5 (more) Songs We Must Stop Playing in Bars

5 (more) Songs We Must Stop Playing in Bars

A while back, we took a look at the greatest jukebox atrocities committed on a nightly basis. A lot of folks spoke up and it soon became evident we had only scratched the surface.

So because we’ve run out of fresh ideas,  let’s take another look at the offenders…

Johnny Cash- “Ring of fire”

Who’s Playing This?

You can never be quite sure with this one. It’s become so ubiquitous in our bar culture that anyone could be the culprit. Maybe even YOU.


Why It Must Be Stopped

There are so many other good Johnny Cash songs, most of which have never once been brought up in litigation involving hemorrhoid cream. For a lighthearted night of getting shitfaced, try “Jackson,”“Boy Named Sue,” or “Cry, Cry, Cry.” On the flip side, throw on “Ghost Riders In the Sky” and feel the mood dramatically shift as you brace for a glass ashtray to get smashed across your head.

What I’m saying here is you’ve got options. But no, it’s the same damn song. Over. And Over. And Over. I can’t spend one night working myself into a proper blackout without blaring mariachi horns piercing the din of the room.

Preferable Alternative

A night recreating the Real Johnny Cash Experience: Hardcore amphetamine use, burning down a forest, and subsequent misdemeanors. Spiritual awakening optional.


Bonnie Tyler-“Total Eclipse of the Heart”

Who’s Playing This?

Either a bachelorette party or some co-ed kickball team.

Why It Must Be Stopped

“Old School” came out 11 years ago. You and your drunken friends poorly recreating the scene featuring this song stopped being funny 11 months and 10 years ago. Also, no one can quite seem to remember where all the “fuckin’s” are supposed to go, so you get a group of jackasses butchering a decade old joke but indiscriminately shouting profanity out of key.


And hey, did you know that song is 7 minutes long? It’s actually longer than the joke itself. Eventually, you’ll get tired of the shtick and give up. Which leaves the rest of the bar 5 more minutes of listening to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Way to go, champ.

Preferable Alternative

I don’t know. Getting kicked in the balls, maybe?



Warren G ft. Nate Dogg-“Regulators”

Who’s Playing This?

Almost exclusively, bros in their 30’s. This song was originally featured on the “Above the Rim” soundtrack, released in 1994. At the time of its release this song was EVERYWHERE, and with good reason- it’s a dope song.

Why It Must Be Stopped

Know what else is a dope song? “I Keep Forgettin’,” by Michael McDonald. And every single time I think I’m gonna hear the rich baritone vocals of the former Doobie, I’m instead treated to a semi-circle of broskis dancing around like assholes, flashing “west side” signs, and rapping every other word to the song to each other.


Without fail,  they’ll also forget the  third verse of the song.

“Regulators” falls victim to the same trap as M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.” You gear up to hear The Clash, and instead get the 3rd shift of Urban Outfitters acting like it’s fucking Burning Man.

Preferable Alternative

Have Michael McDonald record a song sampling the intro of some popular garbage song,  like “Turn Down for What.” Everyone gets stoked, and then BOOM! HERE COMES THE SMOOOOTH SOUL.


Outkast-“Hey Ya!”

Who’s Playing This?

Anyone who self-identifies as “white girl wasted”


Why It Must Be Stopped

Outkast is amazing. Their contribution to music is huge, which is why it’s so infuriating to only hear the song that is in no way indicative of their career.

“Hey Ya” is the ABC Family of the Outkast catalog. It’s the Disney montage, the dorky dad dancing…it’s the zumba class of hip hop. And sure enough, every time it comes on, you’re going to find out who among you has ever shed real tears during Sigma Alpha spring semester retreat.

Preferable Alternative

Aquemini. Start to finish.

Me- All That Bullshit I Play

Who’s Playing This?

This idiot:


Why It Must Be Stopped

After a night of drinking, I fall into the same predictable pattern. Fed up with the same songs getting played, I think to myself “You know what this bar needs? They need to hear some GlassJaw!”

So I stumble over and plunk a fiver into the juke, filling it up with all the punk and hardcore I love. That group of elementary school teachers looking to unwind on a Friday night? They totally wanna hear Earth Crisis. Surely they’ll appreciate the irony of playing a straight edge band in a tavern.

The freshly-minted 21 year old DePaul students looking to meet girls? Nothing is gonna set the mood better than back-to-back Grade songs.


Yeah, in a room full of assholes playing the music other assholes love, I’m the guy who has to be a music snob contrarian and ruin everyone’s good time.

Preferable Alternative

I don’t know…maybe stop seeking validation by cultivating an insanely specific taste in music? Ask myself if it’s healthy that I’ve spent so much time in bars that I have noticed these patterns?

Eh, play what you like. I have some serious reflection to attend to.