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You Drive Me Nervous (Killer, 1971)

“You Drive Me Nervous” Lyrics:

Yeah, you seem so civilized
Your mama’s tryin’ to run your life
Your daddy’s tryin’ to pick your wife
Oh no

Yeah, you run around with all that hair
They just don’t like those rags you wear
You say I’m gonna pack up my stuff
I’m gonna run away

And then you say
You drive me nervous, nervous
And then I said
You drive me nervous, nervous, nervous, oh
Nervous, nervous, nervous, nervous, whoa-oh-oh
Aaah

You’re out of state, you’re thrown in jail
You ain’t got the bread to pay the bail
Your mom and papa come up and said
“Honey, where did we fail?”

And then you scream
You drive me nervous, nervous
And then I screamed
You drive me nervous, nervous, nervous, oh
Nervous, nervous, nervous, nervous, whoa-oh-oh

You drive me ne-ne-ne-nervous
Ne-ne-ne-nervous
You drive me nervous
Whoa

In 1971, Alice Cooper (the band) released their fourth studio LP, Killer. Reaching #21 on the Billboard 200, the record propelled the group further into the limelight.

With songs like “Under My Wheels,” “Be My Lover,” “Desperado,” “Halo of Flies,” and “Dead Babies,” the album dishes up classics that are still often performed some 45+ years later.

The Killer LP is definitive Classic Rock and one of the most notorious records of the 1970s – raw and unapologetic.

“Now Killer, by some standards, by real rock reviewer standards, some of them say that that is the best record we ever did. (It was) the fifth or sixth biggest-selling record that year and that really was just pure Alice.

We weren’t doing anything on that album that we just wouldn’t have done naturally, except for the fact that we had Bob Ezrin putting it in a really good package.” – Alice Cooper

Killer deals with the darker truths in life – child abuse, murder, thievery, dysfunction, manipulation, control, miscommunication, etc. Many didn’t ‘get’ or understand the point, while others recognized the cerebral nature of AC’s songs and lyrics.

Where parents, clergy, and critics saw only death, macabre, and violence. Fans, and anyone willing to look, saw something much more poignant.

Theatrically, it seems the band was saying, “The world is an evil place; if you’re not careful, you may find yourself hung, beheaded, or electrocuted. Therefore, observe and learn from Alice’s actions. Don’t do what he does – don’t suffer his fate.” There was a morality play at hand.

“You Drive Me Nervous,” the fifth track on the LP, deals with the first, and maybe most significant, relationship we encounter– the parent-to-child dynamic. Those interactions prepare us for future relationships and our connection to the outside world.

Yeah, you seem so civilized
Your mama’s tryin’ to run your life
Your daddy’s tryin’ to pick your wife
Oh no

Yeah, you run around with all that hair
They just don’t like those rags you wear
You say I’m gonna pack up my stuff
I’m gonna run away

And then you say
You drive me nervous, nervous
And then I said
You drive me nervous, nervous, nervous, oh
Nervous, nervous, nervous, nervous, whoa-oh-oh
Aaah

How often do we, as parents, nag our children? How often do we judge them? How often do we try to understand them? Are we trying to help them find themselves, or do we want them to become carbon copies of us?

On the flip side, how did we treat our parents? Did they misunderstand us, or did we give them reason to be harsh and direct? Were we only trying to express ourselves, or were we rebelling against them?

The parent-child relationship is complex, murky, and somewhat cumbersome. A push-pull interaction is often the case and leaves both sides frustrated and confused. But who is to blame?

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Instead, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”Ephesians 6:1-4

If we read the above-listed verses carefully, children and parents play an essential role in the family. Children are asked to obey (to do as they are told) and honor (love and respect) their parents, while parents are asked to be gentle yet firm, using proper discipline and instruction.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

As Paul explained in the above-listed verse, submission to Christ is key when dealing with others. In Ephesians 5:21, Paul is laying the groundwork for the relationship between Man and Wife, and in Chapter 6, verses 1-4, he’s likewise saying the same for parents and children.

Dissecting the premise of submission and connection a bit further, anyone who’s been married or in a long-term relationship knows how dysfunctional life with one another can be, and two consenting adults have the freedom to seek refuge, take a break, or end abusive relationships. Children are not so lucky.

