Here’s something not a lot of people realize about me – I like cars.
I’ve harbored a secret desire to be a racecar driver since I was roughly ten years old when I started watching a certain cartoon related to auto racing. It generally didn’t work out in real life because my mom thought it would be too dangerous (and we didn’t live in a rural area where I could’ve gotten a tractor permit at age 14), but I still longingly watch the World Rally Championship and try to convince my parents to pay for me to go to a rallying school in New Hampshire. I’m 23.
I vicariously live my dream through Gran Turismo nowadays, but the in-game music gets repetitive when you’re doing endurance races, so I’ve put together my own playlists of driving music over the years. This Sunday, we’ve got two of the biggest races of the year on the calendar – on one day. The Monaco Grand Prix is running first (7 am EST on SPEED), followed almost immediately after by the most famous race in America, the Indianapolis 500. Since I won’t be driving in either of them, I’ll be on my couch watching and eating fried rice and telling my friends why Kimi Raikkonen is amazing.
In honor of what may be the biggest day in motorsports in quite some time, here’s a driving playlist for you all.
Lunatic Calm: Leave You Far Behind
Yes, this is on the soundtrack to The Matrix. It’s also excellent to drive to. It has the right beat, the right lyrics, the right overall idea. (I managed to somehow find a fanvid of Clive Owen driving a Beemer to this song so you can see what I mean.)
Masahiro Andou: Moon Over The Castle
This is self-explanatory: it’s the theme song for the Gran Turismo franchise. As I mentioned above, this is the only place I actually have a racing career. Right now.
The Allman Brothers Band: Jessica
Just listen to it and you’ll know why it’s on here.
If you don’t, then watch this and you’ll know.
Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now
Speaking of Top Gear, they took a poll and determined this to be the best driving song not specifically about a car or driving. It was mis-engraved, of course.
This one’s not as well known, but I absolutely adore motoring along to it. Just listen to it and you’ll see why.
Havana Brown feat. Pitbull: We Run The Night
This is the most recent addition to my driving playlist. It’s very frustrating for me when a song with a beat like this comes on when I’m sitting at a red light.
Nightwish: Over The Hills And Far Away (cover of Gary Moore)
There are two reasons this song is on here. One is that people from Finland are very, very good at driving racecars. There’s a long tradition of Finnish drivers in the World Rally Championship and Formula 1, so I figured I’d add at least one Finnish metal song on here. The other reason? A different Over The Hills And Far Away was the theme song to the TV series that made me decide to become a historian.
I asked my co-writers for some suggestions, and here’s what they came up with:
Mary Schless, The Gold Rush: Flo Rida: Good Feeling
Carl Gierhan, contributor at A League of Her Own: The White Stripes: Blue Orchid
Terri Schlather, Tales From The Juice Box: Ball Park Music: It’s Nice To Be Alive
Melanie Friedlander, contributor at Steel City Blitz: Don Henley: The Boys Of Summer
Enjoy – and happy motoring!