A lot of my friends have songs with their dads. Popular among the crowd is Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle, Dance with my Father by Luther Vandross, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison and the like. These are the songs that come on over the loudspeaker of a department store and elicit a cock of the head, a smile and a comment similar to, “awwwww, this is my song with my dad!” And the crowd croons along with him or her. I’m no different. Though my dad song certainly is.
She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals isn’t necessarily a heart wrenching song about the relationship between a man and his daughter, nor is it one that most would associate with their parents, particularly when the child – parent relationship is a good one. Yet each time I hear that guitar intro, my dad’s face pops into my head and I begin to think about all of the fun things we did when I was a bit shorter and a lot younger.
This didn’t strike me as strange until recently. I’ll admit it. I had a self-consumed moment of paranoia and wondered why a song titled She Drives Me Crazy reminds me of my relationship with my dad. The song came out the year I was born, but I certainly can’t drive the man crazy, can I? I know I run late sometimes but so does my mom and they’re still married, so it can’t be a dealbreaker. Sure, he might back the car out of the garage and honk until I get there, threatening to leave every few
seconds minutes but he probably just runs out there to ensure that he can turn on AM radio. I also never played a “sport” in high school but even though he might not outright admit it (the two of us can be stubborn sometimes), I’m pretty sure my dad enjoyed going to dance competitions every weekend. He also probably realized the health benefits of the shoulder workout he got from lugging the camcorder to each venue, even though the dances were the same every time. I’ll admit, here and there I might’ve left a bit of a mess in the kitchen while baking and a small tiff might have occurred over the speed in which said mess was addressed. But let’s be real. It ended as soon as the timer went off and I delivered baked goods to the family room.
After convincing myself that I, along with my mom and sister, surely couldn’t be the “she” the song is referring to, I focused my energy on trying to figure out why this song makes me think of my dad each and every time I hear it. And just like that, it hit me. For about a year of my life, I was a morning person. I would get up early with my dad on the weekends and we would watch junk TV until everyone else woke up. Turns out there are only two things in this world that can get me out of bed early: my dad and Ernest movies. World, take note. During one of my channel surfing moments with my dad, we stumbled across a network that was showing the music video for this song. (Remember when they used to show music videos on TV?) He mentioned that he liked it and we watched the video. And that was it.
Ever since one of those fateful early mornings, this song became my personal dad song. To this day, anytime I tell him he comes to mind when I hear She Drives Me Crazy, his response is always the same: “I do like that song.”