If you’ve ever sat up on a roof on a gorgeous summer day, you’ll probably understand what inspired some of these songs. As most of the country begins to enter the fairer seasons (looking at you, Minnesota!), the prospect of hanging out up on the roof is certainly beginning to sound appealing again.
Whether you have the pleasure of going up on your roof, or if the only living beings on your roof are roofing contractors, vagrant fiddlers, and squirrels, here’s a list of five great songs about roofs that everyone can enjoy.
Up on the Roof – The Drifters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F_opWg9_qI (please embed)
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and performed by the Drifters, Up on the Roof is a classic track that chronicles how being up on a roof can be a transformative experience. Released in late 1962, it topped the charts for quite a while – and after one listen, it’s easy to see why.
Even James Taylor covered it, and still plays it frequently while touring as it’s one of his more popular songs.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Up on the Roof number 113 on the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and we certainly agree with that sentiment.
The Roof is Leaking – Phil Collins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XWvK9WWM3k (please embed)
What list of awesome songs wouldn’t be complete without a track from Phil Collins?
Released on the 1981 album Face Value, which immediately topped the charts in the UK, The Roof is Leaking is a bona-fide 80’s power-ballad. This one is a live version that is done exceptionally well.
Parliament – Give up the Funk (Tear the Roof off That Sucker)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImI78s638hQ (please embed)
One of the most funky tracks out there, Give up the Funk is certainly one of Parliament’s most recognizable songs. It’s also probably one of the greatest songs to listen to when you’re re-roofing a house… Just think about it.
What more needs to be said? Tear the roof off that sucker!
Mansard Roof – Vampire Weekend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlgNFwoApec (please embed)
Pretty new to the scene, especially compared to the others on this list, is Vampire Weekend. Hailing from the East Coast, this young group wrote a song about something slightly unconventional – a Mansard Roof.
This was their debut single that helped them establish themselves as a creative, inventive bunch. Oh, and here’s what a Mansard Roof looks like, in case you were wondering.
The Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down (from the UK Rooftop Concert)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocDkkJf8Mto (please embed)
Although it’s not necessarily about roofs, it’s part of probably one of the most famous events to ever occur on a roof.
Additionally, when you think about it, the title “Don’t Let Me Down” is a little clever, especially when you think about the fact that this is being played on a roof…
Well, there you have it – five of the greatest songs about roofs!
I wanted to include some others, but some of the most well-known songs are a little too explicit. We love songs about roofs – if you’ve got any others, leave them in the comments below!
About the Author
Adam Bressler is the Marketing Manager (and Chief Music Lover) at Builders & Remodelers, which is a Minneapolis-based home contractor. We’ve been offering everything from Roofing to Decking since 1952, or, before “Up on the Roof” was even written!