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10 Greatest Bar Songs of all Time - Ever

Updated on November 20, 2014

This article required YEARS of hard drinking and investigative research in hundreds of bars, pubs, clubs, lounges and parties on 4 continents. Lucky for you....I am your man...and have been preparing to write this since my freshman year in college. I am more partial to trance/house music when I am out clubbing. But I LOVE a good bar or pub and  enjoy all kinds of music. HOWEVER, this list has a specific purpose, I wanted to compile the Top 10 songs OF ALL TIME to play in a bar/pub or party to get everyone singing along and having a good time.

These songs may be employed as the last-call song at a location that usually favors a different type of music, as is often the case. However, throw one of these..or all 10 of them....on the jukebox or as a request from the DJ and you will very quickly become the HERO of the party.

#10 Whiskey in the Jar - The Dubliners....or get a little crazy and get the version by Metallica. You may not have EVER heard this song and yet you will still be singing along by the end. When it comes to good times, hearty friends and hard drinking, the Irish know how to bring it! I am amazed how often I have heard this song, from New York to Tokyo and people just go nuts, even if it is a Hip Hop or Trance type of club.

 #9 - Mr. Mister – Kyrie..... It is no surprise that there several entries on this list from the 80s and 90s. This is classic 80s and VERY easy to sing along to. If you disagree with this being in the top 10...go to youtube and listen to it again. After I heard it again on the radio...I had add it to the list....fantastic drinking and sing-along song.

 #8 - Its My Life – Bon Jovi ..... Perhaps one of the best choruses on the list. This is a great song to just bellow with a drink in your hand. One of the things I love about this song is that even if you do not know the rest of the song, you just shout out the "It's my life" which is sung around 357 times or so. Great feel good song!

 #7 - Outfield - Your Love..... This is another song that you really have to re-discover. I was in a bar a while back that was playing mainly rock/classic rock etc and they played this song and everyone just went nuts. Perhaps one of the best opening lines of any bar song ever! "Josies' on a vacation far away...Come around and talk it over." Whatever that means...

 #6 - Tommy Tutone - 867 5309 (Jenny).... In the song that introduced the 7 most memorable numbers EVER. I do not care where you play this song...even if people do not speak a word of english, I guarantee you that they will know the chorus....Eight-Six-Seven-Five-Three-O- Niiiiiiiiiiine.

 #5 - American Pie – Don MacLean..... Perhaps not the happiest song on the list, but talk about good old Americana..."Drove my Chevy to the Levy but the Levy was dry..." Nothing will get every American in the place singing at the top of their lungs like this song. I remember being in Dublin and an Irish band played this in the pub...with a fiddle, and brought down the house.

 #4 - Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond.... Another oldie but REALLY goodie. My fraternity in college played this at EVERY single party and formal and it is always cool to see people singing along to the same song with their parents and even grandparents. This is a great drinking song...."Sweeeeet Caroline...Bah Bah Bah..."

#3 - Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd ...... In a song that is practically sacred, not to mention one of the most covered songs of all time. This song is so full of good old, down home, American Patriotism. Everybody knows this song and everyone loves to sing along whether you are a red-neck or a banker in a suit, this song just calls to you.....and when you answer..... it SCREAMS "get drunk and have a good time!!"

 #2 - Livin' on a Prayer – Bon Jovi.... It was very hard for me not to give this the first place since it may be my favorite song of all time. This is Bon Jovi at the peak of their popularity and FAR ahead of their time. This song is full of hope, passion, need and angst and really touches us all. Yet it is also very up-beat and fun. You play this song and the whole place will be yelling "Livin on a prayer" by the end of the first verse.


#1 - Journey - Dont stop believeing.... Probably not a surprise here. This song is the epitome of what a bar song should be. God only knows how many times it is played in movies and TV shows at the climax of the story line. Even those who do not believe this deserves the #1 spot will undeniably rate it in the Top 5 and that alone speaks volumes.

#1- Journey - Don't Stop Believing


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    • profile image

      germ 4 years ago

      this all depends on the bar.. lynyrd for some and not for some.. neil diamonds cool.. but bon jovi doesn't always work. I say play what YOU really like because its YOUR money.

    • profile image

      Creyes91 4 years ago

      Totally should've put Piano Man by Billy Joel.

    • Nykki13 profile image

      Nykki 4 years ago from Germantown, WI

      Great list! I will come clean and say that I have definitely sang along to everyone of these songs at a bar at some point in my life. Or numerous times in my life.

      Whenever I've had a party at my house, at some point in the night for the past 4 years (although it seems like we've been doing it forever) someone will play A Day to Remember's "If It Means A Lot To You". Whenever it starts, everyone stops what they are doing and we all sing along. I know it's not a bar song and it's not for everyone but it's just an amazing moment.

