Why Do We Listen to “Sweet Caroline” at Every Celebration?
Whether your sister just got married, your best friend is throwing a massive kegger, or you’re playing badminton with your younger cousins at a family barbeque, there is no question that the same playlist for each of these events has been recycled and reused over and over again. It seems like there is some strictly regulated protocol that those in control of the AUX must follow in order for the celebration to be a success. You know the music I’m talking about – Queen, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and, of course, Neil Diamond. It’s time someone not only documents these quintessential celebratory jams so every wedding DJ, party animal, and barbeque-thrower can break them out as needed, but explain why the hell it is we love belting out “Sweet Caroline” every time we’re with our friends.
1. “Stacy’s Mom” – Fountains of Wayne
Why we love it: We love hot moms! “Stacy’s Mom” is the perfect amount of fun, light-hearted risqué that we all need in our lives. In fact, the 2003 jam was such a hit that a movie was made about the sultry mother of Stacy 7 years later.
2. “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Why we love it: Between the funky, upbeat instrumentals and the triumphant story of a man who loses his virginity, how could we not love it? If you want to get your Italian Uncle Lou boogieing, queue up this throwback.
3. “Rich Girl” – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Why we love it: We hate this girl! She’s snooty, she breaks hearts, and we’re sick of her! Whatever girl Hall and Oates were referring to when they wrote this song, the two did an awesome job making us dislike her too. Not to mention, the song is so darn catchy that we don’t even feel mean hating on her.
4. “Come on Eileen” – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Why we love it: Don’t tell me the little violin segment at the beginning of this song doesn’t get your blood flowing. “Come on Eileen” is upbeat and easy to dance to (as exhibited by Emma Watson in the angsty 2012 film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”). In fact, you’re having such a good time jumping around to this tune, you don’t realize how surprisingly dirty the lyrics are.
5. “Runaround Sue” – Dion
Why we love it: “Runaround Sue” is the ultimate heartbreaker. She’s the quintessential, unapologetic, talk-of-the-town hussy that every girl secretly admires. It is not uncommon that men are respected by other men for the number of girls they add to their tally. “Runaround Sue” counters this, giving women a chance to embrace this kind of lifestyle. Take that, boys!
6. “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
Why we love it: What part of your friends and family drunkenly screaming, “SO GOOD! SO GOOD!” doesn’t sound appealing?
7. “Don’t Stop Believin’” – Journey
Why we love it: Journey knows how to pick us up when we’re feeling down! “Don’t Stop Believin’” makes us feel like we’re on top of the world. Whatever situation you’re in – whether it be troubled relationships, dwindling finances, or school-related stress – this jam will see you through it.
8. “Mr. Brightside” – The Killers
Why we love it: We have emotions! Vocalist Brandon Flowers has been through some serious heartbreak, and he knows you’ve been through it too! Everyone deals with the jealousy that accompanies seeing your crush with another person. That being said, Flowers – the emotional genius that he is – crafted the perfect song to belt your jealous rage away to.
9. “Brown-Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison
Why we love it: Blue-eyed girls get all the attention! Van Morrison decided it was time to give brown-eyed ladies a little fame and it became a total hit. “Brown-Eyed Girl” is a sweet, corny little tune that everyone can get behind. The lyrics are simple, the beat is easy to sway along to – it’s a quintessential feel-good song.
10. “1985” – Bowling for Soup
Why we love it: “1985” is an “our generation” song that our parents can get down to as well! Between allusions to Brat Pack movie classics, MTV (like, the channel that used to play music), and famous 80s rock bands, our beloved elders feel some serious nostalgia listening to this Bowling for Soup classic.
11. “Teenage Dirtbag” – Wheatus
Why we love it: Featured in the turn-of-the-millennium TV series Dawson’s Creek, “Teenage Dirtbag” holds a certain place in our hearts. Dawson’s Creek was one of the first high school dramas (aside from my own personal favourite: “One Tree Hill”) that 20-something-year-olds grew up watching. This little gem may be the one-hit-wonder’s only famous song, but it sure as hell makes us sing!
12. “Thunderstruck” – AC/DC
Why we love it: This one depends on your age. 40-year-olds appreciate the intensity of 1970s rock and the uniqueness of original singer Bon Scott’s voice. 22-year-old frat boys appreciate slamming a few Natty Lights to it.
13. "Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance
Why we love it: Anyone who claims that the sound of the first piano key in this song doesn’t touch their soul is lying. “Welcome to the Black Parade” is the ultimate emo kid anthem. Its consistently increasing intensity paired with Gerard Way’s godly voice has us screaming all the way to the end. By the outro, you have tears streaming down your face and you aren’t quite sure why. Hell, as I listen to it typing this article, I can’t help but sob.
14. “Build Me Up Buttercup” – The Foundations
Why we love it: Even people in the 60s went through heartbreak! This tune is catchy and relatable. Happy-sounding songs about unhappy circumstances help us cope – and there is no better way to cope with heartbreak than tearing up family karaoke with The Foundations. Plus, how often do you get to use the word “buttercup” outside of this situation?
15. “Fat-Bottomed Girls” – Queen
Why we love it: It’s an older, less atrocious version of Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$).”