During National Roofing Week, the roofing industry comes together to increase awareness about the significance of roofs on every home and business. Not only do roofs protect what we value most, they've even inspired iconic movie scenes and popular songs.
Strictly speaking, there aren’t many tunes about roofing, but there is a surprising amount of songs that reference roofs in their lyrics or titles that span nearly every decade and genre. This demonstrates just how significant roofs and rooftops are and the importance of the roofing industry.
To help celebrate National Roofing Week, here are just a few songs about roofs to add to your playlist.
1. The Drifters – Up on the Roof
Released in 1962, this classic song from the Drifters is an easy-going tune about escaping from the stress of everyday life by climbing some stairs to be at peace on a roof. The song went on to be named number 114 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and is also one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
2. Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three – The Roof is on Fire
You had to know this one was coming! Released as a single in 1984, this hip hop track is famous for its chant that has been quoted and sung countless times:
“The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
We don’t need to water–Let the motherf-cker burn!
Burn, motherf-cker, burn!”
The song and its popular chant earned it an award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2006. When asked by Songfacts if there was any concern over using curse words on the track, Greg Wigfall (AKA Master Blaster Greg) simply stated, “No.”
3. Marshmello – Rooftops
Switching to contemporary times, electronic music producer and DJ Marshmello released this dance hit in 2018. Though slightly repetitive, the lyrics express a couple’s unhappiness with one another and their “screaming from the rooftops / Screaming till our hearts stop / Let it out.” In the same year this track was released, Marshmello was nominated for the Top Dance/Electronic Artist category in the Billboard Music Awards.
4. The Del-Satins – Drip Drop
Initially recorded by the Drifters in 1958, this version, recorded in 1963, has Dion and the Del-Stains doo-wooping about heartbreak. To make matters worse for the song's narrator, their roof is leaking and dropping rainwater on his head. The Drifters’ version hit number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, whereas this version reached number six on the Hot 100 the year it released.
5. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Is This Love
Arguably one of the best-known Bob Marley songs, the song peaked at number nine in the U.K. charts in 1978, the same year it hit the airwaves. It’s since been covered by numerous bands and has been featured in multiple movie soundtracks. The easy-going Reggae song has Marley singing about treating his woman right (presumably his wife, Rita) and how they’ll “be together / With a roof right over our heads.”
6. Parliament – Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)
While this song may be known for its catchy chorus of “We want the funk, give up that funk,” this 1976 P-Funk classic begins with an intro repeating how the group is “gonna tear the roof off the mother sucker,” implying they’ll party so hard the roof will come off. The song has been heard in a multitude of movies and was Parliament’s first certified million-selling single.
7. Depeche Mode – Here Is the House
Depeche Mode may be known for smash hits like “Personal Jesus” and “Just Can’t Get Enough,” but the English electronic group has a wide catalog of music to explore. One song considered underrated by fans is “Here is the House,” a moody track with harmonizing lyrics exploring memories that all happened “under this roof.” The track was part of the group’s 1986 album Black Celebration.
8. The B-52’s – Love Shack
If you’ve been to a wedding, listened to the radio, or not lived under a rock, odds are you’ve heard this pop-rock song by the B-52’s. It reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. If you don’t know any of the silly lyrics, you’re probably familiar with the line, “Tin roof, rusted.” Cindy Wilson belted out the line during a jam session, and the band decided to work it into the final version.
9. Republica – Ready to Go
English alternative rock band Republica released this energetic song as a single in 1996, and it quickly gained popularity outside of the United Kingdom. It’s been remixed and released multiple times, has been used in film, sports and television, and to this day is heard in the group’s home country via advertisements. The song’s memorable chorus includes the repeated lyrics, “I’m standing on the rooftops shouting out / Baby I’m ready to go.”
10. Green Day – Meet Me on the Roof
Iconic punk rockers Green Day released this fun track on their 2020 album. The song opens with the narrator hanging out with friends at a club and meets a girl who seems out of his league. He invites her to “meet me on the roof tonight” in the hopes she’ll lower her standards and date him. As a bonus, the song has an entertaining music video starring Gaten Matarazzo from the “Stranger Things” TV series.
Know of any songs we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below or email Chris Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.