Stand Sure In Life
My Top Ten Inpsirational Songs
Last week I listed my top ten inspirational films. This week is the final countdown week and it's the turn of songs that inspire me. The song doesn't necessarily have to make me feel good but it does need to give me a positive message.
Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
David Bowie co-wrote this song with Iggy Pop. Although it makes references to William S Burroughs “The Ticket That Exploded” and my favourite line – hypnotising chickens. It is the chorus that makes this song reach my top ten list. It's about making the most of life, taking the bull by the horns and going for it even if you've been shafted before.
Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
Written by Linda Perry of 4-Non-Blondes fame, this is a song about embracing who you are. It's about self-esteem issues. It's about insecurity. But ultimately it's about accepting who you are. Embracing you and all your foibles. Loving yourself for who you are and not what people expect you to be. Christina Aguilera rightly won several awards for this song and the video is cited as being one of the greatest music videos of the 21st Century. Aguilera said of the song at an awards ceremony that "this song is definitely a universal message that everybody can relate to – anyone that's been discriminated against or unaccepted, unappreciated or disrespected just because of who you are."
Ain't No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross
Although this song was originally done by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Tyrell it's the epic Diana Ross version that makes me smile even more. Interestingly, Gaye and Tyrell never sang the song together, they recorded it separately, but I digress! It's this song that propelled Diana Ross to stardom. The writers reworked their original, having Diana narrate the opening verse. They saved the chorus until well into the song. It's on the list because it's all about overcoming any obstacles you find.
Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
1987's album BAD features so many awesome tracks by MJJ, but it's this one that stands out. In a nutshell it states that if you want to make a change, it has to start with you. Although this song wasn't penned by Jackson, the fact he chose it for the album speaks volumes. He wanted an anthem...he got it!
Imagine – Pentatonix
Now, the reason I've chosen this version of the song is because of the video. The original song is beautiful and poignant, but the video the Pentatonix did knocked me for six! The song itself is hard-hitting, with Lennon trying to make a point but sugar-coating it so people didn't take offence. The Pentatonix video has the singers taking cards with words on them and swapping them with each other. It's a perfect reminder that it doesn't matter who you are or how you identify, whilst we are all individuals and unique we all have one thing in common...we're human!
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
By coincidence the next song in my top ten is a Beatles song, penned by George Harrison. It's a fairly simple lyric but very often it's the simple that is the most effective. The music uplifts me, the words make me smile. It's a song full of positivity. It states that the sun will always return. So remember no matter how difficult and dark your life gets, it will always get brighter.
Good Old Days – Macklemore
We all wish that we'd been told certain things when we were younger. We all wish we knew then, what we know now. Life is about making progress. It's about making mistakes and learning from them. It's about seizing every opportunity. This song puts all these ideas across brilliantly!
Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
I don't think there's a more uplifting song ever written...in fact the top three could be classed as equal first! Look for the positives in everything. See the beauty in everything. It's there to see! It truly is a wonderful world in which we live...but we have to work to keep it wonderful. We owe it to our planet to do so. The planet doesn't owe us anything! You can find beauty in everything...you just need to perceive that way.
We Are The Champions – Queen
A rousing anthem that Freddie Mercury wrote as a participation song. Used throughout the world as a celebration of success. The lyrics are strong and meaningful and encourages the listener to carry on. It states “we have made it and it wasn't easy.” No be of roses – it still isn't easy. But we will succeed. Keep going. Never stop. Keep chasing your dreams – with a plan of course!
Don't Stop Believin' – Journey
Keeping the main essence of the song (the chorus) until the very end, much like Diana Ross' version of Ain't No Mountain High Enough, builds up an awesome anticipation. Not only does the music build and build, the positive feelings in the song build and build. Once you make your mind up about where you want to be, and you're taking appropriate steps, don't stop believing that it's going to happen. Ignore the naysayers. Ignore the negative thoughts. Hold firm to your belief. Don't stop believing! I struggled with my decision as to whether or not to post the original or the Glee version. The Glee version is significant because of the premise of the show - a bunch of people who have their issues, using music as a way to move forward. As awesome as their version is, I decided to go for the original!
Songs That Didn't Quite Make The List
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Rise Up – Andra Day
I'm Still Standing – Elton John
Don't Stop Me Now – Queen