Children are under the direct control of their parents or guardians. The obligation to feed, provide shelter, care for, encourage, etc., lies with what should be a trustworthy adult. Does that always happen? Do we, as adults, see children as our assignment, duty, and responsibility?

27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord, my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.

2 “There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.

3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
    or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
    and by him, deeds are weighed.

4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
    but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
    but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
    but she who has had many sons pines away.

6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive;
    he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
    and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
    on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 
    those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
    the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of his anointed.”1 Samuel 1:27-28, 2:1-10

In the above-listed verses, Hannah, the mother of Samuel – Israel’s greatest judge, had prayed fervently for a son but knew that she would have to place him into God’s care (1 Samuel 1:11). She knew Samuel was loaned to her by God. However, she was gifted the opportunity to raise and nurture him.

Mary’s song prayed in Luke 1:46-55 closely resembles Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. These women trusted God and knew their children were ordained to do His Will. They acknowledged the gifts they were given but knew their children were His vessels.

God has a plan for each of us. As parents, part of that plan is raising children to know and love God as He loves us (1 John 4:7-12). We play an integral part in helping them to see Him and His Love in all things. We are responsible for their first steps and their formative years.

Wrapping up this week’s post, it is easy to see what our parents did wrong. There’s always been a certain amount of angst, disdain, and miscommunication between parents and children, especially during the teenage years. But why? Who’s to blame?

This isn’t meant to be a rant against parents or a declaration for children to freely embrace rebellion. It’s a reminder that there’s a balance – a way to make all involved feel loved and wanted. Christ was the perfect example of Love, and God’s Word explains how families can better understand one another.

When combining Paul’s words (Ephesians 6:1-4) and Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10), we find guidance, design, and a blessing.

“If our faith in Christ is genuine, it will usually prove itself at home, in our relationships with those who know us best. Children and parents have a responsibility to each other.  Children should honor their parents even if their parents are demanding and unfair. Likewise, parents should care gently for their children, even if the children are disobedient and unpleasant.” – NIV Life Application Summary of Ephesians 6:1-4

To paraphrase, the ideal Christian home is one where parents and children treat one another with thoughtfulness and love. By submitting to one another in Christ, family members willingly place each others’ needs and interests above their own.

“Hannah’s prayer shows us that all we have and receive is on loan from God…She discovered that the greatest joy in having a child is to give that child fully and freely back to God. She entered motherhood prepared to do what all mothers must eventually do – let go of their children.” – NIV Life Application profile of Hannah

Children are God’s precious gifts. We are allowed to raise and nurture them. The task is not to rule over them with an iron fist but to offer them the tools needed to prosper and endure. We are asked to show them the same Love shown us by our Heavenly Father, knowing that they are on loan from Him.

Again, the key is Christ. He is our example. His Love and Spirit bring balance and serenity to the household. By submitting to Him, all family members can find harmony; knowing His Love motivates one another to honor and respect each other. Instead of driving each other “nervous” with angst and dysfunction, let us learn to seek peace and stability through Him.

In conclusion, “You Drive Me Nervous” is the perfect track for the misunderstood teenager. Adolescence is perhaps the most confusing time in life, and parents seldom help the situation with their demands and double standards. A “do as I say, not as I do” paradigm often rules the household.

Many saw 70s Rock as rebellion, just kids causing trouble and looking to destroy something. Some of that could been true. However, we believe most musicians and fans were frustrated with their parents, the world, situations, etc.

Rock ‘n’ Roll became an outlet for that frustration. Instead of committing crimes or acts of violent rage, a loud display of guitar-driven anthems was enough to express to the world that “I’m anxious about the future, don’t like where I am, and that pisses me off.

While teens might act as if they don’t, we think most would like to have an adult or two (hopefully their parents) act as if they care and want to understand the frustrations of adolescence better. We know that’s not always the case.

Fortunately for those who don’t have a supportive adult or role model, there are a few Alice Cooper LPs to spin out and deal with the frustrations of life.

That’s it for this week. Be well, and catch you next Friday!

In the meantime, Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

 

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.

Click the images to learn more about these resources:

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