Luke Combs teamed with Tracy Chapman to introduce the lyrics of "Fast Car" to a new generation at the Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 4).

The country star and iconic songwriter's performance came 35 years after she performed the song at the Grammys. Chapman would win Best New Artist that night. Combs would be born 13 months later.

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Lyrically, the song tells a dark, circle-of-life kind of story from the perspective of a woman looking to better her life, only to be weighed down by men and alcohol. Her eternal optimism in the opening verses is dashed by the end, when it becomes clear that her boyfriend — the one with the "Fast Car" — is every bit the unmotivated alcoholic her father was.

These mature lyrics may seem strange for young child to cling onto, but Combs says one of his earliest musical memories is driving with his dad in the truck, singing along to the "Fast Car" lyrics.

66th GRAMMY Awards - Show
Kevin Winter, Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Chapman wrote the song by herself, and it's been covered many times over the last three decades.

Combs released his version last April and it became the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Chapman had remained out of the spotlight as the country singer toured her song and performed it at awards shows. This surprise performance at the 2024 Grammys was emotional and well-received by fans at the show and at home.

Tracy Chapman Sings Fast Car at the 2024 Grammys
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Here Are the Lyrics to Luke Combs, Tracy Chapman "Fast Car":

You got a fast car / I want a ticket to anywhere / Maybe we make a deal / Maybe together we can get somewhere / Any place is better / Starting from zero got nothing to lose / Maybe we’ll make something / Me, myself, I got nothing to prove.

You got a fast car / I got a plan to get us outta here / I been working at the convenience store / Managed to save just a little bit of money / Won’t have to drive too far / Just ‘cross the border and into the city / You and I can both get jobs / And finally see what it means to be living.

See, my old man’s got a problem / He live with the bottle, that’s the way it is / He says his body’s too old for working / His body’s too young to look like his / My mama went off and left him / She wanted more from life than he could give / I said somebody’s got to take care of him / So I quit school and that’s what I did.

You got a fast car / Is it fast enough so we can fly away / We gotta make a decision / Leave tonight or live and die this way.

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car / Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk / City lights lay out before us / And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder / And I-I had a feeling that I belonged / I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.

You got a fast car / We go cruising, entertain ourselves / You still ain’t got a job / And I work in the market as a checkout girl / I know things will get better / You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted / We’ll move out of the shelter / Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs.

Repeat Chorus

You got a fast car / I got a job that pays all our bills / You stay out drinking late at the bar / See more of your friends than you do of your kids / I’d always hoped for better / Thought maybe together you and me’d find it / I got no plans, I ain’t going nowhere / Take your fast car and keep on driving.

Repeat Chorus

You got a fast car / Is it fast enough so you can fly away / You gotta make a decision / Leave tonight or live and die this way.

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