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Rule #1 Of Karaoke is that it’s for everyone. Karaoke doesn’t discriminate.Remember that.
Some people get really nervous at the thought of doing karaoke, fearing that they’ll risk embarrassing themselves. That’s why we’ve provided the best tips and tricks for a smooth karaoke performance. Feel free to check out that article here.
However, this time we’ve come up with a cheat-sheet of songs for karaoke virgins, or anyone who’s just really unsure about picking a song.
25. Stay – Lisa Loeb
A folk-rock song from the 90s, Stay tells the story of relationship drama from the point of view of someone who’s conflicted about ending the relationship. It’s a bit fast paced but that’s exactly the appeal of the song as the stanzas don’t really require actual singing, but more like ranting with a melody.
24. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
A song that’s just the spirit of blues and country. It was partially co-written by Bob Dylan then completed later on by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. The song is good old-fashioned-country music with a tunely chorus and is really easy to keep up with.
23. Island In The Sun – Weezer
A chill song about running away into some sunny island and never feeling bad again. At the end you might just want to do the same.
22. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
A Billy Joel classic then later remade by the boyband, Westlfie. It’s upbeat and cool and gives off the 1950s swing-kind-of-rock. It’s an easy song to carry and mostly comprised of “oh-ooooh-oh”s.
21. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchel
Bring out your inner hippie with this song. Written and released in the 70s, the song talks about the same pressing issues we’re still facing today. It’s upbeat despite the serious subject-matter with sweet but wise lyrics we all need to hear.
20. One Way or Another – Blondie
A theme song for when you’re trying to cyber stalk someone or when you’re trying to get revenge as seen in Mean Girls. Even if the song is fast-paced, it’s not a very difficult song to sing to. Just like Lisa Loeb’s Stay, it’s done in that half-singing, half-talking style, just with more attitude.
19. Closing Time – Semisonic
This classic 90s rock song has been used in movies like Friends with Benefits, and tv shows like How I Met Your Mother. With the iconic lines “I know who I want to take me home”, this is also the perfect choice for the last song to lead your group into whatever the day or night has to offer next.
18. All The Small Things – Blink 182
Rock songs can be intimidating to perform but there is no going wrong with this song. All The Small Things was written because the band felt like they needed a song that was catchy and basic, to their surprise, it easily became a pop-punk anthem and was even included in the book “1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die”.
17. These Boots Are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
Upon its release in 1966, the song became an instant hit and was forever in pop-culture. It’s been translated into different genres, covered by Megadath, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Jessica Simpson. It’s also been featured in films from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket to Ocean’s 8. It’s got a catchy rhythm with outlandish lyrics that go “you keep lying when you oughta be truthing”.
16. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
A song that was initially written for a woman, then recorded and released by Presley in 1961. It’s been revived by numerous artists from different genres, the most recent being Kinna Granni’s rendition in the film, Crazy Rich Asians, in that ridiculous but beautiful wedding scene. Still, the Elvis Presely version has that slow luau-vibe we all love.
15. Killing Me Softly – Roberta Flack (popularized by The Fugees)
A song about listening to someone sing and being overwhelmed (well, killed softly, to be exact). This song will forever exists in karaoke song lists. There are two distinct versions of this song, amongst the numerous covers, Roberta Flack’s 1973 recording has a more rustic sound while The Fugees put more of an RnB spin. Both versions are beautiful and all you need is to bring some soul into the song to pull it off.
14. Take Me Home, Country Road – John Denver
A pure country road record and a sure crowd pleaser. For some reason, even if no one actually lives in West Virginia and even if no one is going home by the country road (whatever that is), everyone knows the words to this song.
13. Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Most of Taylor Swift’s songs are a good fit for karaoke beginners. Blank Space, a song Swift wrote as a response to how mass media has pegged her as a serial dater. It’s a mid-tempo song that’s catchy and uncomplicated.
12. Mamma Mia – ABBA
Abba has gifted us with numerous karaoke favorites. You can honestly just keep singing ABBA songs until the end of the night. Mamma Mia achieves that distinctive ABBA sound of whimsicality and groove and is just an overall fun song to sing. Heck, even Meryl Streep sang it!
11. Happy – Pharrell Williams
This song from the eternally-young Pharell, is a good-vibe-anthem. It’s inspired numerous covers, dance videos, flash-mobs, and a perfect uptempo choice for karaoke.
10. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Another good-vibe-anthem, I’m Yours is a cute-love song that somehow transports you to a beach, laid out on the sand, watching the sunset on the horizon with a pina colada in hand.
9. Losing my Religion – REM
Losing my religion is an expression to mean you’re at your wit’s end. The song talks about unrequited love and pining for affection from the other person but they know it won’t happen. It’s angsty the way 90’s songs are usually filled with angst and easy enough to pull off just by channeling that same attitude.
8. Danny’s Song – Loggins & Messins
It’s a heartwarming song with an equally heartwarming backstory, the song was written by Kenny Loggins’ for his brother Danny to celebrate the birth of his son. The song is soft, sweet, and reassuring ending with the lines “tell me, everything is gonna be alright”.
7. Don’t Look Back in Anger – Oasis
Oasis’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger” is a quintessential Britpop song and is always a favorable choice for karaoke or live band gigs. Any Britpop song would be a good choice for Karaoke, but the real draw of Don’t Look Back in Anger is its spacey lyrics. In fact, even the songwriter Noel Gallagher, admits to not knowing what the song actually means.
6. Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus’ song that signaled the transition in her musical career from being Disney-Miley to We-Can’t-Stop-Miley. It’s a song that’s mastered the formula to get the crowd going.
5. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
All you need to hear is that piano intro and you already know the song. It’s a pop song that wasn’t meant to be a pop song but became one. The song became an even greater pop phenomenon when it was featured on the film White Chicks, specifically the part where Terry Crews’ character sings along and dances to the song. The actor himself, admitted that he has a strong connection to the song.
4. Everybody – Backstreet Boys
Honestly. Put on any boy-band song from the 2000s and dare people not to sing along with you.
3. Oops! I Did It Again – Britney Spears
It is so typical of us to include this song. But this should be on everyone’s karaoke song lists. What other song epitomizes 2000s pop music? Tighten those pigtails and get ready for a wave of nostalgia.
2. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
This song is like the musical manifestation of sunshine. Released in 1969, Sweet Caroline has stood the test of time and was even selected by the Library of Congress in the U.S. to preserved in the National Recording Registry because of the song’s cultural and historical significance.
1. Hey Jude – The Beatles
Nothing beats The Beatles. If there’s an emotion, then there’s probably a Beatles song about it. Hey Jude’s emotion would be consolement. It was originally entitled “Hey Jules” and was written by Paul McCartney for Julian, John Lennon’s son, as a form of consolement when Lennon and his then wife, divorced. So, just as the lyrics say, “take a sad song and make it better”.
Remember, the point of karaoke is to have fun. As long as you’re having a good time then you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do.