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Top 10 A Cappella Songs to Impress Parents and Family

by Teagan Hughes

Staff Writer

[originally published summer 2021]


It’s never too early to start preparing for Parents and Family Weekend and its obvious, indisputable highlight, the cumulative multi-group a cappella concert! (Right everyone? Right? ...Right?) We all want to impress (i.e. pander to) parents and family--but how? Below are 10 aca-potential a cappella aca-numbers that are sure to aca-blow their aca-minds.

10. “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt

Did your mom inexplicably download the entirety of Back to Bedlam to her music library almost a decade after its release? Then this is the perfect song for your group! Get all the moms grooving with this 2004 softboy dew-in-the-eyelashes classic.

9. “One Week” by The Barenaked Ladies

We all remember doing tongue twisters in high school drama club! Right? (...Right? ...Guys? Where’d everyone go?) In any case, showcase your tongue-twisting skills with this bouncy ‘90s masterpiece!

8. “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band

Is “Abracadabra” just a little too risqué for you? Hit the perfect middle ground with this musical listicle!

7. “Iris” by The Goo-Goo Dolls

Do you feel a latent angst during your rehearsals that threatens to surface at any moment? Tap into that negative feeling with this essential sobbing-in-the-corner masterwork. Also, are you okay?

6. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly (17 minute version)

This prog rock epic is sure to get everyone snoozing! Transport your audience to the late ‘60s with your expressive mumbling. Don’t forget the drum solo!

5. “Bang!” By AJR

Are you out of ideas? Yeah, I thought so.

4. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco

Can one (or all) of your members tap dance? This is the perfect number for you! The extended tap dance solo will give your group the perfect opportunity to showcase your members with the loudest shoes! Tap into ‘80s nostalgia with this quintessential one-hit wonder.

3. “Heaven or Las Vegas” by the Cocteau Twins

Do you need a quick learn to fill out your roster? This one’s a breeze—you don’t even have to know the words! This long-winded indie pop classic will have the whole audience mumbling along.

2. “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel

This eight-minute epic has a little something for everyone: blue jeans, deep-pile carpet, and the inevitable onward march of time! Pay tribute to Long Island’s king of rock with this tempo-hopping ballad.

1. “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers

Do the members of your group consider themselves musical storytellers? This song will give you the perfect chance to flex those narrative skills! With a character death in the fifth verse, this classic country ballad will tamp down the energy in any room.

There you have it! By mixing and matching these 10 numbers, your a cappella group is sure to produce an aca-perfect aca-performance for aca-parents and family to enjoy. Get arranging!

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