It's Your Turn to Hold a Microphone: Recommended Songs to Sing At Karaoke

Updated on March 25, 2017
Source

I used to regularly sing karaoke. This means, among other things, I have fond memories of the nights when a gracious crowd clapped for me after I failed miserably at performing a song I thought I knew better than I did. Eventually I learned the songs I preferred and which I could sing reasonably well. I have a lower voice, and inevitably many songs by female artists with higher voices—such as Allison Kraus and Charlotte Church—were avoided because they were too high to sing decently. Having grown up listening to the oldies station with my dad, it’s not surprising that I sang many older songs.

This list was compiled based on whether the song is fairly easy and enjoyable to sing, and, less importantly, if this song was typically a crowd pleaser. Certain nights some songs went over better than others, and for this reason I don’t want to give anyone the impression that all crowds will welcome the songs the crowds I performed for did.

Source

These songs are merely suggestions. It’s possible none of them will appeal to you. You may also have already performed one of these songs and it didn’t go well because of factors outside your control—sound as malfunctioning song equipment.

This list contains many of my “safe” karaoke options. Other nights I branched out and tried questionable things such as rapping—this was during Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know It’s True”—as well as my failed attempt to sing Ben Harper’s “Steal My Kisses.” I also once tried to sing “Somebody To Love” by Queen, and this wasn’t my best effort ever—even if I enjoyed singing it.

I strongly recommend you make sure that you know a song before you sing it at karaoke. Typically you can find song lyrics online as well as music videos with song lyrics on YouTube. Rarely did I go into any song completely cold—meaning without any previous knowledge of the song—and this is why I take this position. I’ll start by suggesting duets and then suggest songs which are typically performed solo.

One of my favorite duets to sing is “Love Shack” by The B52s. This song doesn’t require great vocal talent. In addition, it offers crowd-pleasing moments such as when the female singer nearly shouts “tin roof…rusted” before returning to the chorus.

Another duet I recommend is “Summer Nights” from the musical “Grease.” This is a popular karaoke duet, and is possibly not as interesting or challenging as lesser-performed duets. I’ve observed that people tend to sing along whenever anyone sings “Summer Nights.” Overall I am encouraged when people sing along while I am performing, though I recognize this may not be true for everyone.

The final duet I recommend is Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” This song has a nice tempo and is easy to sing along with. It’s also shorter than “Some Nights” or “Love Shack,” and therefore the performance is over sooner.

A note on song length: I’ve sung songs as short as Glenn Miller’s “King of the Road” and as long as Don McClean’s “American Pie,” and so I’ve experienced what it’s like to be in front of the crowd for just over two minutes compared to significantly longer. Most of the suggestions in this article are shorter than five minutes, and quite a few of them are less than four or even three minutes. This isn’t because I insist on singing shorter songs; it is merely because many of my favorite songs to sing at karaoke happen to be shorter.

Would you rather sing a short song, average length song, or longer song at karaoke?

See results

One of my all-time favorite songs to sing is “Desperado” by The Eagles. This is a slow song, and for this reason I like to sing it at the beginning of the night before the crowd gets rowdier. It is also a low song, and one of my friends whose voice is higher than mine experienced difficulty singing it. Nonetheless, it is simple and very satisfying to perform.

If I am in the mood for something a little faster, “Never Been To Spain” by Three Dog Night may fit the bill. This is a song I take creative liberties with; in other words, I’ve replaced the state name Oklahoma with the state I am from and so forth. On a related note, I once replaced the name John from “The Piano Man” with the name of the bartender working the evening I performed this. I’m not the only person who made such changes, and I find this adds to the fun of singing and listening to karaoke.

Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” is another song I’ve enjoyed singing. This song, while not as vocally challenging as “Somebody To Love,” nonetheless offers opportunities for improvisation during moments such as when you are supposed to sing “hey hey” or “wooh.”

“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga is a song worth singing if you are feeling sassier than normal. I like the speed of this song, and I also enjoy the fact you can act somewhat angry while you are singing. Also, this is a song crowds often love, and this helps me act edgier than normal.

An innovative cover of "Bad Romance"

KT Tunsell’s “Black Horse and A Cherry Tree” is a little more challenging because it requires fast singing; however, this song suits my vocal range almost perfectly. This song, akin to “Bad Romance,” is best performed with some sass.

If I am in a particularly spunky mood, it’s hard to go wrong with Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker.” This song is easy to follow, and I’ve found it is often one the crowd will sing along with.

For those nights when I want to sing something a little slower and more soulful, John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” is an excellent choice. This song doesn’t require complicated sound effects or repetitions sounds as you would find in songs such as “Me And Bobby McGee.” If I have sung several songs in one night, this would be a helpful song to close with because it is accessible without being boring.

Typically I don’t sing too many older country songs; one exception to this is “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. This is a sweet, brief tune which I find my vocal range has little issue with. I’ve also found I can learn a lot about the crowd by how they respond when they see this song come up on the screen.

Jim Croce’s “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” is a fast-paced song which requires a little attitude if you want to pull this off. Depending on the crowd, this can be a popular song. I’ve watched others—mostly men—sing this song, and it seems to suit those with voices significantly lower than mine.

Finally, I think Billy Joel’s “For The Longest Time” is an energetic and straightforward song to sing. In my experience this is virtually always a crowd pleaser, and surely one reason I’ve enjoyed it as much as I have is because audience members have sung along with me.

This list is not comprehensive. It is based on my biases toward older songs and the fact I have a lower voice. Regardless, I hope I’ve recommend a song or two you might consider singing the next time you sing karaoke.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Julie K Henderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      Of course The Eagles' song made it. I wouldn't be a karaoke queen without "Desperado."

    • profile image

      Ryan W Flynn 

      3 years ago

      The Eagles song made it! I have done karaoke twice, once was in Helen, GA to "Cecilia" by S&G. WK may have the footage. Never again.

    • Julie K Henderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      "Summer Nights" is the only song from Grease I've sang at karaoke, but I would enjoy learning how to sing "Hopelessly Devoted To You." Thank you for commenting.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      I have a karaoke machine at home and love singing Grease songs!

    • Julie K Henderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      I approve. Thank you for commenting.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i sing in the bathroom, the shampoo can be my microphone

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hobbylark.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)