Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Belly up to the bar with these sudsy songs

Let's face it,folks;between March Madness and St. Patrick's Day this weekend,there are going to be a lot of celebrations taking place at your local bars and pubs. Not making a judgment call here,just stating a fact.

As a pop culture follower,bars are rather iconic touchstones such as Rick's Cafe Americain from Casablanca, Roseanne's Lobo Lounge and Merlotte's in True Blood

What's also iconic are songs about or featuring bars. Most of them tend to be chatty(much like the patrons)and loudly over the top,yet that's the fun of listening to them. Whether your drink is hard or weak,some of the tunes assembled here should made that experience come alive for you.

A good one to start with is the Chumbawamba one hit wonder,"Tub Thumping". You may not know what the title means(neither do I)but after a few lyrics,the general theme becomes clear pretty quickly there:

A rousing follow-up number would be "Jump Around" by House of Pain. This rowdy tune is a real crowd pleaser at sporting events,being featured at both college and professional games of football,basketball and baseball.

It's also been on countless film soundtracks ranging from Mrs. Doubtfire to Daredevil,plus TV shows such as My Name is Earl and Lopez Tonight. This song was the band's biggest hit and it really has a life of it's own. The lyrics are not bar specific but it's not hard to imagine this punch drunk ditty playing in the background of your nearest watering hole:

For something a bit more mellow,we turn to the Billy Joel classic,"Piano Man". This ballad about a struggling musician observing the regulars in his nightly audience of bar patrons and staff is the standard by which all other songs in this genre are judged and rightly so.

It's one of those tunes that have you saying,"Man,they don't make them like this anymore." Granted,Joel himself is not entirely happy with this song in retrospect but it has stood the test of time rather well:

Of course,you can't put together a list like this without including "Where Everybody Knows Your Name",the theme from Cheers,co-written and sung by Gary Portnoy. It's one of the better known TV tunes of the 20th century and even received an Emmy nomination in 1983.

One of the amusing things about this song is that it's not as cheerful as it seems. If you've only heard the brief snippet from the opening credits,the full length version might be a bit of a surprise as the tone of the lyrics is sharply tongue in cheek with the notion of if it weren't for bad luck,the singer would have no luck at all:

Whatever you do for enjoyment this weekend,I hope you all have a good time and party safely. For those of you taking your entertainment to a bar or restaurant,please remember to tip your waitress and be considerate of closing time:

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