Friday, September 30, 2011

Music Friday: "Daddy's Cup"

This is a song about passion and persistence. It's on what I consider the Drive-By Trucker's best album, The Dirty South.

I've never been all that attracted to car racing, but I know and I've met folks who follow NASCAR religiously. The head secretary at work here loves racing and goes to events on a regular basis, for example.

Well, I guess I did go to a dirt track once when I was a little kid. My oldest brother took his sons and me to it. I remember liking it as a kid because, well, it involved cars, a subject I was interested in. I read about cars. I drew cars. I dreamed about driving cars. My parents bought me Hot Wheels. I played with them. A lot.

But that went away. I've owned four cars in my lifetime: a '78 Buick Regal, a '88 Chevy AstroVan (the UAV), a '95 Ford Escort, and now a '05 Ford Focus wagon.

I'm a real hot rodder, ain't I?

My four-year old son takes after his father. He has a plethora of Hot Wheels, but he got really interested through the movie Cars, which as animated kids' films go, isn't a bad movie at all.

So because of Lightning McQueen, we've watched some NASCAR races here and there, and it is an interesting phenomenon even though I still think of it as a monumental waste of gas. Quinn's a fan of Jeff Gordon because he likes the look of his car, and he also likes whoever drives the M&M car. Race car + Candy = Win.

So the video above goes out to all "them other crazy fools with racing in their blood" referenced in the song and the people who watch them. The lyrics are after the jump.

Daddy's Cup
Before I could walk, I had a wrench in my hand.
I was my Mama's little angel and my Daddy's second chance.
He went end over end the first year he went pro,
Lost part of his eyesight, and he couldn't race no more.

But he never lost his touch when he got underneath the hood.
He knew how to make them run, and he knew one day he would
See his name in victory lane and engraved on that cup
Just like all them other crazy fools with racing in their blood.

He would put me on his lap when he'd drive, and I'd take the wheel.
He'd say, "What do you think about that son? How does she feel?
You just wait till them little legs get long enough to reach the gas.
Once you put her on the floor one time there ain't no turning back."

Every Saturday he'd take me out to the garage.
He'd take an empty bucket and fill it full of engine parts.
He'd sit me down and pour 'em out in front of me on the floor.
I'd have to tell him what each one was and what each one was for.

We'd jump into the car and go down to the race that night.
He'd tell me what each driver was doing wrong and what each one did right.
He could always pick the winner before they ever took a curve.
#3 might have the car, but 43 has got the nerve.

Before I turned 18, Daddy said, "Now pretty soon
You'll be old enough to drive, but I'll leave it up to you.
I taught you all about it, taught you everything I know.
You gotta have a car to do it, and you gotta work and buy your own."

The first one I bought was a Mustang #2.
Nobody kept'em any longer than they kept a pair of shoes.
They started showing up at every used car lot in town,
A V-8 on a go-cart, easy terms, no money down.

Me and Daddy and my uncle took her home and tore her down,
Checked her out real good, cleaned her up, and bored her out,
Took out all the seats, pulled the carpet off the floor,
Knocked out all the glass, and welded up the doors.

The first time that I raced my qualifying was a shame.
I started out way in the back and came back about the same.
I pulled her in the pit, couldn't look my Daddy in the eye.
He said, "If you quit now son, it's gonna haunt you all your life."

It ain't about the money or even being #1.
You gotta know when it's all over you did the best you could've done.
Knowing that it's in you and you never let it out
Is worse than blowing any engine or any wreck you'll ever have.

Since then I've wrecked a bunch of cars, and I've broke a bunch of bones.
It's anybody's race out there, and I've learned to race my own.
I'd shove em in the wall, and I'd hit em from behind.
I'd let them know that I was there. I'd let them know that track was mine.

It's been several years now since my Daddy passed away,
But his picture's on my dash every time I go to race.
I lost more than I won, but I ain't gonna give up
Till they put me in the ground or Daddy's name's on that cup.


fern said...

used 1970 VW Bug (automatic stick), new 1984? Nissan Sentra, new 1993 Geo Prizm (Rose is driving it now), used 2008 Toyota Corolla. (I'll let Mike take credit for the mini-vans.) Except for my first, it's been pure Consumer Reports. I like cars, but I can't see putting a lot of money into one.

If we compete as car buyers, you're all set to to pass me.

Fozzie said...

Maybe one day DBT will again record songs like this instead of Eddie Hinton covers.

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

You've got me, Fern. That's impressive.

Yeh, Foz, besides a few songs on Go-Go Boots, it's my least favorite record of theirs. When I first heard "All You Need is Love," my first reaction was, "WTF." I do like the The Big To-Do though, and Brighter... has its moments.

The other day I listened to Pizza Deliverance, another fine album of theirs, but The Dirty South is DBT at its apex. I'm hoping they make another record like that.

fern said...

The Buick Regal must have been impressive in its day.