AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.7) and Lennon (.3)
Paul arrived at John's house in Weybridge with the tune in his head but with very bad lyrics.
McCARTNEY: "The lyrics were disastrous and I kenw it. Often you just block songs out and words just come into your mind and when they do it's hard to get rid of them. You often quote other songs too and you know you've got to get rid of them, but sometimes it's very difficult to find a more suitable phrase than the one that has insinuated itself into your consciousness. This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session. The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which is always fatal. 'Rings' is fatal anyway, 'rings' always rhymes with 'things' and I knew it was a bad idea. I came in and said, 'These aren't good lyrics but it's a good tune.' The tune was nice, the tune was there, I'd done the melody. Well, we tried, and John couldn't think of anything, and we tried and eventually it was, 'Oh let's leave it, let's get off this one.' 'No, no. We can do it, we can do it.' So we had a break, maybe had a cigarette or a cup of tea, then we came back to it, and somehow it became 'drive my car' instead of 'gold-en rings', and then it was wonderful because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came and suddenly there was a girl there, the heroine of the story, and the story developed and had a little sting in the tail like 'Norwegian Wood' had, which was 'I actually haven't got a car, but when I get one you'll be a terrific chauffeur'. So to me it was LA chicks, 'You can be my chauffeur', and it also meant 'you can be my lover'. 'Drive my car' was an old blues euphemism for sex, so in the end all is revealed. Black humour crept in and saved the day. It wrote itself then. I find that very often, once you get the good idea, things write themselves. So that was my idea and John and I wrote the words, so I'd go 70-30 on that to me." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
Lennon attributed authorship to both himself and McCartney. Hit Parader (April 1972)
McCartney originally wrote the song with the lyric "You can give me golden rings." In the studio, Lennon said the line was "crap" and they both came up with "You can drive my car," which they agreed was better.
McCARTNEY: "The idea of the girl being a bitch was the same but it made the key line better." Newsweek via Compleat(b)
October 13, 1965, at Abbey Road
There are small differences in John and Paul's vocals during the last vese. MARTIN: "That was never intended, but they did it that way. It was live, and things such as that slipped my attention. Once it went through and I saw it was there, I didn't think it was worthwhile calling them in again to replace a line; life's too short!" Musician (July 1987)
HARRISON: ". . . If [Paul] had written a song, he'd learn all the parts for Paul and then come in the studio and say (sometimes he was very difficult): 'Do this.' He'd never give you the opportunity to come out with something. But on 'Drive My Car' I just played the line, which is really like a lick off 'Respect,' you know, the Otis Redding version - duum-da-da-da-da-da-da-dum - and I played that line on the guitar and Paul laid that with me on bass. We laid the track down like that. We played the lead part later on top of it." Crawdaddy (February 1977)
McCARTNEY: bass, guitar, piano, lead vocal
LENNON: tambourine, lead vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar, backing vocal