FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Uninvited Guests Under the Roof
So it turns out that my family had some tenants we weren't aware of. They let themselves in through an opening (or two) in the roof line of our home. Among our out-of-season holiday decorations and boxes of extra books was a migrating colony of bats living rent free under our roof. My husband spotted the uninvited squatters rushing out of the corner of our attic at dusk then returning by dawn.
Now the unexplained noises at night made sense. So did my cats' obsession with the walk-up attic. (Thank goodness for closed doors.)
When a wildlife removal service humanely evicted the visitors, they informed us that we had squirrels, too. And at some point there had been birds. I know bats are the good guys, and I enjoy nature but don't want to be that close up and personal with it, particularly inside the house. Thankfully, after some pricey roof repairs our home is now restored to being just people and cats, although you can never be too sure.
Celebrate the importance of roofs and ceilings by making a custom playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs. We have a long list to start you off.
1. "Up on the Roof" by The Drifters
To get away from the stress of the world, the guy in this 1962 R&B hit climbs atop his roof and overlooks the city. Perched up high, he can escape any people problems and personal issues that plague him as peace washes over him. The narrator peers upward towards the stars and down below at the streets. Unconcerned about safety, he considers the rooftop a relaxing, private escape and invites his sweetheart to join him.
Rolling Stone magazine recognized the song as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." In addition, "Up on the Roof" is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll
2. "Meet Me on the Roof" by Green Day
Just because someone is out of your league doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a go. It might be your lucky day. In this enthusiastic 2020 alt-rock song, a man who is out clubbing with friends meets a girl who seems unattainable. He decides to make a move anyway.
Having lost his phone on the dance floor, the narrator crawls through the crowd and tries to find it, feeling miserable. He invites the girl to meet him up on the roof for a cheap meeting that is not quite a date and hopes the girl can lower her standards enough to say "yes" to him. Hey, you never know until you ask, right?
3. "The Roof Is on Fire" by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three
Even if you weren't around for this original 1984 old school rap song like I was, you've probably heard its famous refrain. This single has been covered, sampled, and interpolated by many artists over the years:
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
We don't need no water—Let the motherf--r burn!
Burn, mother--r, burn!
So why are they burning the building? If you're worried about fanning the flames of a building fire, don't be. The narrator is a DJ who is encouraging the crowd to get rowdy, bust some moves on the dance floor, and have fun.
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4. "The Motown Song" by Rod Stewart (Featuring The Temptations)
Rod Stewart paints a romantic evening filled with nostalgia for yesterday's music in this 1991 rock tune. He invites his girlfriend to bring over her old Motown records. He will put speakers up in the window and they'll crank out the tunes of The Miracles and other old favorites. Even people down in the alleyways below will be able to hear. High above the city on the rooftop these two love birds will dance the night away, filled with memories and the rest of the world will disappear for a night.
5. "Three Hearts" by Alex Clare
An expectant father is thankful to have found the love of his life in this 2014 alt-rock song. With a baby on the way, he looks forward to building a home for his growing family. Now that he has some money, he will get his young family a nice roof over their heads with a big backyard, the American Dream.
Alex Clare dated Amy Winehouse in 2006 before he hit it big. (Think about things could have been different!) Then in 2011, Clare became a one-hit-wonder in America with the single, "Too Close."
6. "Rooftops" by Marshmello
Although admittedly repetitive and with simple lyrics, this 2018 EDM tune resonates pure joy. You know that euphoric feeling when you first fall in love? The one that makes you want to tell everyone about how fantastic your sweetheart is? That's what this song is about. The narrator and his significant other want to shout from the rooftops about their feelings for one another.
Marshmello is a DJ named Chris Comstock who wears a marshmallow-shaped helmet that conceals his face. He says his priority is to spread happiness rather than to seek fame. Initially, his identity was secret, but Forbes disclosed his name in 2018. His famous marshmallow helmet is produced via a 3-D printer and originally weighed 13 pounds, but in 2018 the world-famous DJ upgraded to a $55,000 helmet with internal air conditioning and programmable LED lights.
