For When I Like To Move It Move It

Yesterday morning I woke up with the song “Love Rollercoaster” on my mind. It’s one of those songs that makes me remember being a five year-old, and I think it was probably on my mind because I heard it at my cousin’s wedding reception this past weekend. It’s also one of those songs that makes me head straight for the dance floor when I hear it, only I don’t typically head for the dance floor a lot these days because, well, I hate to intimidate people with all my sah-weet moves. In fact, I try to restrict my dancing to the hip-hop dance-offs at church, where D and I are the reigning couples’ hip-hop dance champions thanks to an incredibly inventive routine set to Nelly’s remix of “You Can Call Me Al.”

I can’t even type that with a straight face, by the way.

But can you imagine what a treasure that routine would be if it actually existed?

Or the pretend remix, for that matter?

ANYWAY, since I’m apparently in Dance Fever mode, I’ve been making a mental list of songs that I love to hear when I’m near a dance floor. Which happens about once a year. Usually at a wedding. And surrounded by lots of family members who won’t mock me if I venture into Elaine Benes territory.

Also, since I’m so rarely anywhere near a dance floor, you should probably know that hearing these songs can also result in some unfortunate above-the-waist moves if I’m at a red light. Right now the little man tolerates my crazy, but give him about four years and he’ll be BEYOND HORRIFIED.

All righty. My list. In no particular order.

1) “Love Rollercoaster” – RHCP – I believe I mentioned this one. I prefer the version by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I’ll take the 1975 version in a pinch. For nostalgia’s sake, you understand.

2) “Hard To Handle” – Black Crowes – Might be the best group dance song ever. I’ve loved it for almost 20 years, and it never, ever gets old.

3) “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” – Stevie Wonder or Michael McDonald – I double-dog dare you to try to sit still when you hear it. DOUBLE-DOG DARE.

4) “A Little Less Conversation” – Elvis Presley – The Ocean’s 11 version is perfection. And something about this song makes me wish I knew how to dance like Ann Margret in Bye Bye, Birdie. I don’t, of course. But I can pretend.

5) “Hey Ya” – OutKast – Sweet mercy at the catchy. So fun.

6) “Brick House” – The Commodores – I remember seeing The Commodores perform this song on TV when I was little. And Ioved it instantly. It reminds me of Sister and her friend Cliff clearing out the den so that they could teach my cousin Benji how to dance. So many fun memories with this song.

7) “Groove Is In The Heart” – Deee-Lite – I wore out this cassingle when I was in college. WORE IT OUT.

8) “Love Shack” – B-52s – “TINNNNNNNNNN ROOF! RUSTED!” I can still sing every single word. You might find that sad, but I consider it my personal tribute to the music of the late 80s. It was a simpler time.

9) “Sexyback” – Justin Timberlake – Don’t judge me. You know it’s a good ‘un.

10) “Crazy In Love” – Beyonce’ – I think this song is single-handedly responsible for a resurgence in the use of horns in modern music. Granted, I’m not entirely sure that there’s been a resurgence of horns in modern music, but if there has been, then certainly we all owe Beyonce’ a very large thank-you.

11) “You Dropped The Bomb On Me” – Gap Band – This song makes me want to wear some bell bottoms and platform shoes. It almost makes me want to part my hair down the middle with some feathered wings on each side, but not even nostalgia is that powerful.

What about you? Are there any songs that are guaranteed to get you moving? Any songs that cause you to heap untold volumes of embarrassment on your children when you start to break it down in the carpool line?

Do tell.

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  1. On my current daytime playlist:

    Shame On You – The Indigo Girls
    Boogie On Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder
    Single Ladies – Beyonce
    Thinkin’ Bout Somethin’ – Hanson
    Say Hey I Love You – Michael Franti and Spearhead
    Together Again (for my Grandaddy) – Janet Jackson
    Blame It on the Boogie – The Jacksons
    Freedom Now – Tracy Chapman
    Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus (I know. But the kids love it, and it’s grown on me over time.)
    Brick House – The Commodores (seriously!)
    Witch Doctor – (the modern version, from the movie) Alvin & the Chipmunks (Again, kid-influenced, but very fun and lively)
    Take Me Home – Phil Collins
    One Step at A Time – Jordin Sparks
    Got to Stop Thinkin’ Bout That – James Taylor

    I am so adding “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” next month. It’s going to feel a little out of place with “Some Children See Him” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” but like I say, “Embrace your eclecticism.” (Okay I’ve never actually said that because I’m not sure I could pronounce eclecticism, but from now on, I’m going to be thinking it. A lot.)

