Best Bar Songs Everyone Wants to Hear

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Music is important for the overall atmosphere in your bar. It can help your patrons to feel a certain way and make them want to stay in the bar longer, therefore increasing your revenue.

It is scientifically proven that listening to music elicits a strong emotional response, activating the reward and arousal system in the brain of those listening. Having the right music in your bar is important for gaining business and keeping it.

The Best Bar Songs

Choosing the best bar songs are going to depend on your audience and the type of bar you are running. Here is a list of some of the best general bar songs for a great night out:

  • ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey
  • ‘I Love This Bar’ by Toby Keith
  • ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi
  • ‘Get the Party Started’ by Pink
  • ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)’ by Beastie Boys
  • ‘Bottoms Up’ by Trey Songz
  • ‘Old Time Rock & Roll’ by Bob Seger
  • ‘Tipsy’ by J-Kwon
  • ‘Bartender’ by T-Pain
  • ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ by Def Leppard
  • ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ by Beyonce
  • ‘Raise Your Glass’ by Pink
  • ‘Gin and Juice’ by Snoop Dogg
  • ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus
  • ‘Born to be Wild’ by Steppenwolf
  • ‘Closing Time’ by Semisonic
  • ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen
  • ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ by Thin Lizzy
  • ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ by Pat Benatar
  • ‘Brass Monkeys’ by Beastie Boys
  • ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ by AC/DC
  • ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses
  • ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • ‘Blame It (On the Alcohol)’ by Jaime Foxx
  • ‘Shots’ by LMFAO
  • ‘I Got a Feeling’ by Black Eyed Peas
  • ‘Thong Song’ by Sisqó
  • ‘All Summer Long’ by Kid Rock
  • ‘California Gurls’ by Katy Perry
  • ‘Blister in the Sun’ by Violent Femmes
  • ‘Baby Got Back’ by Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Joan Jett
  • ‘Juicy’ by Notorious B.I.G.
  • ‘Low’ by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain

Best Playlist for a Hotel Bars

Hotel bars can be a little different in terms of the type of atmosphere you are trying to create. Specifics will depend on the bar itself.

For example, if you are looking for more of a rooftop bar or “club” feel, you will want more upbeat and danceable music. If your hotel bar is more relaxing and lower key, piano or background music can be ideal.

It can also depend on where your hotel is located. A hotel bar in Nashville, for instance, will often focus more on a country playlist, while one in downtown New York City may be more hip hop and rock centered.

Here is an example of a great hotel bar playlist:

  • ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Old Crow Medicine Show
  • ‘Piano Man’ by Billy Joel
  • ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ by Jet
  • ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns and Roses
  • ‘Like a Virgin’ by Madonna’
  • ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’ by NSYNC
  • ‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
  • ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani
  • ‘Hypnotize’ by the Notorious B.I.G.
  • ‘Miami’ by Will Smith
  • ‘Wannabe’ by Spice Girls
  • ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ by Whitney Houston
  • ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift

Best Playlist for a Sports Bars

Sports bars are often hopping during specific sports seasons. While important games are on, the soundtrack is regularly the game play itself. After the game is over, however, you will need to keep the customers happy and engaged with upbeat and positive music.

A sports bar playlist may look like this:

  • ‘We Are the Champions’ by Queen
  • ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd
  • ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)’ by Fall Out Boy
  • ‘Walk This Way’ by Run-D.M.C. featuring Aerosmith
  • ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ by Baha Men
  • ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight’ by Hank Williams
  • ‘This is How We Do It’ by Montel Jordan
  • ‘Party Up’ by DMX
  • ‘Bad to the Bone’ by George Thorogood & the Destroyers
  • ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ by Steam
  • ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba
  • ‘Song 2’ by Blur
  • ‘Gonna Fly Now’ by Bill Conti
  • ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica
  • ‘Gold Digger’ by Kanye West

Best Songs for College Bars

College bars tend to cater to the younger and rowdier crowd. As such, they will usually play fast and upbeat songs that are guaranteed to keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning. This can include current and popular songs as well as well-known traditional bar songs.

