If you have never been to a karaoke bar, allow me to be the first to tell you that you are missing out on one of the greatest things on God’s green earth. I’m sure you’ve seen people get drunk, but it’s a whole other ball game when people get trashed at a karaoke bar. Songs are sung off-key, people go off-stage with the mic, the audience sings along, and other times, people actually surprise you with their impressive rendition. It’s an absolute mess. And it’s exactly how pure, unadulterated, live entertainment should be.
Whether you’re a professional bathroom singer (such as myself) or a quiet by-standing alcoholic, the karaoke bar is a must-see, at least once. And even better, if you’re planning to get up on stage and belt out your vocal chords, I salute you. It’s a little nerve-wracking at first, but seriously, don’t worry. Everyone’s too busy getting smashed they won’t judge you for fumbling over the lyrics or being too flat or too sharp. Mostly flat though. Just remember this: no one’s too sober to sing at karaoke. Here are ten surefire songs that are overused at karaoke, but only because they’re crowd favorites.
1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” – Journey
It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with this song. Everyone knows the intro, so the moment you hear those piano chords start playing, I can guarantee you people are ready to sing along even if they weren’t planning on it.
2. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen
Often sung with a group of people who aren’t necessarily your friends, Bohemian Rhapsody is perfect for any drunk individual, especially with its dramatically slow start—which later transitions to a musical number which every person will attempt to sing in the appropriate octaves.
3. “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-A-Lot
Regardless if you like butts and you cannot lie, this song is considered one of the karaoke classics. This Pioneer of Butt Songs is one of the very few rap songs that have made it to the list, so if you’re thinking about singing this beloved, Modern Ode to the Great Behind, remember that your audience don’t-want-none-unless-you-got-buns-hon.
4. “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
Whoever Caroline is, I hope she’s happy she’s been immortalized in this Neil Diamond hit. This feel good song will easily get anyone who knows the song raise their drinks and sway them in the air during the chorus. Everyone gets excited when hands start touching hands, if you get what I mean. Don’t forget the pa-pa-pa’s and the so good, so good, so good!
5. “Livin’ on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi
This old-school sound makes you feel like you’re doing a video montage of a workout regime, complete with a crop top, short shorts, and sweat bands. If you’ve reached that drunken stage of invincibility, then this song is for you. I suggest you come up with a sick air guitar choreo during the instrumental break.
6. “What’s Up” – 4 Non Blondes
A personal favorite, What’s Up is a slow rock song that really works its way up and down the vocal range, which is great for a drunken voice that can’t stay in tune for three words. Plus points when you try to sound like the original.
7. “Wannabe” – The Spice Girls
If you’ve got your girlfriends with you for a karaoke night out, then don’t hesitate to sing this. It’s a wonderful tribute to the 90’s, to lyrics that don’t always make sense (slam me body down and a zig-a-zig-ah!), to The Spice Girls, and of course, to friendship, since you know, it never ends.
8. “It Wasn’t Me” – Shaggy
If you don’t know this song, then it’s about time you get acquainted with it. Basically, his honey came in and she caught him red-handed, creepin’ with the girl next door. Then it gets detailed about where they did it—on the counter, on the sofa, in the shower, and even on camera—all the while insisting that it wasn’t him. It’s basically a BS song, and people love it anyway.
9. “Teenage Dirtbag” – Wheatus
This song is dedicated to everyone who thought at some point in time that they were a loser because the one person they wanted didn’t even know they existed. Oh, yes. We’ve all probably been there. It’s a direct stab to your self-esteem. And it’s one of the best self-deprecating songs out there. Give it a shot.
10. “Forget You” – CeeLo Green
The only way to play the bitter card is to call and raise it with Forget You by CeeLo Green. Kid-friendly version or not, the audience will still insist on singing the profane version. But you can’t really blame them when alcohol levels are high and emotions run rampant. Censorship is for the faint-hearted. So go on, then. Raise those middle fingers in the air.