In this classic American song about girls and cars, a rebellious daughter borrows her dad's Ford Thunderbird, claiming she's going to the library to study (yeah, right). Instead, she uses it to show up other drivers. Her dad eventually finds out and takes his T-Bird back, but she retaliates by running off with someone who fell in love with her after watching her drive.
The song was written by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, with some of the lyrics by lead singer Mike Love, as he was much more attuned to teen culture than his cousin Brian. Love told us
: "I suggested that we write a song about a girl who borrows her dad's car and goes cruising, rather than to the library, 'like she told her old man, now.' So I came up with the concept and the lyrics, and Brian went in and recorded the track. And I even told him, it's got to start like a Chuck Berry song with a guitar lead intro, which Carl Wilson supplied. And so that's how that came to pass."
Until some legal wrangling sorted out the songwriting credits in the '90s, this song was solely credited to Brian Wilson. As Love tells it, the reason he wasn't credited on this and some other Beach Boys songs he helped write was because Murry Wilson (father of band members Brian, Carl and Dennis), administrated the publishing rights and left him off the credits.