Friday, August 31, 2007

Songs You Hear at the Bar That You Can't Help But Slur Your Way Through

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.


captain corky said...

Women really did love the song, To Be With you by Mr Big. I've also found that even when people are sober they like to sing Bon Jovi songs. It happens all the time in the office where I work. It kind of pisses me off though, because nobody sings when the Britney Spears songs come on except for me.

What's wrong with Briteny?

Grad School Reject said...

I'm going to add, "Undone (The Sweater Song)" by Weezer. I contend that if you play this song between 1 and 3 am you can get the entire bar to sing the chorus.

Also, if you are ever out with Mysterygirl!, find a way to play "Regulators" by Nate Dogg and Warren G, then sit back and marvel at her skills....I mean "skillz."

Airam said...

How about Queen "we are the champion"? Although truthfully I've never heard it being sung in a bar ... I just like singing it very loudly when I hear it come on the radio.

BottleBlonde said...

Here's my worthless opinion:

I'd rather set my vagina on fire than listen to Jimmy Buffet's music.

But of course I absolutely adore Sir Mix A Lot's Baby Got Back. That song embraces everything round; everything which defies anorexia. And for that reason, I am a fan.

Fever Dog said...

I object to Oasis! Despite being a limey, I don't like Oasis -- although I did see them at a party once. Liam just looked like he was king of the mods...

Anyway, I didn't know a bunch of these -- I need to spend more time in Yank bars it seems!

phishez_rule said...

That list just wouldn't have been complete without baby got back.

Have you seen drunks when right said fred's 'I'm too sexy' comes on? Funniest thing I've ever seen. They really strut their stuff. Only they're drunk, so the sexy strut kinda morphs into a wobbly stagger.

ADW said...

Every freaking song. I know the words to every freaking song you just posted about. Fuck me, I am such a wanker.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Cork: You keep singing Brittany! To hell with your coworkers. Sing loud, sing proud.

Grad: I added Regulators, and thanked you. As for Weezer, I'd be stoked if I heard a whole bar singing that.

Airam: That may be under the Songs to Sing at a Ballgame list, but great call.

Bottle: If you ever do set your vagina on fire, I'd like to see it.

Fever: Sorry to generalize, pal. Do some research though, because you'll feel like the odd man out if you find yourself at a Yank bar and you don't know the words to some of these.

ADW: I know them all too, just about. Don't feel like a wanker for that. Be proud, like me.

Eve said...

Definitely! To all but Margaritaville. *gags* Not that the following are any more respectable.

I touch myself, by what's that band's name?

Put it in your mouth, Akinyele. Talk about dirty.

Say it ain's so, by Weezer. Trumps Sweater Song, I'd say.

Like a Prayer! Seriously, (drunk) people will dance like no one is looking if you play this.

Go Cubs!

Jenny! said...

Woman that know all the words ot the rap songs that are degrading and nasty...have no right complaining about men not taking out the garbage! I hate Bon Jovi!

Grad School Reject said...

Eve - are you challenging my Weezer assertion? Well then, I challenge you!

...But since you seem really nice (I also see you at Airam's place), and I am non-violent, I think we should have a "Care Bear Stare" style showdown.

Steph said...

All good screaming drunk songs. No doubt. You left one out that the sistahood like to sing to when we get our man hating pants on.
Gloria Gaynor- I will survive!!

Airam said...

How bout that song "I get knocked down .. but I get up again .. you ain't never gonna keep me down .."

The one where they take the whisky drink and vodka drink.

I think I need a whisky/vodka drink right now.

non-Blondie said...

The grease mega-mix - this is the reason I dont like going out with my friends. They are freaks for those stupid songs.

Oh and The Proclaimers - you know the stupid song I mean.

Scary Monster said...

There be nuthin more intimidating than a room filled with irishmen bellowing "Sunday bloody Sunday".

These days when me gone drinking at the local Karaoke, Me loves to join the crowd with "I left my heart at sam clams disco" or "My sweet load" The latter always makes me think that George Harrison be goin ta haunt me.


Diesel said...

Have you noticed that women love songs about men who cheat too? Like that Hinder song, "Lips of an Angel", or that stupid Uncle Kracker song.

I'm with BottleBlonde on Jimmy Buffet. I would totally set her vagina on fire rather than listen to that song.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Jenny: I hate Jon Bon too, but I'm a sucker for any song I slow danced to in the 6th grade.

Grad: You got TREATED!!! I'm ready for the stare down! Is that kind of like the "walk off" in Zoolander?

Steph: Girls do love to rock that one. Gloria Gaynor had a solid afro too.

Airam: Chumbawumba????????? Y not.

Non-Blonde: I get so embarrassed when I see people sing those Grease songs, even when I don't know the people. I love that Proclaimers song though!

Scary: My Sweet Lord would bore people to tears on karaoke night, but it might be cool if you went right into the song he got accused of: He's So Fine. Plus, a slimy, male monster singing about a dude is automatically funny.

Diesal: Let's set her vagina aflame either way. It's on. You're all invited!

Eve said...

GSR - I had to google what exactly a care bear stare is. It all came back to me. Aw.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Don't forget "Come On Eileen" dude.

And how will you be "setting a vagina aflame"? Scared.

Laaw-yuhr said...

I do hate Jimmy for bringing his horrible horrible Margaritaville restaurants into the world. When I moved back to New Orleans post Katrina I was sad to see that one of the things left untouched was fucking Margaritaville. There's a special place of hate for him in my heart.

BottleBlonde said...

