These days, however, it’ll be known as the song that will get you fined by the Montreal police for yelling in your car.
The Montreal Gazette this week reported on the plight of Taoufik Moalla, who was fined $149 Canadian dollars ($118 U.S. dollars) for the terrible crime of wailing out Martha Wash’s famed “Everybody Dance Now” refrain from the comfort of his car. (It didn’t play on the radio, either—he actually popped in the CD.)
He let the rhythm take control, but the four (!) police officers who pulled him over thought he was screaming.
“They asked me if I was screaming. I said, ‘No, I was singing,’” Moalla told the news outlet. “I was singing the refrain ‘Everybody Dance Now,’ but it wasn’t loud enough to disturb anyone.”
He plans to contest the ticket, of course, because his trip to the grocery store was simply misunderstood. Moalla says that people should be able to sing in their cars without judgment—no matter what the song is.
"If they found that everything was OK and there was no danger, they should have told me to continue on my way … but not a $149 fine," he told the CBC. "I was singing loudly in my car. Is there something that forbids that, or did I really bother anyone?"
Hey, it could always be worse—he could’ve gotten fined for giving free hugs. The Montreal police don’t mess around, apparently.