Sunday, October 12, 2008

Keep Driving, Roy

As a sort of follow-up to the previous song of the week — the unpleasant, pedophiliac interpretation to Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” — I’ve chosen to do another lyrical analysis for a song that, upon close inspection, is quite disturbing: Roy Orbison’s “I Drove All Night.”

Recorded in 1987 and not released until 1992, “I Drove All Night” is often recognized as a Cyndi Lauper song. I had not actually ever heard her version until today, though I think she has the pipes to do a good job with it. It’s also been covered by Celine Dion, whose version I have heard. I don’t care for it, but really through no fault of Celine’s other than the fact that she is herself. I associate the song most with Orbison, and it’s his version that my asides shall be responding to below.

First, for the uninitiated, here is the music video for the Roy Orbison version, which randomly features Jason Priestly and Jennifer Connelly.



And here we go:
I had to escape; the city was sticky and cruel
Oh, that’s sweet, Roy. Also: Sticky? Really?
Maybe I should have called you first
But I was dying to get to you
Now that you mention it, Roy, perhaps you should have called. I may have invited someone over…
I was dreaming while I drove
The long straight road ahead
It’s best not to drive while sleepy, Roy. You really should have waited. Really.
Could taste your sweet kisses, your arms open wide
This fever for you was just burning me up inside
The hot feeling was probably caffeine pills.
I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
No.
I drove all night, crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep to make love to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night
I’m going to say no, Roy, particularly to the part where you crept into my room. You scared my dog. And I tasered myself in a failed attempt to defend myself from what I initially thought was a psychotic intruder and what, upon hearing this song, I now confirm to be a psychotic intruder.
What in this world keeps us from falling apart?
Distance, Roy.
No matter where I go
I hear the beating of our one heart
I think about you when the night is cold and dark
And sticky?
No one can move me the way that you do
Move you across three state lines, I take it.
Nothing erases this feeling between me and you
I feel like ambush rape should, in fact, erase that feeling.
I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
No. Stop asking.
I drove all night, crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep to make love to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night
Again, Roy, I’d have really appreciated some notice. And technically, it wasn’t all right at all that you snuck into my bedroom and ambushed raped me awake. That’s really not alright. In fact, it’s actionable.
Could taste your sweet kisses, your arms open wide
This fever for you was just burning me up inside
Since you bring it up again, I think it was actually more the fever that was making you sticky, less so the city.
I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night, crept in your room
Is that all right?
I drove all night
Keep driving, Roy.

In case you're curious, here also is the Cyndi Lauper version. The Celine Dion version should not be mentioned again.

1 comment:

  1. Ok so what the heck is Cyndi Lauper doing with her hands at the beginning of the song?! Did the fever turn her into a lobster or something? ... on second thought, her whole video is pretty weird. Gotta love her though.

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