This track is one of the reasons that Full Moon Fever is one of the greatest road trip albums ever.
The guitar at the beginning is a motor starting; the drums kicking in are the rhythmic noise of the open road under one's tires, the dashed yellow line blasting by miles at a time. Every line in the song is a line that makes you say, "Yeah.... yeah!" because even if it doesn't apply to you in that exact Zen moment that you hear the song, it ties some other moment to the one you're living in, and the synergy of memory and experience well-juxtaposed by a good rock and roll tune is one of the few pleasures that make me glad to have lived in the 20th century.
Yes, the lyrics are simple. Yes, the chords are even more simple. And yes, this song kicks more ass than Jackie Chan.
It was a beautiful
day, the sun beat down,
I had the radio
I was drivin'.
Trees flew by, me and Del were singin'
I was flyin'.
Yeah, runnin' down a dream
that never would come to me,
Workin' on a mystery,
and goin' wherever it leads...
runnin' down a dream.
I felt so good, like anything was possible.
I hit cruise control, and rubbed my eyes.
The last three days, the rain was unstoppable.
It was always cold--No sunshine.
I rolled on as the sky grew dark;
I put the pedal down to make some time.
There's something good waitin' down this road;
I'm pickin' up whatever is mine.
chorus and out
--Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Mike Campbell