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Driving Music: Best Songs for the Open Road

Just as there is a vehicle for every driver’s taste and plenty of new car deals to go around, there’s also a song that makes the drive complete. Still, here are the top 10 songs for the road:

1. "Born to Be Wild" simply exudes chrome and leather and emulates the sense of freedom that the open road and burning rubber provides.

2. "I Can't Drive 55" has to be included in the list. Sammy is a hard-core car lover and vehemently declares his rebellion toward speed limits. It’s a great song for the open road, but beware of oncoming traffic!

3. "Radar Love" describes the telepathic desire shared by the singer and his lover. The gritty beat makes this an excellent driving song.

4. "Greased Lightning" from the Grease soundtrack makes you want to find the nearest quarter mile marked off and let it rip. It’s nice to dream.

5. "Take the Money and Run" is a fun song. Although this is not an endorsement of the practice, this song is a lighthearted look at being bad little boys and girls and getting away with it. Be sure to clap when he mentions Texas.

6. "Highway Man" by Johnny Cash and the other outlaws is an honorable mention here. When cruising on the open road at 3 o'clock in the morning, window down and wind whipping your hair, it’s easy to imagine that you are a highway man too. Listening to the weathered voices of Willie, Kris, Waylon and Johnny, you have the hope that like them, you can come back again and again and again.

7. "Panama" has all the energy needed to keep the car moving. The constant beat and hypnotizing guitar propel you down the road. Of course, it’s just not the same without an orange convertible and that mane of golden hair flowing in your wake.

8. "Life Is a Highway" is the song for anyone that grew up with the muscle cars of yesterday. When you start up your little 4-cylinder, listen to the first few seconds of this song. Imagine the glass-packs and 327-or-better engines that defined cars when they were really cars. As the song continues, the tight harmony and constant beat carries you along, and for that 5 minutes anyway, you are allowed to tool down that long-lost highway of your youth.

9. "Hot Rod Lincoln" is a coming of age road song for every generation. The message is classic; from the yearning for speed and dominance, to the inevitable payoff of cops and dads. But what keeps the song on this list is the compelling beat that spurs on the irresistible urge to pass the guy just ahead.

10. "Little Deuce Coupe." When listening to the great harmony and energetic beat, you can’t help but cruise down the highway with your spirits lifted. Youth and innocence go a long way in making a road trip palatable.

This list of top 10 open road songs is an eclectic compilation of mood enhancers; from country sentiment to hard rocking rebellion to nostalgic ruminations. But they are all guaranteed to make that long ride a pleasure.

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