"The Roof Is on Fire"
was a single from Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three
released in 1984
that charted at #5 on the Billboard magazine Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
"The Roof Is on Fire" was a moderate success, and the B-side of the single "Request Line" did arguably better in terms of radio play at the time and a music video for "Request Line" was released. The music video for "Request Line" had a reference to Michael Jackson
's video "Thriller
" with Charile Prince wearing similar outfit to Michael Jackson
However, the song is notable as the first commercial recording with the phrase "The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on fire!", which has since entered popular culture/slang.
The song gained reference from the Philadelphia bombing of the MOVE militant organization in 1985, when Philadelphia police literally dropped a bomb on a row home and the inhabitants ran out because the roof was on fire.
The following artists have either sampled or referenced this song:
Pop culture references
- In the film, The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy's character Buddy Love throws a house party. As the scene comes to an end, he and all of his party guests can be heard chanting "The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!"
- In the film, Mystery Men, the character Mr. Furious, whose power is to get incredibly angry, jumps on the limousine of Casanova Frankenstein and stomps his feet while reciting the lyrics of this song.
- In the comedy film, Head of State, Chris Rock's character uses the classic hip-hop phrase, but his party guests, who are out of touch with hip-hop, believe there is an actual fire, and a panic ensues.
- In the Futurama episode, "Three Hundred Big Boys", Richard Nixon yells "The loot, the loot, the loot is on fire!"
- In the comedy film, Eurotrip, a character accidentally (and unknowingly) sets the Pope's hat on fire, causing another character to exclaim, "The hat! The hat! The hat is on fire!"
- Aston Villa supporters chant for striker John Carew by singing "Carew!, Carew!, Carew's on fire!"
- In the third episode of the English dub for the anime 3x3 Eyes, Lee Ling-Ling sings "Burning burning burning, it's burning, the roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!" while escaping from a burning hotel (which she was responsible for). This line only appears in the Geneon dub, not the older Streamline Pictures one.
- In the animated series, The PJs, Thurgood sets the roof of a newly-acquired movie theater on fire. When he runs inside to alert the customers that "The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!", they misinterpret his warning as the song, and they begin to sing the "We don't need no water let the..." to which Thurgood stops them.
- At the TNA Wrestling pay-per-view Hard Justice, a faulty pyro lit the roof of Soundstage 21 on fire during the live television broadcast. As the stage crew attempted to extinguish the fire and clear the building the audience chanted "THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!" as the two wrestlers in a match continued (and finished) their ongoing match.
- In the popular Beachbody workout video, Turbo Jam 20 minute workout, this song is used at the end of the workout to keep everyone moving to the music.
- This song is referenced at least two times in the Viva Piñata animated series. In the end of the episode, "Franklin Can't Dance", as Pierre Parrybo's hut floats away, you can hear him say, "The roof, the roof, the roof is... how you say... on fire!" And in the episode, "Mission: Impiñatable", Hudson Horstachio says, "The hoof, the hoof, the hoof is on fire!"
- In the Proud Family cartoon on Disney, Sugarmama is singing the line "the roof, the roof, the roof, is on fire! we don't need no water let the ...." and the Proud family yell "SUGARMAMA" and Sugarmama says "BURN!!!"
- In the film, 8 Mile, as they burn down the old abandoned house Eminem and the others all sing "the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! we don't need no water let the motherfucker burn..."
- In the sitcom How I Met Your Mother season 1 episode 2, Barney uses this sentence while he is speaking with Ted about his experiences on the roof.
- In the October 2, 2008 episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart quotes "We don't need no water, let the motherfucker burn" during a spoof of Sen. Barack Obama's speech in the Senate defending the Wall Street Bailout.