On campuses across the land, clothing, lingo and dance moves change -- what the hell is twerking, anyway? -- but over time, certain music endures, particularly at parties. As this year's crop of freshmen gear up for their first binge-drinking experiences, these 10 Best College Keg Party Songs are sure to serve as soundtracks. They're as ubiquitous as red Solo cups and bad decisions, and they still sound great when the room starts spinning.
'I Love College'Asher Roth
Smooth, funky guitar over silky rhymes about decadence? This one's a no-brainer. 'I Love College' is a guilty pleasure, and Roth’s smooth verses capture everything college is about in a surprisingly endearing way. He references beer pong -- actually called Beirut, but whatever -- meaningless hook-ups, blowing off class and more, always returning to the cliché, “Time isn’t wasted when you’re getting wasted.” The whole thing works -- at least up until bridge, when he curiously starts calling for people to chant, “Chug! Chug! Chug!” and “Do something crazy.” Probably could have left that part on the cutting room floor, Asher.
'What's My Age Again?'Blink-182
On the surface, Blink-182’s sophomoric song about acting like an adolescent, then wondering why the world abhors you for it, is probably geared towards the post-college grad (“Nobody likes you when you’re 23”). But these days, recent grads are too insecure about the grim job market and prospect of living with their parents to waste time pulling prank phone calls and being indifferent toward the opposite sex (“We started making out / She took off my pants / But then I turned on the TV”). College, on the other hand, is all about wasting time.
'Ants Marching'Dave Matthews Band
The most polarizing band among college students makes its on to our list of the 10 Best College Keg Party Songs with an ode to taking risks in order to live a full life. And yeah, upon entering the real world, grads realize this notion is far too idealistic. But while in college? Everything is possible. Side note: Pick your battles. Don’t be that person on a four-year crusade to outline all the reasons you’re too cool for DMB. Just don’t. It's not worth it. Trust.
The thing about bands like Dispatch, Phish and Guster? Girls really like 'em. But there are other reasons to embrace, say, 'The General.' Tor all its grave context about war and uncertainty, it's a great tune for when you need to step away from the party, go upstairs and mellow out for a bit. Plus, girls really, really like Dispatch.
You want a recipe for musical bliss while playing Flip Cup at a kegger? Mix harmonica, four soothing chords and lyrical clichés. Because of its simplicity, 'Run-Around' is perhaps the most underrated song on this list. It hits all the right beats and is tremendously catchy. Don’t pretend like you never sang along with frontman John Popper as he whelps, “Hey baby, let's keep in touch!"
'That Was a Crazy Game of Poker'O.A.R.
With a running time of nearly eight and half minutes, O.A.R.’s tremendous drinking tune probably runs two minutes too long, but, then again, so does every college party that gets broken up by Johnny Law.
The pairing of Beck’s half-hearted tone and the iconic slide guitar riff is what makes ‘Loser’ an infectious college jam. But considering ‘Loser’ in the context of what it means to be a college student is actually ironic. ‘Loser’ isn’t about nihilism, self-doubt or insecurity – it’s about apathy. College kids have the luxury of not caring, and of not knowing what we know -- that life is a grind, and how you deal with it makes you who you are. It’s funny, though: When recording this so-called “slacker anthem,” Beck was a vagabond without purpose or hope. With their whole live in front of them, college kids have both.
College is about one thing: the present. How else could kids justify shunning responsibilities and completely neglecting their bodies? (Seriously, your metabolism doesn’t last forever.) Pssh, “No worries,” you think to yourself – you were living in the moment. So college kids nod to the beat as the late Bradley Nowell quips in this classic, “Life is to short / So love the one you got / Cuz you might get run over / Or you might get shot.” Death or glory. Go big or go home. College, man.
Like so many of their peers, Semisonic were never able to take the success of this popular single anywhere but playlists titled “Party! Party!! Partyyyy!!” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But people tend to get caught up in the idea of 'Closing Time' as a vehicle to announce last call, and that’s selling the tune short. The lyrics are underrated. “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” True enough.
'(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party!)'Beastie Boys
Ageless is the word here. In 1986, three MCs from New York made their debut, clamoring for freedom to, um, do terrible, terrible things. Flaunting a crunchy, distorted guitar, No. 1 on our list of the 10 Best College Keg Party Songs pioneered a new genre, an amalgam of hardcore punk and hip-hop. The Beastie Boys, of course would become legends. And even more so than the other tunes on our list, this anthem will be played across college towns this weekend, next year and the year after that. Forever, basically. It’s been that way since 1986. There's something comforting about that.