You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me, myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I 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

You see my old man's got a problem
He 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
My 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 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

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

You got a fast car
We go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
I work in a 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

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

You got a fast car
I 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 would find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

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

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way



Lyrics submitted by mrdave2001

"Fast Car" as written by Tracy L Chapman

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Fast Car song meanings
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121 Comments

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  • +5
    My Opinion:Tracy is a MASTER...few words, repeated initial "refrains"....powerful evocative images, a classic novel and timeless "moral" packed into this blues/traditional ballad of seven verses alternating with "chorus". Glitzy material possessions never could substitute for true character and those who rely on them will only drag down those who know better.
    Allears12on May 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him.

    There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
    ballzofsnoon April 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This is how i feel about where i live and the people around me,I just wanna get out of here. Go anywhere.
    Roseon June 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:This song is so powerful and every time I hear it I have to stop and listen to it. If you notice, it first says "Is it fast enough so WE can fly away?" Then at the end it says "Is it fast so YOU can fly away?" Thus saying, in the end, she wants him to leave her.
    Saraghinaon June 18, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:A mother living below the poverty line because of the environment that she was forced to live in, wants to go anywhere else, which she thinks would be better than where she's at. Problem is, people who live below the poverty line are a part of the vicious circle. Low paying, menial jobs foster apathy, alcoholism, crime in most who are a part of her world that she comes to find out about. She thinks that love is the answer to her problems, seeing that there is that chance at a different life.

    Eventually, her partner is a part of the "vicious circle", has no real ambition or cannot get the breaks and turns to other diversions that commonly cause strife within a domestic situation.

    The song leaves with a hint of despair. The "Fast Car" that was supposed to come to bring her to a better place is now a symbol of escape for the "love" she thought she had to leave her in her place to get on with her life... Unfortunately, this last message seems to portend to the poor's plight in general.

    A dark, disturbing, yet beautiful and bluesy song. Hearkens back to the old days of the "blues man"(apologies to Tracy) sitting and playing the guitar and rapping about the troubles in life.
    Hawkgoldon February 07, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I think the fact that this page has 115 comments speaks to the range and richness of this song. It touches upon so much like dreamy escapism, the blindness of love, the heartbreaking disappointment of dreams and so much more that others have mentioned. You can even entertain the interpretation made by someone that the whole song is a daydream that is crushed by reality at the end of the song. Top it off with the fact that the music is beautiful and now it's one of the greatest songs ever.
    martin489on June 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:SO beautiful song that i could cry. haven't listened to it for a while, should maybe. the person who told me about it became a very important person to me. i already miss him. well, almost. gotta hear it today.
    my darling meon July 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:i'm only 13, and i know i might not know much about the world. i play acoustic guitar. tracy chapman is a wonderful influence on my music writing. i thrive on punk/ska/reggae music, but tracy chapman is a true exception to any type of music. her music somewhat reflects my life and a lot of peoples.
    skaunity101on August 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This song is so beautiful and powerful. i totally feel how tracy does. i know what she means when "You gotta make a decision, Leave tonight or live and die this way." i live in a small town and i am going to get out of here as soon as I can. i think my life would be a waste and pointless if i didnt make somehting of my life and get the hell out of here. this song gives me the feeling of being spontanious and just leaving just like im going to do someday. im going to jump in my car and never look back.i also know what she means when she talks about her father and how he needs her help. she wants to leave but shes got reality holding her back.this song gives me hope
    punkiebruster21on March 09, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This is such a powerful song for me. When i was little my mum used to play it in the car non stop when we were driving around the US.

    Now im in Australia and she's in Canada. And i just recently heard this song again, ran out and bought the CD. I didn't understand it when i was little, but now i do. My mums life was just like this song. She met my father after running away from her own parents. And then ran off to Australia to live a better life, then he started drinking and all these dreams they had shared went down the toilet. And she ended up having to run again, leaving me behind...

    This is the only song i have ever listened to that makes me cry. And cry i do, it's so beautiful, i hope everybody can apreciate it the way i do.
    Hoodedon August 31, 2005   Link

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