    Happy dancing! xo

  2. Love this! I was going to just reply in the comments, but I loved it so much I decided to blog about it instead.

  3. Summertime by Will Smith and Dj Jazzy Jeff and “Low” by cracker…those two songs evoke such memories and emotions…as for dancing..well, I prefer anything with a beat…I’m a dancin fool!

    Usually, California Love by tupac and Dr. Dre will ensure dancing!

  4. Brick House, for sure, and as long as we’re being old school, Superstition by Stevie Wonder. So much fun!!

    While we’re on the subject, Boomama, what was your first dance as a dating couple, and what was your first dance at your wedding?

  5. Maybe I just want to copy your list. And of course join you in a little dance party with all those songs. It was great. I’m about to go to bed (I live on the other side of the world, by the way) and I’m hoping ‘Sexyback’ will be playing in a random dance dream sequence. Oh if I ever really had those. Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up after having a dream dance party???

  6. Coming out of lurking status on this one. Have been reading your blog for forever…. very entertaining!!! My favorite dance song from “the day” would have to be Mustang Sally! Always gets me up and on my feet!

  7. Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band does it for me : ) Fun list!

  8. Living On A Prayer-Bon Jovi.
    It’s my roll down the windows, turn the volume way up and sing at the top of my lungs (usually flat and slightly off key) song!

  9. katherine says:

    “Love Rollercoaster” reminds me of a dance in Jr High. We all crowded around the “big” speakers so we could hear the girl scream in the background – the urban rumormill was that “there was a murder that happened in the room next to the studio at the EXACT SAME TIME they were recording….” (Oh My!) Thanks for the trip down Teen Drama Memory Lane! haha~

  10. Debi Misa says:

    I always loved to dance with my husband at weddings…..our favorite song was “Your still the one”…I was going to have that sung at our 40th wedding anniversary but we were shy one year when he died. Lot’s of music makes my heart sing!

  11. Natalie S. says:

    Current running playlist:

    Break Your Heart – Taio Cruz
    Cobrastyle – TeddyBears feat. Mad Cobra
    Gives You Hell – All American Rejects
    Gold Digger – Kanye West and Jamie Foxx – CLEAN EDITION
    Hoedown Throwdown – Miley Cyrus (my 9 yr old daughter and I tried to learn the dance, now the song just makes me smile)
    Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
    It’s My Life – Bon Jovi
    Starstruck – Lady Gaga
    Right Round – Flo Rida
    The Zoo – Scorpions
    Girlfriend – Avril Lavigne (matches my running tempo, perfectly)
    Beautiful Mess – Diamond Rio
    Bust a Move – Young MC
    California Love – Tupac and Dr. Dre
    Cherry Pie – Warrant
    Funky Cold Medina – Tone Loc
    Here I go Again – Whitesnake
    How Do You Do – Roxette
    Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
    I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
    I’d Come for You – Nickelback
    Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
    Life After You – Daughtry
    Love Roller Coaster – RHCP
    Music That You Can Dance To – Sparks
    Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
    No Diggity – Blackstreet
    Rockstar – Hanna Montana
    Trouble Is Friend – Lenka
    The Unforgiven – Metallica
    Walk This Way – Run DMC and Aerosmith

    I love music and I love all kinds of music. I think music can touch you in a way that nothing else can.

    Sometimes I forget I’m running out amongst the public and I am known to bust a move right there in the middle of my run….

    Have fantastic day.

  12. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    This cracks up my daughter and her friends but I absolutely love “Breakin’ Dishes” by Rihanna! ! ! Just give it a listen and see if you can keep still. I don’t like slow songs – only dance songs because you have to be happy when you hear them! ! !

  13. Some of my favorites:

    Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations
    Jack and Diane – John Cougar Mellencamp
    Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
    Under Pressure – Queen

    I totally agree with “Hey Ya” — I’m almost out of my seat in the car with this one!

    I’m sure I have more, but in my current sleep deprived (new baby) state, they escape me.

  14. so glad you posted this! we are in the mist of coming up with a play list for our reception! I love Cupid Shuffle- a fun dance everyone can do!! Or Cha Cha Slide

  15. Songs that get me on the dance floor:
    It Takes Two – Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
    In Da Club – 50 Cent
    Jump Shout Boogie – Barry Manilow
    Situation – Yaz
    We Are Not Alone – Karla DeVito
    Right On Track – The Breakfast Club
    Rudie Can’t Fail – The Clash
    Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be Bop) -Q Feel
    Neutron Dance – The Pointer Sisters
    Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen (starts slow but be patient, it is worth it)
    Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa
    The Show – Doug E. Fresh
    Just Like Heaven and Why Can’t I Be You? – The Cure
    Jam On It – Newcleus
    Let the Music Play – Shannon
    Friends, 5 Minutes of Funk and Freaks Come Out At Night – Whodini
    It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – REM
    And it’s the end of the list! Lest I’ve put you all to sleep!!!!

