30 Day Song Challenge, Day 15: A song you like that’s a cover by another artist

We all should dream to be as cool as Myke Scavone in this video.

How many essential 70s rock track could trace its origins back to at least 1939, with some scholars arguing that even that was an adaptation of a mid-18th-century marching cadence? Ram Jam’s cover of “Black Betty” is a staple of every “road rock” compilation album on the market, and for good reason: its driving beat, marked by a simple bass drum and cymbal couplet and punctuated by a grungy electric guitar riff marks time almost perfectly with the hashed lines down the center of the tarmac!

“Black Betty” is a song always in motion, and has always been associated with driving for me–especially long overnight road trips up, down, and across the entire North American continent. This track was also the namesake of my 2001 Mazda Miata–a name that conjured the attitude and the panache that newly single me was looking for in a faithful steed when I bought her in 2008. She lived up to her name, and helped me get to so many places not only in our travels, but in life as well. I’ll miss her, but I’m grateful for the time we had.

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