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Meaning of ‘Keep Driving’ by ‘Harry Styles’

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Released: 2022

“Keep Driving” by Harry Styles paints a vivid picture of an escape, a journey filled with moments both mundane and extraordinary. It taps into the desire to break free from the complexities of life, suggesting a road trip as a metaphor for the carefree adventure many yearn for. The lyrics are a collage of snapshots, each line a fragment that collectively sketches a story of freedom, romance, and introspection.

The opening lines with “Black and white film camera, Yellow sunglasses, Ashtray, swimming pool, Hot wax, jump off the roof”, drop us right into a scene that’s almost like a movie from the ’70s or ’80s, filled with nostalgia and a pinch of recklessness. This imagery is not just about the physical items; it’s setting the tone for a laid-back, retro, and perhaps a bit of a wild ride ahead. Mentioning a “small concern with how the engine sounds” amidst these carefree activities highlights a hint of anxiety about whether to continue on this path, quickly overshadowed by the pull of adventure: “Should we just keep driving?”

As the song progresses into lines like “Maple syrup, coffee, Pancakes for two, Hash brown, egg yolk, I will always love you”, Harry introduces us to simple yet intimate moments shared between two people. These lines feel like a warm, comforting morning after a night of adventure, emphasizing the sweetness and simplicity of love and companionship. Again, the concern about the engine’s sound reappears, reminding us of the ever-present decision whether to face reality or continue to escape it.

The visuals get even more vivid and chaotic with “Passports in footwells, Kiss her and don’t tells, Wine glass, puff pass, tea with cyborgs, Riot America, science and edibles”. Here, Styles throws us into a whirlwind of experiences, from international travels hinted at by “Passports in footwells” to secretive romance with “Kiss her and don’t tells”, and even dips into the surreal with “tea with cyborgs”. Each phrase escalates the feeling of a journey that’s both physical and metaphorical, touching on indulgence, love, and the bizarre. Mixed in are contemporary references like “Life hacks going viral in the bathroom” and “Cocaine, side boob”, painting a picture of a lifestyle at once glamorous and hedonistic, yet tinged with emptiness.

The recurring question, “Should we just keep driving?”, serves as the chorus that ties all these vivid scenes together. It’s both a literal question about continuing on a road trip and a metaphorical one about life’s journey. In the context of these lyrics, it seems to suggest a desire to escape the reality of life’s pains and uncertainties, to keep moving in search of something more, or perhaps to avoid something worse.

Ultimately, “Keep Strong” by Harry Styles is a rich tapestry of images and themes wrapped in a seemingly simple question. It’s a song that invites listeners into a world of escape, adventure, and reflection, all while keeping the engine running and the road ahead open to endless possibilities.

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