Top 10 Beatles songs to listen to in the car

I got the idea for this post while listening to Breakfast with the Beatles in the car this morning, and I thought it might be helpful if any readers are looking to make a Beatles driving playlist. The songs here don’t necessarily have to do with driving subject-wise, but I think that the vibes of all these songs are conducive to driving (or passenging). Feel free to disagree or come up with your own list. Here we go!

10. I Want To Hold Your Hand

I’m not going to say a ton about each song on this list, but the opening riff to this is just so good. It’s a great song to sing along to and it’s always a crowd pleaser. If it comes on the radio, crank it up and enjoy!

9. If I Needed Someone

Again, it’s really the riff here that makes this a “car song” for me. The relaxing, slightly lazy pace makes it perfect for any drive, any time. This is one I would listen to with the windows open, unless it’s snowing. Then, definitely close the windows. 🙂

8. A Hard Day’s Night

This is a great car song mostly because the opening chord is so instantly recognizable. It’s nice to know exactly what song is playing in the car without having to take your eyes off the road (or if you’re passenging, your phone, most likely), so this song is a great candidate for any Beatlemaniac’s car playlist.

7. I Am The Walrus

I’m going to assume that no one driving will be tripping on LSD (which would be very dangerous indeed), so I don’t think listening to this in the car will blow your mind TOO much… Anyway, I’m not exactly sure why I chose this song for this list. Once again, the opening is very famous, but aside from that, I just like it a lot. Not that I ever really do this, but if I were driving around with friends late at night and the car windows were open, this is the song I would want to bother the neighborhood with.

6. Day Tripper

For anyone who thinks this song is literally about taking day trips to the countryside, you’re wrong. It’s slightly more metaphorical (and naughtier) than that. But anyway, this riff combined with the awesome harmonies and the chorus makes it a fantastic song to listen to in the car. As I’ve said before, this is definitely one of my top 5 favorite Beatles songs. For a brief time, you can at least imagine that it’s about day trips. 🙂

5. Help!

Once again, the instantly recognizable opening makes it a good car song. I also think that the layered, call and-response harmonies throughout have a sort of Beach Boys-ish vibe that makes me think of driving cars in California. (again, I am clearly not a Californian…)

4. Get Back

This song is literally about going back to somewhere, and it mentions California and Arizona (two states 3,000 miles from me), so I thought it would be a good addition to this list. I think I’ve said this before, but I really like the drums on this song for some reason. Even after everything they had already accomplished musically in such a short time, the Beatles still found ways to innovate on this album.

3. One After 909

This isn’t a hugely popular Beatles song, but it REALLY makes me think of cruising along a highway on a nice day. I love the keyboards and guitar on this track. A relatively unknown Beatley tidbit is that this was actually one of the first songs the Beatles wrote, way back in the late 1950s. There’s a couple of versions of this on Anthology 1, but I definitely prefer this faster Let It Be version to any of the earlier ones.

2. Back in the USSR

This is a classic, and the plane sound effect at the beginning gets me every time. Again, I love listening to this in the car because it’s so upbeat and has a fantastic guitar solo. Many of you may know that Ringo quit the band for a bit while they were making the White Album, so who do you suppose plays drums on this song? That’s right, it’s the multi-instrumentally talented Paul!

Annnnd…

1. Drive My Car

So it might be a bit of a cop-out to have this as #1, but I honestly could not think of a better choice. The “driving cars” in this song may be metaphorical (I bet you can guess what it refers to…), but it’s still a great song to listen to in the car! And come on, who doesn’t love the “Beep beep, beep beep, yeah!” part? Just don’t honk the horn along with that part, as you may get some Looks of Doom from neighboring drivers. 🙂

So, that’s it for this list. On my list of “future posts,” in case you’re interested: Top 10 non-Beatles songs to listen to in the car, reviews of Phillip Phillips’ “Behind the Light” and U2’s “Songs of Innocence,” my thoughts on Conan’s George Harrison Week, and much more. Stay tuned folks!

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7 thoughts on “Top 10 Beatles songs to listen to in the car

  1. Thanks for not trying to be “cool” and pick something obscure. Excellent choices, I will try these out! If it’s raining add Don’t Bother Me, for a good dose of #Beatles melancholy.

