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The Playlist Series: 20 hits for designated drivers

Beyonce for designated drivers

Being a designated driver can bring you down. Your friends are having a great time, but the jokes don’t seem as funny when you’re sober. And if you meet someone nice, you’ve got to stick around to get your friends home safe.

Enter the cheering power of music. Our designated driver playlist is designed to commiserate with you, while helping you get some real fun out of your soused friends. We’ve got rock, pop, alternative, soul and hip hop. So hopefully you’ll find something that suits your non-alcoholic taste.

Designated driver, here’s your playlist

  1. “Drive,” by REM. Yep, that’s your job tonight. Plus, one wonders whether alcohol or some other intoxicant was responsible for the song’s nonsensical lyrics.
  2. “Keep the Car Running,” by Arcade Fire. For when you don’t even get to go into the bar. 
  3. “Call Me Maybe,” by Carly Rae Jepsen. A reminder that your friends should call you rather than getting behind the wheel after drinking.
  4. “Knock ‘Em Out,” by Lily Allen. Drunk, horny people aren’t always so charming, particularly when you’re sober (and female). “Can’t knock em out, can’t walk away. Try desperately to think of the politest way to say, ‘Just get out my face, just leave me alone. And no you can’t have my number, Because I’ve lost my phone.’”
  5. “Respect,” by Aretha Franklin. That’s right. All designated drivers are asking for is a little respect. (Otis Redding wrote this song, but Aretha owns it.)
  6. “Some Nights,” by Fun. “Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck.” And some nights you’re the designated driver.
  7. “Milkshake,” by Kelis. Your milkshake is better than your friend’s margarita, at least you keep telling yourself that.
  8. “Cold Beverage,” by G. Love & Special Sauce. “Some lemonade would be nice.” Just ignore the part about a martini.
  9. “Gin and Juice,” by Snoop Dogg. Your friends get the gin. You get the juice.
  10. “Get Lucky,” by Daft Punk. “Let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars.” Your cup, of course, is full of juice.
  11. “Drunk in Love,” by Beyonce. “I get filthy when that liquor get into me.” Sounds like Beyonce can be a handful when she’s been drinking. Maybe she should take a turn as the designated driver.
  12. “Gangnam Style,” by PSY. No actual connection, real or imagined, to designated driving. But it’s fun to listen to your drunk friends trying to sing along to a song that’s in Korean.
  13. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen. More fun with drunk people. They can all head bang, “Wayne’s World” style. Bonus points if you drive an AMC Pacer.
  14. “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” by Bob Dylan. “Everybody must get stoned.” Well, except for you. Another fun sing-along.
  15. “Illegal smile,” by John Prine. Another song for your friends who do more than just drink. “Fortunately, I have the key to escape reality. And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile. It don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while.”
  16. “Rehab,” by Amy Winehouse. Hopefully your friends keep their partying to relatively healthy levels.
  17. “The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me),” by Tom Waits. Everyone and everything has been drinking tonight except for you.    
  18. “After Hours,” by the Velvet Underground. “If you close the door, the night could last forever.” If your drunk friend doesn’t get out of the car and close the door, it will last even longer.    
  19. “Passenger Side,” by Wilco. A song from the perspective of an exasperating drunk passenger. “You’re gonna make me spill my beer, if you don’t learn how to steer. … You’re the only sober person I know.” Ain’t that the sad truth. “I don’t like riding on the passenger side.” OK, you drive next time.
  20. “Call Me When You’re Sober,” by Evanescence. In other words, “You can be the designated driver tomorrow night.”

A high-volume salute to DDs

OK, fine, we’ve stretched the meanings of some songs far beyond their original intent. But who writes about being a designated driver? If nothing else, we hope we’ve provided a laugh or two.

No matter what you listen to during your designated driving, we salute your service. Stay safe out there.

Photo credit: Jason H. Smith/Flickr

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