What songs uplift and inspire you?
December 2, 2004 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Most hopeful songs out there? What uplifts and inspires?
posted by Mossy to Media & Arts (38 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Nils Økland's Hertervig Skisse.
posted by kenko at 8:47 PM on December 2, 2004

The Rainbow Connection
What a Wonderful World
May Mornings (written by my 3rd grade class for the May Festival)
posted by kamylyon at 8:54 PM on December 2, 2004

I don't know how to explain it better than this, but the entirety of Neutral Milk Hotel's record "In the Aeroplane over the Sea" gives me hope and comfort while being some of the saddest music I've ever heard.

And of course, there is always Redemption Song.
posted by melissa may at 8:57 PM on December 2, 2004

The song 'Moulty' by The Barbarians is one of the most hopeful and inspiring songs I've ever heard.

Also, if 'Ain't Go/I Got Life' by Nina Simone won't lift your spirits, nothing will.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2004

excellent melissa may, yes Redemption Song!

:: hasn't been terribly hopefilled lately::
posted by kamylyon at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2004

"Empty Cans" by The Streets is pretty uplifting. Doubly so following immediately after "Dry Your Eyes". Triply so in the context of A Grand Don't Come for Free

I have an uplifting storyto share: A young girl that a friend of mine babysits had to make a drawing for her class on the subject "I can ______." I can draw, I can be a policeman, etc.

The young girl wrote "I can Love" and drew two people hugging. Aww...
posted by hughbot at 9:09 PM on December 2, 2004

A smile always seems to appear when listening to Pas/Cal. They always motivate and inspire and bring hope -- but maybe that's only for me.

This song was in a Saturn commercial.
This one wasn't.
posted by brad! at 9:17 PM on December 2, 2004

posted by keswick at 10:11 PM on December 2, 2004

My Best Friend
sorry about the reg...

posted by kamylyon at 10:13 PM on December 2, 2004

The Polyphonic Spree.
posted by asterisk at 11:11 PM on December 2, 2004

Sigur Ros often claim to sing in a language called Hopelandic and I can totally get what they mean by that, I often find their music very inspiring.

As an aside:

D:ream - Things can only get better - always used to do it for me, nice uplifting tune to dance around to...and then it was used in a political campaign, and it was forever tainted.
posted by mattr at 12:20 AM on December 3, 2004

There's a song by Mary Margaret O'Hara called Anew Day which does it for me.
posted by misteraitch at 12:31 AM on December 3, 2004

At the risk of being incredibly unhip and probably overly maudlin as well: Bruce Springsteen's The Rising.
posted by Clay201 at 2:07 AM on December 3, 2004 [1 favorite]

Damn you, Asterisk! ;)

I'd be wary of Sigur Ros -- they're one of those polymorphous bands that really amplifies how you're feeling at any given time. So, if you're feeling sad and need uplifting, they might end up making you feel low.

But I'm definitely with Asterisk on the Polyphonic Spree. Get hold of "Hanging Around the Day" (both parts, part 1 leads well into part 2), and "Hold Me Now" and try not to feel uplifted.
posted by cheaily at 2:09 AM on December 3, 2004

In a really strange way, Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads.
posted by handee at 2:12 AM on December 3, 2004

I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack.
posted by Firas at 2:13 AM on December 3, 2004

Cece Rogers "Someday"
posted by derbs at 2:26 AM on December 3, 2004

The Amorous Humphrey Plug by Scott Walker.

The lines: I've become a giant/I fill every street/I dwarf all the rooftops/I hunchback the moon/stars dance at my feet freakin' send me, man.
posted by black8 at 3:22 AM on December 3, 2004

Electric Light Orchestra, "Mr. Blue Sky"
posted by rustcellar at 3:57 AM on December 3, 2004

Great song rustcellar....mr blue sky (/me slopes off to find it on his ipod)

And derbs....another classic!
posted by mattr at 4:26 AM on December 3, 2004

Don't forget this one.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:40 AM on December 3, 2004

Can't find a link to the actual song, but the lyrics to Keep Right On are pretty uplifting.
posted by MrMustard at 5:18 AM on December 3, 2004

Erm, the song is actually called 'End of the Road'. There's a perfectly good explanation as to why I dubbed it 'Keep Right On', but I won't bore you with that here.
posted by MrMustard at 5:20 AM on December 3, 2004

