In 1991, heartland rock artist (and yes, apparently that’s a genre of music) Tom Cochrane released a song entitled “Life Is a Highway” which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1992. This track was Cochrane’s most famous and most successful, which happens to kind of suck for him looking back in retrospect since Rascal Flatts (defined as “Country Rock” artists, guess the heartland thing wasn’t cutting it) covered this track and it out performed Cochrane’s version by placing 18 on US Country Songs Billboard, 7 on US Billboard Top 100, and 9 on US Billboard Pop 100, all in the year 2006.
I’ll admit it – I’m not a big country music fan. It’s never really been my thing, but when I was little my dad would play these twangy, country CD’s he’d buy at the now-defunct Boarders Bookstore in Thousand Oaks. We’d sing along together and annoy my mother, which was fun at the time, so perhaps I am a little partial to the genre.
I’m also partial to Pixar Disney movies, and if you’re familiar with Rascal Flatts and their rendition of “Life Is A Highway” you’ll immediately know where I’m going with this: The movie Cars. It was because of this movie that Rascal Flatts covered Cochrane’s most successful track and it’s because of this movie that I am familiar with the tune (I was only four in 1992 and didn’t know the joys of “heartland rock” quite yet).
The track, which is highly infectious and dangerously catchy, contains a chorus full of as much wisdom as simplicity:
“Life is a highway and I want to ride it all night long.”
Simple. Elementary. Basic. And Extremely Relevant.
My life? A highway. My journey through education? A highway. Chico State, Tehama Group Communications and everything which came before and are to come after are merely pit stops along a much longer road to happiness and success. A road that one can arguably say never ends but only gets straighter and more defined as the wheels keep turning.