11 Fail-Safe Songs For Your Favorite Bar’s Jukebox


Taking control of the jukebox is a huge responsibility. Your selections will set the tone for the entire bar, i.e., you are in charge of everyone’s rockin’ time. I’ve seen countless people crack under the pressure – girls sobbing in corners, grown men reduced to balls of trembling uncertainty, famine, war, etc., etc. Fear not, however; I have comprised a list of fail-safe musicks sure to make anyone a bona fide Jukebox Hero.

1. Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’”

No night is complete without Journey on the jukebox! Seriously, guys, no one is sick of this song. We’ve basically had it on repeat ever since that episode of Family Guy ten years ago!

2. Rehab, “Bartender Song (Sittin’ At A Bar)”

Because you’re in a bar. That’s, like, so meta. Bartenders everywhere will totally appreciate this four-minute, drawling shout-out, especially if you sing it directly to them. This has literally never been done in any bar, ever. In fact, don’t sing it TO them, sing it AT them. Loudly. If you can’t raise your vodka cran to that, you don’t know how to have a good time.

3. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Freebird”

There’s nothing like a seven-minute musical interlude to really crank the energy in a room. Plus, you can always entertain people by using the bar top or the pool table to re-enact that scene from Forrest Gump. Just hug the crazy out, Jenny. Hug it all out.

4. Pink Floyd, “Great Gig In The Sky”

A bar is the perfect place to test out that experimental prog-rock track you’ve been sitting on. The only thing louder than Clare Torry’s wailing vocals will be the shrieks of appreciation from your fellow patrons.

5. Carmina Burana, “O Fortuna”

The sweeping cymbal crashes and strains of the Latin choir act as the perfect complement to the dive bar aesthetic. Sure, it may be a bit “high-brow” for a few folks, but hey. You just tell them to try mixing their well bourbon with a little bit of culture.

6. Cookie Monster, “C Is For ‘Cookie’”

At this point in your playlist, it’s a good idea to interject some educational material. It’s so much fun, the crowd won’t even realize they’re learning, too!

7. Sarah MacLachlan, “Angel”

There’s never a WRONG time to remind people about animal cruelty.

8. Pantera, “I’m Broken”

After that somber message, you’ll need something to re-kindle the energy of the room. This should be a gentle way to ease everyone back into party mode.

9. The theme from “Harry Potter”

Demand that the bartender serve you a Butterbeer, under threat of the Cruciatus Curse. Then, run around the bar crying, “Accio Beer!” and snatching other people’s beverages. They will find your youthful exuberance charming.

10. Anything by The Eagles

Besides being America’s Band, can you ever really hear “Hotel California” too many times?

11. The Doors, “The End”

Why? Because DUH, it’s called “The End.” The 20-minute lumber through an Oedipal storyscape is just a bit of cheeky irony that your fellow bar-goers will totally pick up on and appreciate. “Well done,” they’ll say, and raise their glasses to you. Go ahead and bask in the admiration – really. Feel very, very free to take all the credit on this one.