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Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55 (Official Video)


Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55 - Meaning of the song


"I Can't Drive 55" is the lead single and first track from Sammy Hagar's eighth studio album VOA in 1984. Perpetuated by a very successful music video, it became a concert staple that continued throughout Hagar's tours as a member of Van Halen. The song is a reference to the since-repealed National Maximum Speed Law that set speed limits at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) in the United States.

It is the 100th song on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.


Hagar wrote the song in response to receiving a speeding ticket in New York State, for driving 62 mph (100 km/h) on a road with a 55 mph (89 km/h) speed limit, which was the highest permissible speed limit in the United States at the time due to the National Maximum Speed Law enacted in 1974. According to Hagar:


"I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn't go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, 'We give tickets around here for over-60.' and I said, 'I can't drive 55.' I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt."


I Can't Drive 55 - Lyrics


One foot on the brake and one on the gas, hey

Well, there's too much traffic, I can't pass, no

So I tried my best illegal move

A big black and white come and crushed my groove again


Go on and write me up for 125

Post my face, wanted dead or alive

Take my license, all that jive

I can't drive 55, oh no, uh


So I signed my name on number 24, hey

Yeah the judge said, "Boy, just one more, huh

I'm gonna throw your ass in the city joint"

Looked me in the eye, said, "You get my point?"

I say "Yeah!, Oh yeah"


Write me up for 125

Post my face, wanted dead or alive

Take my license, all that jive

I can't drive 55, oh yeah


(I can't drive 55)

(I can't drive 55)

(I can't drive 55)

(I can't drive) 55, uh


When I drive that slow, you know it's hard to steer

And I can't get my car out of second gear

What used to take two hours now takes all day

Huh, it took me 16 hours to get to L.A.


Go on and write me up for 125

Post my face, wanted dead or alive

Take my license, all that jive

I can't drive 55


No, no, no, I can't drive, (I can't drive 55)

I can't drive (I can't drive 55)

(I can't drive 55)

(I can't drive 55)


Sammy Hagar - I Can't Drive 55 - Live


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