FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Tai Chi Boogie
Several times daily, the elderly Chinese neighbor across the street emerged into the fresh air of his front porch to practice tai chi. To say this gentleman was merely old doesn't do him justice, however, as he resided with his son and daughter-in-law who were also elderly. Limbering up with impressive high kick exercises, this fellow must have been ancient.
My daughter was a curious elementary school student at the time and became fascinated with the old man's routine. She watched out of the window for "Chinese grandpa" and joined the old guy while staying on our porch. At first, she simply observed his moves and excitedly reported back to us, but that didn't last long. Kids prefer to participate if something looks fun.
Not really understanding tai chi, my daughter decided to dance to her ipod, shaking it to the left and shake it to the right a bit. (After all, that was exercise too, right?) She demonstrated some of the dance moves that she thought were cool and over time started mirror the old fella's slow tai chi moves.
The two reached the point where they bowed to one another at the beginning and end of each session. Despite a language barrier, my elementary school student and this kind old neighbor shared a connection borne of porch tai chi and boogie then nurtured with vigorous waves and smiles that reached the eyes.
Celebrate shaking your body to make a connection with others with a playlist of pop, rock, country, R&B, and hip hop songs about shaking. We have a long list to start you off.
1. "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift
Let all the gossip mongers spew their jealous, spiteful words. While the haters hurl their unkind insults about her intelligence and dating choices, Tay Tay refuses to let them stick. Instead, she just shakes off their meanness and keeps on moving, refusing to allow their sour vibe interfere with her inner joy and confidence. This 2014 uptempo dance-pop song topped the charts in the US, then it lit the world aglow, becoming a global hit.
2. "Shake Your Groove Thing" by Peaches & Herb
This fun 1978 disco hit by Peaches & Herb is an eager invitation to get out on the dance floor and boogie. The narrators invite you to bump booties with a partner and show how you shake your "groove thing" (your back side, in 1970s lingo). The singers encourage listeners to twist and turn, spin around, and shake your rump both high and low while demonstrating your totally far out moves.
Overall, seven different women have filled the the role of Peaches since 1966 whereas one man, Herb Fame (aka Herbert Feemster), assumed the role of Herb. Linda Greene, the third Peaches, was the singer on "Shake Your Groove Thing."
3. "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC
How unusual that this iconic 1980 hard rock hit would become a favorite of both strip clubs as well as wedding receptions. The tune's narrator recalls a memorable, all-night sexual encounter with a vixen whom he likens to a race car—"a fast machine" who "kept her motor clean," (presumably of STDs). The gorgeous woman had high sexual energy, and during their encounter that night, they took more than one lap around the track (if you know what I mean). The couple's lovemaking was so vigorous that the walls shook the narrator all night long. Vroom, vroom!
4. "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band
Get out on the dance floor and get your funky groove on with this 1976 disco ditty. KC and the Sunshine Band instructs you how simple it is: "Shake, shake, shake/ Shake, shake, shake/ Shake your booty." They also offer up some camaraderie and support by letting you know that you can do it, encouraging you to give yourself a chance, and urging not to suppress your impress to dance. Aww, now, you know you want to try.
Read More From Spinditty
5. "Milkshake" by Kelis
The gal in this catchy 2003 R&B song relies on her abundant sex appeal to attract young men's attention. (Her elders meanwhile may wish the young narrator would instead use her intelligence, charming personality, or her hilarious sense of humor to young turn heads.)
The narrator's seductiveness not only works for her but it also has the other girls wanting in on her secret. While the confident young woman has fellas fawning all over her, for a price she'll dish some pointers to friends who hope to emulate her success.
Although singer Kelis does not regularly make milkshakes in real life, she did attend the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school part-time from 2006 to 2010, and ultimately she graduated. Additionally, the singer co-authored a cookbook: My Life on a Plate, and there's not a single milkshake recipe in it.
6. "I'm Shakin'" by Jack White
When true love finally strikes, anticipate the high-flying, swoony feeling of butterflies in your stomach while your heart sings a sweet tune. That's what is happening for the guy in this 2012 bluesy alt-rock song.
Unfortunately, however, his anxiety runs away with his emotions, causing palpitations, a chill, and a fever when his sweetheart gets romantic. When she touches him, whispers sweet nothings or takes him in her arms he turns into one nervous, shaky fella.
When the couple dances together and get sexy, the narrator becomes foolish and fretful, his legs wobble, and he feels delirious. The guy begins to sweat, his breathing is unsteady, and because he's so jittery, he can't stop shaking. Get this poor suffering fella to therapy, medicate him, and help him work through his issues. Something's going on here; love shouldn't do this to you.
