Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fun Thread: Cars in Song!

I was listening to the radio on the ride home from work the other night, when a song came on that gave me the idea for today's automotive fun thread. Americans have been in love with their cars since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line, and have been composing ballads to their vehicular counterparts for about as long.

Today's Top Ten are the most memorable songs about cars, or at least songs that have cars in them:

1. 1990s Lincoln Mark VIII. My boss at my last job had one of these monsters, and he asked me to pick him up at another facility with his new Lincoln. Took it out on 95, punched it, and I swear I heard Scotty say "I canna give ye nay more Cap'n!" Song, obviously? "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen.

2. 1980s era Chevrolet Corvette - for Prince's "Little Red Corvette", natch. Back before Prince got all funky 'n' artsy, he kicked out some pretty decent songs. This wasn't particularly one of them, mind you, but it is about a car.

3. 1964½ Ford Mustang - for Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally", of course. It gets extra props because Aretha Franklin suggested the name (It was originally supposed to be "Mustang Mama", and it was written about Della Reese...)

4. 1960 Cadillac El Dorado, hot pink. Song, naturally, is Springstein's "Pink Cadillac". Which is not to be confused with the video for Aretha Franklin's "Freeway of Love", which features a pink Cadillac...

5. 1980s era Chevy Camaro, provided it's driven up from Jamaica. Song, quite appropriately, is "Bitchin' Camaro" by the Dead Milkmen.

6. 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, for Heart's "Barracuda". Not a car song, exactly, but just had to feature a Hemi 'Cuda...

7. 1964 Pontiac GTO. Since the Beach Boys wrote songs about girls, surfing, and cars, there's a bunch of their material dealing with four-wheeled transportation ("Little Deuce Coupe", "409", etc.). Many groups tried to match their winning formula for producing hit songs (most notable Jan & Dean), but Ronnie &The Daytona's "Little GTO" gets this nod.

8. 1950 Mercury coupe. This car is probably most famous for being Sylvester Stallone's mode of transport in the farcical "Cobra", but the song is "Crazy 'bout a Mercury", most recently covered by Alan Jackson.

9. The self-titled Nash Rambler. What late-night listener to Doctor Demento can hear the name "Nash Rambler" and not immediately start singing, "Beep beep. Beep beep. His horn went beep beep beep"...

10. 1970s Chrysler Newport. The B-52s sang about a Chrysler that "seats about 20", and the Newport certainly fits that description. In the pantheon of "Cars You Could Never, Ever Fit into a Modern Parking Space", the Newport from the early 1970s is right up at the top of the list.

Okay, so there's another automotive list for your amusement. I've got a pretty good idea for next week's list (at least *I* think it's a neat idea), but if there's anything y'all would like to see, give a shout and I'll see what I can do!

That is all.


Rustmeister said...

So I guess songs by The Cars are right out. =)

danno said...

Hot Rod Lincoln was my first favorite song and it's still a classic!

Sabra said...

1) I'll grant you some artistic license here, but Model A's are such sweet, sweet cars (even without an after-market engine) that you really should have gone with the original to the song. (And I much prefer Asleep at the Wheel's cover, to be honest.)

8) Quibble of semantics here; the name of the song is actually "Mercury Blues" (I used to own the album Jackson covered it on), not that it matters.

And if we're gonna gush over Mercurys, I'm going with this one:

Anonymous said...

Oh, there are so many that you left out, Jay... Jan & Dean's Stingray & XKE that raced to Dead Man's Curve... The Rip Chords' Hey, Little Cobra (which, strangely enough, raced against Stingrays and XKEs! and even more strangely, shows up in my iTunes credited to Jan & Dean)... the T-Bird that we had Fun, Fun, Fun in (until Daddy took it away!)...

Hmm... Can you name the song that had a chartreuse MicroBus in it?

Sure wish I knew exactly what kind of Chevrolet that Charlie Daniels was driving when he took a trip out to LA - you know, the one with the peace sign, mag wheels and four on the floor? (Uneasy Rider, for the google-challenged).

And I'm not sure, but I think it was a GTO that Paul Evans managed to fit Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat - or was there something else that had a "triple carburetor"?

We were in a '66 Corvette when we were Riding With Private Malone, of course.

Cadillacs! We got them One Piece At a Time with Johnny Cash!

And how could you forget Kathy Mattea's baby-blue Oldsmobile with the wire wheels... and the 455 Rocket engine???

Sabra said...

And how could you forget Kathy Mattea's baby-blue Oldsmobile with the wire wheels... and the 455 Rocket engine???

That is one of my top 3 Kathy Mattea songs.

But if we're really going to dip down into country music arcana, what car was it Charlie Daniels was driving in "Uneasy Rider 1984"?

You could also pull in a car from Dwight Yoakam's "Long White Cadillac" (which I'm pretty certain was originally done by someone else).

PeterT said...

Ah, Dr. Demento.... Firesign theater... Nick Danger, Third Eye. Need I say more......


Anonymous said...

Sabra, if you check the third paragraph in my previous comment, you'll see that he was "tooling along in my Chevrolet, tokin' on a number and diggin' on the radio". And the guy who came in wanted to know "who owns this car, with the peace sign, mag wheels and four on the floor?".