List of car crash songs

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The car crash song emerged as a popular pop and rock music teenage tragedy song during the 1950s and 1960s at a time when the number of people being killed in vehicle collisions was rising fast in many countries. In the United Kingdom, the number of fatalities on UK roads rose to a peace-time peak of 7,985 in 1966 before then falling to a new low of 2,222 in 2009.[1] The theme also appears in country and other music styles.[2]

Title Artist Year Comment
"7–11" The Ramones 1981 From their album Pleasant Dreams. The arrangement of this song suggests a strong 1950s/early 1960s teenage pop influence with a doo-wop chorus.
"The Reason" Hoobastank 2004 From the album The Reason
"Airbag" Radiohead 1997 According to the lyrics, "an airbag saved my life."[3]
"Always Crashing in the Same Car" David Bowie 1977 From the album Low
"Angels in Top Hats" House of Heroes 2005 Talks about a girl lying in the hospital, and the song later reveals that she was in a car and it had been raining when the crash happened. From House of Heroes
"A Sight for Sore Eyes" Tom Waits 1977 Mentions that a fellow named Nash was killed in a crash. The story is told about how he spun out, hit a telephone pole and died with the radio on. From Foreign Affairs
"The Approaching Curve" Rise Against 2006 "Up ahead there was a curve approaching. She made no indications of slowing."

From The Sufferer & the Witness

"Arthur" Hoodoo Gurus 1984 "A black gelato van, finished for the day, met with Arthur's taxi head-on, down St. Kilda way"
"The Artist in the Ambulance" Thrice 2003 "Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal. Red light can't stop so I spin the wheel."

