10 Songs Bar Managers are Tired of Listening to — But Patrons Love

by Katie Sawyer, 3 minutes read
HOME blog songs bar managers are tired of listening to but patrons love

Running a bar is a great gig. It’s high-energy, it’s fun, and you get to be creative and get an exhausting workout at the same time.

But there’s a problem. You often have to listen to the same songs over and over.

It’s bad enough if you have to play these songs once in a while to keep your clientele happy, but add a jukebox or karaoke night into the mix and all hope is lost. There are dozens of songs that you hear every night. Here are just a handful of songs that bar managers are tired of listening to, but patrons love.

1. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

This song is a classic hit and it’s great if you don’t have to listen to it at the whim of anyone with a dollar for the jukebox. In your opinion, it’s overplayed. But really the song makes you cringe because it gets the whole bar screaming at the top of their lungs. Plus, it riles everyone up to buy a round of shots for anyone at the bar. Get ready for a wild night.

2. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet Caroline! Ba ba — Nope, no, please not again. The chorus of this song was made for chanting, pumping fists into the air, and spilling drinks.

3. Wonderwall – Oasis

Well, this true band of brothers broke up, leaving the brothers hating each other. How many times do emotional couples have to play this song at the bar before they realize it’s depressing?

4. Africa – Toto

Bar managers everywhere want to shove lemon wedges in their ears when this one starts up on the jukebox. The loud, shrill high notes make it hard to concentrate on what you’re doing. And even though this tune must be one of the most overplayed songs of all time, it’s probably not going anywhere.

5. Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega

What is it about this song that can make otherwise rational bartenders go crazy? It may be catchy, but it’s also epically cringeworthy. And probably one of the last songs you want to listen to while shaking a cocktail or checking in on table 20.

6. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain

Like an overeager email, the exclamation points in this song title should be warning enough that things will get weird when it’s played. It’s the musical equivalent of a white wine spritzer served with a shot of tequila and it has the potential to turn your perfectly nice bar into a honky-tonk nightmare.

7. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi

The ‘80s called and they want you to stop playing this one. Any song that makes a crowded room want to scream-sing is bad news for a bar. You’re probably livin’ on the prayer that it never gets played in another bar again.

8. Closing time – Semisonic

Theoretically, this song should be a bar manager’s best friend. The problem is, no one leaves when you play it. That’s when you have to pull out the microphone and tell people, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

(Good) music to your ears

If bar patrons want to stay in the good graces of the fine people who keep their drinks coming, it’s time to mix up the playlist. And even if that overplayed song on repeat is giving you a headache, scheduling doesn’t have to give you a bigger migraine. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to see how you can build schedules, manage shifts, and record work hours from any device.

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