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Old 08-06-2019, 09:19 AM
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Songs set entirely in bars


Naturally, the top one is Billy Joel's "Piano Man." No song will ever set the tone of a bar better.

I also love Tom Paxton's Saturday Night.

What other songs are set in a bar?
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:22 AM
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All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow

We are drinking beer at noon on Tuesday
In the bar that faces the giant car wash
And the good people of the world
Are washing their cars on their lunch breaks
Hosing and scrubbing as best they can
In skirts and suits
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:22 AM
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Good lord - how much time do you have?

Three quick ones - Misery and Gin, Bartender Blues and More to be Pitied than Scolded. "Too much beer and wine. Too many good times. The lure of the honky tonk wrecked her young life."
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:23 AM
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Two off the top of my head are "Gimme Three Steps" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and "Lola" by the Kinks.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:30 AM
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"Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers
"Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes
"Single Bars and Single Women" by Dolly Parton, written by Michael O'Donoghue
"Third Rate Romance" by Amazing Rhythm Aces
"Queen of the Silver Dollar" by a bunch of acts, written by Shel Silverstein

Last edited by Horatio Hellpop; 08-06-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:32 AM
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Okay, I messed up the title. I was thinking of songs set ENTIRELY in bars.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:33 AM
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"Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:34 AM
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Joe Diffie's "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)"
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Okay, I messed up the title. I was thinking of songs set ENTIRELY in bars.
Well, scrap songs 1, 2 and 4 in post # 5 then...

Last edited by Horatio Hellpop; 08-06-2019 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:38 AM
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"Saturday Night at the Twist and Shout" by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I know the exact bar well. It was in Bethesda, MD and I once had to step over a very drunk Root Boy Slim to get to the men's room there.

"Copacabana" by Paul Allen

Last edited by Horatio Hellpop; 08-06-2019 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:43 AM
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So far as I can tell, the patrons in Semisonic's "Closing Time" haven't yet left the bar by the song's end They're on their way out, but lingering from the bartender's perspective.

Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" is arguable. The part about him staying in the bar to catch up with the ol' baseball player is in the first stanza. But is that a frame story in which The Boss is recounting the rest of the song to the ballplayer at the same bar? Or are the stanzas about four separate independent encounters? In the latter case, three of the four stanzas either take place in a bar (Stz 1 & 4) or describe being at a bar (Stz 3). Stanza 2 -- about the girl "that could turn all the boys' heads" -- takes place in the girl's home with Bruce and her having drinks.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:46 AM
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"Before The Kiss, A Redcap" by Blue Oyster Cult

So grab your rose and ring side seat,
We're back home at Conry's bar
The blond girl with her tattoo,
Reds and wine, cokes of course...

Last edited by blondebear; 08-06-2019 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:49 AM
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"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by John Lee Hooker unequivocally takes place in a bar.

George Thorogood's incorporated "One Bourbon" as the second half of a cover medley with another Hooker tune "House Rent Boogie". "House Rent" opens with the line "Want to tell you a story ..." If the singer is either addressing the bartender or another bar patron, then the entire medley takes place in a bar.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:51 AM
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Frank Sinatra's "One More for the Road"

It's quarter to three
There's no one in the place except you and me
So set 'em up, Joe
I got a little story you oughta know

We're drinking, my friend,
To the end of a brief episode
So give me one for my baby
And one more for the road ...
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:57 AM
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Kenny Rogers' "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille"
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:04 AM
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Tom Waits-The Piano Has Been Drinking

Heck, most of Tom Waits stuff is in bars.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:06 AM
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Trees of Mystery in 'Mooks On Parade' is an incredibly obscure, fucking amazing album that is set up as a single set list performance in a bar. The first track is the MC thanking the previous act and introducing the band and the last track is the band finishing and the bar shutting down, so technically every song is set in a bar, even tho every individual song isn't about being set in a bar. That link goes to a playlist of the entire album.

Moonshine Bandits are a ludicrously silly and catchy country/rock/rap group and perhaps unsurprisingly, several of their songs take place entirely in a bar. Check out Super Goggles and Dive Bar Beauty Queen.

And, of course, Hunters & Collectors brilliant Carry Me is set entirely in a bar.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:10 AM
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"Hey Bartender" (the version I'm familiar with is by The Blues Brothers)
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:15 AM
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No mention of George Jones' "Bartender's Blues" or Merle Haggard's "Swinging Doors"?

Amazing.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:29 AM
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"The Bride Stripped Bare by 'Bachelors'" by the Bonzo Dog Band is about a doing a gig in a pub.

