"Panama" is a song by the American rock band Van Halen. It was the third single released from the album 1984.
The song was reportedly written about a car. In an interview with Howard Stern, lead singer David Lee Roth explained the meaning behind the song. Although the song features some suggestive lyrics, it is about a car that Roth saw race in Las Vegas; its name was "Panama Express", hence the title of the song.
Panama was also the name of Roth's Opel Kadett. He had the hood and bumper mounted in his hallway, which can be seen in his video for "SHOOBop". He has a taxidermized deer's behind crashing through the front windshield. A plaque underneath reads, "Your First Deer, courtesy of Panama."
Roth wrote the song after being accused by a reporter of singing about only women, partying, and fast cars. He realized he'd never written a song about fast cars, and decided to write one.
During the bridge of the song where Roth says "I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off," guitarist Eddie Van Halen can be heard revving his 1972 Lamborghini Miura S in the background. The car was backed up to the studio and microphones were attached to the exhaust pipe to record the sound for the song.
Jump back, what's that sound? Here she comes, full blast and top down Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue Model citizen, zero discipline Don't you know she's coming home with me You'll lose her in the turn I'll get her Panama, Panama Panama, Panama Ain't nothin' like it, her shiny machine Got the feel for the wheel, keep the moving parts clean Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue Got an on ramp comin' through my bedroom Don't you know she's coming home with me You'll lose her in the turn I'll get her Panama, Panama Panama, Panama Yeah, we're runnin' a little bit hot tonight I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off of it Ah, you reach down, between my legs and ease the seat back She's blinding, I'm flying Right behind the rear view mirror now Got the feeling, power steering Pistons popping, ain't no stopping now Panama, Panama Panama, Panama Panama, Panama Panama