...other than Auld Lang Syne...
January 23, 2008 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for those songs that, when they come on, everyone in the room starts singing along to...for inspiration, think the Tiny Dancer scene in "Almost Famous"...
posted by Ziggurat to Society & Culture (96 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Silly Love Songs, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday, Love Me Do..........gettin' this yet?
posted by Freedomboy at 3:20 PM on January 23, 2008


Sweet Caroline.
posted by sweetkid at 3:21 PM on January 23, 2008


Fuck The Police.
posted by box at 3:22 PM on January 23, 2008


Brown Eyed Girl. (barf)
posted by loiseau at 3:22 PM on January 23, 2008


That stupid song that goes NA NA NA NAAAA, HEY HEY HEY, GOOD-BYE... NA NA NA NAAAA, HEY HEY HEY, GOOD-BYE. Repeat ad nauseum until people collapse to the floor and plead for mercy.
posted by HeyAllie at 3:25 PM on January 23, 2008


Sister Christian.
posted by Skot at 3:26 PM on January 23, 2008


"Happy Birthday".
posted by Dizzy at 3:26 PM on January 23, 2008


Bohemian Rhapsody.
posted by Diskeater at 3:27 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is quite a culturally specific answer. I once saw a train carriage of strangers burst into a rendition of Khe San by Cold Chisel on Melbourne Cup Day (triggered by someone's transistor radio, or somesuch), but that's probably not going to happen in Vancouver.
posted by hot soup girl at 3:29 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I say a little prayer.
posted by tiny crocodile at 3:29 PM on January 23, 2008


Also, Fairytale of New York.
posted by tiny crocodile at 3:30 PM on January 23, 2008


We Are The Champions
Nothin' but a G Thang
posted by Roach at 3:30 PM on January 23, 2008


Just to encourage the chatting before all-hell breaks loose... YMCA...young man!
posted by wafaa at 3:33 PM on January 23, 2008


"If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Bare Naked Ladies
posted by 23skidoo at 3:34 PM on January 23, 2008


Livin' On A Prayer always seems to get a lot of singing along, especially in bars.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:35 PM on January 23, 2008


From experience: "Joy to the World" (the one by Three Dog Night).
posted by dilettante at 3:36 PM on January 23, 2008


Sweet Home Alabama, Freebird, and at least here in the US South, Family Tradition or Friends in Low Places, You Never Call Me By My Name
posted by keep it tight at 3:42 PM on January 23, 2008


I wouldn't have guessed it until actually seeing it happen, but Guns 'n' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine" got one hell of a reaction the last time I heard it played at a club.
posted by Ndwright at 3:46 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was a great SNL commercial for "Classic Sing-Along with the Drunken-Asses," a CD of nothing but drunken office workers doing this very thing. I definitely remember Billy Joel's "Captain Jack" as being one of the songs on the album; if you can find a clip of that commercial, it might give you some more ideas.
posted by saladin at 3:48 PM on January 23, 2008


Once, at my favorite neighborhood bar on a weekday evening, the bartender put Oasis' What's the Story Morning Glory record on. Everyone in the room was singing along to the record quietly, and by the time Wonderwall came on, everyone (friends and strangers alike) was singing at the top of their lungs, together. It was a great moment.
posted by greta simone at 3:49 PM on January 23, 2008


'Heat of the Moment' by Asia. (NB: Probably only suitable for prog/South Park fans.)
posted by macdara at 3:49 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Janis Joplin, "Mercedes Benz." At least I've had that experience--no idea if it's widespread or not.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:50 PM on January 23, 2008


Fuck Her Gently by Tenacious D.
posted by nitsuj at 3:51 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don McLean's American Pie is the obvious one that comes to my mind...
posted by mysterpigg at 3:53 PM on January 23, 2008


oh, and seconding Bohemian Rhapsody - this is my girlfriend's favorite Karaoke song for just that reason (that way, it doesn't matter how drunk and incoherent you are, the audience will help out).
posted by mysterpigg at 3:55 PM on January 23, 2008


Tubthumping
posted by nomisxid at 3:59 PM on January 23, 2008


Fuckin' Freebird, dude. Accompanied by drunken air guitar. It's like, genetic or something.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:04 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


piano man...which is really impressive at a Billy Joel concert when he stops singing and just plays along on the piano while the ENTIRE staduim serenades him :)
posted by legotech at 4:06 PM on January 23, 2008


Journey, Don't Stop Believin'
Foreigner, Juke Box Hero
posted by djb at 4:07 PM on January 23, 2008


Lean On Me
posted by juliplease at 4:11 PM on January 23, 2008


[retch]
Don't Stop Believin'
Personal Jesus
How Soon is Now

[doesn't make be go bleargh]
Me and Bobby McGee
Anarchy in the UK
I Wanna Be Sedated

In my circles, Alone Again Or by Love and almost any song by X, but I don't think we're "everyone."
posted by desuetude at 4:12 PM on January 23, 2008


I'm looking for those songs that, when they come on, everyone in the room starts singing...