  16. The only time I can remember hearing “Love Rollercoaster” was when we visited a church in Austin with some friends, and the praise team sang it! (It somehow went with the sermon.) Too funny!

    We has a Retro Prom party on October 31, and my friends and I got down to a whole host of 80s songs! It was awesome!

  17. THE ELECTRIC SLIDE. Every time. Never ceases to embarrass my husband. ;-)

  18. Amy M in NC says:

    “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls. And “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.
    Yes, I do embarrass both of my daughters…on a regular basis!

  19. Everything on your list plus:
    My Sharona – The Knack
    Party Train – Gap Band

  20. Oh, I was hoping you’d mention “Love Shack”.

    Just today I was be-bopping along to “Jessie’s Girl”. My three year old was kind enough to bob her head along with me.

  21. Jennie S. says:

    Number One: I must go right now to Target to buy a new iTunes card so that I can rejuvenate my playlist with these awesome tunes. Number Two: Thank you for making me laugh today by reminding me of Elaine’s crazy dancing and also by using the awesome term “cassingle”. Number Three: Maybe Big Mama’s little Caroline could teach you some of her “dangerous moves” for the next church hip-hop dance-off.

  22. Birdhouse in My Soul by They Might Be Giants

  23. I FORGOT ABOUT THE ELAINE DANCE!!! Thank you for the flashback – totally made my day. :)

  24. Corinna Tuuri says:

    Oh my word you make me giggle…and sometimes beyond giggle … straight into ugly laugh out loud! Work it with me girl now….ready….Head Shimmy Left….Head Shimmy Right!! Usable on or off dance floors..ending ocasionally in the car. Oh yeah…I’m THAT driver…with a mortified 13 yearold! I think that Put your hands up song is fun along with Walk this way and Party in the U.S.A.! Good times hunnie and thanx again for the giggle! Luv ya ~C~

  25. okay, the first ones that come to mind (and i haven’t read the others to know if they have already been suggested)…

    Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch

    ABC – The Jackson 5

    Give Me One More Chance – Jackson 5

    Used to MORTIFY me that my dad would ‘car dance’ and now I think it’s so fun.


  26. i agree with a lot on your list, but for me the GLARING omission is old school Prince. I admit, it’s not really music you can listen to in front of your kids, at least not most of it. (my favorite is Gett Off, I confess, but Kiss will do in a pinch. Also Pope. Or Little Red Corvette. Or Raspberry Beret. Or…) But if I need to get moving, hands down, Prince. If I’m in a funk, a little funkalicious Prince will pick me back up.

    Speaking of which, it has been WAY too long since I’ve listened to any Prince. Must. remedy. that. today.

  27. You simply must run out and purchase “Just Dance” and/or “Just Dance 2” for the Wii. It is so fun to try and mimic the sweet moves on the TV. AND they feature some of the songs mentioned!

  28. Erasure. Takes me back to 1989.
    Phil Collins.
    Robert Plant.
    Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer
    Oh, and Brown Eyed Girl. Even though my eyes are hazel. Love that song.
    AND…the soundtrack from Footloose. Though my mom wouldn’t let me listen to “Dancing in the Sheets”.
    I so appreciate her reasoning now though I didn’t get it at the time.

  29. OK,I know I am old enough to be your mother. But way back in the day, right after “Brick House” was released, the Commodores had already committed to play at my husband’s frat party. Being fine Southern gentlemen, they honored their contract and were our band for the evening. They were awesome! And they played a mean version of “I’ve Been Hurt”. I know, you are too young. Motown is the best! Love “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the Temptations. Great scene in “The Big Chill”.

  30. You have to hear “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence and The Machine. I have it on a playlist, and while cleaning one day, I (of all people) broke out in a little jive in my bedroom! It’s just a happy song!

  31. This may cause you all to shudder, but I remember wearing a hole in the album (yes, the big vinyl thing that revolves on a turntable) American Pie by Don McLean. The title song haunted me. What did it mean? What lessons should I learn from those words? What is my role in this world? Those were the questions I pondered as I danced in my little dorm room time and time and time again to the song that haunted me in 1972.

  32. I do the upper-body dance in the car, mostly when “Big Yellow Taxi” comes on.

  33. Can’t Touch This- MC Hammer
    Stand Back – Stevie Nicks
    Build Me Up Buttercup- Foundations
    Loved a band Chevy 6 back in the day @ AU great beach music. Did here Elvis on the radio today singing Way Down- his last hit and I was belting it out as I drove !

  34. When I read that first paragraph I immediately thought, “Nelly?! You Can Call Me Al?! Why didn’t I know this awesomeness existed and WHY isn’t it on my iPod.” LOL!!!

