Timothy Moore
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‘Sing Street’ Slays with ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’ and Other Original Songs

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sing street ireland

Sing Street follows a boy’s dream to start a band in 1980s Ireland

I had the opportunity to see an advanced American screening of Irish film Sing Street earlier this week. The film, written and directed by John Carney of Once and Begin Again fame, follows the story of 15-year-old Connor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) in 1980s Ireland.

Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as Connor in <em>Sing Street</em>

Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as Connor in Sing Street

Connor is the youngest child in a poor Irish family that is marked with the threat of divorce and the oldest child’s marijuana-infused apathy. When Connor is placed in an all boys Catholic school with a headmaster that reminds me of Frollo from Hugo’s Hunchback and a misunderstood bully with a tendency toward physical violence, Connor struggles just to stay afloat. But when he sees an orphaned 16-year-old girl across the street from the school, he somehow finds the courage to say hello. After discovering she is an aspiring model, he tells her he has a band and is shooting a music video, for which he needs a female model. Now he must put together a ragtag band with his outcast schoolmates to impress the girl of his dreams.

Connor and the girl of his dreams, Raphina - Sing Street

Connor and said girl of his dreams, Raphina

The story itself is quite compelling (and full of awesome 80s cars from the island of Ireland). Though it may be un-relatable to those who didn’t suffer through the plight of Ireland in the 80s, on a larger level, it is highly relatable in the sense of going after an impossible dream, even when the odds are stacked against you. What is most lovable about this feel-good film, however, is the original music. My favorite song from Sing Street is “Drive It Like You Stole It,” which acts as an anthem for the whole movie: go after what you want most in life—and go after it hard.

Listen: “Drive It Like You Stole It” – Sing Street

The song is told through the analogy of driving a car as if you stole it. The refrain:

Freedom, I’m taking it back
I’m outta here, no turning back
In a baby blue Cadillac
Just when I was stalling
I heard an angel calling
This is your life
You can go anywhere
You gotta grab the wheel and own it
And drive it like you stole it
Rollin’, this is your life
You can be anything
You gotta learn to rock and roll it
You gotta put the pedal down
And drive it like you stole it
And drive it like you stole it

Using a car analogy was the perfect vehicle (see what I did there) to drive (yes, again) this message home. Cars do give us that freedom, a freedom the children of Ireland in the 1980s thought they could have if they escaped the island and made it to London, and the same freedom that Connor thinks he’ll find by making the mysterious model, Raphina (Lucy Boynton), fall in love with him.

Connor's band, Sing Street

Connor’s band, Sing Street

Connor describes his music as “futurist,” though for us watching in 2016, it’s more like a trip down memory lane, taking influences from groups such as A-ha and Duran Duran. “Drive It Like You Stole It” is just one of several great original songs from Sing Street. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 even did an original song for the film, called “Go Now.”

sing street

Sing Street is the feel-good film of the year

Listen to more original music from Sing Street below (and note the unbelievably high amount of car references for a 15-year-old boy who can’t even drive)…

“A Beautiful Sea” – Sing Street

“Brown Shoes” – Sing Street

“Girls” – Sing Street

“The Riddle of the Model” – Sing Street

“To Find You” – Sing Street

“Up” – Sing Street

“Go Now” ” – Sing Street, by Adam Levine

Sing Street hits American theaters today and stars Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Lucy Boynton, and more great Irish talent. It is rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour and 46 minutes.