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Meaning of ‘Drive By’ by ‘Train’

Released: 2012

“Drive By” by Train is essentially a love song with a catchy beat and some quirky lyrics that tell a story of a guy who’s head over heels for a girl. This track straddles the line between romantic dedication and a lighthearted confession of love, all wrapped up in a metaphor that’s as unconventional as it is catchy. Let’s break down the narrative and the language to catch what’s under the hood of this pop-rock hit.

The song kicks off with a scene that could be straight out of a rom-com: the singer sees a girl who reminds him so much of the one he loves, causing a moment of déjà vu. But here’s the twist – the girl he’s pining over has moved away (“to west L.A., or New York or Santa Fe, or wherever, to get away from me”). The use of places far and wide underlines just how much the distance doesn’t deter his feelings. Then, the singer reminisces about a night that was so perfect, it left him scared – a raw admission that sometimes, emotions run deeper than expected, turning even the most confident folks into a bundle of nerves.

One of the standout lines in the chorus is, “Just a shy guy, looking for a two-ply Hefty bag to hold my love.” At first glance, this sounds offbeat, but it’s genius in its simplicity. The shy guy bit shows vulnerability, while the two-ply Hefty bag is a playful way to say his love is so big and heavy, only something super strong can contain it. This combination of vulnerability and humor is what gives the song its charm and relatability.

As we move through the lyrics, there’s a part about the singer’s love going viral, a modern twist on the idea of love spreading far and wide, showing how it’s impossible to contain his feelings. The singer also touches on the idea that love can be overwhelming and scary, a theme that’s repeated from earlier in the song, reinforcing that real love can indeed be a bit terrifying because of how much you invest emotionally.

In the bridge, the singer promises, “Please believe that when I leave, there’s nothing up my sleeve but love for you,” which is a reassurance of his intentions. It’s a pledge of honesty and simplicity in a world where love can often be complicated and mistrusted. Ending with the scene that started it all, the song comes full circle, emphasizing the lasting impression this girl has made on the singer.

Throughout “Drive By,” Train manages to blend witty lyrics with a catchy melody, creating a pop-rock anthem that’s both cheeky and sweet. It’s a song that speaks to the hopeless romantics, the shy guys, and anyone who’s ever been bowled over by love, using everyday language and imagery to paint a picture that’s as vivid as it is relatable.

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