Dads love karaoke. This isn’t particularly surprising once you break karaoke down to its basic components.
You take a dash of nostalgia, sprinkle in some public embarrassment, and chase it all down with a bucket full of beers, and you’ve got the perfect dad night out.
But when dad decides to make everyone uncomfortable with his overly enthusiastic and off-key renditions of popular songs, what tracks will he be ruining? Here are six strong contenders for karaoke songs that middle-aged dads will (well, try to) rock out.
Bruce Springsteen – “Born To Run”
Of course the Boss is going to have to make this list. “Born To Run” hits all the dad karaoke buttons. It reminds him of his youth. It’s upbeat. It’s in his range. And really when he inevitably just starts growl-mumbling the lyrics before raising a single fist and shouting out the chorus, no one’s going to blame him. It’s a great low-stakes, high-energy dad jam.
Frank Sinatra – “My Way”
For the crooner dads out there (technically, all dads think they’re crooners, especially if they’re not) Frank Sinatra is the classic standby. It’s a scientific fact that every dad has at least tried “My Way” as a karaoke song once, and every single time he’s warbled on, basically, every single note, but walked away thinking, “Yes, I absolutely crushed that!”
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Your dad knows that the song is like six minutes long, with a good two minutes of instrumentals. That will do nothing to stop him.
He’ll try (badly) to hit the falsetto notes. He’ll do the head bob thing from Wayne’s World. He will try to sing all the main vocals and the backup vocals, and he will be only somewhat successful in that endeavor. The only thing he will not do is notice the mortified looks on the faces of his family and friends out at the karaoke bar. Though, speaking of songs that are way too long for karaoke that dad will still sing…
Don McLean – “American Pie”
This song is eight minutes, but it’s famous, and it’s about how music isn’t as good as it used to be, and your dad probably knows all the hidden symbolism behind each lyric. So, apologies to the dozens of people who are in line to sing after, dad’s going to monopolize the stage a while with this one.
The Eagles – “Hotel California”
Every dad who was born between the years 1950 and 1980 legally had to purchase a copy of The Eagles Greatest Hits. And as such, they’ll feel behooved to sing “Hotel California” even though they only know the chorus and the “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave” lyric.
The Beatles – “Hey Jude”
Of course, dads have a duty to spread the gospel of The Beatles to the literally tens of people in the world who have never heard their music, and that includes representing the Fab Four in karaoke form. He’ll start off fine, but by the time he gets into the “hey hey hey, goodbye” section, he’ll be out of breath trying to toss in all the “JUDY JUDY JUDY JUDYEEOWW” parts at the end.
But hey, he’s having fun. That’s the only thing that matters in dad karaoke.