7. "Falling for You" by Jaden (Featuring Justin Bieber)
I think I'm falling for you
If you don't call me, I'll jump off the roof.
Well, this is certainly a red flag. In this low key 2020 hip hop love song, a high school-aged guy has a crush, and he's working with a mutual friend to help make the relationship happen. He expresses his burgeoning emotions about his crush and how anxious he is by awkwardly threatening to jump off the roof if she doesn't take their relationship to the next level. That's so wrong. Jaden is the son of actor Will Smith and actress Jada Pinkett.
8. "Drip Drop" by Dion and The Del-Satins
The poor guy in this 1963 doo-wop ditty discovers that when it rains it pours. His gal has packed her bags and left him on a midnight train, plus his roof is leaking. Between the rain and his tears he's soaking wet and an emotional mess.
Perhaps best known for "Runaround Sue" (1961) and "The Wanderer" (1961), Dion was touring with Buddy Holly and other performers and was offered a seat on the ill-fated flight that killed Holly, The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and others. Fortunately for Dion, he felt guilty about paying the indulgent $36 price of the ticket and declined. Dion was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his contributions to music.
9. "Coffin" by Jessie Reyez (Featuring Eminem)
The couple in this 2020 R&B/hip hop mix is so toxic together that they should have their own warning label. While professing intense love and attraction for one another, there is also infidelity, blame, and backstabbing. They yell loudly all night long at one another as emotions run so high that they both take this heated argument to a dark, dangerous place:
You make me wanna
Jump off the roof
'Cause I love you to death
Just like a fool
I'd rather a coffin
Hand made for two
'Cause I love you to death
Just like a fool.
10. "Dancing on the Ceiling" by Lionel Richie
Some critics have called this 1986 worldwide pop hit one of the worst songs ever released, but that's being a little tough. The tune is about partying and getting down by going round and round and turning upside down, dancing on the ceiling (as if that's possible). The video features an expensive rotating room effect. Lionel Ritchie has won multiple Grammy Awards but has his feet planted firmly on the ground.
11. "Madness" by Lil Jon (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike & Coone)
Well known for the ad libs, "yeah" and "okay," Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil Jon returns with some friends to drop this simple 2013 number. In it, the guys are high achievers who are taking it to the top, and they say that they are going to touch the roof. Then the fellas will celebrate their success by putting their hands in the air "because this is madness." In other words, they are celebrating their success and general awesomeness. Sounds legit.
In 2007, Lil Jon set the Guiness World Record for the largest diamond necklace, a 73-carat Crunk Ain't Dead pendant. You have to see it to believe it.
12. "Is Your Bedroom Ceiling Bored?" by Sody (Featuring Cavetown)
Reflecting the social isolation of the pandemic, the lonely young woman in this sulky 2020 indie pop song talks to the moon, the stars, and the sun about her feelings for her crush. She rests alone in her bedroom and expresses herself to the ceiling, typing unsent text messages, then erasing them. English singer-songwriter Sody describes the song meaning as, “It’s when you’re staring at your ceiling at 4am looking for answers and wondering what someone is thinking."
13. "The Sky Is a Neighborhood" by Foo Fighters
The narrator looks at the big picture and cautions that we need to keep it down in this 2017 rock ditty. They sense trouble in the neighborhood and hear "bangin' on the ceiling." The song provides a commentary on Earth's cosmic place in the universe. It advocates that our planet and all other facets of the universe are interconnected, also alluding to the political unrest of the 2016 Presidential election and the need to quiet neighborhood discord.
14. "Hotel Ceiling" by Push Baby
Betrayal and jealousy are common motives for murder. The narrator in this pop song is left to stare at the hotel ceiling, drinking every adult beverage in sight and trying to recall old memories before the cops come. Their lover has been reported dead on televesion, and it's not hard to guess who did it. Now these two will always be linked.
The band Push Baby was previously known as Rixton as well as Relics, and the video is downright eerie. Ed Sheeran co-wrote the song.