From The Artist in the Ambulance

"Bat Out of Hell" Meat Loaf 1977 From "Bat Out of Hell"
"The Beginning of My End" The Unifics 1968
"The Ballad of Thunder Road" Robert Mitchum 1957 Moonshine runner dies when his car speeds off the road
"Big League" Tom Cochrane & Red Rider 1988 "Hit a truck doing 70 in the wrong lane in the big league".
"B.J. the D.J." Stonewall Jackson 1964 Title protagonist – a hard-living, sleep-deprived disc jockey – dies when his car crashes off the road.
"Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" The Cheers 1955 A motorcyclist vanishes after hitting a truck.
"Black Ice" My Friend the Chocolate Cake 2011 From their album Fiasco. Lyrics speak of a fight between a husband and wife, then the wife dies in a car crash. Contains "Black ice took her away from me", speaks directly of a car crash.
"Brought Up That Way" Taylor Swift 2009 Recorded for Fearless but formally unreleased. A song about the relationship between a girl and her father ends with the man receiving a phone call from a police officer stating, "Sir, there's been an accident [...] A drunken driver missed an overpass, and Emily, she's fading fast."
"Buses and Trains" Bachelor Girl 1998 Lyrics compare love to traffic collisions with several vehicles, one of them is the car.
"(Northbound on) Cahuenga" Scarling. 2005 From So Long, Scarecrow, about Jennifer Symes' car crash
"Car Crash" The Avengers 1977 [4]
"Car Crash" Dirty Americans 2004 Making the comparison that love is like a car crash. "You leave me bloody and take all my money like a car crash". This song was featured on the soundtrack of the popular racing video game Gran Turismo 4.
"Car Crash" Our Lady Peace 1997 About a friend who intentionally killed himself in a car crash.
"Car Crash" Powerman 5000 1995
"The Carroll County Accident" Porter Wagoner 1968 A deadly car crash reveals a secret extramarital affair in the form of a lost wedding ring
"Chapel Bells Ringing" Gene Summers (written by Mary Tarver) 1962 45rpm issued on Lafayette Records. Based upon a true story about a fatal car/train crash in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
"Chemistry of a Car Crash" Shiny Toy Guns 2005
"Chicken" The Cheers 1957
"Come Back Jonee" Devo 1978 The lyric "Jonee jumped in his Datsun, drove onto the expressway, went head on into a semi."
"Condition Red" The Goodees 1968 Motorcycle crash under circumstances similar to "Leader of the Pack"
"The Country & Western Supersong" Billy Connolly 1979 A bus crash, ambulance and car crash
"Crash" The Primitives 1988 Allegory about living too fast: "You go way too fast, if you don't slow down, you're going to crash."
"Crawling from the Wreckage" Graham Parker ---- Also a hit for Dave Edmunds (1977).
"Crazy Cat Corner" Gene Summers (written by Deanna Summers-Gene Summers) 2004 from Do Right Daddy CD (Enviken)
"Daddy's Speeding" Suede 1994 A eulogy to James Dean and about the relevance of car crashes in modern culture
"The Day I Died" Just Jack 2009
"Days of Graduation" Drive-By Truckers 2001 A first person narrative about a fatal car crash the night before the victims' high school graduation.
"Deacon Blues" Steely Dan 1977 "Drink scotch whisky all night long and die behind the wheel"
"Dead on the Highway" Sons of the Never Wrong 1995 First person narrative from the person killed in a car crash.
"Dead Man's Curve" Jan and Dean 1964 Auto street racing collision
"Dead Joe" The Birthday Party 1982 [4]
"Dead in a Ditch" Dirty Rotten Imbeciles 1988 Story of a girl who steals her parents' car and pills and drives of a cliff
"Detroit Rock City" Kiss 1976 Written in tribute to a fan who was killed in a car crash on his way to a KISS concert.[3]
"Dezesseis" Legião Urbana 1996 Story of a teenager street racer who died on a car crash, possibly from suicide.
"A Day in the Life" The Beatles 1967 John Lennon sings about a man who "blew his mind out in a car" crash, presumably Guinness heir Tara Browne, who died in a 1966 automobile crash.
"Don't Pass Me By" The Beatles 1968 The song is addressed to someone who was "in a car crash" and "lost [her] hair"; i.e., became anxious or upset.
"Don't Save Us from the Flames" M83 2005 About a survivor of a car crash hearing ghosts crying for Tina (presumably killed in the crash).
"Dreaming While You Sleep" Genesis 1991 From We Can't Dance. Written in the first person about a hit and run driver who is haunted by the events that took place.
"Drinking and Driving" Black Flag 1985 From In My Head. "Fill your car with your buddies. And wrap it around a tree."
"Ed" Ice-T 1991 "One night he got drunk and started driving real fast / Ed's dead"
"En händig man" Per Gessle 2007 "Hanna" in the song always crashed in the same car.
"The End of the Tour" They Might Be Giants 1994 Car crash
"Everything You Know is Wrong" "Weird Al" Yankovic 1996 Protagonist crashes into a truck and lies bleeding on the asphalt when his hibachi dealer in the back seat cups his hands over the protagonist's eyes.
"Fireball Rolled a Seven" Dave Dudley 1975 Protagonist ("Fireball") dies in a racing collision
"Flowers" Chris Young 2006 The singer sings at the grave of his wife whom he killed in a drunk driving accident.
"For Nancy ('Cos It Already Is)" Pete Yorn 2001 Musicforthemorningafter
"Glass in the Trees" Dead Poetic 2004 About a friend who died in a car crash.
"Glitter Years" The Bangles 1988 "Denny" in the song crashes his father's car
"G. M. Vincent and I" Comeback Kid (band) 2010 Tells the story of the van crash vocalist Andrew Neufeld and long-time friends/labelmates Grave Maker suffered[5]
Grace Kelly Die Ärzte 1983 From their EP Zu schön, um wahr zu sein!
"Gravity's Union" Coheed and Cambria 2013 "And I was wrong to let you go / I accept my mistake, but you will never know / This is my love into a ten-ton truck / Baby, please remember the better me"
"Headlights on Dark Roads" Snow Patrol 2006
"Hello, This is Joannie" Paul Evans 1977
"Here Comes Bob" Sparks 1972 Humorous tale of a wealthy eccentric who deliberately causes minor fender-benders as a way of meeting women
"Hospital Flowers" Owl City 2011 Reflecting on a victim's life after a car crash
"How I Left the Ministry" The Extra Lens 2010
"I Came Here to Live" Trace Adkins 2006 A man telling a story about his life shares how his car flipped doing 80 and his experience with god that changed his purpose of life.
"I Can Feel A Hot One" Manchester Orchestra 2009 A man is reflecting back on the night that he lost his pregnant wife in a car crash.
"I Hope They Get to Me in Time" Darius Rucker 2008 A man reflects on his life as he lays injured from a car crash, hoping the ambulance arrives in time to save him
"I Want My Baby Back" Perry Botkin, Jr. and Gil Garfield, performed by Jimmy Cross 1965 A parody of the car crash tragedy genre in which the driver of the crash reunites with his dead girlfriend – in her coffin (which he digs up!)
"In morte di S.F." Francesco Guccini 1967 From the album Folk beat n. 1 – often covered; best known cover is by Italian seminal pop-rock group Nomadi
"In the Car Crash" Swayzak 2002 from the album Dirty Dancing featuring Headgear
"It's Dangerous Business Walking out Your Front Door" Underoath 2004 "Glass shatters and comes to a halt; I thought we'd be there by now. I thought it would be so much quicker than this. Pain has never been so brilliant; I made sure you were buckled in. Now you can walk hand in hand with him."

