Drive My Car

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“Drive My Car” is a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and first released by The Beatles on the UK version of the 1965 album Rubber Soul; it also appeared in the US 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’s 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 doesn’t 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”. McCartney also described the song (along with “Norwegian Wood”, also from Rubber Soul) as a “comedy number” in Melody Maker two day’s after the song’s recording.

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 hackneyed phrase with diamond rings having already been referenced twice before in “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Feel Fine”. 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 Spitz credits to Lennon) and the rest of the lyrics flowed easily from that.

“Drive My Car” was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 13 October 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 composed the guitar riff which underpins the verses. McCartney doubled this figure an octave lower on the bass.

Credits

* Paul McCartney: lead vocals, piano, lead guitar and bass.
* John Lennon: lead vocal and cowbell.
* George Harrison: rhythm guitar and background vocals.
* Ringo Starr: drums and tambourine.

Other appearances

The song appears on Cape Cod Covers, Vol. 2 “The Beatles”, performed by Kate Taylor for the benefit of Angel Flight, NE.

This song was one of four that McCartney performed live on the Super Bowl XXXIX half-time show, and one of the five performed at the Live 8 Concert in London, with George Michael adding backing vocals.

Samples from this song feature heavily in the track “Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing” on Love album released in November 2006. Even though it’s called that, during Drive My Car, the Taxman guitar solo happens with the end of the Drive My Car solo and horns from Good Morning Good Morning are added in after the lyrics of the chorus.

The song was covered by the band Breakfast Club and featured in the movie License to Drive.

The song was redone by Bobby McFerrin in the album Simple Pleasures.

The Punkles did a Punk cover of this song on their second album “Punk!”.

The song was also covered by a Maine-based a cappella group, the Bowdoin College Meddiebempsters in the album Princes of Maine. – adapted from Wikipedia

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