There aren’t many motorcycle-related songs that riders have been able to enjoy over the years, but there are a few. And some have memorable lines that, when you hear them, you instantly remember the song.
Can you match these lyrics to the songs? Here’s a test of your motorcycling musical knowledge. The answers are below.
1. “I started out with this basket case, I thought I’d made quite a find, I paid my money and took the thing home, Folks thought I was outta my mind, Cussin’ and kickin’ I got the thing runnin’, Headed down the road with my motor just a-gunnin’, There came a knockin’ noise down by my shoe, I’ve got them broke down Harley Davidson blues.”
2. “Ain’t got no tricks up my sleeve, Ain’t got no reason to believe, I’ve been looking for a sign, Love shouldn’t be so hard to find, I’ve been sleeping on your couch, Just been layin’ here alone. I’ve been doing without, Oh, you’ve been doing me wrong, Nothing left here to decide, I think it’s time for me to ride.”
3. “Hard roads and endless lines flow through his veins, Cold steel and hot fuel injected ‘s the dream that fills his brain, But no, not slow, the speed fever grows, He rides, he sees, he knows, You’ve got to ride to live, live to ride, Feel the flames burn inside, And though you know, you ride to hide, You ride to live to ride.”
4. “Said James, ‘In my opinion, there’s nothing in this world, Beats a ’52 Vincent and a redheaded girl. Now Nortons and Indians and Greevses won’t do. Oh, they don’t have a soul like a Vincent ’52.’ Well he reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys. He said, ‘I’ve got no further use for these. I see Angels on Ariels in leather and chrome, Swoopin’ down from Heaven to carry me home.’”
5. “She’s a high flyin’ lady, She takes me where I want to be, There’s no other woman, Standing between her and me, I’ll always be faithful, And keep her ’til the end of time, God knows I’ll always love, That old Panhead of mine.”
6. “Tell your Daddy and your Mama too. You got something better to do. Than stick around the house the rest of your life. You’re 18 you can do what you like. You’ll be the queen of my highway, my motorcycle mama. We’ll see the world through my Harley.”
7. “If you get lonely on your daddy’s farm, Just remember I don’t live too far, And there’s a red bridge that arcs the bay, yeah, You’ll be at my place in less that a day, So get on your bad motor scooter and ride, Up over to my place and stay all night, First thing in the morning we’ll be feeling all right, So get on your bad motor scooter and ride.”
8. “I’m gonna wake you up early ‘cause I’m gonna take a ride with you. We’re goin’ down to the Honda shop, I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do. Put on a ragged sweatshirt, I’ll take you anywhere you want me to. First gear, it’s all right. Second gear, I’ll lean right. Third gear, hang on tight. Faster, it’s all right.”
9. “My folks were always putting him down, They said he came from the wrong side of town, They told me he was bad but I knew he was sad, That’s why I fell for the leader of the pack, One day my dad said find someone new, I had to tell my Jimmy we’re through, He stood there and asked me why, but all I could do was cry, I’m sorry I hurt you, the leader of the pack.”
10. “Going down that long lonesome highway, Bound for the mountains and the plains, Sure ain’t nothing here gonna tie me, And I got some friends I’d like to see, One of these days I’m gonna settle down, But till I do I won’t be hanging round, Going down that long lonesome highway, Gonna live life my way.”
11. “I don’t want a pickle, Just want to ride on my motorcycle, And I don’t want a tickle, ‘Cause I’d rather ride on my motorcycle, And I don’t want to die, I just want to ride on my motorcycle.”
12. “Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Lookin’ for adventure, And whatever comes our way, Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen, Take the world in a love embrace, Fire all of your guns at once, And explode into space. Like a true nature’s child, We were born, born to be wild, We can climb so high, I never wanna die.”
Did you guess correctly? Here are the answers:
1. “Harley-Davidson Blues” by Canned Heat. 1973. Guy buys a basket case Harley, puts it together, takes it for a ride and the bike breaks down. Bummer.
2. “Time for me to ride” by Toby Keith. 2003. Motorcyclist escapes a bad love affair, chasing freedom in more ways than one on a motorcycle.
3. “Ride to Live, Live to Ride” by Twisted Sister. 1983. The open road calls. Life is short. Ride to live, live to ride.
4. “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” by Richard Thompson. 1991. Criminal motorcycle rider gets shot in the chest during an armed robbery and croaks in this young love story. Girl gets the bike.
5. “Panheads Forever” by David Allan Coe. 1982. The guy loves his Panhead more than anything, or anyone.
6. “Motorcycle Mama” by Sailcat. 1972. A young man dreams of riding off with his girlfriend to seek adventure, get married and have a baby who then rides in a sidecar. Great dreams at 18 years old.
7. “Bad Motor Scooter” by Montrose. 1973. This is another young love story but with a twist. The person with the “bad motor scooter” is presumably a young lady. Her boyfriend asks her to hop on her “bad motor scooter” and visit him at his place rather than him going to see her, because he is afraid of her father. Cute.
8. “Little Honda” by The Hondells. 1964. A young love story that oozes wholesomeness and fun on a little Honda.
9. “The Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las. 1964. The leader of the biker gang always gets the chicks, but not this time. It’s a young love story with a sad ending.
10. “Long Lonesome Highway” by Michael Parks. 1970. The theme song for the television show “Then came Bronson,” this song is about the freedom of the open road.
11. “The Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie. 1968. Storyteller Arlo Guthrie, and all his friends, don’t want a pickle. They just want to ride their motorsicles. Even while going 150 mph and playing guitar.
12. “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. 1968. A classic riding/looking for adventure/freedom song with a bit of a biker edge.