Album: Lost In The Ozone (1971)
Charted: 9
Play Video
  • My pappy said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin'
    If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln"

    Have you heard this story of the Hot Rod race
    When Fords and Lincolns was settin' the pace
    That story is true, I'm here to say
    I was drivin' that Model A

    It's got a Lincoln motor and it's really souped up
    That Model A Vitimix makes it look like a pup
    It's got eight cylinders, uses them all
    It's got overdrive, just won't stall

    With a 4-barrel carb and a dual exhaust
    With 4.11 gears you can really get lost
    It's got safety tubes, but I ain't scared
    The brakes are good, tires fair

    Pulled out of San Pedro late one night
    The moon and the stars was shinin' bright
    We was drivin' up Grapevine Hill
    Passing cars like they was standing still

    All of a sudden in a wink of an eye
    A Cadillac sedan passed us by
    I said, "Boys, that's a mark for me!"
    By then the taillight was all you could see

    Now the fellas was ribbin' me for bein' behind
    So I thought I'd make the Lincoln unwind
    Took my foot off the gas and man alive
    I shoved it on down into overdrive

    Wound it up to a hundred-and-ten
    My speedometer said that I hit top end
    My foot was blue, like lead to the floor
    That's all there is and there ain't no more

    Now the boys all thought I'd lost my sense
    And telephone poles looked like a picket fence
    They said, "Slow down! I see spots!
    The lines on the road just look like dots"

    Took a corner; sideswiped a truck
    Crossed my fingers just for luck
    My fenders was clickin' the guardrail posts
    The guy beside me was white as a ghost

    Smoke was comin' from out of the back
    When I started to gain on that Cadillac
    Knew I could catch him, I thought I could pass
    Don't you know by then we'd be low on gas?

    We had flames comin' from out of the side
    Feel the tension. Man! What a ride!
    I said, "Look out, boys, I've got a license to fly!"
    And that Caddy pulled over and let us by

    Now all of a sudden she started to knockin'
    And down in the dips she started to rockin'
    I looked in my mirror; a red light was blinkin'
    The cops was after my Hot Rod Lincoln!

    They arrested me and they put me in jail
    And called my pappy to throw my bail
    And he said, "Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin'
    If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln!" Writer/s: Charles Ryan, W.S. Stevenson
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 16

  • Jennifur Sunthe opening guitar riff reminds me of another song, but for the life ff me I can't think of what it is.
  • Holly Woods from 59601My dear friend Rebecca Pulley (singer song writer) just released her 8th album..Rebbeca's father played lead guitar in the original "HOT ROD LINCOLN" ..The entire family are very musically talented..including Cindy.
  • Raysingr from MichiganJennifur Sun, that is Bill Kirchen on the Telecaster.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWho played the guitar solos on this song?
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkThanks for all the background info on this song's history. Wow! Well, I only know the Commander Cody version from '71. I was a mere tot in those days & my older brother had the single & album. I loved hearing the song on the radio & it was on quite a lot. I still love it. I always thought the Lincoln they referred to was a Sixties model, but one of our teachers said it was from the Forties. As a classic car nut, I know what those old Lincolns look like. Of course the Sixties Lincolns were so huge and super luxurious, but the song wasn't about them. Then the early Fifties Lincolns were famous for their engines that won many international endurance races. So it seems the song is actually about either a 30s or 40s Lincoln. Ahhh, I still love Lincolns - even the latest ones. What a cool cool song! But - I'm babbling on.
  • Rocky from Fort Smith, ArI remember the Charlie Ryan version, but also recall the Johnny Bond version was more popular in my area when growing up in 1960. Then later on, I dug the Commander Cody version, but for me, it was the Johnny Bond version that was really cool. This was all 55 to 65 years ago, kids. And thanks to Tom of Marble Falls, AR. I agree with you about the first hot rods being Lincolns & favorites of the bootleggers. We had many of those in my family & a few hot rod Lincolns as well. Cannot agree ith Rich of Portsmouth, NH. But then, New Hampshire was never "hot rod" country anyway. That was mostly in the South and West Coast back in the early 50s, then it spread. Now don't get me wrong----Commander Cody's version is very cool. As a personal preference, I like Bond's version. Well, actually you could say that they all are COOL. Howz that for being very diplomatic?
  • Rich from Portsmouth, NhLincolns were never hotrods! (big,heavy,luxurious) If you strip one down... maybe. (Charlie Ryan's sequel, "Side-car Cycle" was good too)
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxJim Varney did a great cover of this in 1993 for the end credits of the "Beverly Hillbillies" movie.
  • Wayne from Midvale, UtAs someone has done here, Hot Rod Lincoln is often referred to as the first ever rap song. I think it's only meant jokingly. But still, it can't be the first, since Hot Rod Lincoln is really just a remake of "Hot Rod Race", done with different words.
  • Michael from Mcfarland, WiTiny Hill also had charting hits with this classic tune, and a response record; "Hot Rod Race #2"
  • Jeff from Ontario, CaI never did care for the remake of "Hot Rod" link, by Commander Cody. For me, the REAL version was done by Johnny Bond in 1960. When I first heard Commander Cody's first thought was..."who the hell is that?" Unfortunatly as the years went by....the oldies station seem to always play the Cody version..I guess the program directors were too young to know the difference.

    Jeff Butler
    Ontario, CA
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyWhen Charlie Ryan re-released this song in 1960 his back-up group were The Timberline Riders and it peaked at No. 33. Johnny Bond also charted with it; he made it to No. 26 in 1960!!!
  • John from Kirkland, WaFirst ever recorded rap song ??????? You decide!
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArLincolns were the first "hot rods," so much that they became a favorite getaway car for bootleggers and gangsters in the late forties, and early fifties.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdCommander Cody did piano work on the New Riders of the Purple Sage's first, self-titled, album, released in 1971. Others who played on that album include Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead, and Spencer Dryden of Jefferson Airplane. This song was deliciously retro, even in 1971, 21 years after its introduction, as we see in the songfacts. Thanks, Darrell!
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaLove the song! Great story. Great storytelling.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Charlie Benante of Anthrax

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' Albums

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?


RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Harry Shearer

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.