    • profile image

      gsurvivor 4 years ago

      Sorry but nothing beats the Thin Lizzy version of "Whiskey in the Jar." And yes, a little bit of George Thorogood would definitely come in handy, just check out "Bad to the Bone." Anyway, a solid list, well worth the vote up! :)

    • profile image

      Nick 4 years ago

      How about george thoregood? or the doors roadhouse blues?!?!

    • profile image

      jay 5 years ago

      the red sox ruined sweet caroline, no matter how shitfaced i am i cannot enjoy it.

      another suggestion: don't look back in anger - oasis

    • profile image

      justine 5 years ago

      Love your selection! if you are going to a Irish Pub, you can be sure that you will hear these songs! Love them!

    • Matt in Jax profile image

      Matt in Jax 6 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      Got to agree with the majority of this list, but I know a ton of places around here play "Jessie's Girl" pretty non stop so might be a possible addition.

    • profile image

      Hunter 6 years ago

      I really hated the list I am sorry, too much calm music.

    • profile image

      Senor Juez 7 years ago

      I do not see any country western songs or Tejano songs. What state was used today for bar songs? I nominate Willie Nelson's "Whiskey River."

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      I think the sweet home alabama should be #1 but its a gr8 list, thanks for it

    • TheSituation profile image

      TheSituation 7 years ago

      The Republic...yeah, good call...Ring of Fire is for sure a classic. I might need to do a Top 20!

    • TheRepublicofLife profile image

      TheRepublicofLife 7 years ago from Earth

      I play guitar in bars for a living. Get a lot of requests. There's so much great music, are you sure Bon Jovi deserves 2 spots? What about Johnny Cash ring of fire? What about Tom Petty? Overall, good list!

    • TheSituation profile image

      TheSituation 7 years ago

      Vijay..that is a good one!! Maybe the clip from Scrubs where Turk is air-banding that!

    • profile image

      Vijay 7 years ago

      Great list,

      here is another idea for ya top 20

      Boston - more than a feeling

    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      Great're right, Bon Jovi is one of the top...seems like Livin' on a Prayer is in there too.

    • revybaby profile image

      revybaby 7 years ago from On the Road

      We were on a cruise and a Mexican trio was going from table to table asking for requests. When they got to our table we didn't know what to say, so our daughter just shouts out "Sweet Home Alabama". Although they didn't know a lot of songs other people had requested they burst into Sweet Home right away and it was perfect. I'll always remember that moment when I hear that song.

    • TheSituation profile image

      TheSituation 7 years ago

      Thanks everyone! I am glad that you all liked my list. I might do a top 20 as some of you have had GREAT recommendations that did not make the top 10. Thank you all!!

    • Make  Money profile image

      Make Money 7 years ago from Ontario

      Good collection TheSituation. A pile of artists have recorded Whiskey in the Jar. Apparently it originated in the 17th century when highwaymen were regarded as national patriots in Ireland and Scotland. :-)

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 7 years ago from California

      A really good idea for a hub! But you may have forgotten the best one. How about "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," the song in which Dylan sings EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED. Later!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      "Sweet Caroline" is my pick but all the songs are great pub songs. Nice hub and a lot of fun, thanks.

    • mynameisnotpaul profile image

      mynameisnotpaul 7 years ago from Kentuckeh'

      "Don't Stop Believing" is a total bar hit, as are the others. I swear, I don't think you can endure a whole karaoke night without hearing a rendition of that number.

      Great list!!!

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      What a great Hub. I found this by accident and I know I'm coming back to it a lot of times. Terrific songs. I always have thought of myself as a drinker with a singing problem and this Hub has enabled my problem :0

      Great stuff.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Love it, great hub, thanks for doing all that research

    • obsexed profile image

      Katie Butler 7 years ago from Sensual, USA

      I must agree with your choices. Great picks!

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Great hub, you can always identify the good bar songs by the actions of the people in the bar (everybody stops what they are doing to either dance or sing along). :) Congrats, on your Hubnugget Wannabe nomination, and good luck to ya!

    • shazwellyn profile image

      shazwellyn 7 years ago from Great Britain

      It has to be sweet caroline for me. Thanks for a good selection x

    • OregonWino profile image

      OregonWino 7 years ago

      Dude!! Congrats on the Hubnuggest nomination!! Great list and awesome work on embedding the videos for each song!!!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello, I also love the song Livin On a Prayer :D and this is the first time I've heard Don't Stop's quite good too! :) Obviously I'm not much into bars LOL

      Congratulations for your Hubnugget Nomination! Check it out over here: vote okay?

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Great hub - love your choices and the commentary!

    • TheSituation profile image

      TheSituation 7 years ago

      Thank you Darkside! I think I am going to take your advise and do something like that. I also think I am going to put the song in after each one!

    • darkside profile image

      Glen 7 years ago from Australia

      I like your short snappy commentary that accompanies each song choice. Not sure why you've got iphones and kindles for sale, but how about the albums or singles to go beside each song choice?