7. "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles
There's almost as much shaking in this 1963 Beatles song as there is twisting and shouting. Dubbed "the most famous single take in rock history," this Fab Four song is about dancing. The tune was originally recorded by The Top Notes and subsequently revamped by The Isley Brothers who achieved Billboard Top 20 chart success for it before The Beatles covered the song, famously making it theirs with John Lennon's frenzied wails. (Because he had a touch of laryngitis, Lennon at one point had to channel everything in his lead performance into a forced yell that almost killed his voice.)
"Twist and Shout" is a song about a narrator who flirtatiously coaxes along a girl he fancies as she is doing The Twist, a popular dance craze in the early 1960s. The lad urges his crush to keep twisting and shaking and to move a little closer to him. It's her move to make.
8. "Shake, Rattle and Roll" by Bill Haley and His Comets
This husband is making a risqué request to his Mrs. to "shake, rattle and roll" as she stands in the kitchen in her house dress, and he's not being respectful or charming about it. As conservative as the 1950s were, you'd think that the 1954 rock and roll classic about boisterous sexual relations would have never achieved such chart success. However, the lyrics—particularly the sexually provocative double entendre, "I'm like a one-eyed cat / Peeping in a seafood store"—most certainly went over the audience's heads. I couldn't quite believe it myself. (It's a crude reference to sexual intercourse.)
The original recording by Big Joe Turner is on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Since then, many other artists, including Elvis Presley, have covered the tune over the years, often with modified lyrics (although typically keeping the one-eyed cat reference).
9. "Wiggle" by Jason Derulo
"Shake what your mama gave you." If you're so full-figured that you're bursting out of your jeans, celebrate that bounty of goodness by shaking it and showing it off. If it's that big, it may shake itself without you trying.
In this humorous dance-pop number from 2014, the narrator and his friends are at the club taking in the views. They are obviously booty men. As they enjoy the scenery, the hedonistic fellas encourage both wiggles and shakes among the ladies that they're watching.
10. "The Shake" by Neal McCoy
This is the guy who stares a bit too long, a bit too often, and gives you an awkward grin with a tooth or two missing. You know the fella.
The 1997 ditty features a good ol' country boy who trumps up women's sexuality above all else—even more important than looks, he contends. (And brains, personality, and values too?) OK, we'll just have fun with the song without trying to overthink it, although the narrator has clearly put a lot of thought into the shake:
Shake it to the left, shake it to the right
Come on baby you know what I like
Shake it real funky
Shake it real low
Shake it 'til you can't shake it no more
It's a natural attraction
Mother Nature wouldn't make a mistake
What really turns me on
Is the shake.
11. "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)" by Luke Bryan
Yee-haw! Here we go in this 2011 country-pop crossover hit with the narrator goading the sassy, wild farmer's daughter to shake her backside for his enjoyment while she's doing something unsafe. (They are both likely drinking.) The guy wants her to climb atop the hood of his daddy's tractor or at least get up on his tool box or pickup tailgate where he can ogle her real good. She'll shimmy and shake her be-heiny in her Daisy Dukes to the loud music in his pickup truck. Who cares what the parents say? They were young once too.
12. "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley
It sounds like someone is head over heals in love! In this1957 rock and roll hit, Elvis confesses that his heart has been passionately triggered by his lady love. As such, he feels hot and itchy, has too much energy, and feels weak in the knees. You know the feeling, even if it's been awhile! "All Shook Up" is on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
13. "Shake It Up" by The Cars
There are people who are genuine showboats out on the dance floor, impressing everyone with the latest, most nimble moves. They seem to be one with the rhythm. Not everyone can be those folks though.
In this 1981 dance rock tune, the narrator encourages you to get out on the dance floor and cut loose, even if you have two left feet and are awkward. If your moves happen to be quirky, just enjoy yourself and shake it up. It doesn't matter who's looking. They're probably less than good at it, too.
14. "Hang on Sloopy" by The McCoys
A lot of folks have misheard this song as, "Hang on Snoopy," mistakenly believing that it was about the cartoon character dog. Not so. The song was allegedly inspired by a jazz singer and Ohio State University student, Dorothy Sloop.
The official rock song of Ohio, this 1964 tale concerns the narrator's love for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. While everyone denigrates Sloopy, her beloved encourages the young woman to ignore her detractors. He asks her to undo her upswept hair, shake it out, and let it hang down on him (because they're having a moment).
