Why We Should All Be Listening to “Fast Car” Right Now

India McCarty

There’s never a bad time to put on “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Okay, sure, it might stop a party pre-game in its tracks…or you might find yourself screaming the lyrics along with Chapman, more pumped than you would be if some random EDM song was on. “Fast Car” has one of the most recognizable acoustic guitar parts ever, and pretty much everyone can sing along to at least the chorus. So yes, you should pretty much always be listening to “Fast Car.”


The song feels especially appropriate right now, given the general state of things. A song about people who are stuck in an unsatisfactory situation? Working dead end jobs? Facing unemployment? Just getting in that fast car and driving away from it all? Yeah, it definitely checks all my boxes. 


“You got a fast car // but is it fast enough that we can fly away? // We gotta make a decision // leave tonight, or live and die this way,” pretty much sums up my mindset as we go on Month 6 of quarantine and social distancing. Aren’t we all dreaming of a fast car that can just fly us away from all our problems?


I’m not the only one who is returning to this absolute banger in these trying times. Country singer Luke Combs recently posted an acoustic version online and says he’s considering adding it to his set when he can tour again. Soul band Black Pumas released a studio version of the song as a single. “Fast Car” is timeless, people! 


Eric Burton, lead singer for the Black Pumas, told Rolling Stone, “It’s a song that says it’s not OK to be OK with things that hold us back from living our best lives. It’s still relevant.”


So, when things get to be too much, the crushing weight of our present circumstances overwhelms me and I feel like screaming into a pillow, I put on “Fast Car.” You should, too.