Sorry, I don't think "Radar Love" on the radio can count as propitious. That's a song about somebody who isn't driving just to drive; he's driving because there is somewhere that he definitely has to be.That's a pretty subtle point about the close interpretation of the lyrics. If it's a song about driving and you're driving and the music feels great for driving, does the stress on reaching the destination make it not a great driving song? Of course, there are some great songs about driving that don't stress the destination. I'm thinking of all the songs that rave about the car itself — like "Little GTO" and "409"— or the songs that are using driving as a metaphor for sex — like "Little Red Corvette" and "Mustang Sally." But stressing the destination creates an urgency about the forward motion that makes the song great for driving even when you are driving just to drive. Don't you love to drive to "Six Days on the Road"?
But I'm not so sure "Radar Love" is about the destination. It's in the now. It's about extrasensory powers enabling the singer to hear the voice of his "baby" without a phone or radio at all. "She sends her comfort, coming in from above. Don't need no radio at all." Via radar love, he's able to feel good again, driving now.
Anyway, driving yesterday, I needed a radio. I like the chance combinations of song and landscape. I like it when they fit and I like it when they don't. Here I am driving across the Wisconsin River on Route 14:
"Radar Love" has ranked well on some lists of best driving songs. We could try to make a list, but most people end up with songs that mean something to them, that are from their era. Let's try to transcend that. "Radar Love" is not from my era. I just happened to have the 70s channel on the radio, where I go when the 60s channel is playing one too many Supremes songs. Here's a VH1 list of Top 10 driving songs. There are a lot of things to object to about that list. #10 is something that would make me instantly change channels. But I'm not going to object to the fact that #1 is a motorcycle song. I'm going to use that as an excuse to embed this:
And now that the topic is movies and motorcycles, I have even more of an excuse to put this up, which I was going to put up anyway, because of the way it expresses the idea of driving for the sake of driving:
One last thing. This is my choice of best driving song: