Drive – Incubus

Lyrics | Chords

Firstly, thank you Hannah for sharing your practice with us here at the Music Therapy Repertoire Challenge!  It was incredibly enlightening for me to learn about the work you do, as I am not familiar with the military population that you serve.  Keep up the phenomenal work, and best of luck to you as you work towards your professional goals!

To boil this song down to a basic theme, I believe it is about the relationship between fear and trust.  This is explained best through the dichotomy that is presented in the song:

“Would you choose water over wine?  Hold the wheel and drive. . .”

This isn’t an easy lyric to dissect.  When you look to the beginning of the song, and the pre-chorus, “It’s driven me before. . . I should be behind the wheel.” you can derive some context and clarity.  The narrator is asking if he will surrender to let fear take over (the wine), or will he chose to take control of the situation (the water).  The water is symbolic of taking responsibility and choosing to be sober, and aware.

This is further driven home by the refrain, where the singer promises to, “be there.”  For who?  It isn’t specified.  Depending on who you ask, I’m sure it could vary from supporting a loved one, to supporting oneself, perhaps making a promise to be present, to not leave.  I think that this song is made stronger by this ambiguity–that it isn’t specified.  This way, we as the listeners can ascribe our own meaning, thus rendering it more meaningful to many people.

Looking at this song with context from intervention ideas that Hannah and Catherine dialogued about in the interview, I believe that this song could definitely be used in lessons (the chord progression is simple), as well as for band practice/gigs, and even in a personal music inventory (if chosen).  This song so easily speaks about uncertainty, and finding trust–which is a common experience that is had by everyone.

Take some time this week to check out this song, to look over the lyrics and chords (it is 15 years old, after all; maybe you haven’t heard it before?).  Pick up your guitar, or have a seat at the keyboard and learn this song!  It will definitely be easily applicable to multiple populations.



One thought on “Drive – Incubus

  1. Old feed but commenting anyways. I’ve enjoyed the song since it first became commercially available back in the day and immediately added it to my solo acoustic repertoire where it has remained. Back then I thought it was just a unique (at the time) and fun little jam that people enjoyed singing along to. Revisiting the songs meaning after all this time did lead me to a similar conclusion that the lyrics are rooted in a newishly sober mind struggling to understand its own defects. At least that’s my interpretation given my own personal experience and what I see as many direct references to recovery slogans especially steps 4-7.

    I have no idea if Brandon went to rehab or not but I have and the lyrics sounded pretty familiar. To be sober or not to be? To admit defeat in order to win? The great kunundrum for any addict seeking help is to forfeit the thing you love the most just for the opportunity to live.

    unfortunate that music – one of humanities greatest univral communication tools – often demands such a high price of entry (addiction).

    My statements are nothing more than my own interpretation and opinion and are for entertainment purposes only


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