Even though I strongly feel that the original Tracy Chapman version is truly the best of ’em all, I tend to enjoy all of the released renditions. It is because I love the tune that much. I can’t say that about many songs at all. However, “Fast Car,” well, it’s something special.
I have always been deeply compelled upon hearing the lyrics. There’s that famous, folk-driven acoustic riff that cycles over and over throughout, but it never gets old. The undeniable sadness and hope contained in the song most certainly carries through to the listener. Of the many “life struggles” that Chapman speaks of in its words, “Fast Car” does in fact speak of a woman trying to manage caring for her alcoholic father. There is a pensive realism here that sonically snatches even the most distant listener. You can’t help but feel incredible despair for the tune’s protagonist. Check out this fresh homage from Tobtok.