Karaoke can be daunting. As much as we all wish we were Adele, most of us are not, and selecting a karaoke song when you can't sing can feel like an impossible task. What song do you pick if you have the voice of a refurbished bagpipe? Loving a song does not translate to being able to perform it; sure, you can rock out in your car and scream it at the top of your lungs, but that's not quite the same as actually singing it well. Don't give up! There are plenty of karaoke songs for people who can't sing, songs that you can butcher at karaoke without anybody batting an eye.
There are a few guiding principles to keep in mind for karaoke curation when you find yourself musically challenged. For starters, don't pick anything too iconic. If you screech like a pre-pubescent teenager through "I Will Always Love You," people will immediately stop loving you. If, instead, you pick a song that's less beloved, nobody's going to care if you literally besmirch every single good thing about it it with vocals that sound like a broken lawnmower.
Second, make sure you're there with the right people. If you can't sing, don't go with people who legitimately care about the talent that people bring to the stage; go with the friends who aren't there to sit back and judge everybody. The biggest rule, however, is to pick a song you definitely know, not something you think you kinda know; if you really have no ability whatsoever, you will not figure it out in the moment. Make it easy on yourself.
Having said that, here are some of the best songs out there for people who sound like a dying garbage disposal whenever they take to the stage. Let the world hear your heart's song, even if it's terrible — that's what karaoke is for!
Garth Brooks, "Friends In Low Places"
Take a shot right before the song starts, and you literally can't do it wrong. It's a heck of a lot of fun to sing, and it's one of those songs that people usually join in on — especially if they've had a few — so nobody will hear you anyway.
Stephen Sondheim, "I'm Still Here"
Granted, Sondheim is unbelievably difficult to sing, but, if you know this song, it's pretty easy to just talk-sing the most of it and yell through the big parts. The only people you'll frustrate are the musical theater fanatics, and they're the worst part about karaoke anyway. (I know because I'm one of them.)
David Bowie and Queen, "Under Pressure"
Even the worst singer can do a David Bowie impression. If you really can't, then just go for Freddy Mercury's part — it's just a bunch of bum-ba-de's and screaming.
Madonna, "Justify My Love"
All Madonna did for this song was talk in a rhythmic, breathy, sexy voice, and you can, too! Not only will you impress everybody with your knowledge of underrated Madonna songs, but the lyrics are so aggressively sexual that, if you're not immediately arrested for public indecency, you'll probably go home with somebody.
Smashing Pumpkins, "Bullets With Butterfly Wings"
It doesn't matter if you can't sing, because neither could Billy Corgan. His voice was particularly caustic on the original recording for this track, so it's sort of impossible to butcher. Just bring your rage to the table, try not to shout directly into the mic, and you'll do great.
Barenaked Ladies, "One Week"
You have to have some rhythm to pull this off, but — no offense to Barenaked Ladies — not that much.
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
It's not a particularly easy song, but most of it is in the same range so it's not the biggest challenge in the world. Most importantly, the song is literally about telling the haters to go to hell, which is the exact mentality you need for karaoke. It may be a little too iconic for this list, but people love it the way they love pizza: even a bad version goes down easy when you're drunk.