Much of "Dixie Chicken" by Little Feat takes place in a bar (in the Commodore Hotel in Memphis).
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:38 AM
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There's also Tom Paxton's Annie trilogy:

Has Annie Been in Tonight (Did Annie stop in for a beer/or was she into the gin?)
Annie's Going To Sing Her Song (A drink for me, a drink for you, you're going to need a drink or two)

When Annie Too Me Home (Late at night, somewhat tight/Freddie's doused the neon light/That promised when it shown)

And it just occured to me that all three of the Annie songs are set in bars.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
No mention of George Jones' "Bartender's Blues" or Merle Haggard's "Swinging Doors"?

Amazing.
Nope - none since post #3...
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:52 AM
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John Anderson's "Straight Tequila Night," which is sung by the bartender.

Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar," which is actually ABOUT the bar.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:53 AM
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Much of "Dixie Chicken" by Little Feat takes place in a bar (in the Commodore Hotel in Memphis).
That's the first one that came to my mind.

Since you've already mentioned it, I'll toss in "Polyester Bride" by Liz Phair.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:55 AM
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How could I forget Alan Jackson's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"???

And (arguably), Joe Nichols' "Brokenheartsville."
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:08 AM
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Jim Croce had Bad Bad Leroy Brown and You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. But the latter is a pool hall. Is that the same thing?
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:11 AM
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The Lumineers, "Classy Girls"
Cowboy Junkies, "Where Are You Tonight?"
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:12 AM
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"Clink! Clink! Another Drink" - Spike Jones and His City Slickers, featuring Mel Blanc. The first one wearing a hat is Mel.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:14 AM
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Okay then, "Cocktails for Two" by Spike Jones and his City Slickers.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:27 PM
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[Moderating]
Edited title
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:34 PM
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Nearly all songs are set entirely in bars.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:39 PM
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thanks Chronos

Two from Kris Kristofferson , both with "devil" in the title:

To Beat the Devil
The Silver Tongued Devil and I
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:55 PM
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As said above - Tom Waits talks about drinking a fair bit - but i think 'I Hope That I don't Fall In Love With You' takes place entirely in a bar.

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Old 08-06-2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
John Anderson's "Straight Tequila Night," which is sung by the bartender.

Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar," which is actually ABOUT the bar.
Toby Keith - As Good As I Once Was
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:13 PM
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Travis Tritt's "Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof"
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:32 PM
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Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn. I love this one.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nopBvlKfYgY
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:33 PM
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Winonah by Michael Nesmith is lamenting the life of a waitress who implements her wages directly in booze at the spot and virtually is set in a bar.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:38 PM
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The Hags, 'I think I'll just stay here and drink'
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:38 PM
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Well, the two that immediately came to mind ("Piano Man" and "One for the Road") were both mentioned above (one in the OP, even), I'll have to come up with something else...



Hmm...


Umm...


Ah! "The Saint James Infirmary Blues" is entirely set within Old Joe's barroom, where the narrator, Big Joe McKennedy, describes the death of his lady love in the title institution, and ruminates on life, death, and the universe.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:53 PM
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https://youtu.be/caeOJILw990
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:58 PM
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"I Never Talk To Strangers," a duet between Bette Midler and Tom Waits on her Broken Blossoms album is one of my favorites. Tom Waits also wrote the song.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:03 PM
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"Old City Bar" - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:03 PM
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(We Ain't Going) "Home Alone Tonight" by Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:08 PM
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This one tugs at the heartstrings. When the Smoke Clears by Due West.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gBqS6nmBjRk

This one is just a rollicking good time, TROUBLE by Travis Tritt.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hgzND2t-2ng
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:47 PM
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Tom Waits has been name-checked multiple times already, but without his absolute best bar song, in my humble opinion: A Sight for Sore Eyes. I dare you not to love that song - it's got the word "palookas" in it, for gods' sake!
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
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(We Ain't Going) "Home Alone Tonight" by Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild
That's the one I was just trying to remember. Also "Came Here to Forget" by Blake Shelton, which is the same song but released a couple months later and not as good.

"Half Empty" - Old Dominion
"I Don't Know About You" - Chris Lane
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:00 PM
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Well, I'm having the impression that half of the songs posted are country songs, and the other half Tom Waits songs. May there be a pattern?
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 08-06-2019 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:06 PM
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Slim Dusty
A Pub With No Beer
Three Rivers Hotel
Mad Jack's Cockatoo
Joe Maguire's Pub
Pay Day At The Pub
G'day Blue
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
"Hey Bartender" (the version I'm familiar with is by The Blues Brothers)
Here's the original. Jake and Elwood stayed pretty close to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWTbNV_gwDk
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Old 08-06-2019, 03:27 PM
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Nearly all songs are set entirely in bars.
Or measures will surely be involved...












SPOILER:
Probably a pun for musicians...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_(music)
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