Also, Fairytale of New York. -- tiny crocodile

That sounds like a great room. Tiny, do you need a roommate?
posted by rokusan at 4:13 PM on January 23, 2008


YMCA.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:31 PM on January 23, 2008


Almost anything by James Taylor and the Beatles
posted by MiffyCLB at 4:51 PM on January 23, 2008


Oh, and Beast of Burden of course
posted by MiffyCLB at 4:52 PM on January 23, 2008


We Will Rock You (at least the chorus), Queen
Monster Mash, Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
California Girls, Beach Boys (my preferred version linked)
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
My Way, Sinatra

and...Bingo
posted by jamaro at 4:53 PM on January 23, 2008


Raspberry Beret.
posted by jayder at 5:01 PM on January 23, 2008


Army by Ben Folds was THE standard sing-along at both colleges I attended.
I think all of the typical bar songs I hate have been covered upthread except for Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield. Ick.

Desuedetude - Alone Again Or is so fucking great! I want circles like yours...
posted by naoko at 5:08 PM on January 23, 2008


OH, and Like a Prayer usually works pretty well, although more so in female groups, I think.
posted by naoko at 5:08 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Apologies to desuetude for complete massacre of your name.)
posted by naoko at 5:10 PM on January 23, 2008


Bowie's "Rock'n'Roll Suicide."

But this is pretty culture (and subculture) specific...
posted by ubersturm at 5:16 PM on January 23, 2008


I once put together an epic 60s playlist for a 60s party. Some songs I remember working well for this:

Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
The Temptations - Build Me Up Buttercup
The Real McCoys - Hang On Sloopy
The Kingsmen - Louie Louie (great, because no one knows the words)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:23 PM on January 23, 2008


Violent Femmes, "Blister In the Sun." Big time. Also, "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows. Often sung with ironic faux-emotion.
posted by otolith at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Paradise By the Dashboard Light - Meat Loaf
Urgh, definitely Piano Man
Rock & Roll All Night - Kiss
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
We Are the Champions - Queen
posted by landedjentry at 5:32 PM on January 23, 2008


Oddly, I had one of these moments in a Mongolian grill with "Buddy Holly," by Weezer.

Also, if you're with a group of females from exactly the right generation, Disney princess songs. Ohhhh, the Disney princess songs.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 5:53 PM on January 23, 2008


come on eileen!
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 6:03 PM on January 23, 2008


free falling, jenny (867-5309), jesse's girl, girl's just wanna have fun

i love this question.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 6:08 PM on January 23, 2008


take me home tonight - eddie money

fresh prince theme song? haha.


okay, i quit.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 6:10 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just about every (good) party I've ever been to has ended with a bunch of guitars in the back yard, singing Crowded House songs, so they get my vote. 'Don't Dream It's Over' and 'Weather With You' in particular. This is possibly Aussie-centric, but in my experience it was true of England as well.

Also, "Buddy Holly" by Weezer. One of my favourite memories is an entire nightclub- every single person I could see- both singing and doing the dance for this song. Awesome. It also seems to get played at every party I go to.
posted by indienial at 6:15 PM on January 23, 2008


Oh- Mamas and Papas- California Dreaming, and Hazy Shade of Winter, especially the cover version by The Bangles for some reason.
posted by indienial at 6:17 PM on January 23, 2008


Tainted Love
posted by hippugeek at 6:18 PM on January 23, 2008


Video Killed the Radio Star--The Buggles

Our House--Madness
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:40 PM on January 23, 2008


My husband and I have realized that there may be a law rescinding your American citizenship if you don't know the words to Hotel California. I have never met anyone, not counter culture, not strict Evangelicals, nobody, who couldn't at least sing the chorus.
posted by headspace at 6:42 PM on January 23, 2008


I remember a lot of parties drukenly singing "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" No one knew all of the words (even sober) but it was a lot of fun to try
posted by dogmom at 6:46 PM on January 23, 2008


(I'm Gonna) Keep on Lovin' You.

Carpenters: Top of the World, etc.

Abba: Waterloo, Dancing Queen, etc.

