Hit the Road, Jack

song by Ray Charles

"Hit the Road Jack" is a rhythm and blues song from the 1960s.



Percy Mayfield wrote and sang "Hit the Road, Jack" in 1960.

Ray Charles made the song famous. Ray Charles's song was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in fall of 1961.

The song is ranked #377 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The first recording was a cappella. Ray Charles did it with his lover, Margie Hendrix. The song uses what is known as Andalusian cadence.

Today, there are many versions. Richard Anthony did a version in French, Monica Zetterlund one in Swedish.



The chorus of the song is:

Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.
Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more.

The words of this song are not standard English. In standard English, the words could be "Hit the road, Jack, and don't come back again" or "Hit the road, Jack, and don't come back anymore"

In this context, "hit the road" is an idiom meaning "get lost," as the following words indicate.

Recording Details


For the most popular recording

  • Title: "Hit the Road Jack"
  • Artist: Single by Ray Charles
  • B-side: "The Danger Zone"
  • Released: September 1961
  • Format: 7", 45rpm
  • Genre: R&B
  • Length: 2:00
  • Label: ABC
  • Writer(s): Percy Mayfield