Tag Archives: Music

7 Happy Songs (Part 4)

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1.  “Mmlj” by the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers. (I love saying the title out loud!) An acronym for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, this song reminds me that DAILY NOURISHMENT comes from the gospels. The lyrics are so joyful, and the singers have voices to match!

2.  “I Will Never Let You Down” by Rita Ora. *GIRLY POP WARNING* Yes, it’s a throwaway pop song — nothing deep — but it’s got one of those melodies (with pristine production) that chemically alters my brain and makes me HAPPY! There’s a science to it, I’m sure.

3.  “In the Dark I See” by Lights. Oh man, LIGHTS. Everything she sings is magic in my ears. This song made me fall in love. Just her and a guitar. I’m not sure what this song means to her, but I know what it means to me. (I tend to sing it vertically, to God.)

4.  “Brighten My Heart” by Sixpence None the Richer. This song does what the title suggests: it brightens! I love the poetry and simplicity of the lyrics, paired with a humble melody and Leigh Nash’s childlike vocals. It’s a prayer I’ve sung on many occasions. Keep it handy for a pick-me-up!

5.  “Grace’s Amazing Hands” (and pretty much everything else) by Dave Barnes. That voice… Yummy. But this song in particular stands out because it personifies grace so beautifully: her hands are “ugly” and “bruised” because of the hard work they’ve accomplished, but they’re “soft as a feather bed” to those who’ve felt their loving touch.

6.  “Extraordinary” by Liz Phair. I admit this isn’t the HAPPIEST song on the planet… But I’d put it in the “angsty happy” category — a sort of liberating breakup song. Maybe it’s the happy memories that accompany the track, but it definitely belongs on my list. Maybe it’ll make the cut for you, too!

7.  “Every Time I Close My Eyes” by Mariah Carey… Err, I mean, Babyface. But really, this song is all about Mariah’s “background” vocals. This diva can’t just shrink into the background. Nuh uh. Poor Babyface takes a backseat when MC brings her signature vocal runs on the bridge. It’s PURE GOLD! *Pressing replay now*

Oh, and you can find more happy songs here and here and here.

7 Happy (Country) Songs

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Alright, we’re gonna add a little twang to the “7 Happy Songs” series (read the first two here and here). You’ll notice these songs are SLIGHTLY dated cuz my country phase peaked in about 2007. But they still have a place on my iPod, and I’ll tell you why.

1.  “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence. I looovvvvve songs about friendship, and this one’s perfect with its fiddles and steel guitars. PLUS it features guest vocals from Tracy’s real-life friends, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney!

2.  “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt. Sure, this song is goofy — with subpar lyrics and Travis literally howling on the bridge — but there’s NO WAY I’m not smiling when I hear this.

3.  “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum. I will NEVER skip this song! It reminds me of road trips to Kansas with my parents. Love them. Love this. Perfect combo.

4.  “Isn’t That Everything” by Danielle Peck. Maybe she’s not rich and famous, but “I know Jesus loves me up in that sky above me.” I like when a song reminds me to count my blessings.

5.  “Mayberry” by Rascal Flatts is a throwback to the days of simple pleasures, none of which I remember because I was born in the 80s and I’ve never once watched The Andy Griffith Show. But I think we all ache for something pure and beautiful and uncomplicated. This songs nails it.

6.  “It Just Comes Natural” by George Strait. King George strikes again! Those charming vocals and child-like lyrics make for a perfect little love song. Feel free to sing this to me anytime.

7.  “Heart Like Mine” by Miranda Lambert. I think we’ve all got a little Miranda in us — a touch of rebel. (OK, more than a touch. Total depravity, people.) But this song, although wrong in some ways, has a hint of gospel that I love.

Honorable mentions include most anything from Martina McBride, Dixie Chicks (pre-Bush bashing), and Taylor Swift (pre-pop).

7 (More) Happy Songs

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1.  “In Tenderness” by Citizens. They took an old clunky hymn in 6/8 and made it one of my favorite songs on the planet. The words alone are enough to send my spirit soaring, but combined with those four simple chords? DYING.

2.  “Clair de Lune.” Just listen to it. No, FEEL IT. Movie directors don’t even hire composers for their most poignant scenes; they use this song (think Atonement and Oceans Eleven). Debussy’s masterpiece is the soundtrack to our lives. Now, if only I could play it.

3.  “We Shall Always Be With the Lord” by Ellie Holcomb. Buy the whole album. In fact, buy her whole catalogue! Simple, gorgeous, uplifting, and so many songs pulled straight from Scripture. But this song gets me every time. Tears streaming. Heart bursting. True happiness right here.

4.  “Oh! Great is Our God!” by The Sing Team. You can hear the joy in their voices. It’s like family worship. And the title says it all.

5.  “Sunshine” by Joy Williams. After her stint on Christian radio, but before she was half of The Civil Wars, she was an indie solo artist with two delightful EPs. This song, along with a runner-up called “You’re My Favorite,” feels like a blend of 60s pop and a children’s TV theme song.

6.  “Hello” by KB. No, not Adele’s unhappy tune. This one’s a rap-sung collaboration that makes me want to do two things: 1) SANG and 2) PREACH. A “morning after” song that reminds us that God’s mercies are new every day.

7.  “U Will Know” by BMU. Mmmmm, this song is YUMMY. A little-known gem from the 90s, recorded by the most soulful voices of that era. With their powers combined, they are “Black Men United.” I get one taste of that guitar intro and I’m instantly hooked — and instantly happy!

Need seven more? I got you.

7 Happy Songs

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Oh gosh, this is hard. I’ve got WAY too many happy songs in my music library, so this might have to be a recurring series. For now, I’ll stick with the songs that I will NEVER skip when they pop up on my playlist.

1.  “Something in the Water” by Brooke Fraser. It’s not even possible to listen to this with a frown on your face, especially with an opening line like this: “I wear a demeanor made of bright, pretty things.”

2.  “Finally Free” by Andrea Hamilton. You’ve got to love a girl who’s created her own genre called hopeful pop. This song feels like walking — no, dancing — through a field of daisies, tiny animals prancing around you, the whole bit.

3.  “Who Is Like You?” by Starfield. Pulled straight from Exodus 15. I love the fact that God’s people are still singing this today — in the car, windows down, max volume. Or is that just me?

4.  “The Heart of Life” by John Mayer. Talk about the bright side! I think this song is even truer for Christians (although, you’ll need to read into it). I prefer the live recording, as it’s the version I fell in love with.

5.  “Up We Go” by Lights. Besides drooling over everything she’s ever recorded, I especially love this ode to a happier tomorrow. Only problem is it’s too short (2:52). Gotta press replay at least 15 times!

6.  “Another Rainbow” by Bo Napoleon. Heard this on the radio while driving through Oahu with friends. The island vibe and childlike lyrics, along with Bo’s buttery vocals, put me in a happy place REAL quick.

7.  “Beautiful Eulogy” by Beautiful Eulogy is pretty much one of my favorite songs on the planet. This is raw emotion for me — the gospel rapped over aching, ghostly, acoustic instrumentation.