Spread the Love: 10 Songs of Hope and Healing after the Election
When we find ourselves in difficult situations, sometimes the best way to move forward is to listen to music. Music has a unique ability to unite, to heal, and to inspire. In the wake of an extremely divisive presidential campaign and election, people of many different beliefs are upset and angry. This divide, however, may only bring more hate. Though this might not heal all the wounds, I think it’s time we turn to music to bring us together. Here’s ten songs (though not in any way a top ten list) that I believe can move us past this moment with their moving lyrics and messages. Note: Half of these songs are by The Beatles or former members John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I may be biased, but the prominence of Lennon/McCartney songs on this list demonstrates their brilliance and inspirational ability as songwriters and musicians.
1. “Imagine” by John Lennon
At a time when our country has shown a lot of hate, “Imagine” provides a simpler vision of the world at peace.
Inspiring lyric: “Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”
2. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney
Not nearly as political of a message as Lennon’s “Imagine,” but “Maybe I’m Amazed” captures the beauty of the things around us. The main piano riff is addictive, as is the guitar solo. This song is truly one of McCartney’s masterpieces.
Inspiring lyric: “Maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song, right me when I’m wrong. Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.”
3. “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band
It’s hard to deny that “Chicken Fried” is the cliché overplayed country song. Nevertheless, if you listen closely, the lyrics talk about many of the simple yet amazing aspects of America. The last verse sells the America vibe of the song, but I think the most prevalent lyrics actually come in the second verse.
Inspiring lyric: “It’s funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most. Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes. There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind and this I’ve come to know.”
4. “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts
Best known for being the theme song to the TV show Friends, this song’s upbeat tempo will lift your spirits and it’s chorus will remind you of the importance of genuine friendship, regardless of who you or your friends supported in 2016.
Inspiring Lyric: “Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with. Someone I’ll always laugh with, even at my worst I’m best with you.”
5. “Hey Jude” by The Beatles
Paul McCartney wrote this song for Lennon’s son Julian (nicknamed “Jude”) to comfort him during his parents’ divorce. I don’t have the words to properly do this song justice, it might be the greatest song ever written. Please listen.
Inspiring Lyric: The entire song.
6. “Tell the World” by Eric Hutchinson
“Tell the World” is a simple, feel-good song. It’s upbeat rhythm and lyrics will remind you that the world is not such a bad place.
Inspiring Lyric: “Let’s tell the world all the things we’ve done, falling in love and the setting sun. I’ve got a song and a smile so bright. I’ll make you wish you were here tonight.”
7. “Home” by Phillip Phillips
The lyrics, though repetitive, are moving and the soft, acoustic vibe of “Home,” combined with a long instrumental break is soothing to listen to.
Inspirational Lyric: “Don’t pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear. The trouble it might drag you down. If you get lost you can always be found.”
8. “Let it Be” by The Beatles
As with “Hey Jude,” it’s tough to put into words the power of this song. What makes both songs so amazing are the combination of McCartney’s angelic voice and beautiful piano playing. This song’s lyrics feel especially pertinent to the aftermath of the 2016 election.
Inspirational Lyric: “And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be. For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see. There will be an answer, let it be.”
9. “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips
The only repeat artist on this list other than The Beatles, Phillips’s “Gone, Gone, Gone” (like “Home”) is from Phillips’ debut album after winning Season 11 of American Idol. Similar to “Home,” this song carries important messages about love and hope.
Inspirational Lyric: “When enemies are at your door I’ll carry you away from war if you need help, if you need help. Your hope dangling by a string, I’ll share in your suffering to make you well, to make you well.”
10. “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles
One last Beatles song -- the simple message of the song lies in its title.
Inspirational Lyric: “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy.”
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