Tom Petty: Refugee

Knack: My Sharona

Who: My Generation

Many more, often mockingly. Christ, I'm old.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:52 PM on January 23, 2008


Regulate by Warren G
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:04 PM on January 23, 2008


Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight? Lonnie Donegan

Civilization Louis Prima

The Intro And The Outro Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
posted by motown missile at 7:07 PM on January 23, 2008


Kung Fu Fighting! Those cats were fast as lightening!
posted by GaelFC at 7:08 PM on January 23, 2008


Any of the old TV theme songs, such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and The Flintstones. I was in a cable car climbing Mt. Titlus in Switzerland once, and we were stuck for some time for some reason, and even though the passengers consisted of Germans, Brazilians, Americans, and I forget who else, almost everyone knew the words to these old TV classics and joined right in.

Little Willy by the Sweet usually gets everyone to join in (on the chorus, at least)
Also Don't Bring Me Down by ELO
posted by Oriole Adams at 7:11 PM on January 23, 2008


The Proclaimers - (I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles

There is no possible way you can resist singing along with that. Anyone who can is a cold, emotionless robot.
posted by Zaximus at 7:24 PM on January 23, 2008


The roof!
The roof!
The roof is on fire!
We don't need no water
let the mothaf—a burn!
posted by WCityMike at 7:39 PM on January 23, 2008


And I just discovered "Fairytale of New York" this Christmas. What a friggin' amazing song, and how sad about Kirsty.
posted by WCityMike at 7:39 PM on January 23, 2008


I Will Survive!
posted by divabat at 8:01 PM on January 23, 2008


Don't Stop Believin' and Bohemian Rhapsody are in fact great for this. However, if you really want to get everyone of a particular generation up and singing, try Aerosmith's I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:04 PM on January 23, 2008


C'mon people, what about "Living on a Prayer" !!??
But also seconding "Tainted Love" and "Sweet Caroline"...
posted by nkknkk at 8:14 PM on January 23, 2008


Vanilla Ice - "Ice Ice Baby"
posted by chiababe at 8:23 PM on January 23, 2008


Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks (sorry but it's true)
posted by tamitang at 9:02 PM on January 23, 2008


Johnny B Good
Trucking
Brandy You're a fine girl
Billy Don't be a Hero
Seasons in the Sun
Most of the Doors' crap
Tin Soldiers
Ramblin Man
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:07 PM on January 23, 2008


Oasis - Wonderwall? that's more of a guitar song though.
Maroon 5 - This Love

there are more, but I can't think of them.
posted by Phire at 9:11 PM on January 23, 2008


Also, totally awesome question.
posted by Phire at 9:12 PM on January 23, 2008


"Fight for Your Right" by the Beastie Boys
posted by exceptinsects at 9:30 PM on January 23, 2008


We are Family sung by Sister Sledge (40 of us singing that marching arm-in-arm into the stadium-esque thing for graduation)

Take This Job and Shove It sung by David Allen Coe

Dancing Queen sung by Abba
posted by librarylis at 9:54 PM on January 23, 2008


Interestingly, I was once in a clothing store when the sound on the muzak system cut out in the middle of the song, and I got to hear everybody in the place quietly singing along to Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You". This might be specific to NYC.
posted by anildash at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2008


Don't Speak- No Doubt
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2008


Naked Eye by Luscious Jackson. Lot's of fun harmonies to play around with.

More and more over the past year or so, people seem really into Spice Girls singalongs. Their comeback came at the perfect time.

The most surprising spontaneous singalong I've ever been party to was most of Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica album, but I doubt that would be a popular favourite.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:11 PM on January 23, 2008


I LOVE this question. We've got lots to add from the 80's Babies Wednesday Night Knitting Group.

Toto - Africa
Blondie - Heart of Glass, Call Me
Heart - Barracuda, These Dreams
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Whoever did it - All by Myself
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop, Rhiannon
Glass Tiger - Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone
Tears for Fears - Shout, Everybody Wants To Rule the World
Styx - Mr. Roboto, Sail Away
Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Cutting Crew - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight
Corey Hart (I think?) - Sunglasses At Night
Just about anything by REO Speedwagon I should think
Hank Williams Jr - Family Tradition
Journey - Lovin Touchin Squeezin or Lights
Toni Basil - Mickey
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday or Streets Have No Name or Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Tom Petty - You Don't Know How It Feels
a-ha - Take On Me
Katrina and the Waves - Walking on Sunshine
Joan Jett - I Love Rock and Roll
Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian, Manic Monday
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus (although no one speaks German in our group...)
Extreme - More Than Words
Kenny Loggins - Danny's Song
Men At Work - Down Under
Dead Or Alive - You Spin Me or whatever the proper name is

That's the ones we can think of that pretty uniformly get the singalong going.

Seconding all the Queen, and the Beastie Boys, and oh, GOD, thank you for getting The Proclaimers stuck in my head.
posted by angeline at 10:52 PM on January 23, 2008


OK, I'm not sure this song would still have this effect on people, but...

