For My Sunday Song #112, I am going to talk about “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Released on April 6th, 1988, and on her self-titled album, “Fast Car” was a massive hit reaching all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. I remember seeing the video on MTV and thinking what an amazing and beautiful song. It was not like anything else on the radio at the time.
The song is an acoustical track with just Tracy, an acoustic guitar and some percussion. Tracy is a folk pop or folk rock singer and her haunting vocals are so impactful and heartfelt that you believe the hardships this person is facing. It was her vocals performance that made me fall in love with this song (and this album). It was the most honest performance from I song I had heard on the radio at that time. It made me think, if she could write such a powerful song, what else can she write about. And the album doesn’t disappoint.
The song is about a young woman who has grown up with a very rough life. Her dad is an alcoholic and her mom left them. She had to quit school to take care of her dad and they were very poor. She has a boyfriend and she dreams about taking a fast car and driving to the city and starting over and having a better life in the city. Sadly, her boyfriend is a drunk just like her dad and she can’t break free from the hold poverty has on her world. Such a sad song and story, yet it is so beautiful.