Holidays have always been important in gay bars, and most gay bars go all-out on decorations that change more frequently than the seasons. The Hawk‘s crucifix is permanent, however, above the work schedules and sticky notes that change as often as the garlands and ribbons in the rafters.
The Hawk’s jukebox is toward the back of the bar, next to the pool table and a claw machine that dispenses plush toys. As heard December 16th from 10:18-11:48, with selected eavesdropping:
- Dreaming of You, Selena (“shut the fuck up, bitch!”)
- Thank God It’s Christmas, Queen (“Oh, Freddie…”)
- White Christmas Makes Me Blue, Randy Travis (“you looking at her so long why don’t you buy her a drink, it’s her birthday!”)
- Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
- Strong Enough, Cher (“we’re going to Beyoncé night at Twist!”)
- Mind Over Matter, Young the Giant (“people are looking for me because they think I’m someone else, like, you’re looking at me now but I’m not here because I’m someone else”)
- Something to Believe In, Young the Giant (“bitch I will cause a scene don’t think I won’t!”)
- Cough Syrup, Young the Giant (“oh gawd are we playing the whole album now?)
- Innocent Man, Billy Joel (“you still doing all right, hun?”)
- Clearest Blue, Chvrches (“two more shots of Fireball”)
- Spirits, The Strumbellas
- It’s My Life, Bon Jovi (“his daughter nearly died from heroin overdose”–“why is that even relevant?”)
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Bing Crosby [accompanied by enthusiastic if off-key singing]
- Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell (“pot in the green bean casserole was a no go, it just tasted like weed butter”)
- Carol of the Bells, Trans Siberian Orchestra [accompanied by enthusiastic grimaces and air guitar]
- Cher, Believe
What I love about this holiday playlist, generated by patrons’ dollars slid through the slot, is that it tells you exactly who was in the bar that night, how old they are, what they appreciate, and where their nostalgia lies. The songs veered from holiday classics to rewarmed Cher, new indie rockers to 1970s icons, teenage tearjerkers and back to more Cher.
2 responses to “Gay bar holiday jukebox playlist”
Glad to see that this is pasted under “MyResearch….” Also glad that someone squeezed in my own icon, Joni Mitchell, in among so many more obvious choices. In fact, I was home that night watching Love, Actually, itself over a decade old, with Emma Thompson’s character’s tribute to Joni Mitchell: “I love her [Joni Mitchell], and true love lasts a lifetime. Joni Mitchell is the woman who taught you cold English wife how to feel.” Match that, Young the Giant!
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[…] visited–I’m obsessed with holiday celebrations in gay bars (see Christmas in Gay Bars, Gay Bar Holiday Jukebox Playlist). The cabaret’s sign, visible above in a 2012 screenshot from Google Streetview, looked like […]