All right, I have to admit a few of the songs I’ve selected are not bad tunes in their own rights; however, when alongside the likes of a few of the others on a crush party or road trip mix, we’re talking the full-on stench of a Roquefort cheese tasting. Throw in a slurring chorus of drunken college co-eds and we have the makings of a modern-day fondue party with all the bells and whistles. If you’re looking to put together the best drunken tear-inducing mix of all time, look no further than the Top Ten Cheesy Sorority Songs List.*
10. Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet
This and the next selection are the two songs that, on their own, are modern classics and anthems for certain sects of the American population. However, when sung at the height and limit of one’s vocal prowess, they take on a scary tone. Mix in the smell of citronella torches around a red wine-stained tiki bar covered with a sticky concoction of Triple Sec and cheap margarita mix with hugging fraternity boys serenading a group of googled eyed sorority girls, well, it’s going to be a long night and a rough morning.
9. Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
Dusty’s raspy tenor is the only one that can compete with the soulful soundings of Janis Joplin. But where Joplin’s honky tonk, cigarette graveled coolness saves her, Dusty’s lands her smack dap in the middle of playlist purgatory. Son of a Preacher Man is the ode to every girl’s crush.
8. A Horse with No Name – America
“Is that Freedom Rock?”
“Well, turn it up.”
If you miss the reference but still know the song, you’re in heaven reading this list. Great for morning hangovers and make-out sessions the smooth acoustical grooves of America are always an after party favorite.
7. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
This is for all you girls that want to make us boys pine for you and wish that we were in your current boyfriend’s place. For every girl that wanted to drive a special boy crazy, you did. And you know who you are. Luckily, I never had a Jessie, and I never wanted his girl. But now for Taylor’s girl, that’s a different story altogether.
6. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Barring the fact the entire Joni Mitchell catalogue should comprise this list, Big Yellow Taxi is always a party pleaser. From the first twangs of Joni’s acoustic guitar to the first whines of her unmistakable voice, the air or car will be filled with the delightful squeals of even the most discerning Greek girl.
5. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
For a one-hit wonder, Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive has become a transcendental anthem for a number of mixed populations. Dare-say we think this song may survive somewhere in the annals of popular American music and when our ancestors dig through our digital archives they uncover this piece of work. Maybe centuries from now, as they unclutter the digital garbage the track is saved upon, a toe will start tapping and suddenly a arm with a pointed index finger will shoot in the air, and the digital archeologist will utter, “I will survive.”
4. Desperado – The Eagles
This is dedicated to all the bad boys who go around breaking hearts all across American campuses and to the girls who love them. Just let me, a retired fraternity boy, remind you girls: when he says, “it’s not you; it’s me,” he really means it’s not you. It’s actually the other girl that is really attracting me. (Yeah, I know. Fairly harsh, but true. We’re all young once.)
3. Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt
Honestly, for me, the worst song ever recorded, but for some reason a staple on modern mix playlists. As she cries for a lost lover, we only wish Ronstadt will find him so we can protect and reclaim our ears and taste in good music.
2. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
Where to start? Better yet: Why? Proto-Reggae. Commercial appeal. Popular with the sound technicians of most advertising firms. And a number one, top of the chart favorite for college Greek parties. Maybe it’s not as much the song, but the wish that tomorrow will dawn and in the morning I Can See Clearly Now.
1. If You Like Pina Coladas – Rupert Holmes
Oh yeah, I went there. What can I say? This song defies definition and explanation. Sadly, it rests right at the top of my iTunes list and plays at least once a week (if not more). And as its first notes sneak through the speakers, my trembling finger hoovers over the skip button only to curl back into my fist and let the song finish as I hum along.
*By no means is this a derogatory shot at sorority girls. This list is compiled from six years experience researching sorority parties at the College of Charleston while I was a student. The tunes stuck. And, yes, I own them all, and I sing a long to them every chance I get.