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Behind The Lyrics: Hitch A Ride

· country music,songwriting,Music

The Lyrics

I'd like to hop on up and drive off to the country

Gonna start off real slow and take you through the five speeds

Gonna get this motor runnin', get it human', get it goin' good

Get that oil runnin' hot on the spot like you know it should

Gonna burn a little gas and see what this baby can do

I know the perfect little spot that we can head to

Are you Ford tough, hot stuff, baby do you like it rough

Gonna get a little stuck in the mud, I'm gonna fire it up

Talkin' 'Merican made a dirt road renegade

Turn the radio up and feel the fire of that V8

Gonna hitch a ride on your tailgate baby

Gonna hitch a ride on your tailgate babe

Why don't you toss me them keys and honey we can let it ride

Yeah we'll tear out of town, far away from those city lights

Gonna get this truck a burnin', get it purrin', like a wild cat

I'm gonna wind it up so buckle up and hang on to that cowboy hat

Behind the Lyrics

I am a HUGE Alan Jackson fan. His songs are incredibly catchy and they just get stuck in my head for days. I have one favorite song in particular: Country Boy. I love everything about it - Alan's guitar sound, the melody, the chord progression, the overall feel, and of course the story. In the song, Alan, a country boy, is driving around in his truck, sees a beautiful woman, and asks to give her a ride to where she needs to go. While boys picking up girls in their trucks has now become common fodder for country lyrics these days, there's something playful about this tune, not to mention it's suggestive nature. Maybe that's just it - it's less overtly "hey girl, Imma get witchu," and more of "howdy ma'am" with a sexy wink and tip of the cowboy hat. Hitch A Ride is a response to Country Boy.

I was listening to the song and I was thinking about what I would do in that situation as a woman. I thought about how I always prefer to drive, especially if I'm driving a fast truck (swoon!). So I got to thinking, and I decided to write a response where a woman sees a handsome man driving a truck, he stops and asks to pick her up, and she says, "sure, but I'm driving."

One of my heroes is Loretta Lynn. She more than any other artist influences my songwriting, from the lyrics, to the melodies, to the chords I choose (gotta love that IImaj chord!) One of the things I love about her writing is how she always showcased strong female characters in her songs. She also played with power differentials: In Harper Valley PTA, for example, the main character, a divorced mother, seemingly has very little power. As the song progresses, Loretta completely flips this around to where the main character suddenly has all of the power in the situation and walks out of the PTA meeting unscathed. I love how masterfully Loretta illustrates these powerful portraits of seemingly powerless people (particularly females).

Her writing was definitely in the back of my mind when I wrote this tune, too.

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