I know I've posted a lot of popular music oriented pieces in this rag's brief existence, but I'm obsessed with rock music, and you'd rather read a nice, quick list than read my long-winded, depressing rants. So in a sense, we both win. So, here are some of the greatest barroom sing-alongs ever, in no particular order:
- Piano Man by Billy Joel: If you ask me, the line sang the loudest, aside from the chorus, for whatever reason, is ". . . and he's talking with Davy, who's still in the navy, and probably will be for life." What about Davy made the drunken, piano-playing narrator so sure that Davy was destined to be a "lifer" in the Navy? Was this sailor, who was inexplicably a regular at this piano bar, telling anyone who would listen how awesome it is to be a navy man, and how he can't see himself wearing anything but that white hat and the black, scarf thing?
- Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville: Everyone seems to chime in right when he says "Some people claim there's a woman to blame," not unlike everyone sings the word oasis in the chorus of another song that needs to be on this list: Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks. The thing is, while I don't feel I'm missing out on a whole hell of a lot by not owning any of his records, I don't dislike Jimmy. What I do dislike are the majority of his fans, who seem to see his concerts as an excuse to put on a Hawaiian shirt and drink frozen drinks out of the back of their minivans. It's likened to what Chicago White Sox fans hate about stereotypical Cub fans, not true Cub fans like your's truly, who go to games to stack up cups of Old Style, barely even paying attention to the game.
- The word oasis in my last paragraph immediately made me think how just about anyone from Ireland or England's faces light up to sing along with anything by the big-eyebrowed Gallagher brothers in Oasis. If you're ever in a room with more than a few Micks or Limies, just put Don't Look Back in Anger on the jukebox, sit back, and watch them grab each other's shoulders and sing to one another. It's quite a joyous ocasion to behold.
- Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi: It was kind of cool the first seven or eight times I heard this song in the bar, since I really hadn't heard it regularly since I brought in the cassette to be played loudly every Friday in my fifth-grade art class. I also took great pleasure in bringing in tapes that swore, like INXS, Beastie Boys (sort of), and of course, Guns and Roses. I think my teacher was so happy the week was finally over, as art was always on Fridays, to care that Axl was saying, "Turn around bitch I got a use for you. Besides, you ain't got nothin' better to do, and I'm bored." Anyway, I no longer get that joy when I hear Jon Bon. It used to make me long to eat paste again, and while I still kind of do, now when I hear a room full of nimrods sing it, I pray that if I get my hands on some paste, it's as toxic as it is delicious.
- Don't Stop Believing by Journey: This song used to be kind of cool, but then the Chicago White Sox, who I hate by nature, since I'm a lifelong Cub fan, used it for their theme song and effectively ruined it. It always gets people singing, but now 100 years of futility, anger, and jealousy build up to the point where I'd like to beat Steve Perry to death with the mop he so stupidly clung to in the Oh Sherry video.
To Be With You by Mr. Big: This is a song that every girl who was between the ages of 6 and 22 when it came out loves. Secretly, well not so secretly anymore I suppose, I fucking like this song. It makes sense to me that, despite the fact that this one-hit-wonder (although some heralded them as a somewhat of a supergroup?), hair metal band probably sucked, but this song remains well appreciated years later. What I don't get is why the protagonist of the song wants to be next to be with this chick. Was she getting filled out like an application by the whole band, yet he was still pining for her depraved, slutty, STD-ridden ass? Maybe he meant she was getting around, but he actually wanted to be with her. I actually once dated a girl who seemed to have slept with everyone I knew at one time or another, sometimes with my roommate at the time and another girl at once, yet I saw something I liked in her. In the end, it was really hard, ultimately too hard, to get passed the fact that she could pick all of my friends' penises out of a line-up, but for a while, I was the one who wanted to be with her.
- There are a number of rap songs, not limited to, but including Jump Around by House of Pain, Humpty Dance by Digital Underground, It Takes Two by DJ EZ Rock and Rob Base, and Regulators by Warren G (thanks GSR) that make drunks rap to one another. However, the two songs that bring more white people together to rap badly are Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, a man who inexplicably managed to weasel his penis into a near hey-day Madonna, and Baby Got Back, by apparently knighted Sir Mix-a-Lot. As for the former, I don't think there has ever been a video , aside from anything by Michael Jackson, that spawned more drunken imitations of dance moves, and in Vanilla's case, really spastic, stupid-looking ones. Also, without fail, someone will do a steering wheel motion when he says, "rolling in my five point o." Now the latter, I must say, I'm very sick of. Granted I still like to watch a bunch of girls shake their butts in unison, but what I'm confused about is why women seem to like this this jam so much. Rarely are the women undulating on the dance floor in any way "thick soul sisters," so do they like the idea of a song that celebrates bigg-butted women, even if they themselves have narrow, over-Tae Boed and rollerbladed behinds?
There is also a trend with women and rap music whereby the dirtier, nastier, and more degrading the song is toward women, the more likely a gaggle of them are to sing it loudly and know ever word. I'm not going to type any words to Ain't No Fun by Snoop Dogg or Gimme' Dat Nut by Eazy E, because my mom sometimes glances at my site, but trust me when I say the phraseology is not something you would want to include in your wedding vows. So what does a love affair with slut anthems say about modern women? I like to think that they are trying to break down the double standards involved with female promiscuity by embracing a God-given right to be a freak. Either that or the songs are just damned catchy, and remind them of their slutty, carefree, college days.
Okay, I ended up on too many rants to really have a list worth any merit. That's where you come in, seven readers. What are some songs you notice get the whole bar singing?
P.S.: My crappy computer is out of space on its hard drive, so you'll have to make do without all the awesome pictures I found, including a picture that someone took of an Etch N' Sketch which an artist, and a quite gifted one in my estimation, deftly twisted the knobs around to make a fairly accurate, bust-shot of Eazy E.
P.P.S.: Never mind. I made room for the pictures. In my messed up universe, space for Eazy E Etch N' Sketch pics is way more of a premium than space for Microsoft Word or my resume.