These days it seems like every country song is about a shiny new pickup truck. Whether it’s an F150, a Silverado, a Tacoma… pickups are definitely the vehicle of choice for country music.
But the best memories don’t come from brand new trucks, they come from old plywood boats, old hand-me-down Fords, and old worn-out Jeeps. That’s exactly what makes Alan Jackson’s “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” such a powerful song.
Written as a tribute to his own father, the song paints a picture of the memories that Alan has of learning to drive – first in a boat, then in an old pickup truck, and then in a Jeep as he teaches his own daughters to drive.
I’m not saying that this is Alan’s best song. But this is Alan’s best song.
We all have memories of learning to drive, whether it was with our dad, our mom, our grandparents, or somebody else. But we probably didn’t realize at the time how much those memories would mean to us someday. I know I didn’t. All those times when we pretended to be Mario Andretti while our parents were sitting in the passenger seat telling us to slow down – man, those were special times, even if we didn’t realize it. (I also didn’t realize that my mom would still be telling me to slow down when she gets in the car with me even now that I’m 30).
Alan Jackson has so many great songs that it’s hard to pick just one as his best, but the way he manages to pay tribute to his father through the memories that they made together doing something as simple as learning to drive – this one just hits you hard and makes you smile at the same time.
So thanks Alan, for helping bring back some of those memories for me too. Because the best memories aren’t made in shiny new pickup trucks.