His feet are dirty
And his face, his face is long
And while he's peeking out
Through his hair he hides the pain
Till that Lennon song comes along
He'll turn it off and say can you drive?

Jimmy, we need to borrow this for a minute
'Cause we need to escape

Now there's so many things that
He's gonna do in 5 lifetimes
Hell I could do 'em all
Yeah and while he's rolling his own smokes
He says to me he's buying a new ride today
A classic deal the boss will give
He said the same thing two weeks ago

You've seen that sweaty jet rag
Feeling come over him, and I've
Seen that boy nod into a dream a time or two
And on his way out his glazed stare
Will make you stop and wonder
Hey William is that the last time
I'm gonna look at you?

But the next day phone will ring
And it will be him
Can you drive?
Jimmy, what would you say
what would you do
Oh should I pray?
Or do you think that this blind mind
Would listen to me, anyway


Lyrics submitted by bubbrock316, edited by donutkill, Gravy

Drive Lyrics as written by Ric Ocasek

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Drive song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    I love this song and I think it is fairly obvious that it is about dealing with a friends drug habit. This song is similar to Pearl Jams "Off He Goes" and goes great with it on mix tapes and CDs.

    It is about a guy who is watching his friends slow descent into drug (heroin -- because of the "nod" comment) addiction and how he sees how it has become his number one priority. Listen to "Cold Turkey" by John Lennon and you will probably agree with me that that is the "Lennon song" that Hoon is referring to in the song. Great song by a great band.

    Bellyfull of Swanson January 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's definitely about a friend with a heroin addiction. Really quite sad, because now, it's almost autobiographical. Shannon's life was parallel with his friends. And unfortunately he was taken and there was a last time that we were "gonna look at you". It makes me very sad that he couldn't be helped. So much potential, "in 5 lifetimes, hell, i couldn't do em' all".

    And for me the meaning of drive is hidden by the car ideas projected through the song. I believe he means "drive the spike". Train "tracks" like "track marks" are driven by "spikes" a.k.a. "needles". He is askin' the narrator of the song to shoot up with him. At least that's how I see it.

    vinyinnyincyon March 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It is more than just the drugs It is also about ambition Is the bosss classic deal on the car like the car dealers boss from the cliche, or is the boss that of the subject, offering him a deal for a work, so he can afford a car or is his boss the drug?

    This song works well because of the many diffrent meanings converging. The ride could be a ride like a ride to success or failure, or a con played on the singer or a ride in a car as the title may suggest. In the words drive and ride all three definitions can work interchangeably.

    Could be heroin, booze, pot, pain pills, any drug at all really.

    gsasquatchon February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Jimmy we need to borrow this for a minute"

    weetoddit311on June 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Jimmy we need to borrow this for a minute"

    weetoddit311on June 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It seems this is at least in part about Jimi Hendrix, since when Shannon sings "Jimi, we need to borrow this for a minute", they play the riff from Manic Depression.

    Sempreon September 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think they reference Jimi (Hendrix) throughout the song only because they had been influenced by him but it is a great addition because it adds another element to the song.

    I also think it is about 'Williams's drug addition, problematic or not, as he relies on the narrator for a ride where ever. It also seems to bring up how 'William' has so many ambitions, most that he will never accomplish.

    Great song. Might not be as catchy as Blind Melon's other songs but it definitely does the ears good. However, it may take a few listens to, to be able to fully enjoy the song...

    dbieon12on October 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In the album notes, Hoon mentions Jimmy Q near mentioning his parents so it seems like he knew a Jimmy....hm. It seems mostly about the futility of drugs to reach any sort of success/happiness and the blindness and indifference of the user ("can you drive?").

    smily3t85on November 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    That's definitely not the Manic Depression riff

    smily3t85on November 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Well, I definitely think this song is watching a friend go through drug addiction. "Can you drive?" referring to is he sober enough to drive. And

    "And on his way out his glazed stare Will make you stop and wonder Hey William is that the last time I'm gonna look at you?"

    referring to how William may not make it till the next day because it's possible of an OD.

    That's what I get from it anyway.

    TeeKayyon January 18, 2009   Link

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