From They're Only Chasing Safety

"J.A.R." Green Day 1995 Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt wrote this song in memory of his lifelong friend, Jason Relva, who died in 1992 as the result of injuries sustained from a car crash. "My friend drove off the other day/Now he's gone and all they say/Is you've gotta live 'cause life goes on"
"Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" Primus 1995 "Jerry was a race car driver/22 years old/Had one too many cold beers one night/And wrapped himself around a telephone pole"
"Jock-O-Rama (Invasion of the Beef Patrol)" Dead Kennedys 1985 Contains the line: Another Trans-Am wrapped itself around a telephone pole "I ain't drunk, officer, I just fell gettin' out of my car"
"In the Kingdom #19" Sonic Youth 1986 Death on the highway
"I'm Cold" Whale 1995 "I'm breathing a broken windscreen"
"Johnny Don't Do It" 10cc 1973 A parody of the teenage "death disc" genre using the familiar trope of a bad boy who is good but misunderstood, "an angel dressed in black," riding a stolen motorcycle when he runs into a truck.
"Johnny's Gone" Catfish 1991 2 wheels on the highway / 4 wheels flashing blue / 10 wheels coming the other way / Gonna make the morning news
"Just a Car Crash Away" Marilyn Manson 2007 Manson singing about a relationship and lives that are "Just a Car Crash Away"
"Just Good Ol' Boys Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley 1979 "Hotwired a city truck and turned it over in the mayor's yard."
"Junkyard in the Sky" London Lee 1963
"Kärleken är" Jill Johnson 1998 Inspired by the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in France in 1997.[6]
"Killer Cars" Radiohead 1995 B-side from the album The Bends.
"Kiss Them for Me" Siouxsie and the Banshees 1991 From the album Superstition. Inspired by the death of Jayne Mansfield in a car crash in 1967.
"Last Kiss" Wayne Cochran (1962) and made popular by J. Frank Wilson also covered by Pearl Jam 1964 Falsely inspired by a December 1962 incident in Barnesville, Georgia, in which several teens were killed and two seriously injured when their car struck a flatbed logging truck. Song was actually written in 1961.[3]
"Leader of the Pack" The Shangri-Las 1964 Motorcycle crash.[4][7]
"Leeds Road 3 am" New Model Army 2000 From the album Eight, the song describes a series of scenes which culminate in a car crash.[8]
"A Lifetime" Better Than Ezra 2001, 2005 Featured on the albums Closer and Before the Robots. The urn of a car crash victim is stolen at her wake for a private farewell.
"Lightning Crashes" Live 1995 Song based on a real-life drunk driving crash[9] and the impact of a subsequent organ donation.
"Limousine" Brand New 2005 Young flower girl at wedding is killed by drunk driver
"The Living End" The Jesus and Mary Chain 1985 From the album "Psychocandy".
"Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck" The Blood Brothers 2004 [3] A song about a boy who left his girlfriend for a "better looking brand" and when he is horribly hurt in an crash no one visits.
"Low Light" Pearl Jam 1998 A song about a troubled couple losing each other in a car crash and not being able to reconcile.
"Lucky" Radiohead 1997 "Pull me out of the aircrash".
"Life in the Fast Lane" The Eagles 1976 A song about a troubled couple driving in the fast lane, and the male driver singing "call the doctor, I think I'm going to crash", they then "run a stop sign and take a turn for the worst".
"Mario Milano's Monaro" Perry Keyes 2015 "Just the other night / Some old guy ran a red light /T-boned me, South Dowling St."
"MIA" Emmy The Great 2006 About listening to singer MIA in a car when her love dies in a car crash.
"Message from James Dean" Bill Hayes 1956
"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" Crash Test Dummies 1993 A car crash turned a kid's hair "from black into bright white" because "the cars had smashed so hard."
"Mr. Ambulance Driver" The Flaming Lips 2006 from the album At War With the Mystics. Frontman Wayne Coyne has described the song as a "teenager car crash ballad".
"Motorcrash" The Sugarcubes 1988 from the album Life's Too Good
"Motorist" Jawbox 1994 [4]
"My Favourite Game" The Cardigans 1998 The reason MTV UK rejected the video was because of fears that the video could encourage joyriding and cause car crashes amongst teenage drivers.
"A Nightmare to Remember" Dream Theater 2009 from the album Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Guitarist John Petrucci wrote about a car crash he was in as a child.
"No Reason" Don Walker 2006 "the towies said he was airborne when he hit the tree / with a blood alcohol of 1.7 or more"
"No Return" The Third Rail 1966
"Normandy" Project 86 2007
"Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer than They Are" Meat Loaf 1993 Singer's friend is killed in a plane crash
"Oerend Hard" Normaal 1977 Motorcycle crash
"On The Road To Calvary (for Jeff Buckley)" Willie Nile 1999 "I heard a car crash, it reminded me of you"
from the album Beautiful Wreck of the World
"The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (of Control)" Thursday 2006 The aftermath of a car crash on its survivors is chronicled. A sequel to "Understanding in a Car Crash" (see below)
"Papa Loved Mama" Garth Brooks 1992 A jealous truck driver crashes his rig into a motel room where his wife is having an extramarital affair, killing her and sending himself to prison.
"Phantom 309" Red Sovine 1964 The song's protagonist, a hitchhiker, meets the ghost of a truck driver who was killed when he swerved his semi-trailer truck into a ditch to avert a potentially deadly collision with a bus full of teenagers.
"Plastic Flowers on the Highway" Drive-By Truckers 2001
"Racing Car" Air Bubble 1976 Ned. No. 7 Racing car driver boyfriend is involved in a crash.
"Renaissance" Mat Kearney 2006
"Ricky's Hand" Fad Gadget 1980 A man drinks six pints of beer, drives, crashes his car, and loses his hand.
"Riding with Private Malone" David Ball 2001 The singer is pulled from a fiery car crash by the ghost of the car's former owner, a soldier who died in the Vietnam War.
"The Right Profile" The Clash 1979 Based on the 1956 car crash in which Hollywood star Montgomery Clift was severely injured.
"Rocky's Girl" David Geddes 1978
"Seventy Times 7" Brand New 2001 Sample lyrics:

