In part everything that a person writes is autobiographical
but the songs are directly so and most of them were not
and Fast Car wasn’t one that was directly autobiographical.

I never had a Fast Car, it’s just a story about a couple,
how they are trying to make a life together and they face challenges. 

I believe that I wrote the song “Fast Car” in 1986.
At the time that I wrote the song, I actually didn’t
really know who I was writing about.

Looking back at it, and this happens with other songs as well,
that I feel like I understand it only later…

I think that it was a song about my parents…
And about how when they met each other

And about how when they met each other they were very young
and they wanted to start a news life together and my mother was anxious to leave home.
My parents got married and went out into the world to try to make a place for themselves
and it was very difficult going.

My mother didn’t have a high school diploma and my father was a few years older.
It was hard for him to create the kind of life that he dreamed of…
With the education that he had…. With the opportuinities that were available to him…

In a sense I think they came together thinking that
together they would have a better chance at making it


– Tracy Chapman on Writing the Song “Fast Car

Many many fans can relate to this song and for most of them,
it remains the song that made them know Tracy Chapman.
Not a day without hundreds of people mentionning “Fast Car” on Twitter,
not a day without someone purchasing this song on iTunes.



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
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
And 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
We 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
I say 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
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

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

You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still ain’t got a job
And 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 big house and live in the suburbs

You got a fast car
And 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

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


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