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Secular songs of communal joy
August 17, 2012 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Secular songs of communal joy?

For our purposes, "communal" requires more than just a number of people dancing in the same location. So Martha & The Vandellas's "Dancing In The Street" would qualify, since people are dancing "everywhere around the world", but Sam Cooke's "Twistin' The Night Away" would not qualify, since it only involves "a place up-a New York way".

Similarly, The Young Rascals's "Groovin'" would qualify, since it involves "All the happy people we could meet", while The Drifters's "Under The Boardwalk" would not qualify, since despite "the happy sounds of the carousel", no one but the narrator and his baby are specifically identified as having a good time.
posted by Egg Shen to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think a lot of dance songs from that same era will fit. For example, Everybody Have Fun Tonight
posted by muddgirl at 8:54 AM on August 17, 2012


Chicago, "Saturday in the Park"
posted by Jahaza at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2012


Celebration by Kool & the Gang. There is the line "There's a party going on right here" but on the other hand "everyone around the world / come on", so I think it fits your criteria.
posted by jedicus at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it have to be dancing? "Freude, schöner Götterfunken" meets your criterion.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:57 AM on August 17, 2012


The Grateful Dead have a lot of these - two that come to mind are "Scarlet Begonias" and "The Music Never Stopped."
posted by Daily Alice at 8:58 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" is pretty much the standard for this genre of song, the "let's come together and have a party" song.

Sam Cooke's "Having a Party" might also fit.
posted by inturnaround at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2012


Does it have to be dancing?

No, not at all. For example: "Groovin'" involves no dancing.

However, "Ode to Joy" invokes deities and so is not secular.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:02 AM on August 17, 2012


Oh, also "One More Saturday Night".
posted by Daily Alice at 9:05 AM on August 17, 2012


Everybody Have Fun Tonight
posted by jbickers at 9:08 AM on August 17, 2012


O'Jays, "Love Train"
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Holiday" by Madonna!

(Although this song is routinely played at the mall at Chrsitmas as though it were a Christmas song, WTF.)
posted by Violet Hour at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2012


John Lennon's "Imagine" is aggressively secular.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 9:16 AM on August 17, 2012


Because the Night by Patti Smith Group
posted by zoomorphic at 9:17 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, "Ode to Joy" invokes deities and so is not secular.

It invokes deities as a poetic device. I don't see why that would disqualify it from being secular.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:23 AM on August 17, 2012


Not sure if C&C Music Factory's Everybody Dance Now works. Technically they just want people to get on the dance floor (does my living room qualify as my own private dance floor?). But we also have the lyrics "Everybody over here, everybody over there" - a little vague. But since the interpretation is vague and left up to the listener as to where "here" and "there" is, I think this qualifies.
posted by raztaj at 9:37 AM on August 17, 2012


Ow pretty ladies, around the world... Cameo's "Word Up" makes me happy. (Here's the gloomy version.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:42 AM on August 17, 2012


Jump by House of Pain?

Love Shack by the B-52s. They've got them a car and it's as big as a whale!

Also, it's not explicitly about partying, but Legion of Superheroes' The Great Namedropper pts 1 and 2.
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on August 17, 2012


Also, not sure if it's exactly secular from memory, but The Isley Brothers Harvest For The World ('gather every man, gather every woman, celebrate your life, give thanks for your children'). The verses aren't that joyful though, given that they're asking when the harvest will come.
posted by mippy at 9:51 AM on August 17, 2012


The Beatles have a lot of songs with this vibe: All Together Now, All You Need is Love, The Word... (The Word might be an interesting borderline case: there are obvious religious undertones, but it could actually be seen as an attempt to take religious ideas and make them secular. It is communal, since they're sing about wanting to generally spread love around.)

John Lennon - Instant Karma (Definitely communal, though "karma" might be too religious for you.)

Prince - 1999 ("We could all die any day" -- implying that we should all dance the night away in light of this realization.)

The Kinks - Everybody's Gonna Be Happy

The Apples in Stereo - Energy
posted by John Cohen at 9:54 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joy to the World, Three Dog Night
posted by Ideefixe at 10:04 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Badlands - Bruce Springsteen

Jump - Van Halen

Soul Man - The Blues Brothers

Both Sides Now - Judy Collins
posted by jgirl at 10:06 AM on August 17, 2012


Also:
The Carpenters - "Sing" ("Let the world sing along")
The Jacksons - "Enjoy Yourself"
Josh Rouse - "Love Vibration"
Lady Gaga - "Born this Way",
Stevie Wonder - "Sir Duke" a lot of first person, but I think the communal celebratory message is clear
Sly and the Family Stone - "Everyday People"
posted by raztaj at 10:20 AM on August 17, 2012


Youngbloods - "Get Together"
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:22 AM on August 17, 2012


Oh yeah - The Specials - Enjoy Yourself
posted by mippy at 10:31 AM on August 17, 2012


Stardust's Music Sounds Better With You.
posted by elizardbits at 10:43 AM on August 17, 2012


Some generic "everybodies", some specifically global and most of dubious quality:

ELO - (Party) All Over The World
Status Quo - Rockin' All Over The World
Dave Stewart - Everybody All Around the World (Join the Celebration)
5ive - Everybody Get Up
C&C Music Factory - Everbody Dance Now
US 3 - Come On Everybody

^ definitely Instant Karma: "We all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun"

Only now realised that Bob Marley's One Love (Let's Get Together and Feel All Right) is as just about as gospel-ly as it gets.
posted by kreestar at 11:38 AM on August 17, 2012


Daft Punk - One More Time (I like the Alive 2007 version best -- listen to the whole crowd sing it!)
posted by vorfeed at 1:37 PM on August 17, 2012


You might want to check out the book Rise Up Singing. It has a "good times" chapter and "Unity" chapter. But, this is folky, sing-along stuff and I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for.
posted by vespabelle at 2:22 PM on August 17, 2012


Pa'lante by Ozomatli.
posted by gteffertz at 4:08 PM on August 17, 2012


Love Train by the O'Jays
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 4:20 PM on August 17, 2012


Utopia - One World
Todd Rundgren - I Love My Life (lyrics, if you want to confirm whether it meets the communal criterion - I think it does, but YMMV)

Great question!
posted by kristi at 6:35 PM on August 17, 2012


Pop Musik - M
Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) - Rozalla
Brand New Day - from The Wiz
posted by SisterHavana at 7:57 PM on August 18, 2012


I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (not the version from an ad for a sugary soft drink).
posted by booth at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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