Playlist: Songs I Heard At Waffle House

I was 21 years old the first time I had sex and the first time I went to Waffle House. They were two completely separate incidents, but they’re linked in my mind because each was a catalyst into adulthood in its own way: After losing my virginity, I could feel any notion of heterosexuality fluttering away, and obviously there’s no going back to those halcyon days of childhood once you realize you can eat a $5 breakfast literally whenever you want, 24/7, 365 days a year. Truly, the biggest difference between losing my virginity and going to Waffle House for the first time was the soundtrack.

At my old day job (and presumably at most places), the background music comes from the actual Muzak company, which I guess scientifically picks out songs that make you want to hang out and/or buy things. Not the case at Waffle House. Later trips to Waffle House proved that there is actually some sort of a jukebox situation happening, but we were the only customers there that night. Truly, these are the songs that fate decided for us.

Anyway, here it is: the unedited playlist that soundtracked my very first Waffle House experience. Everyone should tell me about the weird music they hear in public places because I have been obsessed with this shit ever since I found out CVS Bangers was a thing.

Songs I Heard At Waffle House

Stream it here!

Material Girl – Madonna
California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and The Papas
I Shot The Sheriff – Bob Marley
Grenade – Bruno Mars
Body Language – Jesse McCartney
On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez
Vogue – Madonna
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Stop And Stare – OneRepublic
Fireflies – Owl City
Take A Walk – Passion Pit
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Songs I Heard At Waffle House from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

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Intern Grace

Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

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  1. this post is up there with that time chelsey and i heard “i love you always forever” playing at home depot.

  2. The other day I heard “Maybe” from the musical Annie in a toy store. It made me feel slightly homicidal.

    • I just wanted to come back and specify that I have nothing against the musical Annie. I actually like Annie. I’m excited for the Quevanzhané Wallis version. It’s just not a song you want to hear when you’re already at a Toys R’ Us and there are lots of screaming kids and parents around.

      Also I heard “Dreaming of You” by Selena at a Duane Reade once. That was pleasant.

  3. I worked at Macy’s for a few months starting during the Holiday season. There was a loop of about 25-30 Christmas songs that were all pretty bad. The absolute worst/best was this strange trip-hop type remix of the Bing Crosby version of White Christmas. I always looked forward to it coming up in the loop.

  4. Oh man, Waffle House! Also, this gives me very strong memorial-type feelings re: the Kroger playlist I made in college. Sigh.

  5. I heard “Ring of Fire” (version with mariachi band) at a Waffle House at 3 am while tripping on mushrooms once…

  6. On my 21st birthday Carrie and I eventually found ourselves at a Waffle House. A waitress who was fired earlier that day came in and yelled at and then threw things at the cook who we assumed did the firing. He called the cops. She left. On her way out she mooned the entire restaurant. It was a good birthday.

  7. I heard Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major playing in Victoria’s Secret. I started humming along and all of the store clerks started avoiding me and giving me funny looks…

    ….oh, the woes of being a classical music nerd. =D

  8. Memories of singing along with Madonna to Material Girl in the produce section of “Queen Soopers” to watching the male cashiers at the Nike Outlet store lip sync to WOW by Kylie.

  9. This could be the soundtrack for my day :)! I’m surprised they would play some JLO there

  10. I’ve never been to Waffle House. All we have in Connecticut is IHOP. And they pipe in the local FM oldies station.
    But it seemed every time I went into a Marshalls or TJMaxx store I would hear “Here’s Where the Story Ends” by The Sundays. That’s when I fell in love with The Sundays and Harriet Wheeler’s dreamy voice and my slow creep toward being a fan of folk and other acoustic guitar-based music began.

  11. I love Waffle House SO MUCH and I am SO SAD that I do not live near one.

    I was at a Waffle House in North Carolina recently and there was a large group that was leaving and they all stood and chanted ‘HIP HIP HOORAY FOR THE WAFFLE HOUSE CREW TODAY” and then everyone clapped and it was very exciting.

  12. omg CVS bangers: what even.

    There’s this older song called Closer by Travis and the music video takes place in a grocery store.. I actually heard it in the grocery store once and became very happy

    • I clicked on the CVS Bangers link, am currently listening to it, and have read the description twice…I’m still not positive. But I like it.

  13. this Thai restaurant near my office has a steady stream of late 90s-early 00s jams playing any time I’ve been by- the europop group M2M is on heavy rotation.

  14. Does being serenaded by a homeless man a-la Rod Stewart’s “Young Turks” count? He had a bike, he followed us, the song lasted four blocks.

    Also, CVS Bangers. My life, I’m not even sure anymore…

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