"Have another drink and drive yourself home"
"I hope there's ice on all the roads"
"And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt"
"Then again when your head goes through the windshield"

"Shredded Humans" Cannibal Corpse 1990 From the album Eaten Back to Life. The lyrics of the song describe what happens to a family inside a car that crashes, and the reaction of the other driver.
"Sirens" Lee Brice 2014 From the album I Don't Dance. The subject picks up a female hitchhiker who robbed a bank and grabs the steering wheel and causes a crash rather than surrendering to the cops.
"Slick" Sugar 1992 From the album Copper Blue. The song describes a driver who lost control of a car on a slick road and crashed into a pole. The subject is paralyzed and connected to machines in the hospital.
"Sloppy Seconds" Watsky 2013 From the album Cardboard Castles; first verse details a car crash
"Slow Car Crash" Headphones 2005 "Your purse hit the wind shield when I locked the brakes. Airbags inflated, seat belts engaged. A semi was jackknifed because of the rain. A hundred yards up blocking three lanes."
"So Damn Lucky" Dave Matthews 2003 The 2nd track on Matthews's solo album Some Devil. The subject is pleased that their love is not involved in the auto collision described in the lyrics.
"So Small" Carrie Underwood 2007 A runaway teen steps in front of an oncoming car, causing the woman driving to swerve into a man coming in the opposite direction – and then time freezes, giving all three a moment to contemplate what brought them there.
"Someday" Nickelback 2003 From the album The Long Road. The lyrics chronicle a failed relationship. The music video involving a car crash.
"Spellbound" AC/DC 1981 From the album For Those About to Rock We Salute You. The first verse describes a car crash and the second verse describes the reckless driving that lead to the crash.
"Stan" Eminem featuring Dido 2000 The lead character in the song commits suicide by crashing his car, with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk.
"Star Witness" Neko Case 2006 "My true love drowned in a dirty old pan of oil that did run from the block of a Falcon sedan 1969. The paper said '75. There were no survivors, none found alive."
“Stereotype” The Specials 1980 “His mums waiting up, she hopes he's alright

But he's wrapped round a lamp post on Saturday night”

