We’re on a 14-hour car trip. I’ve given my 12-year-old daughter control of Spotify. It’s important we both enjoy the ride. This gesture translates into a dozen songs played over and over again for hours on end.
“Teenage Culture” by SKYLAR — a song with cringy images and a beat that’s hard to shake — “Groundhog Day” by Em Beihold (better) and, mercifully, a bunch of songs by my new favorite artist, Olivia Rodrigo.
It’s not easy for midlife moms and tweens to find common musical ground. But ours include all songs from the musical Hamilton, The Greatest Showman, and anything by Rodrigo.
Rodrigo’s lyrics are hilarious, the beat is good for long drives, and she can sing. What she has to say resonates with both me and my tween. My daughter finds her funny and honest. I think she’s even more appealing to women my age. Far from our awkward teen years, we can sit back and laugh.
I first noticed Rodrigo on Bizaardvark. My daughter and I must have watched their brilliant spoof, the “Comeback Song” about delayed comeback lines, a dozen times.
It’s Rodrigo’s lyrics I love best. They are clever and funny and totally relatable. From “Brutal”, my favorite:
I feel like no one wants me
And I hate the way I’m perceived
I only have two real friends
And lately, I’m a nervous wreck
’Cause I love people I don’t like
And I hate every song I write
And I’m not cool and I’m not smart
And I can’t even parallel park
I have a theory about this last parallel park line, and it could be completely wrong. (Indeed my daughter and I have discussed this at length — 14 hours is a long time in a car — and she assures me I’m wrong.) Here’s my theory: The word “parallel” doesn’t fit. There are too many syllables. All other lines scan perfectly, save that one.
The placement of the word is like a poorly parked car. Please tell me I’m right Miss Rodrigo! It would make my daughter crazy.
Another thing: Parallel parking is hard. Don’t feel bad. I used to have to get out of my car in the middle of the street, and politely ask strangers to park for me.
I promised my daughter an homage to our favorite artist and here it is.