This line is probably very familiar to most e2 users, unlike some of the obscure hip-hop lyrics I node, this one needs no introduction to many of you out there.
For those of you who do need an introduction, it is a line that the Pixies sing on a song called Wave of Mutilation, a very catching, singable, but not very straightforward song whose topic is somewhat oblique.
The entire couplet this line comes from is:
Cease to resist, giving my goodbyes
Drive my car into the ocean
The song continues on with some other lyrics, which I will leave out of my analysis.
The interesting thing about the line "drive my car into the ocean" is that in the short span of years I have been hearing this song, I have already been able to perceive this line as having two different emotional tones.
The first, what I believed when I was hearing this song when I was 16 years old or so, was that this was a tone of exuberant disregard. That is was sung by someone who has shed some old bonds of habit, and is taking off on a new adventure, or perhaps of someone doing something as lighthearted as jumping in a swimming pool, fully clothed. It reminded me of the meaning of the first day of summer vacation, or maybe of the first day of school.
I remember when I was in my late teens, maybe before or after hearing this song, I was on the Oregon Coast, at Cape Kiwanda, and I say some people race their car on the surf line, daring the ocean to catch them. They were very exuberant, unencumbered people. At least until the surf did catch their car.
As the years pass, I see a different emotion to this line, a more introspective one. An easy way to categorize it is as perhaps semi-suicidal, the desire for oblivion. I think perhaps, that could be part of it. However, the emotion is more complex then that. It refers to the wish to return to a state of dreaming, of casting off pain and struggle so that instead of viewing life as a fight, it is viewed as a slow motion dance. (Especially considering the later lines that lovingly detail the underwater scenes that the author takes part in).
On days when my back hurts, when I have to hear about the continuing violence in the world, and when I wonder what my own degraded efforts will ever do to change things; I wish that I could just step back and view my life through a dream.
I don't know what meaning was meant by this, or if anything was meant at all. It is interesting to note that there are two different instrumentaions to the song, one hyper, and one slow. Perhaps this song was meant to be a poetic necker cube, it can be viewed as pointing either of two ways.