15. "Shake the Sugar Tree" by Pam Tillis
In long-term relationships, lovers can grow lazy, taking each other for granted. When partners cut corners in the romance department love can grow stale. Partners may begin to feel more like roommates and neglect to keep "winning" the other over with physical affection and words of adoration. That's what has happened in this 1992 country ditty.
The woman has grown tired of simply cooking and working to pay the rent without the benefits of sweet lovin' that the couple previously enjoyed. Her husband doesn't demonstrate his appreciation of her until he feels like their relationship is in jeopardy. The narrator knows it's game-playing, but she intends to shake him up to prod him into pay more attention to her. Here are two people involved in an unhealthy relationship who are not getting their needs met. Sounds like they need a wake-up call before one of them calls it quits.
16. "Do Fries Go with That Shake?" by George Clinton
My daughter worked at McDonald's as a teen, and the unwanted come-ons from people of all ages at the drive through window is headshaking. Here, The Father of P-Funk George Clinton eyes a minimum wage worker in the drive-thru fast food lane and slings some salacious slang the poor gal's way in this song.
This funk-filled 1986 number is full of pickup lines and suggestive come-ons about Quarter Pounders, Whoppers, fries, shakes, and other fast food. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Clinton and 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Additionally, Rolling Stone magazine recognized them as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
17. "Shakedown" by Bob Seger
Known for his raspy voice, rocker Bob Seger was in his heyday during the 1970s and 1980s with hits on his hands like "Night Moves" (1976), "Still the Same" (1978), and "Against the Wind" (1980). Even so, the top spot on the Billboard chart eluded him until he wrote and sang this fast-paced 1987 rock number for the blockbuster major motion picture, Beverly Hills Cop II.
This song describes criminals' unsuccessful attempts to dodge the long arm of the law by hiding, fleeing, and trying to blend in with the crowd. Too bad for them, however, because the boys (and gals) in blue are pros at shakedowns, or very thorough searches. As a result, the police usually find what (and who) they're looking for.
Seger was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Although "Shakedown" is the biggest hit of his career, he didn't put it on his Greatest Hits album because he didn't feel it represented the bluesy sound most people associated with him.
18. "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" by The Jacksons
In this 1978 disco hit, The Jacksons—brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael—describe a crush on a girl who is playing hard to get. The song narrator wants to break the ice with her by getting her out on the dance floor to loosen her up:
Let's dance, let's shout (Shout)
Shake your body down to the ground.
A year after this shaking song was a hit, Michael Jackson released his first independent solo album, Off the Wall, just weeks before turning 21, thereby launching his superstar career as an adult musical superstar.
19. "Hey Ya!" by Outkast
Don't let the fast-paced, vibrant sound of this 2003 number fool ya. The upbeat Grammy Award-winning song by hip hop duo Outkast is actually about how many modern couples stay together for all the wrong reasons. Such partners continue to co-exist for years in quiet misery because of reasons like tradition, others' expectations that they should stay married, or because of relationship inertia. The chart-topping tune was honored by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
20. "Moneymaker" by Ludacris (Featuring Pharrell Williams)
"Moneymaker" can mean a person's, rear, genitals, breasts, or all of these; it depends on the context. The narrator encourages you to shake what your mama gave you, like someone is about to pay you, and you're in need of rent money.
This dirty hip hop song reached the top of the Billboard chart in 2006. The song reimagines the 1961 blues classic, "Shake Your Moneymaker" by Elmore James that was influential in shaping the genre of rock and roll, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Even More Songs About Shaking
21. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Jerry Lee Lewis
22. Shake a Leg
23. Shake It Out
Florence + The Machine
24. Shake Your Bon-Bon
25. Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)
26. Harlem Shake
27. Shake It Fast
28. Rattlesnake Shake
29. Shake It
30. Shake Me Down
Cage the Elephant
31. Like a Wrecking Ball
32. Shake a Tail Feather
33. Shake the Disease
34. Shake Me
35. Shake Your Foundations
37. Shake Your Rump
38. Can't Shake It Loose
Diana Ross & the Supremes
39. Can't Shake Loose
40. Rump Shaker
41. Shake Your Love
42. Shake It Off
The Head and the Heart
44. Break Me Shake Me
45. Shake a Hand
46. Shake Your Hips
47. Can't Shake You
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
49. Baby Got Back
50. Shake It
51. Let England Shake
52. Boom! Shake the Room
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
54. Shake Your Pom Pom
The Gap Band
58. Shaking the Tree
59. Shake It
61. Good Vibrations
The Beach Boys
62. Bananza (Belly Dancer)
63. I Feel the Earth Move
© 2022 FlourishAnyway