By: Ava Swidler
On January 8 around 2 PM, the world was blessed with the release of the biggest heart breaking yet addictive song, “Drivers License’’ by Olivia Rodrigo. This song has exploded on the social media platform TikTok, and its lyrics drop subtle hints of a secret love for an unknown boy; it created a speculated love triangle that is fueling its popularity. But could this song be a way to gain fame? And are the lyrics true? This song may have been released as a career move with hints given to who it’s about and speculation that it could be a lie.
“Drivers License’’ tells the story of Olivia Rodrigo getting her license, a moment she intended to celebrate with her boyfriend who had moved on to another girl. The song includes three characters: the narrator, a boy and a blonde girl. Having these characters has given users on tiktok the opportunity to create songs in the other characters’ perspectives. almost like a response to Rodrigo’s song. Some of these perspectives include the blonde girls, the boy, and even the white car she drives. These response songs have given tiktokers a window to fame and Rodrigo more publicity as the tiktokers have millions of views.
Throughout the song, the lyrics explain that Rodrigo once had a boyfriend whom she still loves and wishes to celebrate her driver’s license with but can’t because he has moved on, so now, she drives with only the memories of him left and the thought that he loves another girl. This speculated love triangle is the fuel to the song’s popularity; fans have said that the song is about Rodrigo’s (High School Musical) co-star Joshua Bassett and his rumored girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter, who is actually “blonde” and “older” than Rodrigo, which are some of the hints in the lyrics. These hints have left fans craving answers to their questions about the song and hope to receive some more information explaining the lyrics of “Drivers License” and the story behind it all.
But was it all just for the fame? A video of the original draft had been released where instead of singing “that brunette girl” sings “blonde girl” meaning that maybe the song could be directed at someone else. Regardless of this information, the release of this song could be a smart career move for both Rodrigo and Bassett, one of which is the release of Bassett’s new song “lies, lies, lies.” This song was ironically released just four days after the release of “Drivers License” and is about someone close to him who lies. The lyrics read “actin’ all so innocent like I’m the one to blame.” It’s almost as if Bassett is responding to Rodrigo saying that her song isn’t true and that she isn’t telling the whole story. Bassett’s singles cover is even a picture of him laying on a car possibly linking the two songs together.
Rodrigo could have been using this opportunity to gain a following, and it definitely worked. Whether the song is about Joshua Bassett or not, the song blew up because it is a good song, and the drama that comes with it makes it that much intriguing to listen to.