The problem with karaoke (perhaps, if I'm being fair, I should say one of the many problems with karaoke) is that people have horrific taste in music. Presumably, if you're singing in public, you're hoping to not embarrass yourself and perhaps impress someone of your preferred gender. (That did work for me, incidentally.) What follows here is a list of songs to avoid if you plan to keep your dignity, because they inevitably reflect poorly on your character; alternately, if someone you might be interested in sings one of these, cross them off your list of potentials.
Fancy - Reba McIntyre
It's a song about a mother whoring out her white trash daughter to save the family. Singing this says, "I have issues in my past you don't want to even contemplate, much less deal with."
Copacobana - Barry Manilow
If you're an openly gay man, perhaps you can get away with it. Otherwise, it says, "I'm still buried deep in the closet, and am desperately trying to get laid by a woman in the hopes it'll make me feel better about myself."
Let's Get it On - Marvin Gaye
I love me some Marvin Gaye, but singing this song at karaoke just screams "trying too hard." Alternately, it says, "I'm the kind of guy who stares at myself in any available mirror while dancing in public."
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
This one says many things: "I watch American Idol obsessively," for one; "I am stupid enough to leave incriminating evidence behind me if I'm going to commit a crime of passion," for another; and, perhaps most importantly, "I am fully willing to reenact these lyrics on anyone who is foolish enough to take me home tonight."
Please feel free to leave your own contributions in the comments.