DRIVING is boring manual labour nobody but the chronically dull could enjoy. These misguided tracks attempt to make it fun:
Driving in My Car, Madness, 1982
Songwriter Mike Barson provides a full backstory for his vehicle, including but not limited to what car it is unlike, where he bought it, who from, make, age, place of manufacture, previous owner details, usage for insurance purposes, recent maintenance work, and journeys of interest. Imagine that conversation in the pub.
Autobahn, Kraftwerk, 1974
Germany’s robots from the future chose to narrate the 22-minute drive from Düsseldorf to Hamburg. Lyrics like ‘We are driving, driving, driving on the Autobahn / In front of us is a wide valley / The sun is shining with glittering rays’, punctuate the song’s middle-lane monotony. One for the automotive purists.
Shut Up and Drive, Rihanna, 2007
A thinly-disguised metaphor for f**king, like most/all Rihanna songs, which even while sexing up stepping into a ride with ‘a sunroof top and a gangsta lean’ betrays its frustration with actual motorists. You don’t tell the driver to shut up unless you’re bored shitless of him telling you how much time the A34’s saved you.
Racing in the Street, Bruce Springsteen, 1978
Clearly just such a driver, Bruce is all about detailing the specifications of his machine and how he won his girlfriend by beating a dude in a Camaro in a street race. His girlfriend who cries herself to sleep because Bruce fills the evenings with the same quality chat you’d hear from boy racers in the car park of an out-of-town B&Q.
Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Billy Ocean, 1988
In this song Billy instructs his dream girl to vacate his mind and enter the four-wheel reality of his car. It’s a huge leap of faith; for all the dream girl knows she could find herself clambering into a pimped-up Citroen Saxo with UV lights underneath. But for real, Billy was cruising a red-light area, right? That’s where you’d say this?
The Road to Hell, Chris Rea, 1989
This is how Chris really feels about driving home for Christmas. Jams, poison, joy scared into the shadows, the fear of violence choking smiles from every face. The songs we could have been saved from if there were better rail links to Middlesbrough.