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Saturday, October 3, 2009

FAST CAR









"Fast Car" is a Grammy-winning song by the American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman. It was released on her self-titled 1988 debut album Tracy Chapman. Her appearance on the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute was the catalyst for the song becoming a Top 5 hit in the US, peaking at Number 5 on the Hot 100, and a top 10 hit the UK, peaking at Number 6 on the UK chart. The song was nominated for several Grammies including the Grammy for "Song Of The Year" and "Record Of The Year". The song won a Grammy for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance". The song is a narrative tale of generational poverty. The song's narrator tells the story of her hard life, which begins when her mother divorces her jobless, alcoholic father, forcing the narrator to quit school in order to care for him. Eventually, she leaves her hometown with her boyfriend in hopes of making a better life. Despite her employment at a grocery store, she falls victim to the cycle of poverty, as her life begins to mirror her mother's: her boyfriend remains largely unemployed and becomes an alcoholic. She is left alone with her children while her boyfriend spends time drinking with his friends. Finally, after getting a job that will support her family, she has an epiphany. Despite wishing for a better life, she must make the best of her situation, and tells her boyfriend to take his "fast car and keep on driving." The final refrain is sung in variation, changing from "We gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way" to "You gotta make a decision, leave tonight or live and die this way."

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