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Get Your Kicks On Route 66 is a popular song of rhythm and blues standard, featured in the film Cars.

History

The song was composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup. It was first recorded in the same year by Nat King Cole, and was subsequently covered by many artists including Chuck Berry in 1961, The Rolling Stones in 1964, and Depeche Mode in 1987. The title was suggested to Troup by his first wife, Cynthia.

Troup conceived the idea for the song while driving west from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, California, and the lyrics — which include references to the U.S. highway of the title and many of the cities it passes through — celebrate the romance and freedom of automobile travel. In an interview he once said the tune for the song, as well as the lyric "Get your kicks on Route 66," came to him easily, but the remainder of the lyrics eluded him. More in frustration than anything else he simply filled up the song with the names of towns and cities on the highway.

Characteristics

The song's lyrics follow the path of the historic U.S. Route 66 highway, which used to run a long distance across the U.S., going from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California. They read as a mini-travelogue about the major stops along the route, listing several cities and towns that Route 66 passes through, viz. St. Louis, Missouri; Joplin, Missouri; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Gallup, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona; Winona, Arizona; Kingman, Arizona; Barstow, California; and San Bernardino, California. Winona is the only town out of sequence: it was a very small settlement east of Flagstaff, and might indeed have been forgotten if not for the lyric "Don't forget Winona," written to rhyme with "Flagstaff, Arizona." Many artists who have covered the tune over the years have changed the initial lyrics, usually to "It goes to St. Louis, down through Missouri..." then continuing on with Oklahoma City and so on. Of the eight states that the actual route passes through, only Kansas and its cities are not mentioned by the song.

Cars soundtrack

The official soundtrack for Cars features two versions of the song. One is covered by Chuck Berry while the other is covered by John Mayer. Mayer's version is heard during the end credits of the film.

Two versions of the song are related to Cars Land. Chuck Berry's version is the first track in The Music of Cars Land. During the end of DJ's Dance 'n' Drive, when DJ leaves, a version by the Cheetah Girls is played. It was also played by the "Destination: Cars Land" Rose Parade Float.

In Cars Mater-National, an instrumental version of the song plays during several races and mini-games.

Lyrics

Chuck Berry

Well if you ever plan to motor west,
Just take my way. It's a highway that the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well, it winds from Chicago to L.A..
More than 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well it goes through St. Louis; Joplin, Missouri;
Oklahoma City looks, oh so pretty,

You'll see Amarillo,
And Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona; don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino,

Won't you get hip to this kindly tip,
And take that California trip?
Get your kicks on Route 66.

(Instrumental)

It goes from St. Louis; Joplin, Missouri;
Oklahoma City looks, oh so pretty,

You'll see Amarillo,
And Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona; don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino,

Won't you get hip to this kindly tip,
And take that California trip?
Get your kicks on Route 66.
Get your kicks on Route 66.
And I'll meet you on Route 62.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

John Mayer

Well if you ever plan to motor west,
Take my way, it's a highway that's the best.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well it winds, from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well it goes through St. Louis; Joplin, Missouri;
Oklahoma City looks, oh so pretty,

You'll see Amarillo,
And Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino,

Won't you get hip to this timely tip,
And take that California trip?
Get your kicks on Route 66.

(Instrumental)

Well it goes through St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri,
Oklahoma City looks, oh so pretty,

You'll see Amarillo,
And Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernadino,

Won't you get hip to this timely tip,
When you make that California trip?
Get your kicks on Route 66.
Get your kicks on Route 66.
Get your kicks on Route 66.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

(One version has a 5 minute Instrumental at the end, where kind of the same music plays, just a little slower. Another version doesn't have that.)

The Cheetah Girls

Route 66
Heyyyyyyyyyyy
Oh oh oo oh oo oh oh [x2]

Lets do this

If you ever plan to motor west,
Just take my way
Its the highway ain't that the best --
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Well It winds from Chicago to LA,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Now you go through Saint Louis, down to Missouri,
Oklahoma City is oh so pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
When you make that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66.

Break it down now [x7]

Now you go through Saint Louis, down to Missouri,
Oklahoma City is oh so pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Flagstaff, Arizona.
Don't forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino.

Won't you get hip to this timely tip
I think you'll take that California trip

Get your kicks on Route 66.

Get your kicks on Route 66.

Get your kicks on Route 66.

Where we goin next?

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