Whether you’re road trippin’ with your best buds or going for a quick trip to the local beach, tradition begs you and your passengers to look for songs to scream in the car.
Such songs are high vibe songs in general, though there may be a few slow tempo ones in the bunch. There may be reasons that people feel drawn to sing, especially in groups. Some research suggests that singing can have a positive effect on your overall health .
Perhaps we can take that to suggest that singing while in vehicles may increase the pleasure experienced by the actual event. Whatever the reason, having a good collection of songs to scream in the car can make even the longest road trip much more pleasurable.
20. You Dropped a Bomb on Me by The Gap Band
There’s always time in a long joyride for a little funk, and we’ve got a good one: “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”. This track was performed by the Gap Band for their album, Gap Band IV.
Recorded and released in 1982, this track with its fun video enjoyed a solid rotation on MTV and hit number 2 on Billboards R & B chart. Catchy and entertaining, this track proceeded to enter our culture via commercials, gaming and sporting events.
This is a familiar tune that all passengers will enjoy shouting out loud.
19. Hair of the Dog by Nazareth
Just as “Fighter” and “You Oughta Know” are anthems for female empowerment, “Hair of the Dog” concerns male empowerment. Here, a man comes across a conniving woman and tells her that he’s her match, so careful who you are messing with.
Composed by Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Manny Charlton, Darrell Sweet and recorded in 1974, “Hair of the Dog” came off the hard rock band, Nazareth’s album of the same name.
To say that this song is robust is an understatement, so give this one a go and you’ll definitely find it one good stretch of the lung, so to speak.
18. Meet the Flintstones Theme
“Meet the Flintstones” is the theme from the Flintstones television show. It can be considered one of the standards when it comes to car songs. In fact, there’s that scene from the classic film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles where a bus load of people scream it out loud.
Composed by Flintstones creators Joseph Barbera, William Hanna along with Hoyt Curtin, this 1961 tune became one of the most recognizable and beloved television themes ever. In fact, the band the B-52s did a cover of the theme where it reached number 33 on Billboards Hot 100!
17. Sabotage by The Beastie Boys
This 1994 hit from the Beastie Boys is a true crowd pleaser. Found on their album III Communication, we get to see how celebrated hip hop group, the Beastie Boys handles a rock song.
Composed by Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond, “Sabotage” became a fan favorite. In fact, throughout the years the track has been included in lists such as the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song has also been seen in a plethora of television and film scenes including Beavis and Butthead, the film Trainspotting, Futurama and more.
16. We Built This City by Starship
Yes, this is much the same band that performed the iconic song, “White Rabbit”. This 1985 hit was composed by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin and features Grace Slick on vocals, Pete Sears on bass, Danny Baldwin on percussion and Craig Chaquico on guitar.
The song sings both the praises of rock music as well as the bands home town of San Francisco. A great sing along song for long car rides, its catchy vibe will have you putting this on repeat. “We Built This City” became a popular anthem in many countries reaching the number one spot in America, South Africa, Canada and Australia.
15. She Loves You by The Beatles
This is a fun one to scream out in the car. In fact, one could say it was made for the task. Composed by the writing team of Lennon and McCartney, “She Loves You” was released by the Beatles in 1963 as a single.
This crowd pleaser turned into a record breaker both in the U.S. and U.K. Produced by the magical George Martin the song tells the tale of a man who has thought he’s lost his best girl, only to learn that she still loves him.
14. Jolene by Dolly Parton
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have ever heard “Jolene” by the ultra-talented artist, Dolly Parton. Released to the public in 1973, “Jolene” tells the tale of a woman who fears she’s on the cusp of losing her man to a ginger beauty named Jolene.
Did you know that Dolly wrote this track the same day she composed “I Will Always Love You”, and both tracks ended up in the Grammy Hall of Fame! “Jolene” has been covered by a multitude of artists from different genres including: Pentatonix, the White Stripes, and Olivia Newon-John just to name a few.
13. Fighter by Christina Aguilera
We’ve already included one empowerment song, so how about another? 2002’s “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera is most certainly that. Aguilera composed the song for her fourth album, Stripped. Floria Sigismondi directed the stunning music video for the song. According to Floria Sigismondi the track is about empowerment and transformation.
12. “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G
“Big Poppa” has always been a great song for rap karaoke, so it’s not surprising that it’s a great choice to scream in your car. This track was a single from the 1994 album Ready to Die by Notorious B.I.G. Poppa is a reference to Notorious B.I.G himself.
Here, he raps about his success in the business. Fun fact, this track takes the Isley Brothers song, “Between the Sheets” and samples it. Certified platinum, “Big Poppa” hit number 330 in Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2021.