A modern college bar playlist may look like this:

  • ‘Let’s Get It Started’ by Black Eyed Peas
  • ‘Truth Hurts’ by Lizzo
  • ‘I Took a Pill in Ibiza’ by Mike Posner
  • ‘Hey Look Ma, I Made It’ by Panic! at the Disco
  • ‘Bad Habits’ by Ed Sheeran
  • ‘Jumpman’ by Drake & Future
  • ‘Kiss Me More’ by Doja Cat
  • ‘Hot Girl Summer’ by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
  • ‘I Don’t Care’ by Ed Sheeran featuring Justin Bieber
  • ‘Old Town Road’ by Little Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
  • ‘Bam Bam’ by Camila Cabello featuring Ed Sheeran
  • ‘Sacrifice’ by Bebe Rexha
  • ‘Kings & Queens’ by Ava Max
  • ‘Levitating’ by Dua Lipa featuring DaBaby
  • ‘Rain on Me’ by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande

Best Country Bar Songs

Country bars often alternate between fast-paced dancing and drinking songs and slower love songs. They will often mix modern country songs with more traditional ones.

Country songs often include lyrics about drinking. This can encourage customers to keep buying beer and other beverages at the bar.

A good country bar playlist may include the following songs:

  • ‘Margaritaville’ by Jimmy Buffet
  • ‘I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink’ by Merle Haggard
  • ‘Two Pina Coladas’ by Garth Brooks
  • ‘I Love This Bar’ by Toby Keith
  • ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain
  • ‘Red Solo Cup’ by Toby Keith
  • ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ by Alan Jackson
  • ‘Friends in Low Places’ by Garth Brooks
  • ‘As Good as I Once Was’ by Toby Keith
  • ‘Why Don’t We Get Drunk’ by Jimmy Buffet
  • ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy’ by Big & Rich
  • ‘Drinkin’ Beer and Wastin’ Bullets’ by Luke Bryan
  • ‘Day Drinking’ by Little Big Town
  • ‘Fix a Drink’ by Chris Janson
  • ‘The More I Drink’ by Blake Shelton
  • ‘Drunk on a Plane’ by Dierks Bentley
  • ‘I Like Beer’ by Tom T. Hall
  • ‘Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo’ by Tracy Byrd

Best Playlist for an Irish Bar

Irish bars and pubs often combine traditional Irish music with more contemporary music. Many of the songs include lyrics about whiskey and drinking as well.

Playlists may vary based on whether or not you are looking to stick with all Irish music or combine it with other genres as well.

Here is an example of an Irish bar playlist:

  • ‘The Wild Rover’ by the Dubliners
  • ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ by Thin Lizzy and Derek Varnals
  • ‘Mountain Dew’ by The Clancy Brothers and with Tommy Makem
  • ‘Chandelier Shop’ by The Kilkennys
  • ‘The Gypsy Rover’ by the Irish Rovers
  • ‘Molly Malone’ by the Dubliners
  • ‘Seven Drunken Nights’ by Celtic Thunder
  • ‘Beer, Beer, Beer’ by the Clancy Brothers
  • ‘Whisky You’re the Devil’ by Poxy Boggards
  • ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ by the Irish Rovers
  • ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’ by Damien Dempsey, John Sheahan, and Barney McKenna
  • ‘Muirsheen Durkin’ by Foster & Allen
  • ‘Lannigin’s Ball’ by Waxies Dargle
  • ‘One on the Road’ by the Wolfe Tones


Two Types of Peak Emotional Responses to Music: The Psychophysiology of Chills and Tears. (April 2017). Scientific Reports.

Effect of Alcohol References in Music on Alcohol Consumption in Public Drinking Places. (November–December 2011). American Journal on Addictions.

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