We all know that local karaoke bar full of eager college students excited to get drunk after a rough week of internships, classes and annoying roommates. We should really create a new weekly holiday just for karaoke night. Who doesn’t thoroughly enjoy singing to words put on a screen even if we end up as the subject of our friends’ Snapchat stories? But which songs should you rock out to?
Check out these go-to fan favorite karaoke songs that keep us young.
1. Living On a Prayer
You don’t have to consider yourself a Jersey native to appreciate a little Bon Jovi. This classic karaoke song will get even the shyest at the bar to stand up and sing the chorus. “It’s a classic jam that gets the good feels going. I know every word and my friends can sing along too. I also like it because all age groups can sing to it, like my mom and my younger brother know all the lyrics,” said American University sophomore Fletcher Cobbsek. This song is friendly for all ages, making it a classic everyone can enjoy and sing along to.
2. Life is a Highway
Several versions of this song exist, but any frat boy you’ll meet has probably done a rendition of their own. This song is a tune we can all relate to, especially in college. And who doesn’t love a fun karaoke song encouraging us to “ride it all night long?” “It’s such a fun song and everyone knows the chorus at least, it’s easy to sing,” said AU junior Ben Aronovitz.
3. You’re Making My Dreams Come True
If you’ve seen 500 Days of Summer, you know how this song can loosen up the crowd. Not only is it catchy, but also sort of cute and romantic. When played towards the beginning of the night, this song will totally help set a pleasant mood. But karaoke goers beware: if you lack the pipes to sing this one, you should probably stick to a beginner’s song. “There’s really nothing like hearing the first kick of the drum and then striking a pose and singing those first lyrics, WHAT I WANT,” said AU senior Nicholas Galatis.
4. I Want it That Way
Who doesn’t love a good 90s boy band, especially the Backstreet Boys and their notable pop music? When someone brings down the house with this ditty, you know the night will start to get wild. Graduating seniors were only four when this hit came out, but still manage to know all the words and even can perform it pretty well. The whole bar usually sings the “tell me why” part in unison by the end of the song. This one not only brings on the nostalgia but it also gets everyone involved to sing in harmony. Need I say more?
5. All Star
The mere opening line, “somebody once told me,” will encourage bar patrons up from their seats and onto the dance floor. This late 90’s Smash Mouth song never fails to get us reminiscing about the days our moms used to drive us to soccer practice and let us choose the radio station. This song can for sure make people scream-sing along with you, especially at midnight when the energy starts to lower. It doubles as the perfect song to sing for both karaoke newbies and more timid performers. The lyrics are simple, the song sounds catchy and by the last chorus you’ll have a group singing with you.
6. Don’t Stop Believing
Not one person in college right now was alive or able to get into a bar legally when this Journey classic came out. So, why, is someone bound to drunkenly slur their way through this song when we hear about karaoke night? No one may know the answer to this, and we definitely don’t know many people who can hit the high notes in this advanced karaoke song. But we love to grab the closest person around us and scream it together in a bar or sweaty frat basement anyway. Another great part? You can perform this as a duo if necessary. If you and your college hubby want to perform for your friends on karaoke night, sign up for this one— it never disappoints.
7. Before He Cheats
Whether you’re an angsty sorority girl on the prowl after her last breakup or truly just love a Carrie Underwood classic, this one’s made for you. No one can resist singing the chorus aggressively while acting out the digging of keys into the side of an ex’s car. Starting the night with this song proves to be a great way to get all the angst out and then have fun. Although this song may sound a bit angry, it has a repetitive chorus that will bring the bar together. Don’t act so shocked when boys know the lyrics to this throwback millennial jam— we all loved this American Idol artist at one point in our middle school days.
You’d think guys would hate this, but they actually love to sing and act goofy to this early 2000’s Pop and R&B fusion melody. Nothing gets the men going like a good version of “Milkshake,” but don’t be surprised if this one gets the ladies on the dance floor. “The lyrics are a little ridiculous, but I think it’s a good throwback song. It really is a fun song that brings me back to the MTV music video days,” said AU senior Jordan Weintraub. This classic song will get the whole bar chanting about how “it’s better than yours” in no time.
9. Baby One More Time
Oh baby baby, how was I supposed to know that this popular song takes over the dance floor any given karaoke night? This Britney classic will have all the girls dancing like they’re dressed in that cute schoolgirl outfit from the video. Although this one may only appeal to the ladies, it still gets the party moving. Come on, no one can say no to a little Britney. The boys may hide it, but deep down they love to chant the chorus in their heads.
This song screams frat star karaoke night. No college guy can resist Neil Diamond’s ode to some woman named Caroline, especially when drunk. You can sing it arm and arm with friends or a significant other. Even if you sing this as a solo, someone will always cheer and make you chant the whole damn thing. “The song truly rubs off on all within earshot. As a bartender, and subsequently veteran karaoke spectator, “Sweet Caroline” turns a normal karaoke night into a hazy sing-along extravaganza. This song falls second to none when it comes to true karaoke jams,” said AU senior Mike Lowenthal.