementioned vehicles. Two cars may not seem like a lot by today’s standards, but for the Sugarhill Gang it definitely meant serious clout. Kudos if you can manage to listen to all 14+ minutes of the song, and bonus points if you know the entire rap by heart!
9 “Last Call” – Kanye West
Mayonnaise-colored Benz, I push Miracle Whips
This wordplay from Mr. West is deeply rooted in automobile history, dating back to the introduction of the steering wheel. Whips were used by stagecoach drivers to control horses, who ultimately provided the energy for driving in lieu of gas. When the steering wheel was invented and people could now seamlessly drive vehicles without the need for the horse, they still colloquially referred to the invention as a whip, as it controlled the vehicle much in the same way.
Because the logo on a Mercedes looks a tad like a whip, “whip” used to refer to that brand exclusively. However, over time it has come to mean any sort of car in general. West’s use of the pun is clever, given that Miracle Whip is a popular substitute for mayonnaise while also referring to a classy car!
8 “Rapture” – Blondie
And then you’re in the man from MarsYou go out at night, eatin’ carsYou eat Cadillacs, Lincolns tooMercurys and Suburus
“Rapture” was the very first Number 1 single on the Billboard Top 100 to feature rapping, and it is this section of the song that name checks various brands of cars!
Vocalist Debbie Harry raps about a night gone awry, mentioning the presence of a “Man from Mars” who begins to eat just about everything in sight, including the main protagonist of the tune. Blondie was inspired by science fiction especially, and Harry took inspiration from Fab Five Freddy who used to spin a similar rap, as he acknowledged later.
7 “Handclaps and Guitars” – Chiddy Bang
We still got a Acura but show time we be limoin’
Chiddy Bang recounts simpler times in the first verse of “Handclaps and Guitars” with this lyric. The rap duo, formerly consisting of Chiddy and Xaphoon Jones, shared similar beginnings when they met at Drexel University in Philadelphia, from which they both dropped out and started to make music together.
Though rappers usually like to brag about spending bucks on big rides, Chiddy Bang is more thrifty, preferring to ride in an Acura when they’re not performing. That way, they can live it up when it comes time to be in the limelight!
6 “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” – Eiffel 65
Blue his house with a blue little window and a blue CorvetteAnd everything is blue for him
This one hit wonder created a blue world, and we’re all just living in it. The protagonist of the song, “a little guy that lives in a blue world” really loves blue. So much that he even has a blue Corvette that he drives out on the town to see his blue girlfriend.
If you don’t remember this 1998 song, then congratulations! You’ve probably escaped one of the most notorious earworms in history. Da ba dee indeed.
5 “Fun Fun Fun” – The Beach Boys
But with the radio blasting goes cruising just as fast as she can nowAnd she’ll have fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the T-bird away
The Beach Boys loved to sing about the surf and sand, but they also loved cars! In addition to their classic “Little Deuce Coupe,” the band’s “Fun Fun Fun” also references a Ford Thunderbird used for a joy ride out on the city.
In this instance, the classic car is definitely used as a moniker for freedom and independence. The main protagonist of the song steals her dad’s beautiful T-Bird without his knowledge and cruises to the hamburger stand for a bit of quick fun with friends, but is later upset when he understandably revokes her car privileges. Sure enough, the Beach Boys come to the rescue, and offer her the chance to ride with them since she is car-less, though they scold her for lying to her papa. Well, with the chance to drive a classic T-bird, we’re not sure we can blame her!
4 “Supersonic” – Oasis
You make me laughGive me your autographCan I ride with you in your BMW?You can sail with me in my yellow submarine
Oasis is a band that can create epic, memorable rock tunes by stringing together simple rhymes and pairing them with kicking background arrangements. This is exactly what they accomplish on the rousing “Supersonic” in which the emboldened narrator makes the declaration “I need to be myself” since he “can’t be no one else.”
However, it seems that might be a more interesting figure than meets the eye. When the narrator meets a girl and asks for her “autograph” or more possibly her phone number, he one-ups her classy BMW with a “yellow submarine” which may or may not actually mean an underwater vehicle of the colorful variety. Is it a cheeky Beatles reference, or does he really want to impress this lady? You decide.
3 “Let’s Get It Started” – Black Eyed Peas
Bob your head like me, apl.deUp inside the club or in your Bentley
The Black Eyed Peas are adept at crafting the perfect party anthems in order to set the mood, and “Let’s Get It Started” is no exception.
When you’re ready to “get stupid” and party all night long, boring just isn’t an option. The band invites you to move to to the beat and enjoy yourself, no matter if you happen to be dancing at a club, or jamming to the radio in an expensive Bentley. Of course, we all know that a Bentley is impressive enough to make one feel both classy and cool at the same time whether they’re cruising down the highway or into a Walmart parking lot. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make you the happiest!
2 “3005” – Childish Gambino
And when I’m long gone, whole crew sing a swan songCause we all just ticking time bombs, got a Lambo like LeBron’s mom
Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, is well-known for his social commentary and intellect. This line from his hit “3005” seems to be a double entendre, but without some further research, you may not understand exactly what Gambino’s point is.
The lyrics seem to recognize the fact that human life leads to death, or in the context of the song, at least a struggle that might result in some sort of radical “explosion,” like a time bomb might produce. As Gambino also wrote a 72-page screenplay that accompanies his album Because the Internet, the Lambo in question might refer to a Lamborghini, as his character, “The Boy” has many expensive cars. However, the line may also refer to LeBron James’s mother’s former husband, rapper Da Real Lambo, and his toxic behaviors that have manifested in some unfortunate meltdowns on Instagram.
1 “American Pie” – Don McLean
So bye-bye, Miss American PieDrove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
One of the most iconic rock songs in history, “American Pie” by Don McLean is one of those songs you just can’t help belting out when it plays on the radio. Though the song stretches on for a glorious eight-plus minutes, its content is full of metaphors and references to “the day the music died,” which is widely interpreted to refer to the accident that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Bigger Bopper.
Chevrolets are American-made vehicles, and this first line of the chorus seems to mention other American staples as well, like Miss America and apple pie. Though there has been some confusion as to what the lyric means, some speculate that a dry levee symbolizes a barren ghost town, devoid of water and life. This might contribute to the prevalent themes of grief and longing for days past, when the aforementioned three rock heroes played their way into history with their incredible, yet short, musical legacies.
NEXT: 25 Forgotten Cars No One Will Ever Write A Song About