Counting Blue Cars

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"Counting Blue Cars"
Counting Blue Cars.jpg
Single by Dishwalla
from the album Pet Your Friends
ReleasedFebruary 27, 1996
FormatCD single, cassette single
GenreAlternative rock
Songwriter(s)Dishwalla (J.R. Richards, Rodney Browning, Scott Alexander, Jim Wood, and George Pendergast)
Gregory Kolanek
Producer(s)Andy Kravitz
Dishwalla singles chronology
"Counting Blue Cars"
"Charlie Brown's Parents"

"Counting Blue Cars" is a song by American alternative rock band Dishwalla from their 1995 A&M Records album Pet Your Friends. It is their only hit song, peaking at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the same magazine's Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1996. It received two ASCAP awards (1997 and 1998) as the most played song of the year on radio in the United States.

The song was featured in the films Empire Records and Eight Days a Week, as well as the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Stamp Tramp", and Hindsight.


Dishwalla lead singer J.R. Richards wrote 'Counting Blue Cars' "rather quickly", telling the "story of a young boy's spiritual journey". He said the lyrics are about a conversation with the child within himself, but was inspired by an actual chat with a boy.

Richards said:

From that younger perspective, I think we take things in a much more honest way because we are not being biased by how we're supposed to all think the same. So this idea of God, being an omnipotent being, could be a male or female. We always refer to God as a male, so why not make it a female? I started creating imagery to describe this journey, trying to think about what it was like to be a kid and the things that you would do. It quickly came together - I didn't think too much about it. But it did end up being one of the songs that really affected people both positively and negatively. I never thought I'd ever have a song I'd get death threats for writing.[1]

Richards received some death threats soon after the single's release from listeners who were angry about God's depiction as a woman in the song.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Counting Blue Cars" (4:51)
  2. "The Other Side of the World" (3:46)
  3. "Counting Blue Cars" (Acoustic) (5:39)
  4. "Until I Wake Up" (4:42)

Chart performance[edit]

"Counting Blue Cars" was highly popular on the radio, peaking at number four on pop airplay and number five on Hot AC airplay in 1996. It became a number-one Modern Rock Track for one week in June 1996 and a number two Mainstream Rock Track. It peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and showed longevity by remaining on the chart for nearly a year at 48 weeks. It was also featured in the 1997 film Eight Days a Week.


  1. ^ "Dishwalla Founding Frontman JR Richards". Songfacts. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3041." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3025." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Dishwalla Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1996". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2010.

External links[edit]