Asphalt, gasoline and miles upon miles of open road: there’s something mystical, even romantic, to the promise of the highway. For years, musicians have been compelled to write about the wide-eyed sense of freedom that comes when you hit the interstate with the wind in your hair.

From driving rock and roll to country crooners, the open road provides endless inspiration for songwriters and singers alike. In this article, we’ll explore the allure of the highway and some of the most uplifting songs that it has inspired over the years.


“Life is a Highway” – Tom Cochrane

Tom Cochrane’s classic hit, “Life is a Highway,” is an exhilarating ode to life’s journey, perfectly capturing the essence of highway songs. With its infectious beat and dynamic lyrics, the song ignites a sense of freedom and adventure, inviting us to live life to the fullest and explore the open road.

Cochrane’s powerful vocals and rich instrumentation create a mesmerizing soundscape, weaving together elements of rock, pop, and country into a sonic tapestry that will leave you feeling uplifted and inspired. Get ready to crank up this timeless anthem and hit the highway of life with style.



“Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

This next track is a true classic, a classic of the open road. It’s a song that will make you want to hit the gas and never look back, speeding down the highway with nothing but the wind in your hair and the music on your mind.

It’s the perfect anthem for those long, winding drives that seem to go on forever, taking you to new worlds and new possibilities. This is the kind of song that makes you feel invincible, and reminds you why you love hitting the road in the first place.


“I Can’t Drive 55” – Sammy Hagar

This iconic track from Sammy Hagar is a classic highway song that’s perfect for an open road adventure. With its upbeat tempo, catchy melody, and driving rhythm, “I Can’t Drive 55” embodies the sense of freedom and excitement that comes with cruising down the highway.

Whether you’re on a road trip with friends or just enjoying a solo drive, this song is guaranteed to get you pumped up and ready for adventure. So roll down your windows, turn up the volume, and let “I Can’t Drive 55” be your soundtrack for the journey ahead.


“Radar Love” – Golden Earring

One standout hit on the topic of highway songs is a classic by Golden Earring known as “Radar Love” – a defining magnum opus of the band’s soundscape. Propelled by its driving rhythm and electrifying guitar licks, the lyrics tell of a driver’s obsession with the anticipation of reaching a destination and the lengths they will go to get there.

With its captivating sound and relatable message, it’s no wonder the song still resonates with audiences around the world today.


“Route 66” – Chuck Berry

“Route 66” by Chuck Berry is a classic highway song with a rich history. Released in 1961, it celebrates the famous U.S. Route 66 that spans from Chicago to Los Angeles, which has long been the subject of songs and literature.

With its catchy guitar riff and upbeat melody, the song captures the sense of adventure and freedom that comes from hitting the open road and embarking on a cross-country journey. Its nostalgic lyrics, as well as its historical significance, have made it a staple of American music and a beloved part of the highway song canon.


“Hit the Road Jack” – Ray Charles

The classic road trip tune “Hit the Road Jack” by the legendary Ray Charles is sure to get your foot tapping and your head nodding. With its catchy melody and upbeat rhythm, this song is the perfect soundtrack for cruising down the highway and leaving your worries behind.

Charles’ soulful vocals add an extra layer of emotion and depth, making “Hit the Road Jack” a timeless classic that continues to inspire and entertain listeners of all ages.


“Truckin'” – Grateful Dead

“Truckin'” by Grateful Dead is an iconic highway song that embodies the spirit of adventure and freedom. Its lively rhythm and upbeat melody are perfect for cruising down the open road with the windows rolled down and the wind in your hair.

The lyrics are filled with references to the ups and downs of life on the road, as well as the joys and challenges of living the nomadic lifestyle. This song has become a classic anthem for all those who seek the thrill of the highway and the open road.


“On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson

“On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson is a classic highway song with an upbeat and optimistic vibe. The lyrics speak to the joy of traveling and enjoying life on the road, offering a sense of freedom and adventure. With catchy melodies and the unmistakable voice of Willie Nelson, this song never fails to put you in a good mood and make you want to hit the highway.


“Highway to Hell” – AC/DC

“Highway to Hell” is a classic rock song from the Australian band AC/DC, released in 1979. The song’s main riff is instantly recognizable and has become an anthem for driving on the open road. The lyrics describe the dangers and thrill of the highway, with references to speed, danger, and the Devil himself.

The song’s rebellious attitude and hard-rock sound make it a staple of any road trip playlist.


“Mustang Sally” – Wilson Pickett

“Mustang Sally” is a classic highway song that encapsulates the freedom and energy of the open road. With its upbeat tempo, soulful melodies, and catchy lyrics, this tune embodies the thrill of cruising down the highway, wind in your hair and music blasting from the speakers.

From the driving guitar riffs to the infectious chorus, “Mustang Sally” is a road trip anthem that will transport you to another time and place, where adventure awaits around every turn.