I’m In Love With My Car (SLS)

The theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is any song about: Automobile, Car, Jalopy, or any type of Vehicle as suggested by Melanie from Sparks From A Combustible Mind. Our host, Jim Adams chose Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads as his entry while I have chosen I’m In Love With My Car by Queen. This song was released on their fourth album, A Night at the Opera in 1975. It is the album’s only song written entirely by drummer Roger Taylor.

He wrote the song, sang on it and played drums on the track. Though it was dedicated to Queen roadie John Harris (a boy racer to the end), there was still something autobiographical in this car-as-a-metaphor-for-sex song. “I’m not obsessed,” the Queen drummer told Mojo, “but I do love a good car.”

The engine noises on the recording of I’m In Love With My Car are authentic and came from the car Roger Taylor owned at the time. He described in a 1997 interview with Pop On The Line: “I remember my car at the time, because I think we’ve got the exhaust on the record, and that was a little Alfa Romeo. But I think it was more about people in general, for instance boy racers. In particular we had a sound guy/roadie at the time called Jonathan Harris, who was in love with his car, and that inspired that. I think he had a TR4, Triumph TR4.”

Roger Taylor loved the song, and demanded it to be the B-side to Freddie Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody single – so much so that he apparently locked himself in a cupboard until Mercury agreed. Perhaps there was a good reason Taylor really wanted it to be the “Rhapsody” B-side – the song credit went completely to him, and when the single became a huge smash hit, he received almost equal royalties as Mercury did for “Rhapsody.”

This has somehow annoyed the rest of the band. Songwriting credits and friction over royalties are a common reason why most bands break up. For this reason, Queen later in their career decided to give a collective co-writing credit for all songs, regardless of who contributed. This meant everyone got equal royalties for any singles/hits, which meant there was less friction with members more willing to let their songs/ideas be worked on – knowing they wouldn’t lose any credit or royalty money in the process.

The song’s title is used as a running joke in the 2018 Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starting with an argument between Taylor (Ben Hardy) and May (Gwilym Lee) over the song’s lyrical content. Later in the film, EMI executive Ray Foster (Mike Myers) suggests to have it or You’re My Best Friend released as the first single to A Night at the Opera instead of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Shortly afterwards, on Kenny Everett’s radio show, Mercury hands the single to the host, who then reads out “I’m In Love With My Car” rather than “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which is then correctly played on air.

I’m In Love With My Car

The machine of a dream
Such a clean machine
With the pistons a pumpin’
Аnd the hubcaps all gleam

When I’m holding your wheel
Аll I hear is your gear
With my hand on your grease gun
Oooh, it’s like a disease, son

I’m in love with my car
Got a feel for my automobile
Get a grip on my boy-racer rollbar
Such a thrill when your radials squeal

Told my girl I’d have to forget her
Rather buy me a new carburetor
So, she made tracks, saying
“This is the end now”
“Cars don’t talk back”
“They’re just four-wheeled friends, now”

When I’m holding your wheel
Аll I hear is your gear
When I’m cruisin’ in overdrive
Don’t have to listen
To no run-of-the-mill talk jive

I’m in love with my car
(In love with my car, in love with my car)
Got a feel for my automobile

I’m in love with my car
(In love with my car, in love with my car)
String back gloves in my automo-love

Songwriters: Roger Taylor

Source: songfacts.com / wikipedia.com

24 thoughts on “I’m In Love With My Car (SLS)

  1. I really enjoyed your précis of Roger’s song, Janis. I remember when A Night At The Opera came out. I also have the vinyl album. As much as I like Bohemian Rhapsody and enjoy I’m In Love With My Car, 39 is my favourite song from the album. Brian is an astrophysicist (he has his PhD) and it’s his song dedicated to space/time travel. Roger also sings a pretty fine falsetto on this track (as he did with others). It was also the B side to You’re My Best Friend, which I enjoy playing on guitar – folk style 😊


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