15. "Is This Love" by Bob Marley and the Wailers
This 1978 laid-back reggae ditty is one of the best known Bob Marley songs, although it wasn't a hit in the US. The narrator reveals his candid desire to care for his sweetheart under the same roof:
I wanna love you and treat you right
I wanna love you every day and every night
We'll be together with a roof right over our heads
We'll share the shelter of my single bed.
16. "Bedroom Ceiling" by Citizen Soldier
When you think you don't want to live anymore but aren't getting your needs met from others, what do you do? If you're the guy in this 2021 alt-rock tune, then you talk to your your ceiling. The depressed narrator doesn't feel heard by others so he turns to his bedroom ceiling, using it as his "perfect therapist" to whom he can "spill his guts." The man advocates that "No one understands me like my bedroom ceiling."
If you're thinking about suicide, don't turn to your ceiling. Reach out for help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.
17. "The Roof Is Leaking" by Phil Collins
The sparse instrumentality of this folksy 1981 pop ballad helps to convey the desperate struggle of a man living in an isolated rural community. Impoverished, he lives with his pregnant wife and children in an old house that is gradually crumbling around him. As the wind howls and the roof leaks, he finds both himself and the children succumbing to the cold. However, this husband and father tries to find hope in a desolate situation by
- looking forward to springtime
- swearing that he is getting stronger by the minute, and
- expressing a desire for his children to try to stay and make the house their home.
The roof may be leaking, but this man won't be drowning easily.
18. "No Ceiling" by Eddie Vedder
"No Ceiling" is a 2007 rock song that is part the soundtrack for the heartbreaking film, Into the Wild. The movie recounts the story of American adventurer Christopher McCandless and his tragic choice to hitchhitke into Alaska and live off the land.
After graduating from Emory University, McCandless disposed of his worldly possessions. He also donated a $24,292 inheritance to Oxfam instead of using it for law school. With no map or survival gear, McCandless ventured into the Alaskan wilderness where he lived in an abandoned bus for 114 days before starving to death.
In this contemplative folk-rock song, the narrator describes a poignant, newfound wisdom and the fact that he'll soon be leaving. What he has learned is that love has no ceiling, and he will internalize that truth and take it with him wherever he wanders.
19. "Tear the Roof Up" by Alesso
Swedish DJ Alesso is announcing in this 2015 EDM song that he's tearing the roof up because he's getting loud in the booth. Apparently getting loud is all he cares to do, however, as Alesso has neglected to write lyrics other than just repeating the same sentence ad infinitum.
It didn't seem to matter, however. This was early in the DJ's career and this track helped to launch his career. Alesso has since worked with artists like Tove Lo, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, Usher, Liam Payne, and others. Maybe he did tear the roof up after all.
20. "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)" by Parliament
In this 1976 funk hit, the band makes it super duper clear that they are going to "tear the roof off," meaning they are going to party like crazy. You have to admire that they don't use genuine potty words ("mother sucker"). This was Parliament's highest charting single.
Parliament's founder, George Clinton, became "The Godfather of Funk. The band was named after the brand of cigarettes and was part of his Parliament-Psychadelic collective. Together they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were recognized with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Parliament-Psychadelic influenced a number of genres, including R&B, soul, electronica, gangsta rap, stoner rock, gospel, jazz, and new wave. Rolling Stone magazine named them as one of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."
Even More Songs About Roofs & Ceilings
21. Here Is the House
22. All Night Long
23. Rooftops and Invitations
24. The Roof (Back in Time)
Mariah Carey (Mobb Deep)
25. Love on a Rooftop
Wiz Khalifa (Featuring Curren$y)
27. Guns on the Roof
28. Colour of Moonlight (Antiochus)
29. We're Really Gonna Raise the Roof
30. Sitting on the Rooftop of the World
31. Raise the Roof
Luke (Featuring No Good But So Good)
32. Up the Ladder to the Roof
33. Roof Garden
34. Knock Three Times
Tony Orlando & Dawn
35. Rain on the Roof
The Lovin' Spoonful
36. Living on the Ceiling
37. Everything's a Ceiling
Deathcab for a Cutie
38. Gold on the Ceiling
The Black Crowes
39. One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor
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