  2. Yay! You’re back! I’ve missed you! Words cannot explain how happy I was when I saw the 1 new post on my Reader came from the admin of ‘Beatle Me Do’!
    Great list! It’s only when one compares Beatles songs that one sees how “metaphorical” (hehe) they all are… 😉 Oh, and I’ve been on a ‘Rubber Soul’ kick lately (it is my goal to cover as much of ‘Rubber Soul’ as possible, and upload it on SoundCloud – I’ve already done The Word, and once I’ve done my OWN song, I’ll do ‘I’m Looking Through You’), so IMO ‘Drive My Car’ is a gear first choice! Oh, and do you drive?
    The story of how I found your blog… my mum, dad and I (I’m an only child) were holidaying in Singapore earlier this year. Not far from where we were staying, there was this funny cafe that never had anything in stock, but they had glorious free WiFi that they never turned off. So we go over there (the cafe was closed), and I was on a ‘You Know You’re A Beatlemaniac When’ list kick at the time, so I google ‘You Know You’re A Beatlemaniac When’. Part 3 of your list came up, and I was in hysterics! I read the other parts you had at the time (I think you had up to part 5 or 6), which were equally as funny. I then discovered your other posts, and within two days (split up between that cafe’s WiFi and the WiFi in the fancy British Airways lounge that my dad can get to with his high QANTAS Frequent Flyer rank) I’d read everything you’d published up until mid-January 2014! I basically started ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’ ‘cos of your fabulous blog, so thank you! And the rest is history (yeah, I use too many cliches)…
    Some questions…
    Favourite song/s off Rubber Soul?
    Favourite song/s off Revolver?
    Do you play any musical instruments?
    Do you listen to The Beatles on vinyl?
    Oh, and thank you for liking my posts – I really appreciate that. Really. Love tt 🙂

    • Aw, you’re so sweet! I’ve been reading your posts and they’re all great!
      It’s so hard to choose my favorite songs on Rubber Soul, but I’ll go with Nowhere Man, If I Needed Someone, Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, In My Life, and The Word. I honestly love them all though.
      As for Revolver, I’ll say Taxman, And Your Bird Can Sing, Here There and Everywhere, She Said She Said, and I’m Only Sleeping.
      I used to play the violin, but I currently play the piano (sort of… Very badly actually). I got a ukulele for my birthday which I am dying to learn how to play, and I also really want to learn how to play guitar one day. I generally wish I had time to play more instruments.
      I don’t listen to the Beatles on vinyl because I don’t actually own a working record player. 😦 My parents have one, but they haven’t used it in years. I did listen to the Beatles on my friend’s record player once though, and it was truly a transcendent experience. 🙂
      I have taken driver’s Ed and I have my permit, but I haven’t officially gotten my license… Yet. When I do, I can guarantee that the Beatles will be a large part of my driving soundtrack!

      • Aww, glad you like my posts! What time is it in America? It’s 7:54 AM here in Adelaide, and I’m currently waiting for breakfast.
        God, you sound like me. Seriously. They are my favourite songs on each album, too.
        I play the violin! I’m in fact doing my Grade 3 exam in November. But violin is probably my least favourite instrument of all. I would love to learn how to play actual fiddle, though. Guitar is really fun — I play rhythm (like John!) and really crap lead, but it’s fun! I can also play keyboard pretty badly (I can play Oh! Darling, The Night Before and half-play Hey Jude).
        I agree that the Beatles on vinyl is a truly transcendent experience — I’ve never felt such intense waves of love than I’ve felt whilst listening to my ‘Revolver’. We didn’t have a working record player until November 2013, but we bought one ‘cos my mum is obsessed with mid-century furniture.
        Good luck with getting your drivers’ license! I’m too young to get mine… Oh, and good luck with your ukulele – you’ll be just like George!
        Wonder if Mum’s finished breakfast yet (iPad’s on 5%)…

  3. We have Breakfast with the Beatles on the radio here in Chicago, but I didn’t know they had it in other cities too! Unless, of course, you’re also in Chicago. Great list!

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