Surrounding Ourselves with “Signature Songs”

This post is by Dennis P. Carman, President & CEO of United Way of Brockton, MA.

Whether we hum it, strum it, sing it, say it, whistle it, or play it, music can be a powerful force for good in our lives.  There is research abounding that testifies to the healing and renewing properties of music. My point today, however, is not to try to impress you (or more likely bore you) with studies and statistics. Rather, I’d like to encourage you in a world that has become so increasingly filled with unkind arguments and unnecessary conflicts to immerse yourselves in music with positive and caring messages. 

Take, for instance, the chorus of the song, “Point of Light” sung by Randy Travis back in 1990:

All it takes is a point of light
A ray of hope in the darkest night
If you see what’s wrong and you try to make it right
You will be a point of light

Songwriters: Don Schlitz / Thom Schuyler

Point of Light lyrics © Universal Music

Or go back from there a few decades to the early 70s and take a few moments to reflect on some of the lyrics to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies:

The road is long
With a many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

But I’m strong,
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Writer(s): Sidney Keith Russell, Robert William Scott

I admit that I am part of the older generation, so I will leave you with some lyrics from one of my favorite more recent songs that dates back to 2020, from local singer/songwriter Lori McKenna called “Uphill”:

Hard times and landslides are part of life God knows
We all got some mountains to climb
Whatever ocean you’re swimming across
However valley low
I’m right here, I’ve been right here all this time
And I’ll walk with you, even if it’s uphill
I’ll walk with you, even if it’s uphill

Songwriter:  Lori McKenna

So, are there songs that would help you “Teach Your Children” (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), or that would encourage you to “Work Together” (Canned Heat) or to simply be “Happy” (Pharrell Williams)?  Would you be willing to share some of your “signature songs” with the readers of this blog?

I don’t know if a song can change our world to make it any better than it is in these troubled times, but my personal experience has shown me that we can each change a small piece of the world closest to us to make it a bit kinder and a bit gentler. Criticize me if you will for being perhaps too simple-minded and I can only respond to you by singing at the top of my lungs.

You can 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

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon

Imagine lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Capitol CMG Publishing, Downtown Music Publishing, Royalty Network, Songtrust Ave, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

As I do not own the copyrights to any of the referenced music in this article, please support the artists by buying their music!

Peace out!

One thought on “Surrounding Ourselves with “Signature Songs”

  1. Okay, I’ll start you off. How about . . . “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel!

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