Tracy Chapman — Fast Car
Album: Tracy Chapman
Avg rating:
7.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1648









Released: 1988
Length: 4:52
Plays (last 30 days): 1
You've got a fast car
I wanna ticket to anywhere
Maybe we can make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better
Starting from zero, got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me, myself, I've got nothing to prove

You've got a fast car
I've got a plan to get us out of here
Been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won't have to drive too far
Just cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

See my old man's got a problem
Live with the bottle, that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
His body's too young, to look like his
When mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
So I quit school and that's what I did

You've got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

Say remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You've got a fast car
We go cruising entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
Now I work in the market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

Say remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speeds so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You've got a fast car
I've got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me'd find it
I got no plans and I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

Say remember when we were driving, driving in your car
Speeds so fast it felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You've got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way
Comments (166)add comment
Kind of seems like this song is from the perspective of the girl in 'Racing in the Street' who had "...the eyes of one who hates for just being born".
Not 2 weeks ago I said to my daughter that this might be one of the saddest songs ever.
It is sad when your dreams are so modest. 

But I think that Kesha's "Spaceship" (if I got the name right) is even sadder. So much magical thinking in that one. I'm not sure if Kesha meant it that way.
Makes        me         want        to       shoot        myself
 jmsmy wrote:
Sometimes Bruce you just can't RUN

 
I guess it depends on the weight of the baggage you're carrying.
 rdo wrote:

Interesting...I have always loved this song..and...not to brag...but it was effortless and i stiill have never noticed the lyrics...
 
I've always had a tendency to skip over the lyrics and instead focus on the music, namely the vocals. Without even picking a word out of her delivery, Tracy puts forth such emotion in the way she sings, that you can glean so much of the story. But she is such a storyteller and her vocals are so clear & straightforward that it breaks through and really hits me in the gut.

I've performed her a cappella song Behind The Wall many times at open mike shows. I have a good talent for mimicry and when I replicate the quaver in her voice, it really helps communicate the fear & anguish of the "narrator" (it's a story about domestic violence told by a neighbor).
 Grayson wrote:
Yeah Bill. It is one of the saddest songs ever. Need my hankie now. Jeez. Radio play never did kill this one for me. Alas. It's brilliant. 

 
Agreed. One of those rare songs that seems timeless. 
This brings me back to Bangkok 1988, Khao San Road, where it was played constantly.
Yeah Bill. It is one of the saddest songs ever. Need my hankie now. Jeez. Radio play never did kill this one for me. Alas. It's brilliant. 
Yes, a sad song. Was a great moment in the late 80s.

But radio play killed this for me — need to go back in the vault.

 pfreet wrote:
This is exactly how I feel. If the goal of music is to generate an emotional response, this is a 10 for sure 

Grayson wrote:
The older I get the closer to my knees this song floors me. 

 

 
Timeless.
Sometimes Bruce you just can't RUN
This is exactly how I feel. If the goal of music is to generate an emotional response, this is a 10 for sure 

Grayson wrote:
The older I get the closer to my knees this song floors me. 

 


I like it.
Brilliant storyteller & lyricist, it's a shame that stations played the crap out of her two big songs so much that people got sick of her music before they really got a chance to appreciate it.
 unclehud wrote:
I remember trying desperately hard to like this song, but being deeply frightened by the lyrics and the realization that "there but for the grace of God go I."
 
All these many years later and it is still unsettling.

 
I don't think I've ever heard any song with lyrics that "deeply frightened" me, certainly not these lyrics.  I think they're pretty good lyrics - somewhat melancholy perhaps - but not scary.


                             
                                 
                                When she broke out with this, I thought it was excruciating. 

                                 Now, I just don't think about it. 

 

 lee_sf wrote:
This song has a directness and honesty of situation that continues to affect me, like, someone who's experienced that shouldn't also be able to sing about it. It doesn't appear that she's been able to do much after that first album, but, credit where credit is due. 

 
Disagree, some of her more recent work is stellar. Not much commercial success admittedly but great music nonetheless. 
The older I get the closer to my knees this song floors me.