Drives Out Good

Harold Fethe - Drives Out Good - cover image

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Recorded by Harold Fethe
Released 09 July 2011

My father, nicknamed "Fido," thought I could acquire some street smarts by hanging around his used car lot. Most of the song is true, or only slightly whimsical. He really did sell cars to moonshiners, and they needed new ones often. Two carneys who'd been family friends when I was a toddler were the only people besides family who were invited to my 21st birthday party. Thanks, Fido. If I don't have street smarts now, it ain't your fault!

— Harold Fethe

Drives Out Good
© Harold Fethe 2009

My father taught me everything
But I never wrote it down
He ran a big used car lot
In a rough old part of town

He said what you want, and what you need
Are very different, son
And that candy-colored ragtop
It’s really not the one

You see the tires are worn and the back seat’s torn
And the tranny smells like smoke
The radiator’s ready to give it up
And the speedo cable’s broke

But we’re gonna move it some day soon
To a male under thirty-five
He’ll hit the corner and drop the clutch
Just as sure as you’re alive, because it

Drives out good
Yes, it drives out good
It’s a hell of a deal
On a set of wheels
Stamped from the finest
Dee-troit steel
If all you’re thinkin’
Is how it feels, well it
Drives Out Good

He sold cars to moonshine smugglers
To carneys, clowns and jugglers
He’d sit ‘em in the seat
And then put ‘em on the street

He said, “I have never told a lie
But I’ve roughed the truth up some
I can’t stand indecision,
I gotta help ‘em find the one!

Maybe it’s looks, maybe it’s speed
Maybe the top goes down
Maybe the effect on the opposite sex
When he drives it way downtown

It may be cool upholstery
Or Pocahontas on the hood
But he won’t sign on the dotted line
Unless it drives out good

Yes, it drives out good
It drives out good
It’s a hell of a deal
On a set of wheels
Stamped from the finest
Dee-troit steel

If all you’re thinkin’is how it feels…

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the wheel…

If you done decided to skip a few meals…

Well, It Drives Out Good


LOVE that!

Your phrasing and the sparseness of the instrumentation reminds me of my favorite lou reed record. "new york". Specifically, the song "Halloween parade" off that record.

Congrats on the click and clack placement!! This kicks ass.
Your delivery is compelling. i listened through 4 times in a row.

— Matt Nathanson

That's fabulous my friend!
I love those guys - and your song is perfect them!
I went back and listened to it again - so great!

— Mark Isham, film soundtrack composer
The Black Dahlia, Nell, Rules of Engagement
A River Runs Through It, Never Cry Wolf

Great song!!!!! Congrats on the NPR show. If you know someone in N-ville you should send it to them, this could be a major hit if done by the right artist.

— Wally Eaton
Founding member, Classics IV
Traces, Spooky, Stormy

DRIVES OUT GOOD drives out like wonderful. Want much more. Can you whip out the album by Wednesday? Meanwhile we will find a way to see you on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday soon.

— David Webb Peoples and Janet Peoples
Academy Award winning screenwriters
The Day After Trinity / Blade Runner / Unforgiven