Friday Five: Motorcycles
This weekend, thousands of bikers will ride through the streets of Washington, D.C. as part of Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle run whose mission is “to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.” In honor of Rolling Thunder and Memorial Day, here are five of my favorite motorcycle songs. What are yours?
5. Arlo Guthrie – “The Motorcycle Song”
“I don’t want a pickle / Just want to ride on my motorsickle.” Off-kilter and rambling, this song is a fun listen.
4. Steve Earle – “The Other Kind”
Here, Earle finds refuge in two wheels, aluminum, and steel.
3. David Allan Coe – “Panheads Forever”
“She’s not much to look at when we ride through town / But I know when the chips fall, she won’t let me down.” There’s nothing like the love between a boy and his bike.
2. Merle Haggard – “Motorcycle Cowboy”
The “stringy-haired blonde” and her motorcycle cowboy are a match made in heaven. Or a dive bar.
1. Del McCoury Band – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”
Del and the boys have made this Richard Thompson song their own; it’s a fan favorite you’re likely to hear at most, if not all, of Del’s shows. After all, isn’t “red hair and black leather” everyone’s favorite color scheme?
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- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."