Ferlin Husky: Drunk Driving, Country-Style
Your Hump-Day Recess: The Drunken Driver (1954)
Submitted for your approval: a song about impaired driving. This is about the saddest one we’ve encountered, part of a tradition that harks back to old temperance tear-jerkers like Come Home, Father (lyrics here) and A Drunkard’s Child. In those 19th-Century days the evil was drinking itself, the victims the drunkard’s family. The 20th Century brought the automobile and a new danger. We’ve already noted a few examples of popular musicians tackling the problem of drunk driving. Here’s one that pulls out all the emotional stops, including a surprise (some would say corny) twist.
Like the well-known Come Home Father, The Drunken Driver employs the point of view of a child who is an innocent victim. You might enjoy Ferlin’s solemn narration, or you might find the whole thing unlistenable. Either The Drunken Driver is a reminder that, while styles of music disappear, the crime of impaired driving doesn’t. It still takes about ten thousand lives in this country alone. That’s a sad song we’re all tired of hearing.