Over My Head (Cable Car)

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"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
Single by The Fray
from the album How to Save a Life
Released October 7, 2005 (US)[1]
June 11, 2007 (UK)
July 2007 (Brazil)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded Bloomington, Indiana;
July 24, 2005
Genre Pop rock, piano rock
Length 3:58
Label Epic
Writer(s) Isaac Slade and Joe King
Producer(s) Mike Flynn and Aaron Johnson
Certification 3x Platinum (RIAA)
The Fray singles chronology
"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
"How to Save a Life"
The Fray UK chronology
"How to Save a Life"
"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
"All At Once"
The Fray Brazil chronology
"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
"How to Save a Life"
How to Save a Life track listing
"She Is"
"Over My Head (Cable Car)"
"How to Save A Life"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Over My Head (Cable Car)" (originally performed as "Cable Car") is a song by American rock band The Fray. It is included on their debut album How to Save a Life (2005) and was the debut single from the album and hit the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single helped propel their album from the Top Heatseekers chart to the top 20 of The Billboard 200 chart. The single is available exclusively as a digital download. Some CD singles of the song were given out to attendees of a concert on December 17, 2005. The CD single was backed with "Heaven Forbid" and a live version of "Hundred". In the UK, "Over My Head (Cable Car)" was released as the second single from the album, following "How to Save a Life".

The song sold over two million digital downloads in the United States and was certified double platinum by the RIAA in May 2006.[2] The song was the fifth most-downloaded single of 2006 and was ranked #13 on the Hot 100 singles of 2006 by Billboard.[3] It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2007. It lost to "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas.[4]

The song was ranked #43 on Billboard's Best Adult Pop Songs of the Decade list[5] and #100 on Billboard's Top 100 Digital Tracks of the Decade list.[6]

Song meaning[edit]

The song was written about lead singer and pianist Isaac Slade's relationship with his brother, Caleb, nicknamed "Cable Car". He wrote the song because he and his brother were allegedly not speaking and were at odds with each other:

"It is about a fight I got in with my brother, Caleb. After he graduated high school, we drifted apart and really hadn't spoken in a long time. One day we both realized that we needed to fight it out. We'd been friends for 20 years. That's a long time when you're only 23 years old. We fought it out, and he's one of my best friends today."[7][8][9]

The song was originally recorded as a demo early in the band's life. This demo version was picked up by Denver radio station KTCL, and became one of the station's most played songs of 2005.[10]



Billboard called the tune "a timeless pop-rock smash that soars with lightness and ease."[11] Stylus Magazine called it a "10/10, single of the year, instant classic track".[12]


The song became a top 40 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in late 2005. It lasted three weeks on the chart and peaked at position #37.[13] The single gained airplay nationally, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the issue marked February 25, 2006. 14 weeks later it reached its peak position at #8 on the Hot 100 chart.[14] On the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, the single reached the #2 position.[15] The single also saw airplay on some Christian radio stations and spent several weeks on the R&R Christian charts, where it peaked at #27.

Internationally, the song was a Top 25 hit in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK. In the beginning of 2007, the song became popular in the Netherlands.

Music video[edit]

Micah Slade in the music video

The music video was directed by Elliott Lester and was filmed on July 24, 2005 at East High School (Denver, Colorado) and at Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. The video shows the members of the band as children, who attract the attention of other children by playing various instruments. Micah Slade, the youngest brother of Isaac Slade, assumes the role of Isaac as a child in the music video. While the video was not granted much airplay on MTV, it peaked at #2 in the VH1 Top 20 Countdown. It was ranked number 8 on VH1's "Top 40 Videos of 2006."[16]


  • There is a slightly different version of the song which is 4:10 in length.
  • The song is played for Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Chad Bradford due to his wind-up style when pitching.
  • It appears as a selectable track in SingStar Pop (US version) and in the DS game Jam Sessions as well as Karaoke Revolution:American Idol Encore and Lips
  • The song appeared on the American top hits compilation NOW 22, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • The song was released as a limited time free download on Xbox Live as part of their "Artist of the Month" promotion.
  • The song was performed by Crosby Loggins, the winner of the show Rock the Cradle in Spring 2008.
  • The song was featured in promotionals for What About Brian in Australia.
  • The song was included in the soundtrack of the film Stealth.
  • The song was used in a memorial service for four fallen Oakland police officers along with "Free Bird" and "Rock 'n' Roll Jesus" and following their shooting on March 21, 2009.
  • The song plays in the background of McGee's apartment in the NCIS episode "Bloodbath."
  • The song also appears in episode 3 ("Man With No Name") of season 12 of the American medical drama ER.
  • The song was covered by A Day to Remember for the Punk Goes Pop 2 compilation.[17]
  • The song was used in the 2010 film She's Out of My League during a scene at an ice hockey game.
  • The song was used at the end of the Allen Gregory episode "Gay School Dance."


Chart (2006) Peak position
Australian Singles Chart 22
Canadian Singles Chart 11
Danish Singles Chart 8
Dutch Singles Chart 67
European Hot 100 57
German Singles Chart 83
Irish Singles Chart 25
New Zealand Singles Chart 25
Swiss Singles Chart 96
UK Singles Chart 19
US Billboard Hot 100 8
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs 2
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 15
US Billboard Alternative Songs 37
US Billboard Pop 100 5
US Billboard Pop Songs 5


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[18] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[19] Gold 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[20] 3× Platinum 3,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=69239#2006
  2. ^ http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart_watch/33561/week-ending-may-3-2009-age-is-just-a-number/
  3. ^ "First half sales: Downloads up; CDs, revenues down". USA Today. July 13, 2006. 
  4. ^ http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/49th_Show/list.aspx#01
  5. ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-decade-end/adult-pop-songs?year=2009&begin=41&order=position
  6. ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/charts-decade-end/digital-songs?year=2009&begin=91&order=position
  7. ^ http://www.yamaha.com/Artists/ArtistDetail.html?CNTID=546500&CTID=#
  8. ^ http://www.freewebs.com/isaacsladelover/isaacslade.htm
  9. ^ http://www.thefish.com/music/interviews/11618063/page-2/
  10. ^ http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2007/dec/08/the-new-air-power/
  11. ^ Philipp, Sven (2006-03-25), "Over My Head (Cable Car)". Billboard. 118 (12):66
  12. ^ http://www.stylusmagazine.com/reviews/the-fray/how-to-save-a-life.htm
  13. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. October 22, 2005. 
  14. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. October 7, 2006. 
  15. ^ "Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks". Billboard. October 7, 2006. 
  16. ^ "Shows: Top 40 of 2006". VH1.  Last accessed February 14, 2007.
  17. ^ PillProject (February 24, 2009). "Punk Goes Pop 2 Features Metal Bands? - in Metal News". Metal Underground.com. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  19. ^ "Canadian single certifications – The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)". Music Canada. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ "American single certifications – The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved October 31, 2009.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]