Piano bars have been with us for decades, and the tradition is still going strong. Whether you’re in the mood to belt out a ballad or dance like crazy, there’s always something fun to do at a piano bar. But for piano players or fans alike, what are the best piano bar songs?
Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” ultimately top the list of best piano bar songs, among other songs from renowned artists worldwide. But Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” has also been a favorite for decades.
But those are hardly the only 2 favorites!
In truth, there are hundreds of great piano bar songs whether you want to know what to play or whether you’re a fan and just want to know what songs to request.
So below are 39 of the absolute best and most popular piano bar songs!
— Lisa McCarter (@LisaMcCarterCM) February 18, 2017
1. Sweet Caroline
Sweet Caroline is a 1969 song written by Neil Diamond and was originally recorded by The Boston Pops Orchestra, with vocals and guitar by Diamond.
Request this song and watch everyone sing along from the top of their lungs to its catchy, jazzy tune.
2. Don’t Stop Believin’
Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ is an iconic rock track that has been requested at bars and clubs around the world, even perfect for corporate events.
Is there a more iconic song from the past 40 years? I doubt it! It’s classic Journey, and everyone knows and loves Steve Perry. In fact, there’s footage of him on YouTube in the audience singing along with this song at a San Francisco Giants game since they use it as their theme song!
3. Piano Man
“Piano Man” is a song by Billy Joel from his 1973 album The Nylon Curtain.
It was released as a single in 1974 and reached number one on the United States pop chart, and just like any renowned song, you’ll see the whole crowd sing once the pianist plays this beautifully-crafted song.
4. Born to Run
Born to Run is a 1975 song by Bruce Springsteen, the lead single from his album Born to Run.
The song was an instant hit with critics and fans alike, who hailed it as one of the good piano bar songs in the world of rock ever written.
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
This is a song by the English rock band Def Leppard and was released in 1988 as the lead single from their seventh studio album, Hysteria.
It has since been certified platinum by RIAA with sales of over 17 million copies worldwide, stamping the song’s legacy in the music industry.
“Bye, bye, baby, it’s been a sweet love
Though this feeling I can’t change
But please don’t take it so badly
Cause Lord knows I’m to blame”
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird pic.twitter.com/pnpkxM0uaq
— Listenary. (@Listenary) January 22, 2019
6. Free Bird
Free Bird is a song written by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant and performed by the American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973.
The single made it to Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
7. Brown Eyed Girl
This famous single is a song by Van Morrison, which was released in June 1967 and reached number 10 on Billboard Hot 100.
To this day, the song lives on as people keep on wanting to hear it, especially in piano bars.
8. Friends in Low Places
“Friends in Low Places” is a song written by Dean Dewayne Blackwell and performed by Garth Brooks.
It was released in 1990 from his album No Fences, and it became one of the great songs ever recorded by him.
9. Sweet Child O Mine
Released in 1988, this song by Guns N’ Roses has become a classic power ballad, and for all the good reasons.
This remains to be insanely popular not only in dueling piano bars but in essentially all types of bars worldwide.
10. I Saw Her Standing There
“I Saw Her Standing There” is a song by the English rock band and Grammy Hall of Fame resident, the Beatles.
Due to its classic tune, more and more people are requesting for this to be played as one of the best bar songs with dueling pianos.
The timeless band would also inspire one of the greatest artists ever, Elton John. But was Elton ever actually a member of The Beatles?
A recent article I wrote talks about the relationship of the group with the famous balladeer. After all, Elton did cover “Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds” and did a number of collaborations with John Lennon in the 1970s. So, what’s the story between him and The Beatles?
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Park MGM (@parkmgm) August 30, 2022
11. She Will Be Loved
This song was originally released by Maroon 5 in 2004, but it has since become one of their most popular and most in-demand song requests ever!
The lyrics are simple but powerful: “She Will Be Loved” follows through with this idea that no matter what happens or who else you have around you, there is someone out there who will love you unconditionally.
12. God Bless the USA
“God Bless the USA”, also known as “Proud to Be an American”, is a patriotic song written by country music genres artist Lee Greenwood in 1980.
The song was recorded for his album, “You’ve Got a Good Love Comin.'” It became an instant hit and one of his most popular songs, remaining on Billboard’s Hot 100 for quite some time.
13. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
This song was released by Queen in 1979, and it peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart.
It’s one of the most-requested piano bar songs ever as the song features guitar, bass, and drums along with a keyboard solo by Mercury himself.
“Shout!” is a 1959 song by the Isley Brothers that became a hit in 1960, reaching number two on both the US pop chart as well as the UK Singles Chart.
The Beatles covered this tune in 1964 specifically for a television show called Around the Beatles, and it was eventually included in their 1996 album, Anthology 1.
15. Wagon Wheel
“Wagon Wheel” is a song written by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show.
The song has since then become extremely popular with its catchy country music style. This track is a bar staple up until today.
THIS DAY IN #Music, July 4, 1992:
🎤“Baby Got Back” puts Sir Mix-A-Lot on top of the U.S. #popchart for five weeks. The track becomes the second best-selling song of 1992, behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” #90s #90sMusic pic.twitter.com/gxjVzEpoIa
— Time Rewind (@TimeRewind) July 5, 2021
16. Baby Got Back
“Baby Got Back” is a hip-hop song written in 1991 by American rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot.
It was released as the first single from his third album, Mack Daddy, in 1992. The single peaked at number 14 on Billboard Hot 100 charts.
17. Livin’ on a Prayer
This single is a 1986 track by the American rock band Bon Jovi which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was named the 46th greatest rock song of all time it eventually received a triple platinum award in 2013 due to the single’s massive digital downloads.
18. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Released in 2008, this song from Beyoncé’s third studio album, I am… Sasha Fierce easily became an international anthem.
It reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four non-consecutive weeks and won three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
19. Are You Gonna Be My Girl
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by the Australian rock band Jet is a song they released in 2003 which stood the test of time as people still love the tune today.
The song reached number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified gold by RIAA.
20. Isn’t She Lovely
A well-known song that cuts across decades and genres is “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.
The crowd will undoubtedly start singing along with you as Stevie Wonder employs a number of jazz-specific chord progressions.
— Monsieur-Bulle (@thpat) June 22, 2021
21. I Love Rock’ n’ Roll
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, written by Allan Merrill and Jake Hooker, is a highly requested song in bars with grand pianos.
The Arrows recorded it in 1975, but it wasn’t until Joan Jett re-recorded it in 1991 that it became famous.
22. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is one of the songs most requested for piano bars today.
The song won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 30th Grammy Awards, making it one of only four songs to have achieved this feat alongside world-renowned artists such as Adele, Mariah Carey, and Elton John.
23. Jessie’s Girl
You’re probably familiar with Rick Springfield’s 1981 hit, “Jessie’s Girl.” You’ve heard it before—you may have even played it yourself at a piano bar or on your karaoke machine.
This song was one of the most requested songs, and for a good reason: it’s got an infectious melody and memorable lyrics that will get everyone singing along.
24. Bohemian Rhapsody
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song by the British rock band Queen, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
It was originally recorded as an instrumental piece in 1973, but lead vocalist Freddie Mercury later added lyrics that describe his feelings about showing his true, authentic self.
Today, this track is regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
“Escape”, often known as the “Pina Colada Song”, has a unique structure with three separate choruses. But despite this, piano bars consistently rank it as one of the best songs to play.
The upbeat soft rock song appeals to peoples’ desires for romance and adventure and entices them to sing along enthusiastically.
— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) August 23, 2021
26. Proud Mary
“Proud Mary” is a rock ‘n’ roll tune written by John Fogarty that was initially performed by his group, Creedence Clearwater Revival.
This song became a major hit in the United States, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1969, the first of five singles to reach that position for the group.
27. All of Me
One of the 2010 decade’s biggest singles, this love song solidified John Legend’s reputation as one of his generation’s most recognized singer-songwriters.
The moment it was released, it easily became one of the most requested songs in piano bars. It was written for Legend’s beautiful wife, model Chrissy Teigen.
28. Blister in the Sun
Blister in the Sun is a classic song by the Violent Femmes. It was released in 1983 and has since become an enduring classic, with over 5 million copies sold worldwide.
The song combines the sounds of two pianos to produce a dueling piano song that’s hard to beat!
The Spice Girls’ debut single “Wannabe” was released in July 1996, and it has since gone on to become one of the most successful pop songs of all time.
It won British Single of the Year at the 1997 Brith Awards and was also nominated for Best Pop Video at the Ivor Novello Awards.
30. No Scrubs
“No Scrubs” is a track recorded by the American girl group TLC about tough guys and was released in 1999 and has been a favorite song of piano bar patrons ever since.
The song was number 1 on Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks and also won the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal and Best R&B Song at the 42nd Grammy Awards.
‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, released by MCA in 1974. pic.twitter.com/MRi6LbENgD
— Art Of The 45 (@7inchart) August 28, 2021
31. Sweet Home Alabama
“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, a mainstay of the Southern rock genre and a classic rock tune, has made its way into piano bars all throughout the world.
This song, especially when performed aggressively, is unstoppable as a piano bar sing-along due to its contagious chorus.
32. Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” is definitely a staple in piano bars and any right place with live music.
With a little help from the stellar Marcella Detroit and Yvonne Elliman, the single magnificently narrates how to love someone so beautifully—so much so that people have adored this tune throughout the years.
33. Uptown Funk
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars was released in 2014, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, and reached number one in over 20 countries.
It also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2016.
34. Like a Virgin
“Like a Virgin” is a famous track by American singer Madonna from her second studio album, Like A Virgin.
This song ultimately stamped Madonna as a pop culture icon, with this track easily remembered by almost every single person in the world.
35. A Thousand Miles
“A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton is probably a song everyone has already heard at this point.
It has a catchy chorus, a simple melody you’ll be singing along to for days, and an instantly identifiable classic piano riff.
Best Friday nights are spent at the Piano Bar – what is your favorite song to sing? pic.twitter.com/7JrFBVaIXh
— SeaDream Yacht Club (@SeaDreamYC) March 8, 2019
36. Someone Like You
When Adele released “Someone Like You” in 2011, she shook the world.
It’s a really straightforward song with a lovely, straightforward piano chord pattern that gives Adele’s voice an opportunity to stand out.
37. Great Balls of Fire
One of the most well-known piano bar tunes of all time is Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire.” Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer co-wrote the song, which was first made public in 1957.
It is a timeless tune from a good piano bar that never fails to get the crowd rocking while having a great time.
38. You Shook Me All Night Long
Request the heavy metal classic “You Shook Me All Night Long” the next time you’re in a piano bar and watch the crowd come up and dance.
You’re likely never to forget the scorching guitar when dueling piano players perform it with passion as the entire crowd sings along.
39. Old Time Rock & Roll
Last but not least is Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock & Roll,” which has become so associated with dive bars and pubs that listening to it makes you want a cool drink.
The song begins with its recognizable piano theme, which continues throughout until Bob’s recognizable, country-like, gruff vocals come through and get your heart racing.
Well, there you have it! The top 50 piano bar songs that everyone at your next party will want to hear.
We hope that this list has given you some ideas on what to play or at least inspired you to start playing the piano yourself.
Remember: if you’re not quite sure where to start, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family members who have played before! Good luck with your music career—and thanks for reading!
Image by Diablo from Pixabay