"Steve Was Dead" Buck O Nine 1997 Rumors spread among friends that Steve was in a car crash. lyrics and video
"Sunday Driving" Jerry Lewis 1951 Jerry crashes his car at the end of the song and says next time he'll take the bus, instead.
"Suzy & Jeffrey" Blondie 1980 The titular duo crash into a wall, serving as a metaphor for cold feet.
"Teddy Bear" Red Sovine 1976 The protagonist's father had died in a collision involving his semi-trailer truck during a snowstorm.
"Teen Angel" Mark Dinning and Alex Murray 1959 Auto collision
"Teenage Cremation" Bob Hudson 1974 A parody of teen death songs. "I walk along the nature strip looking for pieces of you"
"Tell Laura I Love Her" Ray Peterson 1960 Auto racing collision[3][7]
"Terry" Twinkle 1964 Motorcycle crash
"That's How People Grow Up" Morrissey 2009 "I was driving my car / I crashed and broke my spine"
"There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" The Smiths 1986 from the album The Queen Is Dead
"Three Wooden Crosses" Randy Travis 2002 Christian story song about a bus wreck in Mexico where three people died and maybe why a fourth person, perhaps the least deserving of the group, lived.
"Through the Wire" Kanye West 2003 Rapper West's first single, inspired by a 2002 crash which he survived, and performed while his jaw was wired shut as a result of his injuries.[3]
"The Tourist" Radiohead 1997 A song about the moments leading up to and during the crash "Airbag" (another OK Computer track by Radiohead) is based on.
"Thunderbird" Steve Azar 1996 from the album Heartbreak Town
"A Tombstone Every Mile" Dick Curless 1965 A song about a treacherous stretch of Maine highway where truckers often met fatal accidents.
"Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel" Barenaked Ladies 2000 From Maroon. Accompanied by a drum march and calliope, the song is recited by the narrator who has just died in a car crash.
"Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die!" Jethro Tull 1976 Motorcycle crash
"Transfusion" Nervous Norvus 1956 A crazy driver keeps getting into collisions and receiving blood transfusions – always promising to never speed again.
"Trashed" Black Sabbath 1983 From Born Again, about surviving a drunk driving.
"Two Hour Honeymoon" Paul Hampton 1960 A newlywed couple have a car crash that kills her and leaves him lying in the wreck questioning why it happened.
"Two Six Packs Away" Dave Dudley 1965 The singer is serving a ninety-day jail sentence for wrecking his car while drunk.
"Understanding in a Car Crash" Thursday 2002 [4]
"Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)" Simple Plan 2005 Drunk driving collision
"Warm Leatherette" The Normal 1979 Also recorded by Grace Jones (1980). First person narrative of a car crash victim burning to death in the crash.
"Where Oh Werewolf" Michael J. Nelson 1998 Parodying a car crash scene in the 1996 film Werewolf. Performed on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
"When I Go Out, I Want to Go Out on a Chariot of Fire" Escape the Fate 2006 Song about a deadly car crash.
"The Wild Boar" Adrian Crowley 2014 "Suddenly, a huge shape leapt from the forest on his right / There was barely enough time to react / He hit the brakes hard, but the car collided / with the creature, or whatever it was"
"Wreck on the Highway" Roy Acuff 1942 Also recorded by artists including The Louvin Brothers, George Jones and Gene Pitney (1965), The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (in Will the Circle Be Unbroken, 1972)[2]
"Wreck on the Highway" Bruce Springsteen 1980 Hit-and-run victim on lonely highway, inspired by but different from the Acuff song
"The Year Summer Ended in June" Misery Signals 2004 "Roll down the window let in night air. I always thought we'd be together. You said we've never gone this way before. I must not let you die. Your memory survives.”

From Of Malice and the Magnum Heart

"A Young Man Is Gone" The Beach Boys 1963 A eulogy to James Dean

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Department for Transport (2009). "Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Road Casualties Great Britain. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b Chet Flippo, "Nashville Skyline: 'I Ain't Never Seen a Hearse with a Luggage Rack': Songs of Death Return to the Country Charts",, 28 April 2005
  3. ^ a b c d e f Clark Collis, Mike Errico, "Rock's Worst Drivers" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Blender, January 2007
  4. ^ a b c d e Newt Briggs, "Road scholar: Crash course – The Doom-and-Gloom Alternatives to the Beach Boys' 'Little Deuce Coupe'", Las Vegas Mercury, 15 July 2004
  5. ^ "MUSIC VIDEO: COMEBACK KID "G.M. VINCENT & I"". Under the Gun Review. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  6. ^ Melodifestivalen genom tiderna, Premium förlag 2006 (first released 1999), page 263-265 – Melodifestival 1998, I schlagerns mikrokosmos...
  7. ^ a b Jack Sargeant "Violence and Vinyl: Car Crashes in 1960s Pop" in Mikita Brottman, ed. Car Crash Culture, Palgrave, New York, 2002 (see review[permanent dead link])
  8. ^
  9. ^