10 Songs You Should Never Sing in Public if You're a Straight Man
You're out with your buddies on a Friday night. You spot an attractive female across the bar. You point her out to your pals and they prod you to make a move. You take a few swigs of liquid courage and strut your way over to make your introduction. Your friends are watching all the while, cheering you on yet snickering at the same time. You extend a greeting to the fair lass and offer to buy her a drink. She accepts and you start with the casual chit-chat that everyone in the nightclub scene has been through before. Suddenly, a familiar tune sounds out from the jukebox through all of the conversational racket. In your nervousness, you start to sing along out loud without even realizing it. By this time your buddies have now made there way closer to the action. One of them is holding up his phone in your direction. "Is he filming? What was I just singing? Oh, no. OH, NO!"
It's one thing to get up on a karaoke stage and sing any of these songs. In those cases, you're obviously trying to be funny. Sometimes it works, and sometimes...well, y'know.
But other times you may be in a department store, a restaurant, an elevator, or anywhere else in public, and one of these songs comes out of nowhere, and you unconsciously start singing along, until you realize the words you're actually singing. You're a man's man after all, and you want to avoid this at all costs. The challenge is, though, that some of these songs are just so darn catchy....
(Editor's note: If you don't have a sense of humor, there's no need to proceed.)
1. "It's Raining Men"
Sample Lyric: "It's raining men, Hallelujah!!"
This tune is really popular with women at bachelorette parties and in male strip clubs, two places where no straight man is ever allowed. The Weather Girls' one and only hit from back in 1983 depicts some crazy fantasy of male precipitation, and you have no reason or right to vocalize one word of it. Don't even hum the melody. Not cool, bro.
Penance: Listen to any Motorhead album. Twice.
2. "Man, I Feel Like a Woman"
Sample Lyric: "Oh, oh, oh, go totally crazy. Forget I'm a lady. Man shirts, short skirts, oh, oh, oh."
First off, if you ever refer to any of your own clothing as a "man shirt," we need to have a sit-down. But saying anything resembling "feeling like a woman," where people can hear you, is a recipe for lifelong ridicule. Yes, Shania Twain is hot. Very hot. But don't sing this song, or any of her other songs for that matter. Especially while listening to your car radio in your pick-up truck with the windows rolled down. That's just wrong.
Penance: Watch the first three Die Hard movies in a row.
3. "Single Ladies"
Sample Lyric: "I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips."
The word "gloss" might as well be from another language to you, Mr. Man. I mean, when would you ever use that word in conversation? Right. Never. So you certainly shouldn't be singing it, either. As for the chorus of Beyonce's hit, the only thing you should be doing is scanning the area for all the "single ladies" that want you to put a "ring on it" - and slowly walking away.
Penance: Drink a shot of Jack Daniels every 10 minutes until you pass out. Wake up and finish the bottle.
4. "Let's Hear It For the Boy"
Sample Lyric: "'Cause what he does, he does so well, makes me wanna yell!"
This song is from the movie Footloose with Kevin Bacon. This is not a man's movie. You might as well be watching "Beaches" or "The Notebook." The girl in the song is singing about how much she loves her man, even though he's a good-for-nothing slob like you. Be proud, and just listen. No singing.
Penance: Eat a pound of bacon while watching a "Man Show" marathon. Feed some of the bacon to your bulldog "Spike."
5. "Material Girl"
Sample Lyric: "Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me, I think they're okay."
Back in her early days, Madonna was kinda hot. Now she's just...well...Madonna. But any song that involves this many references to how much money you need to spend on women should never be supported or celebrated. If you sing it, then you'll get what you deserve.
Penance: Go to Home Depot and purchase some lumber and nails. Go home and build a deck for your backyard while shouting out profanities every time you hit your thumb with the hammer. Drink a lot of beer.
6. "I Am Woman"
Sample Lyric: "I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman!"
You may be strong and invincible, but you best stop right there. Declaring "I am" anything brands you for life...or longer. Do you even know who sang this song? You really shouldn't, nor should you know any of the lyrics. So bite your tongue, young man, and leave this one alone.
Penance: Change the oil, brakes, coolant, power steering fluid and windshield wiper blades on your car yourself. Wash and wax it. Drink a 12-pack of beer.
7. "I'm Every Woman"
Sample Lyric: "I'm every woman, it's all in me. Anything you want done, baby I'll do it naturally."
Alright, this is getting out of hand. Now you're every woman!? Who would want that kind of punishment? Even girls don't like other girls, so why would you want to be all of them?
Penance: Hunt and kill a wild boar using only a butter knife. Roast it over an open flame while smoking a cigar and drinking beer.
8. "I Feel Pretty"
Sample Lyric: "I feel stunning, and entrancing, feel like running and dancing for joy, for I'm loved by a pretty wonderful boy!"
Just because Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson sang this song in Anger Management doesn't mean it's okay for you to sing this in public. You're not as funny as Sandler and you will never, ever be as cool as Jack.
Penance: Chop down a tree and whittle the trunk into a baseball bat. Go to the park and hit every pitch over the fence. Walk home and save a girl being mugged by a guy in the alley by clonking him over the head with your baseball bat. Drink some beer.
9. "Just A Girl"
Sample Lyric: "I'm just a girl, lucky me!"
There's no doubt that you should never sing this song in public. (See what I did there?) You have muscles, facial hair, and a powerful masculine scent. Your truck has the biggest tires in town. You wear the same jeans for weeks without washing them. She is "just" a girl, but you are a Manly Man! Utter these lyrics anywhere and you might as well go shopping for curtains.
Penance: Go fishing for a great white shark. Drink rum and sing sea shanties while showing off your scars. Toss chum over the side of the vessel until you can't breathe. Get a bigger boat.
10. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"
Sample Lyric: "You make me feel like a natural woman."
Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul, and she sang this song with conviction. You are to do no such thing. Belting out these lyrics is like shouting out to the world that you like pedicures, cuddling, and the Lifetime Network. There's nothing natural about any of that.
Penance: I'm afraid there's no hope for you. Go to your nearest government agency and turn in your man card.
More by this Author
Be honest. You want to be doing better. You know you're good, but you know there are some things that you're missing or could be improved upon. You're right. Read on.
The job of playing music in a cover band involves a never ending responsibility to learn new songs. While these songs may not be new to you, they are ones that you need to know if you play regularly.
Having an extensive catalog of songs that you know how to play is essential for any successful musician and cover band. These are the songs that just about every band plays at some point, with lyrics.