The Beatles have had an enormous impact on my life ever since, well, birth, actually. They were, and still very much are, my Mother’s favorite band and their music filled our house more than often. The first songs I learned by heart were Beatles songs. Rubber Soul was always my favorite, which is why when I moved out on my own for the first time I snuck my Mother’s Rubber Soul vinyl out with me. The boy I first moved out with, who would become the Father of my oldest daughter, was a huge Beatles fan. He played their songs on his acoustic guitar and sang me to sleep with some of my favorites in those first few nights in our apartment. We did not have much, but we had music, and our love for it. He would later sing Beatles song to our daughter, Julia, whose first name he chose after John Lennon’s Mother, and her namesake song. Though it would be Blackbird, not Julia, that he would use most often as a lullaby for her. A childhood nickname that I would later adopt as a writing persona, and tattoo on myself to remember to keep writing, Lucy, would come from The Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. And, those are just a few Beatles-milestones, there are so many more.
There used to be a Sunday morning radio show called Breakfast With The Beatles that I used to listen to, and enjoy, more than I would ever take up the newspaper on a Sunday morning ritual. Maybe the radio show still exists, over the years I lost track of it. This new addition to a weekly post at Lyriquediscorde is inspired by the radio show, and will start, in order, with the songs off of my favorite album of The Beatles – Rubber Soul.
Drive My Car is a song primarily written by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon, and first released by the Beatles on the British version of the 1965 album Rubber Soul; it also appeared in North America on the Yesterday and Today collection. The upbeat, lighthearted Drive My Car was used as the opening track for both albums.
The song’s male narrator is told by a woman that she is going to be a famous movie star, and she offers him the opportunity to be her chauffeur, adding “and maybe I’ll love you.” When he objects that his “prospects are good“, she retorts that “working for peanuts is all very fine/but I can show you a better time.” When he agrees to her proposal, she admits that she does not have a car, “but [she’s] found a driver and that’s a start.”
According to McCartney, “‘Drive my car’ was an old blues euphemism for sex“.
Drive My Car
When McCartney arrived at Lennon’s Weybridge home for a writing session, he had the tune in his head, but “The lyrics were disastrous, and I knew it.” The chorus began, “You can buy me diamond rings“, a cliche they’d used twice before in Can’t Buy Me Love and I Feel Fine (as well as the discarded If You’ve Got Trouble). Lennon dismissed the lyrics as “crap” and “too soft“.They decided to rewrite the lyrics and after some difficulty—McCartney said it was “one of the stickiest” writing sessions—they settled on the “drive my car” theme (which Bob Spitzcredits to Lennon) and the rest of the lyrics flowed easily from that.
Drive My Car was recorded on October 13, 1965 in the Beatles’ first recording session to extend past midnight. McCartney, working closely with George Harrison, laid down the basic rhythm track, doubling similar riffing lines on bass and low guitar, as per Harrison’s suggestion. Harrison had been listening to Otis Redding’s Respect at the time and, as a result of its influence, Drive My Car has more bottom than any previous Beatles recording, mimicking the bass-heavy sound generated in Redding’s Memphis studio.
McCartney played the lead guitar solo, although Harrison plays the guitar which doubles the bass throughout the song. Harrison claimed to have also played the 6-string bass part
My choice for favorite cover version of Drive My Car is The Donna’s version. I love a good gender-swapped cover song, probably due to the fact (but not entirely) for my own predilection of doing gender switched songs at karaoke.