“Motorcycle Drive By” by Zach Bryan

Even though he didn’t make a big deal out of it at the time, Zach Bryan was involved in a motorcycle accident sometime during mid-2022. By the looks of things he didn’t suffer any critical injuries per se, but according to The New York Times, the incident did leave the country music star with a “badly scraped” forehead. 

That likely means he wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time. And of course when you get into a motorcycle accident with no helmet on and proceed to suffer head injuries, then it can be taken for granted that you came close to losing your life.

“Motorcycle Drive By”

According to Zach, it was that incident which inspired him to write “Motorcycle Drive By”. Or as Bryan explained, after nearly giving up the ghost he was compelled to express his love to his sweetheart and besties and then after that proceeded to write this song.

That’s a compelling backstory if we ever heard one, but good luck deriving any of those facts or ideas directly from the actual lyrics. Under normal circumstances, country songs tend to rank amongst the most-understandable out there. So with that noted, “Motorcycle Drive By” marks one of the very few times in which we’re analyzing a track from said genre but, all things considered, are initially stumped by its meaning.

For instance, as most commonly used the term “drive by” either refers to riding past a particular location or, in a colloquial sense, committing a violent crime such as a shooting from a motor vehicle. But it doesn’t particularly read as if Bryan is utilizing the term in either of those contexts. 

Maybe the vocalist is using that expression more along the lines of the former, i.e. to allude to riding his motorcycle in general. 

The Woman

In terms of what can be deemed a discernible storyline or sentiment permeating throughout this piece, that would obviously center on this woman he refers to as being his “baby”. She’s mentioned in all three verses (with the first being identical to the third), as well in the chorus. And as far as the verses go, what Zach seems to be expressing is something like an appreciation for her in general.

Also to note, he was with a lady, presumably this same one, during the aforementioned crash. So that may be why in the chorus he’s telling her to ‘dry her kind eyes’, as well as putting forth that ‘it’s about time they headed home’, i.e. that particular passage being directly inspired by the accident.

Walking on a Tight Rope

He also puts forth the idea that he’s ‘walking such a tight rope with his damn high hopes’, perhaps as an allusion to his fast life, i.e. riding a motorcycle with no helmet on. But then Bryan closes out the chorus with what can be deemed the most-unconventional line in a song filled with ambiguous lyricism, where he states that “country boys don’t die alone”.

What the first (and third) verse further go on to imply is that even while freshly injured, Zach remained faithful to his fandom by performing as scheduled nonetheless. And that would be an observation which, at least on the surface, also doesn’t read as if it has anything to do with the romantic relationship he is in per se.

In Conclusion

So maybe if someone writes a song directly after coming to the realization that he nearly lost his life – even a songwriter as successful as Zach Bryan – we shouldn’t put too much pressure on him to pen a piece that actually makes comprehensive sense.

In other words, it’s pretty clear that in this case he did not overburden himself with coming out with a track that’s easy to understand. Instead, “Motorcycle Drive By” reads as if it may be an impromptu mixture, if you will, of all the thoughts that were floating through his head at the time. 

And amidst concern for his girl as well as his career/band/homeys, it can also be gathered that Zach came out that accident feeling invincible in a sense. He was clearly convinced that said moment was not his time to leave the mortal plane. 

Along those lines, it can also be theorized that such a disposition is what empowered him to promptly continue to go about attending to the aforementioned concerns as opposed to adopting a bedridden or sympathy-seeking mentality.

Lyrics of Zach Bryan's "Motorcycle Drive"

When did Zach Bryan release “Motorcycle Drive By”?

This track was released on 15 July 2022 as part of Zach Bryan’s EP “Summer Blues”. This was an effort he put out with the backing of Warner Records. 

Appearance on “Yellowstone”

This song didn’t really make any noise until Zach performed it during his guest appearance on the well-received country-based television show Yellowstone. More specifically, he performed it on the episode titled “The Dream Is Not Me”, which is the seventh of the fifth season. 

It was upon said airing that another country music singer, Rich O’Toole, accused Bryan of unscrupulously jacking certain elements of his 2014 track “Take My Heart” in the process. But in response, Zach basically mocked his claim.

Also after being featured on Yellowstone, this track reportedly topped iTunes Country Singles chart for the US.

Credits for “Motorcycle Drive By”

The sole credited writer of this song is Zach Bryan. He also produced “Motorcycle Drive By”. In the latter regard, he worked alongside Eddie Spear.

Motorcycle Drive By

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