I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll sing damn near any song after I’ve gotten a few cups of sweet liquid confidence in me. But not all songs were created equal, and this fact holds more true than ever after winning a one-on-one duel with a suitcase of Natural Light. The following five songs are held to a different standard; any time you hear their distinctive intoductory riff you can’t help but feel the first lyric roll to the front of your tongue. Once these songs begin, the time for conversation at the bar abruptly ends and every inebriated mind shifts to recite the lines they know so well. Without further ado, your five best songs to sing blackout drunk.
Wagon Wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show
I feel like if I didn’t include this song on the list, I would have an endless stream of death threats to look forward to. Wagon Wheel stands confidently at the top of every Greek student’s “Party Mix” playlist. With the perfect blend of country and bluegrass, Old Crow Medicine Show’s hit lulls you into an alcoholic euphoria as each strum of the banjo encourages you to sip on that beer just a little bit longer.
While many tryhards have taken this song to National Anthem levels, we as professionals know that this song is best used in the right situation. If Wagon Wheel comes on twice in one night, somebody is trying too hard. If Wagon Wheel comes on before 10, somebody just doesn’t get it. Wagon Wheel should only rear its fiddled head at the peak levels of consumption, somewhere between “I guess I could drink one more” and “I dare you climb on the library roof.”
Piano Man- Billy Joel
Billy Joel’s classic piano-laden melody holds a special place in every bar-crawler’s heart, and is likely to blame for the spots on each of their livers as well. The song varies in tempo and volume throughout, allowing you to calm and gather yourself before belting out “SING US A SONG…” on cue with the chorus after each passing verse.
Piano Man is the kind of song that can capture an entire bar after just a single verse. Even the most shy and reserved of patrons find themselves swaying and raising their drinks in approval by song’s end.
If this harmonic heavy hitter doesn’t convince you to chug whatever booze-laden concoction you hold in your hand, then there’s absolutely no hope for you.
American Pie- Don McLean
“A long, long time ago, I can still remember…” This song starts innocently enough, but after a hauntingly quiet first verse the guitar pipes in and drives this tune 110 mph down the highway to pure blacked-out belligerency. While this song clocks in at an impressive 8 and a half minutes, the verses seem to fly by as you proudly chant each “Drove my Chevy to the levy.”
This isn’t a song to finish your drink to; it’s a song to finish two drinks to. The extra length of McClean mastery offers you just enough time to crush that extra double, and if you’re feeling brave a shot to top it all off. Bonus points if you drink Whiskey and Rye.
By the time the gentle final verse arises, you should find yourself in the perfect state of mind, and you can be assured that everyone in the room will contribute to the final “This will be the day that I die.”
Friends in Low Places- Garth Brooks
While very few of us would boast about our low-placed friends, none of us ever have a problem singing along to Garth Brooks’ classic country tune. From the moment you hear “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots,” the mood instantly changes into a scene of sways and cheers. I’m fairly certain that every bar I’ve ever visited played this song at some point in the night, and I’m here to say that I am completely okay with that.
The song exists as a perfect testament to the bar-hopping lifestyle, and we can proudly relate to Garth’s drunken antics. No matter where life takes you, there is always a proverbial “Oasis” for you to slip on down to. I’m not saying alcohol will solve your problems, it just makes them matter a lot less.
Freebird- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Featuring one of the greatest “finish your drink or I’m taking your Man Card” guitar solos of all time, Freebird is the perfectly balanced Skynyrd hit that has inspired millions of assholes in crowds at cover band concerts nationwide. While the song is often imitated, it’s nearly impossible to capture the essence of the acoustic/electric hybrid magic of the original.
While the melody starts slow and strong, the gradual buildup to the solo is the perfect mirror of how you should be consuming your whiskey-tinted beverage. While you should begin the song at a casual sipping pace, by the 4:40 mark your drinks should start disappearing faster than the Oklahoma City Thunder’s momentum.
There’s a reason this song is requested so often at bar-oriented live music events. We’ve all been that asshole yelling “Freebird” at some point or another, but it isn’t our fault. When an image of such musical perfection arises that goes hand in hand so well with dangerous levels of consumption, it’s almost impossible to ignore. This 9-minute face melting Southern Rock masterpiece is the perfect model for any alcoholic air-guitarist, and it’s highly unlikely that its legendary status will change anytime soon.