#34 Songs We Belt Out In The Car… With The Windows Rolled up

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-Matt, Drew, Josh, and Curtis-

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The lesson, as always: A little Elton cures everything.

You know you have a list of these songs. They’re the ones that, when they come on the radio, you immediately turn up your car stereo’s volume . . . and you also immediately roll up the windows so nobody else knows what you’re listening too. They’re the songs you love but you hate to admit to it. Songs you’ll belt out at the top of your lungs, but the whole time you’re making sure no one is watching. Here are each of our top five songs we’ll sing loudly but don’t really want to admit. Also, before each of us begins our list, we’ll respond to the one ahead of our own.

#1 “Like a Prayer” by Madonna– Let the choir sing, that’s all I have to say.

#2 “Conga” by  Miami Sound Machine– Quite possibly the best song to make up lyrics to.

#3 That Dynamite Song– I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, but only after I roll up the windows.

#4 Haitian Kompa– Haiti’s signature style of music. I roll up the windows not because I am embarrassed but because people in Kentucky have been known to call NSA on anyone speaking a foreign language as a suspected terrorist.

#5 “Red Red Wine” by UB40- I don’t have to explain my art to you Warren (the number of people who got that reference is probably less than the number of people who like this song).


I think the only one of those songs I’ve even heard is “Like a Prayer.” And to be fair to suspicious Kentuckians, you are a beret away from being a totally believable Ché Guevara look-alike. In any case…

#1 “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey – I’ll admit that this one isn’t the least bit clever or creative. It is, however, completely true. Ever since I saw The Sopranos‘ finale, I’ve started secretly searching for it on the radio when I switch CDs.

#2 “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel – It isn’t just this song’s appearance in Say Anything (although I learned about Cameron Crowe’s use of it on “I Love the Eighties” when I was probably fourteen), but I won’t pretend that I don’t sometimes fancy myself a less kick-boxing oriented Lloyd Dobler.

#3 “Africa” by Toto – Obviously, there’s a trend here. I’ve got a real weak spot for 80s ballads (power – or otherwise). Probably the first song to ever work the word “Kilimanjaro” into a lyric this seamlessly.

#4 “Creep” by Radiohead – I would roll the windows up for a different reason on this one: It’s probably a little disconcerting to hear someone shout-singing the words I’m a creep/I’m a weirdo or singing about how someone’s skin could make them cry.

#5 “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley – Because I’m  a “Go big or go home” kind of guy, I’ll bring out the painfully off-key falsetto for this one (the same is true for any Prince song). No one should be subjected to that mess.


“Don’t Stop Believin” would make my “Songs I belt out in the car…with the windows rolled down” list. Singing “In Your Eyes” loudly with the windows down could create problems as other drivers may think you’re singing to them, especially the ones with pretty eyes. “Africa” is fantastic. I agree that it would be disconcerting to hear a man yelling about how much of a creep he is, so I appreciate the windows up on that one. Lastly, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard your painfully off-key falsetto in “Crazy”. Your windows were rolled up and I was 3 lanes away.

#1 “Life is a Highway” the Rascal Flatts version – I hate to admit it, but sometimes I don’t change the channel when it comes on. For the record, the 3 songs that follow this one in this list could also be Rascal Flatts songs, depending on which direction I wanted to go with it.

#2 “Rodeo” by Garth Brooks – I love Garth Brooks. I know he went through some weird phases *cough* Chris Gaines *cough*, but it’s hard not to sing along when his songs come on, especially “Rodeo”.

#3 “Tyrone” by Erykah Badu – The problem with singing this one with the windows down is it’s more of a conversation. More specifically, it’s a conversation dominated by an angry girlfriend who won’t let her ex use her phone. And I don’t want people to think I’m angry, or the kind of person who wouldn’t let someone use my phone, or that I have an ex-boyfriend.

#4 “I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams – I keep the windows rolled up for this one mainly for the safety of the other drivers. It’s an emotional song. And I don’t want the other drivers getting all emotional when they hear me singing it, tears slow the driving instincts.


You shouldn’t for a second roll the windows up to sing Garth Brooks’s “Rodeo.” Seriously one of the best songs to sing along with ever written. Same for Bryan Adams’s “I Do it For You.” Great song. Rascal Flatts’s “Life is a Highway” only makes me think of the Pixar movie, Cars, which my daughter has seen way too many times. And so which I have seen way too many times. I’m turning the channel if that comes on.

#1 “Kiss” by Prince – You ever actually paid attention to the lyrics here?They’re quite awkward, but man, I can’t resist turning up the volume when this song comes on. I think it’s because women, not girls, rule my world.

#2 “Down Under” by Men at Work – I’ve got to admit I’m a huge fan of 80s music. I also used to watch the old Crocodile Dundee movies with my dad. This song just makes me want to move to Australia, drive a Subaru Outback, and hunt crocodiles.

#3 “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John – I really shouldn’t put this one on here, because I’m not really too embarrassed by this. I really only roll up the windows here because I’ll sing Tiny Dancer at the top of my lungs and I don’t want to disturb those around me.

#4 Any Rock Anthem by Journey – “Any Way You Want It,” “Open Arms,” “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Faithfully,” “When You Love a Woman.” Seriously, if you don’t sing along to these, you need to get checked out.

#5 “Take a Bow” by Rihanna – I especially like the Cast of Glee version, which is even more embarrassing.


I have no issues at all with the first three.  Prince is awesome, even though singing his lyrics out loud will get you put on the sexual predator list in some states.  “Down Under” is great and I recommend Colin Hay’s solo stuff to anyone who likes Men At Work.  “Tiny Dancer” is a road trip staple, especially when following your favorite band Stillwater while writing an article for Rolling Stone.  Journey is acceptable just because we all know the songs.  You have lost all credibility with the last choice though.  I was willing to give you Rihanna, but once you said “Cast of Glee version,” you lost me.  I am hoping that you have seen Glee only because your wife watches it, which is the only legitimate reason to even know that there is a Glee version of any song.

Let us know the songs that you belt out in the car with the windows rolled up, or just make fun of our choices in the comments section below.

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Categories: The Tape Deck

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