#5Faves: Driving With the Windows Down Songs


Spring is just around the corner, so saith the illustrious Punxsatawney Phil. At this time of year, when 55 degrees feels balmy rather than chilly, I’m eager to roll down the car windows at the first glimpse of forsythia – long before the parking lot snow piles have melted. Granted, rolling down windows held more excitement when there was actually rolling to do and my vehicle was something other than a minivan, even if it was my parents’ Chevy station wagon. These are five songs that, to me, are the perfect accompaniment to the windows-down ride.

Open Highway.jpg

Like no place I’ve ever driven – but would love to.


“Life Is A Highway”

I loved this song before I met the singer/songwriter Tom Cochrane while I was an intern at 102.5 WDVE in Pittsburgh. He was making the rock station rounds, and visited the Morning Show for an acoustic performance of this tune. Yes, the Rascal Flatts cover on the Cars soundtrack is good, too, but, IMHO not as good as the original. This song also has the distinction of being the final song in the Rightfully Ours playlist, the track playing in the car in the final scene. (Teaser. You’re just going to have to wait for it. )


“Take A Back Road”

My dad was not a fan of country so much as the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Even so, this Rodney Atkins song reminds me of lazy Sunday afternoons when Dad would take us out to eat and for a ride around Pittsburgh and its environs by way of former trolley routes and back roads. Nine times out of ten, I, too, will choose the back road over the highway.


“Born To Run”

I’m not as big of a fan of Bruce Springsteen as I once was buying rare picture discs and paging through issues of Backstreets, but this song and its angst just don’t get old for me. Nothing much beats belting the chorus out.


“Take the Money and Run”

Once you’ve heard this song a dozen or so times and can sing every word, you simply must. It paints a picture worthy of a music video before the advent of MTV. This one also takes me back to my childhood and the music my older brothers listened to. That and the several times I saw the Steve Miller Band in concert.


“Lonely Boy”

This Black Keys song has the distinction of being the only non-Imagine Dragons song I can get all of my children – from the toddler to the pre-teen – to sing along to. Nothing about driving or riding per se, but I’ve got this song all wrapped up in the main character of Stay With Me and that Harley Davidson he rides. (I’m fairly certain this is evidence of some latent thing for men on motorcycles.) I’m also addicted to the guitar riff in this song that I first thought was similar to one in T. Rex’s “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” (later covered by The Power Station).  According to Wikipedia, however, it was inspired by Johnny Burnette’s cover of “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” Take a listen; you’ll hear it. (Incidentally, this version of the oft-covered song bears almost no resemblance to the Aerosmith version I was familiar with.)


For more Five Favorites, visit The Big White Farmhouse.

What song makes you want to crank up the car stereo and roll the windows down?

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