Serenades are a fun and entertaining way to improve public relations between fraternity and sorority chapters. Depending on who you’re serenading, songs can be romantic, funny, or completely raunchy. They can include props, live music, or even a sister from the sorority. Just remember that knowing your audience is key, and picking out the right song can be the difference between a memorable serenade and a total flop.
To help you in your singing endeavors, here are five Serenade Questions that will help you narrow your search for the perfect song for your serenade. We’ve also put together a list of great Serenade Songsalong with some helpful hints as to their appropriateness. Enjoy!
What chapter are you serenading?
Above all, the number one most important thing about serenades is to keep your audience in mind. Know what sorority, or sororities, you are serenading, and understand how your fraternity brothers interact with the girls. What is your chapter’s relation with the sorority? If you’re introducing your brothers for the first time, “The Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang is probably not the best way to go. On the other hand, if your chapters are close and friendly, “Hot in Herre” by Nelly may be the perfect song.
Note: When choosing a song, keep in mind if you’re serenading multiple sororities. If you have time, practice different serenade songs for different sororities (depending on your relation with them). Or, if you decide to use the same song for every house, choose something that will work across the board.
What is your chapter’s image? What type of image do you want to present to the sorority?
We’ve all heard the old adage, “image is everything”. Although our parents may tell us different, in the case of serenades, image is an important factor. While we at ChapterTalk don’t condone fraternity and sorority stereotypes, we think its important for chapters to know and acknowledge their image within the greek community (and change that image if needed). Thus, when picking your serenade song, consider how sororities perceive your chapter, and what type of image you want to present. If your chapter is considered sedate and grim, a comical song like “Men in Tights” (from “Robin Hood: Men In Tights” movie) or a parody of the Jonas Brothers will make sororities laugh and help to refresh your image.
What, if any, messages do you want to send?
No, we don’t mean “hey, I’ve had a crush on you since freshman year” messages. Rather, when picking your serenade song, make sure it relates to your reason for being at the sorority house. Whether you’re announcing your upcoming philanthropy, introducing pledges, or hyping up next week’s party, your song should remind the sorority of why you’re serenading them in the first place.
Finally, is your chapter good at serenading?
Even though this point is at the bottom of the list, its probably one of the most important aspects of serenading, and one of the first things you should think about (ironic that we put it last, huh?). If your fraternity is made up of drama and music majors and reminds you of the “High School Musical” cast, feel free to pick almost any song you can think of. However, if your chapter is more like the rest of us (biology, psychology, and engineering majors who don’t even sing in the shower), selecting a song won’t be so easy. Try to pick a song with an even (and slower) beat, and if you’re changing the lyrics, make them easy to remember. Finally, if your chapter isn’t Broadway-caliber, make sure to give your brothers time to practice!
“Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye
Definitely a song for a fraternity and sorority who know one another. The sexual undertones make this song not for everyone, but the lyrics are easy to remember, the song is slow for singing novices, and the possibility for flirtatious behavior is endless. If you’re looking for similar songs that are less sexual, try other Marvin Gaye songs such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”.
“A Whole New World” Disney’s Aladdin
If you want to play it safe and go with a song that is romantic, sweet and that everyone knows, this is the song for you. Or, if you want to branch out, most classic Disney songs will work as they are mostly G-rated, and the lyrics are easy to change and easy to remember. The bonus: most sorority girls will have either seen the movie, heard the song, or know the song by heart (great for an impromptu sing-a-long).
“Forever” Chris Brown
Its always good to keep your serenades up to date and current. This song is great for a serenade because its popular, the lyrics are easy to change, and the song is flirtatious without being raunchy or overly-sexual. Also try “With You”, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”, and (the Chris Brown dancing isn’t a requirement, but would be a nice touch).
“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” Righteous Brothers
Always a classic and a favorite among those of us who remember the movie Top Gun, this song leans more toward the intimate side, but allows for great dramatic performances. Adding costumes or acting out the “Top Gun” scene with this song will make this serenade the best of the best, especially if the brothers mimic the movie and pick out specific sorority girls to sing to.
“Lets Stay Together” Al Green
Like the Marvin Gaye songs, Al Green songs are a great option if you want to be romantic and sweep the girls off their feet. The other great thing about Al Green songs: they’re slower, the lyrics are easy to change, and most people will recognize the song.
“Sweet Child of Mine” Guns N’ Roses
Yes, this song is definitely out of left field and not for the novice singers, but if done well, this song can blow those girls away. Lyrics are easy to change and remember, the beat is good and consistent, and if you have a guitarist (preferably, electric guitar), that’s just icing on the cake.
“My Girl” Temptations
Truly a classic, every girl in the sorority will at least have heard of the song if they don’t already know it by heart. The lyrics are easy to change, just remind your brothers that the song is slow for a reason (not to make it easier for them). This is a great song for introductions as it is romantic, sweet, and will make your brothers look like gentlemen.
“Men In Tights” from the movie “Robin Hood: Men In Tights”
This probably seems like the last song that should ever been on a list for sorority serenades, however, from personal experience, we can truly say this is a memorable one. Of course you have to do the dance along with the song (and costumes don’t hurt either), and your brothers have to be up for a night of embarrassment. However, this is a great way to avoid the sexual innuendos while keeping the girls’ attention and making them laugh.
“8 Days a Week” The Beatles
This is a great song for a clean, G-rated serenade, or to use to serenade multiple sororities. Yes, the song is a little cheesy, but the lyrics are cute and easy to change, most people know the song, and you can add a guitarist if you have one. Bonus: dress up like the Beatles and go all out with the theme (skinny ties are back after all).
If you want something similar to this, try other Beatles’ songs such as “A Hard Day’s Night”, “All My Loving”, and “All You Need Is Love”.
“Kokomo” Beach Boys
Like the Beatles’ songs, this is a great serenade for a sorority you don’t know well and don’t want to offend. Most girls will already know the song, your brothers can go all out on the theme, and there’s the option of a guitarist. Also, given enough time, your brothers can practice the harmonies and clapping (if part of the song) to really impress the girls.
Additionally, consider other Beach Boys songs, such as “California Girl” (change “California” to the sorority’s name), “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “I Get Around”.
h4.“Because of You” Ne-Yo
Hands down, a great serenade song but not for every fraternity. This is a fast-paced song (compared to our other suggestions), so it’ll require a lot of practice by your fraternity brothers. Also, if you can bring a stereo to play the music in the background, it’ll help your brothers stay on beat and together. If your chapter has the time to practice the song, this can be a great serenade that the sorority girls will remember for a long time. Bonus: if you have time, add in some choreography or some simple dance moves. This will really make the girls go wild!