This is a bit cliche, but Frou Frou's Let Go (the song that everyone remembers from Garden State).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:42 AM on December 3, 2004

8fatfat8 from Chicago occasionally scats/scratches through "This Little Light of Mine" in their live shows - totally inspiring and wonderful.
posted by pomegranate at 5:47 AM on December 3, 2004

I don't know if "hopeful" is exactly the word I'd use to describe these songs, but they definitely make me feel good inside:
The Decemberists "July, July!"
The Flaming Lips -- all of it
Wilco's "I Got You"
The Cars "Just What I Needed"
posted by katie at 6:00 AM on December 3, 2004

Angel Trail by The Legendary Pink Dots.

One of the most beautiful and uplifting songs I've ever heard.
posted by jaded at 6:06 AM on December 3, 2004

Al Green, "Stand Up"
Curtis Mayfield, "Move On Up"
Sam Cooke (or Otis Redding), "A Change is Going to Come"
The Kinks, "Better Things"

aaaaaaand Sammy Davis Jr., "If They Could See Me Now" (or "I Gotta Be Me". Of course that'd be cheese-o-riffic hope, but it's still hope, right?
posted by Vervain at 7:07 AM on December 3, 2004

lisa gerard's song of infinite longing: sanvean. unbearably sad but unbelievably hopeful.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:34 AM on December 3, 2004

I'm sure it's not high enough on the coolness quotient, but to me "Where the Streets Have No Name" is a reliably hopeful, uplifting, and inspiring song. Even after hearing it 1,000 times. I recommend a live version (any live version).
posted by pardonyou? at 7:38 AM on December 3, 2004

"Angel's Wings" - Social Distortion
posted by oh posey at 7:38 AM on December 3, 2004

It's dorky, it's Disney, but "Go the Distance," from Hercules -- the version in the movie, NOT the Michael Bolton version, always makes me want to climb a mountain and sing.
posted by SashaPT at 8:16 AM on December 3, 2004

"... I can see clearly now the rain has gone"
--Johnny Nash

it helps that my Dad and I used to always follow with "I can see all popsicles in my way" when I was little.
posted by whatnot at 8:34 AM on December 3, 2004

Bauhaus, "Hope" (yes! A cheerful Bauhaus song!
The Jam, "Absolute Beginners"
Number One Cup ,"Astronaut" -- this song (heck, most of the album Wrecked By Lions) literally helped me get through cancer treatments about seven years ago. A year or two later, by sheer and happy coincidence, I wound up working at the same job with the song's singer/writer, Seth Cohen. It was really great to be able to tell him how much of a difference that tune made in my life. (As I recall, he actually did a spit-take of Coke at me and looked like he was possibly going to cry when I told him. Ah, there's nothing quite like starting out a friendship with one of your indie rock heroes by having him nearly drench you in soda.)
posted by scody at 11:01 AM on December 3, 2004

The Only Way is Up--Yazz
She Brakes for Rainbows--B-52s
I'm Beautiful, Dammit--M People
Mint Car--Cure
Love Plus 1--Haircut 100
There Must Be an Angel--Eurythmics
posted by amberglow at 11:16 AM on December 3, 2004

The stuff that does it most for me tends to be 20th century choral music. I was at a concert a couple of weeks ago where I couldn't keep from weeping at the sheer beauty of it, and I tear up a bit just thinking about it.

Healy Willan, Eric Whitacre, and Herbert Howells are some good names. Maybe I'll think of some others.

If you get a chance, go see a good, solid, serious choir who performs works like these live. There's nothing like it.
posted by weston at 12:14 PM on December 3, 2004

Just seconding Mr Blue Sky and Keep Right On. They've been keeping Birmingham City FC fans' heads out of the gas oven for years, so they must have something going for them.
posted by squealy at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2004

Oooh, yes! Another vote for There Must Be an Angel!

And another vote for I Hope You Dance, sentimental as it is.

But the thing that really inspires and uplifts me is, of all pieces of music, the last movement of Brahms Symphony #2, cranked up as loud as I can stand. I happen to like the LA Philharmonic/Giulini recording from the 80s, but any decent recording will do.

Arvo Pärt's De Profundis has helped me through some of my darkest hours, but you weren't asking about "surviving depression" music.
posted by Tholian at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2004

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