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Cat Stevens

Today, I was listening to a great song by Lorde (Royals), in which she criticizes our love affair with fame and fortune. She sings:

But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom.
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room…

…and it made me think of songs at the opposite end of the spectrum. Those with lyrics that inspire personal growth and meaning, rather than personal destruction and materialism. Here are a few inspiring lyrics that came to mind:

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out – Cat Stevens
Well, if you want to sing out, sing out,
And if you want to be free, be free.
‘Cause there’s a million things to be,
You know that there are.

Happy – Pharrell Williams
Because I’m happy,
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.
Because I’m happy,
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.
Because I’m happy,
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.
Because I’m happy,
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.

I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
…I hope you dance…I hope you dance.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
In every life we have some trouble,
But when you worry, you make it double.
Don’t worry, be happy.

Get Together – The Youngbloods
If you hear the song I sing,
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear,
All in your trembling hand.
Just one key unlocks them both,
It’s there at your command.

Already Gone – Eagles
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains,
And we never even know we have the key.

Roar – Katy Perry
I got the eye of a tiger, a fighter,
Dancing through the fire,
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.
Louder, louder than a lion,
‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar.

No Such Thing – John Mayer
They love to tell you,
Stay inside the lines.
But something’s better
On the other side.

All Star – Smash Mouth
Hey now, you’re an All Star, get your game on and go play.
Hey now, you’re a Rock Star, get the show on and get paid.
All that glitters is gold,
Only shooting stars break the mold.

Peaceful World – John Mellencamp
It’s what you do and not what you say,
If you’re not part of the future, then get out of the way.

Imagine – John Lennon
You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

Dreaming With My Eyes Open – Clay Walker
Every time the world moved on, I fell a little further behind,
From runnin’ back or followin’ someone home.
Till I learned that one step forward will take you further on,
Than a thousand back or a million that ain’t your own.

Let Your Love Flow – The Bellamy Brothers
Let your love fly like a bird on a wing,
And let your love bind you to all living things,
And let your love shine, and you’ll know what I mean,
That’s the reason.

The Greatest Love of All – Whitney Houston
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow.
If I fail, if I succeed,
At least I’ll live as I believe.
No matter what they take from me,
They can’t take away my dignity.

Hands – Jewel
In the end, only kindness matters.

Of course, reality has a darker side, too, and music should reflect that. But too much focus on the negative or trivial invites more of the same.

So in music, as in life, I’d like to hear more uplifting rock, pop, alternative, rap, country, hip hop, jazz, and Latin songs…Let me live that fantasy.

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