Diesel: Let's set her vagina aflame either way. It's on. You're all invited!

What is this, a team sport? I will be doing the vagina burning. Doc and Diesel, you bring the marshmallows.

Anonymous said...

". . . and he's talking with Davy, who's still in the navy, and probably will be for life."

They're obviously gay. His voice is rife with irony as he sings the 'never had time for a wife' line.

Since that line is sung low, the next one has lots of contrast.

Legaleagle said...

My friends and I went to a piano bar for dueling pianos last Saturday night and they played ALL of these songs. I love them!

Casey said...

I did some training at Naval Air Station Pennsacola. If you happen to be anywhere around that place and happen to mutter, "You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips...", the entire cadre of whatever entry level military personnel available will explode with the rest of that damn song. Fuck Topgun.

classyandfancy said...

I saw Snoop on Sunday and not only did he play "Ain't No Fun" he covered "Jump Around". All the white people in the crowd (read: everyone) really appreciated the time to relive their frat boy days.

I'm with Cherry with "Come on Eileen" and because I am currently obsessed/appalled with Bret Michaels I vote for "Every Rose has its Thorn". Oh yeah, and "Shakin'" by Eddie Money.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Eve: I will have to judge the Care Bear thing. I will, in turn, lift the colored paw of the winner high, high into the air.

Cherry: A) Good call. I heard Dexy's Midnight Runners were named after dexy-something, which is the same pill The Rolling Stones were singing about in Mother's Little Helper. Where does all this crap-knowledge come from?!?!
B) I'm not sure how the flaming vagina thing came this far . . .

Law: Yeah, I suppose more historic buildings were leveled that weren't a crap, chain bar. Unfortunate. Hey, thanks for coming by the site!

Bottle: What a fantastic idea! I like them dark and crispy, the marshmallows that is. Why is it spelled "mAllows" with an "a?" Weird.

Mister: Yes, I believe that the guy who "never had time for a wife" wasn't just "talking" with Davy, if you know what I mean. Piano man, cue the 'don't ask don't tell music . . ' Thanks for coming by the site, Miser.

Legal: Are you serious??!! Good choices, right?

Casey: That song is one the best songs ever written, and while I'll agree Top Gun did bastardize it like a, well, bastard, I still love that movie and that scene.

Classy: Two of my roomies were at that show! I wish I knew you were going. Shakin always give the crowd their Eddie Money's worf'.

Anonymous said...

I chuckled through all of this. I love the line from the gunners song -It's so easy. Cheeky!

Great post. Good memories

Anonymous said...

oh EVe, - I touch myself is from legend rock chick Chrissy Hynde from The Divinyls.

In australia, when the Angels song: Am I ever gonna see your face again?
comes on, in a pub, the whole crowd will scream out the chorus. It's a lot of fun

ReckenRoll said...

I feel like the comments are confusing karaoke songs with bar sing-a-long songs although truth be told, they are kind of one and the same.

I've noticed in the US that the Devil Went Down to Georgia gets em going every time. Drunks can't sing it but they always get the line "I told you once, you sonovabitch, I'm the best that's ever been"

In London it's all about the Robbie & the Queen: Angels and Don't Stop Me Now.

Kadonkadonk said...

You hit the nail on the head! Great list!

Legaleagle said...


Excellent choices!


the frogster said...

Or how about Shania Twain's "Man, I Feel Like a Woman!" Whenever I hear that I just can't help but wiggle around and howl along. You know? Or... or is that just me?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Betty: Chrissy Hyde was in The Pretenders, not the Dyvynls, but I can see how you could mix them up, since they both look really, really bored when they sing.

I don't know that Angels song. I'll have to look that son' bitch up.

Thanks for coming by and giving me a great, big boob hug!

Reck: I was at the dentist once, and Devil Went Down to Georgia came on. I remember thinking, "God, I hate this song," but little did I know that it was an ENTIRE CHARLIE DANIELS RECORD. That's just really cruel to make me a captive audience to that level of crap music while two strangers are prodding away in my mouth.

Kadonk: Thanks much!

Legal: I try.

Frogster: That vocal melody to the versus of that song is exactly the same as Uncle Salty by Aerosmith. Now, I would say that it could be a coincidence, since that happens from time to time, but it was produced by her husband, Def Leppard producer Mutt Lange. If he produced Leppard records he had to have heard Uncle Salty at some point.

Okay, that was WAY too much info for a first time commenter. Thanks for coming by Froggy!!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

ALL: Sorry about the slacking. I'll be sure to post something today.

Legaleagle said...

Last night, at the bar, right after siinging Baby Got Back, I realized that you forgot another song -- and it's a good one:

Sweet Caroline.

Mr. Shife said...

I think you have some excellent selections especially the Journey choice. A Guns 'N' Roses song usually gets the bar crowd going or Garth Brooks singing "Friends in Low Places."

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Legal: Jeez! How cold I forget such an obvious choice? Thanks, Legal.

Shife: Thanks, buddy. G n' R and Garth Brooks should tour together.

Samantha_K said...

Wow, those are all really great songs...or maybe I'm just slurring along in bars a for thought.
As for the degrading rap lyrics...I find myself drawn to them as well. Why? It's an unknown. But there's this song by lil jon and the ying yang twins, "To the the wall", or something similar. It is obscene. And I love it.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Samantha: Yes, I know that song well. The chorus talks about "skeet"(ing), which means he gets a lap dance that is so good he creams his shorts. True story. Thanks for coming by, and I'll now return the favor.

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