Pop Culture Shenanigans

My 5-Day Analysis of ‘Driver’s License’ by Olivia Rodrigo

Are you a teenager or young adult? Do you live in a house with a teenager or young adult? Then you have probably listened to this song at least 100 times. I know I have. And I have thoughts onto why I think it is so popular and since those thoughts are taking up too much space in my head right now, I’m offering them here.

  1. First and foremost…Olivia Rodrigo is a young woman who plays a very relatable character on a popular Disney show: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. From the first time fans of hers heard this song, if felt like they were listening to a friend tell them about their breakup.
  2. The song starts out with the sounds of a girl getting in a car and lamenting how she was excited about getting her driver’s license and if there is anything more relatable I don’t know what is. Then she’s driving alone past his street feeling her heartbreak. Y’all, I got my driver’s license just a few days before my first love dumped me. I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I DROVE BY HIS NEIGHBORHOOD AFTER THAT.
  3. I am not a music person but the way it goes from just Rodrigo’s voice over single piano keys to yelling “Cause I still fucking love you!” with a full accompaniment…is perfect. The cathartic feeling when you finally get to that f-word is amazing at any age (I’m 45 and screaming it too), but especially if you’re an angsty teenager.
  4. She references that blonde girl that is “everything I’m insecure about” and OMG…do/did we all not have someone like that in our lives?
  5. There’s juicy gossip behind it! The rumors are that the boy who broke her heart is one of her co-stars of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series…the fans are also pretty sure they know who the blonde girl in question is. (Yes. This drama is now living rent-free in my 45-year old brain. Motherhood, man.)
  6. Another extremely cathartic set of lyrics?
    “Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me
    ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street”

    because you get to scream/sing the first part…and then sob/sing the second part and there is no age at which that is not exactly the feeling of heartbreak. The swell of rage and the drop of sadness, in a moment’s notice.
  7. Did I mention Rodrigo scream-sings the F-word? She does. And fans of all ages (*ahem*) all over the world are doing the same thing in their cars and bedrooms.

I’m telling you. This song is genius. It has all of the elements that make it a good breakup song: the rise and fall, the f-word, the sadness…but it’s sung but a girl everyone knows and is fueled by celebrity gossip. I am 45 years old and I’m completely hooked too.

1 thought on “My 5-Day Analysis of ‘Driver’s License’ by Olivia Rodrigo”

  1. I don’t know the song yet… and anyway BBC radio 1 & 2 will probably bleep the f word, cos y’know we might all faint or something. Sounds good and carthartic. I’ll listen out for it. 🙂

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