    Now, I know this is super classy of me, but the one I can never resist at weddings is “Baby Got Back” by Sir MixALot

    You’re welcome.

  35. Now I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight beccause of LOVE SHACK playing in my brain over and over.

  36. Simtec and Wylie’s “Gotta Get Over the Hump.” Heard it on a “Soul Train” rerun one afternoon. (Don’t judge me. I’ve got to shake my groove thang whenever I can, even if it’s during Annie’s naptime.) This song has changed my life. And, I assure you, whatever dance you start dancing when hearing it will look exactly like what I saw on that 1970’s episode. By the way, you’ll have to YouTube it to hear it, but it will be the best 3 minutes you’ve ever spent. It will change your life.

  37. Oh BooMama, do you have a Wii? If you do, you must, I repeat MUST, go buy yourself “just Dance’. i am so um..challenged…by my lack of rhythm, coordination, etc., etc. And yet one of my (and my families) favorite things is dancing along to: Groove is the Heart, Step by Step, Hot and Cold, Can’t Touch This, and…Pump Up the Jam! Oh my…it’s serious fun. And my favorite part is whooping up on my kids w/ the NKOTB song…sad but true!

    (Actually I’m guessing Just Dance is available in other mediums, we just happen to have the Wii)

  38. Boogie Shoes- KC & the Sunshine Band
    Club Can’t Even Handle Me- Flo Rida
    Everlasting Love- Natalie Cole
    Baby- Justin Bieber
    Pour Some Sugar on Me- Def Leppard
    My Girl- the Temptations
    Teenage Dream- the version by Glee that they performed last night! Oh my heavens it’s impossible to NOT dance to this!!

  39. Joy & Pain – Rob Base
    You Shook Me All Night Long – ACDC
    and of course…
    Rocky Top – Pride of the Southland Band

  40. I love Groove Is In The Heart. How can you not dance when you hear it? I still have the cd. I’d also have to add It Takes Two- Rob Base and DJ EZ rock and Getting Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith.

  41. So this was a what decade were you born in test, right? Because I knew exactly TWO of the songs you cited, and one of those was in my arsenal of see-how-with-it-I-still-am. I rocked out this morning to the 4 Seasons, and not the come lately take offs from the Jersey Boys.

  42. If I could dance in person like I do in my head I would but….until then I chair dance very well!

  43. ahhh, rollar coaster… of love. love it!! cant wait to go through your list and all your comments!! (i actually just made a folder just for this post!) im always looking for good songs to move to :) many of my faves were on your list… i love ‘beauty in the world’ by macy gray, and ‘just fine’ by mary j. blige. ‘booddocks’ by little big town. those are just a few. im a music junkie!!

  44. that is supposed to say ‘boondocks’ by little big town ;)

  45. After reading your post I am moved to turn on Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” and dance in the kitchen while cleaning up the supper dishes. Thanks for the inspration!!

  46. Ha ha ha…you said “cassingle.” We could be BFF’s now.

  47. OH HUN-NEY. I straight up BLARE Love Shack when it comes on which causes my kids to wish for instant death every time. Hahahaha!! I simply cannot help it. :D

    I wish I could read thru these comments, but I’d definitely wind up with some crazy song in my head irrevocably, so I mustn’t… but I bet there good. ;)

  48. *they’re

  49. “Dancin’ with Myself” will bring untold volumes of embarassement if I am to hear it and then take to the dance floor. Especially if a grown-up drink or two has been consumed. Oh my the horror.
    Also, any Motley Crue. Because I love the relive the glory of the eighties hair bands.

  50. Dancing in the Street gets me moving! I live to embarass my kids!

  51. I love the word casingle.

  52. Hilarious! We just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise (the Music Boat- chartered by Premiere Christian Cruises) where I broke it down on the pool deck for an hour and a half at the dance party! Sadly, I think a friend MAY have taken video. I hope NEVER to see it (and pray no one else does either.) It was a good time!

  53. THANK YOU BOO! I NEVER knew what they were saying there in Love Shack!! Can you believe it? I always sang “HEEEEENNNNRY. Rusty.” As if Henry was walking away and Rusty was the only one who could talk him into staying.

  54. I wore out Deee Lite, too.

    What makes me move-

    Anything old Michael or Janet
    “Ice Ice Baby”- I know, very sad

  55. Aerosmith “Dude Looks Like a Lady” and my kids think I’m a freak!

  56. mmkay so I spent the last 15 mins looking for the same template you’re using and can’t find it. Didn’t want to have to ask but really would love to use it for my blog, could you let me know? I’ll check back here soon for any replies. Thank you