A Brief List Of Songs You Should Never, Ever Do At Karaoke, Unless You Rented A Room For Yourself And Only Yourself

Sep 12th, 2008 // 63 Comments

karaoke_neon01.jpgCompiled last night while I was out, mostly self-explanatory:

• “Stairway To Heaven”
• “L.A. Woman”
• “Goodnight Saigon” (nb this wasn’t performed last night but I think the point still stands, unless you were actually in the military and then you get a pass)
• Anything by A Perfect Circle that isn’t “Judith”
• Anything that clocks in at over five minutes, especially “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,” because seriously people, an hour is a finite period of time and there are other people in the bar.

Feel free to add your own.


  1. Anonymous

    Yeah, I hear “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Summer Love” about once a karaoke night. I live in Texas, so we also get a lot of fat white girls singing songs in the keY of “Before He Cheats.”

    My personal pet peeve is the endless coda. I do “End of the World (as We Know It)” but I have the good grace to get off stage before the second end of that song. “Hey Jude” falls into this too – that’s like 3 minutes of going “Naaaa na na nanananana.” Just stop.

  2. Anonymous

    @spankyjoe: Ah, you make a good point. Perhaps it’s for the best that I’ve never gotten the chance.

  3. Halfwit

    Stevie Wonder, “I Was Made to Love Her”.

    Actually, most any Stevie Wonder. It’s okay that you’re not Whitney or Mariah, but his songs are deceptively challenging.

  4. silkyjumbo

    what? nobody mentioned “love shack”? especially if there’s a college with sororities nearby. ugh.

    i’ve been known to bring it with blondie’s “the tide is high”.

  5. Anonymous

    Last week witnessed a tiny little white girl absolutely kill on some Danzig “Mother”. Astoundingly awesome!

    …of course, this was followed by a medley of drunken guys singing Steve Miller and Sabbath songs (5+ mins a pop) horribly.

    Here, here for banning: Black Velvet, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Love Shack, and Grease songs.

    May I add anything by Alicia Keys? Even if the singer in question has talent, she’ll grossly over-sing. The rest of them? Sheer torture.

  6. revmatty

    More Bowie would be good, more Joe Satriani would be better.

  7. ObtuseIntolerant

    I can’t think of anything to never do…I’m alover not a hater.

    My best ever karaoke experience was singing Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” as a duet with a friend. We brought down the house.

    Coincidentally her video is just like a karaoke performance!

  8. loudersoft

    @TroubleonWheels: I was just about to come back here and say “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” but you did it for me! Seriously, people — you can’t sing this song. You can’t. You’re not cute or funny faux duking-it-out with your significant other.

    I would do anything for love, but I won’t sing that.

  9. boozyj

    Most dudes should never attempt Guns’n'Roses. Axl’s voice is hard to nail.

  10. Anonymous

    Falsetto is hard to do karaoke. I once attempted U2′s “Lemon.” Won’t be trying that again ever.

  11. Hyman Decent

    Theme from New York, New York

  12. Oface

    OH Lord. One night I went and some dude did “Unforgiven” by Metallica. And the CD skipped alot. And he somehow got it restarted. I was ready to stab myself in the ears.

    Also…That frickin Evanescence song…Umm..Bring Me To Life. UGH. If I never hear that again I’d be ok.

    I prefer to do “Stray Cat Strut” or “Tide is High”…Nice low alto/mid range tenor songs.

  13. cheesebubble

    A couple odd choices but very bad ones nonetheless:
    Garth Brooks – The Dance
    Afroman – Because I Got High

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