11. I’ll Be There For You by the Rembrandts
Better known as the theme from the television sit com, Friends, “I’ll Be There for You” is a favorite song to belt out in the car during those long road trips. After all, it’s catchy along with being family friendly, so an all around win.
Composed by Michael Skloff, Marta Kauffman, David Crane and Allee Willis, the track remained with the show from 1994 to 2004. It became so popular that a radio version of the song was released in 1995.
Considered one of the best television theme songs, “I’ll Be There for You” became a hit in a variety of countries and reached number 1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart and 17 on Billboards Hot 100.
10. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
1983s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was Cyndi’s breakout track. It was more than just a hit, it was an anthem that represented the high vibing 80’s. Both the song and music video were bathed in bright colors, zing and plenty of attitude.
While Cyndi generally had a hand in how her songs were written, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was actually written by a man, Robert Hazard. However, Cyndi did have to alter some of the lyrics to make it more personal.
9. On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
Just the title of this track screams road trip sing along. This 1980 song was written and recorded by Willie Nelson for the film Honeysuckle Rose. “On the Road Again” won the 1980 Grammy for the Best Country Song.
This song was not only a number one hit on the country charts, but it also performed well as a cross-over hit. The track scored the 7th place on Billboards Adult Contemporary chart and number 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
8. Hey Ya! by Outkast
“Hey Ya!” is a track by hip hop duo Outkast, written by member Andre 3000 in 2000 and released in 2003. Accompanied by a rather fascinating music video, the song became a hit with fans and critics alike with the video winning BET awards Video of the Year award.
What makes this such a great song to scream in the car is that it’s not only catchy but comes with a great hook. Did you know that “Hey Ya!” was the first song ever to be downloaded over one million times, making it Platinum with regards to number of downloads!
7. Happy by Pharrell Williams
Uplifting and with a powerful vibe, this track from Pharrell Williams is guaranteed to get even the most resigned passenger joining the songfest. Recorded and released in 2013, “Happy’ was a huge hit, reaching number one in various countries including:
The U.S., Canada, U.K, and more. All of this made “Happy” the most successful track in 2014. Fun fact, did you know that he composed this song on his own and for the movie, Despicable Me 2?
6. I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
According to band member Apl.de.ap this track is a “college anthem for people looking forward to escaping life’s pressures by going out and having a ball.” What a perfect song to scream in the car!
This 2009 hit also features David Guetta’s “Love is Gone”. “I Gotta Feeling” offers fans a fresh and powerful track made for both the club as well as the car stereo system.
It was also a turning point for the Peas creatively as now they would consider dance music as a main source of inspiration with Taboo enjoying the Peas actually singing verses together instead of separately.
5. Fight for Your Right by the Beastie Boys
One simply can’t have a list of songs to scream in the car without including this monster hit. Coming off of their debut 1986 album, Licensed to Ill, it was considered to be a pivotal song, one that helped shape 80’s rock.
A bit odd since the Beastie Boys were an emerging hip hop group, and not rock and roll. However, the track was meant to be more of a parody rather than an anthem, as Mike D explains, “The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different.”
4. Give it Away by Red Hot Chili Peppers
According to Songfacts, Anthony Kiedis noticed a jacket owned by singer Nina Hagen. He remarked that he liked the jacket, to which Nina responded by giving it to him as giving things away produces good energy.
Hence, the track “Give it Away” was born. Recorded and released in 1991, the track went on to reach number one on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart. Chances are if you were into MTV back in the day, you saw the iconic video that accompanied the track.
Considered by many to be the band’s signature song, this high energy track is perfect song to scream in the car.
3. Living la Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
Hit maker Desmond Child penned this track along with Robi Rosa. According to Child, ”Me and Robi Rosa, we were trying to write The Millennium party song from Hell.” They more than succeeded with this smash hit.
When coupled with Ricky Martin’s electric delivery, we’re left with a track infused with life, with the ability to transfer that vibe to all those within listening distance. A perfect song to scream in the car while traveling, “Living la Vida Loca” will be on the top of the list for dance party songs for decades.
2. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
The quintessential anthem for spurned women everywhere. “You Oughta Know” was quite a surprise back in the day with it’s gut wrenching lyrics and pulse pounding truths.
Coming off her 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, the biting lyrics are from Alanis’ very own journal post. While the target of the song has never been mentioned, we can agree with one thing, there are situations where a track of this caliber is quite fitting.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Another banger for those folks on long road trips looking for a song with chops. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a 1975 single by the British rock band Queen. Fronted by the late Freddie Mercury, Queen was a major powerhouse of 70’s music.
Classified as a rock opera by some, progressive rock by others the meaning of Mercury’s lyrics are as mysterious today as they were then. However, don’t let the mysteries get in the way. This is one hot number to scream out loud.
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