Around 1989 or so, I was at The Last Exit on Brooklyn, a legendary coffeehouse near the University of Washington in Seattle. The Exit had a piano, and people used to sit around and play random stuff. Occasionally someone would sing along a bit, but mostly it was background music.

So this guy was at the piano that night, and started playing "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS. And suddenly, strangely, everyone started singing along. By halfway through the song, the whole place was singing. "I... I was standing/You were there..." Some people even hummed and la-la'ed through the instrumental break. It was a real musical theater kind of moment.

And at the end of the song, everyone laughed and cheered and went back to their conversations as if it had never happened, and the guy kept messing around on the piano.

It's one of my favorite memories, even though the song never did all that much for me.
posted by litlnemo at 1:02 AM on January 24, 2008


The Outfield - Your Love

Josie's on a vacation farrrrrr away
Come around and talk it over
So many things that I wanna say
You know I like my girls a little bit older
I just wanna use your love toniiiiiight
I don't wanna lose your love toniiiiight.

The Cure - Just Like Heaven

If my friends and I want to get every girl in the place singing,

Mariah Carey - Always Be My Baby

and I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned...

Sir Mix-a-lot - Baby Got Back



badass question by the way.

posted by clearly at 1:40 AM on January 24, 2008


...and

Pennywise - Bro Hymn

...not really singing, but I have seen packed bars yell WHOOAAAA OHHH OOOHHH OHHHHHH
posted by clearly at 1:43 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Daydream Believer
posted by jontyjago at 2:59 AM on January 24, 2008


There's a couple I can think of that I don't think I've seen mentioned yet:

Hounds of Love - The Futureheads
Gay Bar - Electric Six
Teenage Kicks - Undertones
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
posted by paulfreeman at 4:06 AM on January 24, 2008


The one time I heard a bus full of college students spontaneously break out into song, it was, of all things, the Pure Prairie League's "Amie."
posted by kimota at 5:33 AM on January 24, 2008




This is quite a culturally specific answer.

Along those lines, when I visited Orvieto, a group of old Italian women (who seemed to be residents of the town) on the funicular going up started singing "Funiculì, Funiculà" and got the whole car to join in.
posted by CiaoMela at 8:52 AM on January 24, 2008


Gotta include "Summer Nights" from "Grease."
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:05 AM on January 24, 2008


Anything by Fleetwood Mac

"Piano Man" by Billy Joel
posted by mynameismandab at 9:11 AM on January 24, 2008


Somebody already said it, but dude:

I like big butts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can't deny
When a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get Sprung!...
posted by ND¢ at 10:48 AM on January 24, 2008


Seconding American Pie. It was years before I actually heard the recorded version - but I knew all of the words from back of the bus singalongs.

And, rokusan, my room is in Dublin, which probably explains it.
posted by tiny crocodile at 12:22 PM on January 24, 2008


How is it possible that no-one has mentioned Add it Up by the Violent Femmes?

naoko, it happens. I henceforth will refer to it as being "sueded" because I'm having a moment in which I like the idea of being all sleek and fuzzy. This moment has now passed. Also, I advise you to hang out with more mostly-drunk musicians.
posted by desuetude at 8:10 PM on January 24, 2008


"New York, New York" not only the singing, but chorus lines form doing the "kick".
posted by JujuB at 11:08 PM on January 24, 2008


I was in a pub in Wales when "Don't Look Back In Anger" came on, and the whole place kicked into the chorus.

AND SOOOOO SALLY CAN WAIT....

As well, nthing "Don't Stop Believin'."
posted by dw at 12:22 AM on January 25, 2008


How could you people forget Tainted Love.
posted by kanemano at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2008


Any Canadian of a general age (20-35?) knows Home For A Rest by Spirit of the Rest. A great University/College song. Never fails to reincarnate a slumping wedding reception these days, either.
posted by aclevername at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about Eye of the Tiger?
I personally don't know any of the words, but I think most other people probably do, and plus if it comes on I sing it anyway. It goes a little something like this, to the best of my knowledge:

IT'S THE EYE OF THE TIGER nananananana
nana nanana nananana
na na nanananananananananana
nana nananana IN THE EYE OF THE TIGER

(bows)
posted by naoko at 9:08 AM on January 26, 2008


Don't Fear the Reaper, once people are done yelling "More cowbell!" which may take a couple minutes.
posted by naoko at 9:14 AM on January 26, 2008


Naoko, you are missing out! The words are possibly the best part of that song:

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight,
Standing up to the challenge of our ri-i-vals,
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night,
and he's watching us all through the eyeeeeeee.....
of the ti-iger.

Genius.
posted by tiny crocodile at 11:34 AM on January 27, 2008


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