14 Songs You'll Never Get Sick of Hearing at a Bar

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Whether it’s from a Spotify playlist, live band or DJ, every bar has a soundtrack. Music makes an empty bar less awkward, makes drinking more enjoyable, increases sociability, and softens the loud shaking and glass-clinking from the bartender making drinks. A bar’s soundtrack is essential to cultivating a solid drinking experience, and a bad string of songs can clear a place out faster than a tone deaf frat boy singing “Wonderwall” at karaoke night. While many bars constantly update their playlists with the hippest and trendiest of songs, there are always those ubiquitously enjoyable anthems that never cease to light up the entire room when they come over the speakers. Here are 14 songs no one ever gets tired of hearing at the bar, from some of our favorite barflys.

What a Fool Believes” by Doobie Brothers

“Michael McDonald is a god and has the best beard in the game.” — Amanda

Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

“Wasn’t this song actually written for drunk people? One thing’s for sure—only when you're drinking can you truly get into the sultry groove.” — Nick

Girlfriend Is Better” by The Talking Heads

“Ugh, that iconic groove-riff that starts the song...the way it builds! This song always makes people smile.” — Zoe

Can You Take Me Higher” by Creed

“If you're tipsy enough, that song gets you pumped up! If you sing it loud enough—with enough enthusiasm—you can get everyone to sing along with you.” — Mark

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot

“You'd be surprised how many people of all age groups suddenly start belting out an eight-minute opus about a Great Lakes shipwreck when given the opportunity.” — Andy

The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy

“Bar rock at its finest: ‘That jukebox in the corner blastin' out my favorite song / The nights are getting warmer, it won't be long.’” — Dan

Style” by Taylor Swift

“I like this song when I’m sober, so when it comes on while I’m not sober, I get 10 times more excited to sing the verse, ‘He's got that James Dean daydream look in his eye.’” — Matt

Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

“The song has the bounciest bass line in the world, keyboards that kill, and the falsetto fawning of its protagonist remind us anything is possible after the third whiskey. If you don't think ‘too ra loo ra’ is loaded with meaning, you're wrong.” — Eric

Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba

“You don't even have to be coherent to participate in singing along. It's literally the same shit 18 times on loop.” — Leanne

“My mom and I used to listen to The Big Chill soundtrack in the car on repeat when I was a kid. I know all the words now and will sing along every time I hear it. It’s also nice to find someone else at the bar who shares a love for Motown hits. It’s a rarity these days.” — Anna

American Girl” by Tom Petty

“It's a classic. You and your friends can alternate the ‘make it last all night’ part during the chorus and then play air guitar during the outro.” — A different Dan

"99 Red Balloons (English Version)" by Nena

“The finest public karaoke song of all time, and I will fight all who suggest otherwise.” — A different Eric

Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard

“I once saw a friend pour two bottles of Heineken on himself while singing this, sitting on a bar, so he could get hot, sticky, and sweet.” — An even different-er Dan

Closing Time” by Semisonic

“Because, like, we get it already.” — Eliza