Photo by TENLEAF/Pixabay

Photo by TENLEAF/Pixabay

Most of us have childhood dreams of becoming a rock star. Who doesn’t want to be on stage and move a crowd of people emotionally to the point where their only response is a visceral one that involves raising their arms and screaming back at you? Can you imagine this in almost any other scenario? A great meal at a restaurant causes you to kick open the kitchen door, stare back at the chef, throw your arm high in the air and scream at them. No words. Just a loud, primal scream. That would probably be frowned upon. But at a concert, it makes total sense to you and thousands of other people.

The thing is, you won’t be a music star. Maybe you can’t dance. Maybe you’re too old. Maybe you can’t sing. Maybe, like me, it’s all three. But when a great song comes on the radio, sometimes you can’t help but pretend; to sing along so loud that your face contorts. Really getting after the song. Belting it out like your car is an arena. Some songs are so intoxicating, you can’t stop singing along, even after your brain has clearly checked out on knowing the lyrics. Here are 13 songs you can’t help but sing along to, even though you don’t know all (or any) of the words. Don’t apologize. None of us do. Just crank it up and sing. Insert your own words. Make new words up. Just get lost in the moment and be the biggest star in the world, or just in your shower, for a few precious minutes.


1. Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot

I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung…

And then you’re out. You may come back in strong with “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hon,” but that’s about it.


2. We Didn’t Start the Fire - Billy Joel

Mumble, mumble, mumble
Mumble, mumble, mumble,
Mumble, mumble, mumble,
Marilyn Monroe

Mumble, mumble, mumble,
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say?

Well, a lot. But nobody knows what, so we’ll just pretend.


3. It’s The End of the World As We Know It - R.E.M.

That’s great it starts with an earthquake...Ummm...Ahhh...


Good luck with the rest.


4. One Week - Barenaked Ladies

We all start out so strong on this one:

It's been one week since you looked at me
Cocked your head to the side
and said I'm angry
Five days since you laughed at me saying
Get that together come back and see me
Three days since the living room,
I realized it's all my fault, but couldn't tell you
Yesterday you'd forgiven me
But it'll still be two days till I say I'm sorry

And then suddenly, you panic. You’re lost. You toss in a word you know occasionally. And then, there’s that moment. Redemption:

Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'
Watchin X-Files with no lights on,
We're dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man's in this one
Like Harrison Ford I'm getting Frantic
Like Sting I'm Tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy
Like Kurosawa I make mad films
Okay I don't make films
But if I did they'd have a samurai

And then you're alone. Lost at sea once again.


5. Sailing - Christopher Cross

Sailing takes me away to where I've always hoodikewda

I don’t what hoodikewda is, but it sounds amazingly peaceful. Since I can’t go for a car ride without puking, sailing is out of the question, so I’ll never discover the elusive and magical hoodikewda.


6. Holocene - Bon Iver

Here’s the thing about Bon Iver. The songs are beautiful. You know he must be singing about the most important, moving, and universal truths. And Holocene is his opus. So you sing along. You can see for miles and miles and miles. You can't understanding anything else. Unfortunately, if you look up the lyrics to this one, you’ll understand it even less.


7. Even Flow - Pearl Jam

Freezin' rests his head on a pillow made of concrete

Annnd, hopefully no one notices the strange sounds you’re making, until…

Even flow
Thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh he don't know
So he chases them away
Someday yet he'll begin his life again
Life again

And back to the baby babble. That chorus though. You nailed it!


8. It Takes Two - Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock

I wanna rock right now
I'm Rob Base and I came to get down
I'm not internationally known
But I'm known to rock the microphone

Actually, you’re not Rob Base. Also, you’re not known to rock the microphone. Put the hairbrush down, and step away.


9. Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson

Keep on
With the force don't stop
Don't stop till you get enough

C’mon. That’s all you’re confident about knowing. But that’s all you need to know. It works for Michael Jackson. It works for Yoda. Work for you it will.


10. Work It - Missy Elliott

This one is nearly impossible. Most of the song is actually words played in reverse. So why do we try to make these noises? Cause it’s fun. But let's move on quickly. I don't feel comfortable admitting that I like to sing along to this one. It's embarrassing.


11. Longview - Green Day

You know what it's about, but you don't really know all of the words. Lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong likes to put marbles in his mouth and cotton balls in his nose in the recording studio. It's just his thing. It's his signature sound. You try to mimic it. You fail. But you know this much:

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise

And that's really all you need to know.


12. Take On Me - A-ha

It's bad enough that we all try to hit the high notes in this song. Don't do that to your friends, family, or pets. It's cruel. Also beyond "Take on me, (take on me), Take me on, (take on me), 
I'll be gone, HIGH NOOOTE!,"
, the words are unintelligible. It's for the best.


13. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

Ah, the song that defined a generation. A generation too lazy to look up the words so we can sing along with some dignity. Time to start learning it. We'll begin with today's lesson, the second half of the chorus:

A mulatto, an Albino
A mosquito, my libido, yeah

Ok, so maybe it's hopeless.


Did we miss a song? Let us know in the comments below, or on facebook or twitter!