Songs For Singing and Playing Together

I had a birthday in the not-too-distant past but did not have a soiree with, you know, beer and chips and the like. That will occur this weekend, when friends will come over and celebrate. I had been thinking initially about having a karaoke party, but thought that might require a bit too much courage of many celebrants. It also required renting a karaoke machine, which requires both money and time.

Instead, I decided to have a party of singing and playing music together. While I don't think the Dan Zanes interview itself directly inspired the idea -- I'd been pondering it even before that -- his general emphasis through the years on making music in communities did.

The only problem is, I'm at a bit of a loss for good songs to play in groups. So I'm asking you, dear readers, for suggestions of good songs for singing and playing together. We have a piano (and friends are bringing keyboards) and I have a basic ability to plunk out chords while sightseeing. Beyond that, I'm not quite sure of the music-making skills of all my friends -- except for our friends with the Phoenix Bach Choir, who, yes, can sing.

Beyond that, no restrictions other than kids are going to be invited as well, so while drinking songs and murder ballads aren't necessarily off-limits, it'd be nice to have something of greater interest for the kiddos, too.

What songs have you enjoyed singing together? What songs are easy for people to pick up? And any suggestions in general? Respond in the comments...