Songs About Hope And Inspiration presents the best songs of Hope And Inspiration like “Don’t Stop,” “Lean On Me,” “Fighter,” “I Will Survive,” and many more. When it seems like life just doesn’t want to cooperate with you for whatever reason, sometimes it feels like everything in our little world is a lost cause. Sometimes, the only thing that can pull us out of such a rut is that one song that has the ability to pull us out of the depths of darkness and into the light.
What are the songs that do it for you? Here are my top ten choices I can personally vouch have managed to pull me out of my own pit and back on what I like to call Hope Road.
#10 – O’Lord (by Lauren Daigle)
I make it no secret that I’m a born-again Christian who regards Jesus Christ as my primary source of hope when the chips seem to be down. According to Lauren Daigle, she seems to feel the same way with “O’Lord.” What makes this song a standout favorite on a personal level is the determination to stand firm on the ground where hope can be found.
After it was released as a single in 2017, it became a number one hit on the US Billboard Christian Airplay chart and the US Billboard Christian Adult Contemporary chart. On the US Billboard Christian Songs chart, it peaked as high as number three. It also became certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
#9 – Don’t Stop (by Fleetwood Mac)
Released in 1977, “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac was a song that focused entirely on holding onto hope for a better tomorrow. In the lyrics, it makes it clear yesterday is gone. It no longer holds relevance in your life other than a lesson you’ve hopefully learned from as you contend with the challenges of today. Hanging onto the past is that one anchor that drags you down. Instead of feeding that form of cancer that sucks the life out of you, cut the cord and let it drift away from you.
That was the message I personally received when I first heard Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie belt out “Don’t Stop.” In fact, Rumours is a wonderful album to listen to if you want to listen to more than just one song that puts hope back in the driver’s seat so you can move forward.
“Don’t Stop” was one of Fleetwood Mac’s best hits as it peaked as high as number three on the US Billboard Hot 100. On the US Cash Box and Canada’s RPM Singles chart, this became a number one hit. Globally, it was a top forty favorite among the nations of Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. It was also certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry.
#8 – I Will Survive (by Gloria Gaynor)
Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” was a single released in 1978 that became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and the UK. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected this song for preservation in its National Recording Registry as a culturally, historically, or artistically significant recording.
“I Will Survive” was all about resilience after getting knocked down. Regardless of whatever pit you’re thrown into, you not only have the power to survive the experience but thrive from it. It doesn’t matter who wronged you or why. What matters is learning to pick yourself up and use the experience in your favor to become a better version of yourself.
#7 – Stand My Ground (by Zach Williams)
2019’s “Stand My Ground” was a Christian rock song written by Zach Williams that came from his album, Rescue Story. Although it’s not on any official music charts as a hit, this is a personal favorite that has given cause to dig deep and literally stand your ground against what you deem is the enemy.
From my point of view, that enemy is not just the devil, which the song points out as the culprit behind a person’s woes. The enemy includes a person’s line of thinking as it’s so easy to get caught up in worldly troubles instead of taking a breather and relaxing for a moment. For me, this didn’t come easy as I was the ultimate example of a control freak. All that changed the moment I stopped playing the blame game. From there, I learned to stop trusting the world around me and start listening to my gut. At the time, my gut was telling me to turn to God and as ludicrous as that may sound to people who don’t share the Christian faith, it was the best decision I ever made. When scripture states the truth shall set you free once you learn it that’s exactly right.
When “Stand My Ground” came out in 2019 and I first heard it, there was a surge of energy that fired me up during a time when I found myself discouraged about the direction this world had been taking. Since then, as I continue watching the world speed down a path I know leads to a dead end, I’m standing my ground as I trust God way more than I will ever trust anybody else.
#6 – Fighter (by Christina Aguilera)
When you feel you’ve been wronged, you have the option to either feel sorry for yourself or take the experience and become a better person today than who you were yesterday. Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” was a 2002 song that came as an inspiration to the songstress after hearing “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses. “Fighter” is one of many R&B and rock hybrids that took the best elements of both worlds and made it into a noteworthy tune.
“Fighter” was about a woman wronged by a love interest’s actions. Instead of going into self-pity mode, the narrator chose to become a fighter instead. It always boils down to exercising faith over fear, which in turn takes the weakest parts of ourselves into the strongest.
That’s the message I received when I first heard “Fighter” was to stop blaming other people and circumstances for my problems. Wallowing in self-pity, playing the blame game, is toxic behavior that does you more damage than whoever it is you feel deserves it most. If you want real revenge against whatever it was that struck you down, listen to “Fighter” and use this as a source of empowerment to strengthen your resolve.
On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Fighter” became a number twenty hit and was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. It was a top ten hit among several nations such as Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. On a global level, the music video behind the song received a number of awards, namely in nations belonging to Belgium, and Canada, as well as four of USA’s MVPA Awards.
Twenty years later, “Fighter” still brings up the fighting spirit among individuals who refuse to allow outside influences to earn a victory over their right to be strong and free human beings.
#5 – Lean on Me (by Bill Withers)
“Lean on Me” was a song that was written, recorded, and released in 1972 by Bill Withers. It became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It has since earned its place as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. For Withers, this was a song about hope for himself personally. For the fans, this was more than just a song about hope. It became a cult classic that still holds on as an all-time favorite.
“Lean on Me” became certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, as well as by the British Phonographic Industry. The Australian Recording Industry Association certified this song platinum. This was a soulful favorite that has stood the test of time and deservedly earns its place as one of the best songs of hope ever recorded.
However, let’s not forget Club Nouveau’s version. Released in 1987, what was a slow soulful number from Bill Withers became more upbeat when the group covered this tune themselves. On a personal level, I took to Club Nouveau’s rendition more as it came at a time when my father was still recovering from his first heart attack.
#4 – Lean on Me (by Club Nouveau)
So what kind of “top ten” list is this when the same song is listed twice? My reasoning behind listing “Lean on Me” twice wasn’t about the song itself. It was how there were two very different performances that each deserve its own mention.
“Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau became a number one hit on an international scale. Canada and New Zealand were in agreement with the US Billboard Hot 100, and the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart that it earned the right to become a chart-topping phenom. While Bill Withers gave a soulful source of inspiration, what Club Nouveau did was juice up “Lean on Me” to become a motivational piece to get the body to move in alignment with the spirit.
#3 – Don’t Stop Believin’ (by Journey)
In 1981, Journey released the single, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” This inspirational song peered into the world of people dealing with personal issues who rose above whatever it was that plagued them. On a personal level, what a great tune to kick sources of discouragement to the curb as you strive to move on.
Worldwide, “Don’t Stop Believin’” became a top ten hit. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Don’t Stop Believin’” peaked as high as number nine. It also became Journey’s signature song. The Library of Congress selected this song in 2022 for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance. This song is anthemic by nature and deservedly so.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” has been certified platinum six times by the Recording Industry Association of America. This happened nine times with the Australian Recording Industry Association and four times with the UK’s British Phonographic Industry.
#2 – Eye of the Tiger (by Survivor)
Speaking from personal experience, when you listen to “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor first, then “Burning Heart,” it gives off a feeling that I’m invincible. At that point, whatever it was that knocked me down is about to get the butt-kicking of a lifetime. This was the theme song for the 1982 classic, Rocky III, which starred Sylvester Stallone as the boxer, Rocky Balboa.
If there was ever a song that can shift your gears from pessimism to optimism, “Eye of the Tiger” is it. Globally, this song became a cult favorite as it became at least a top ten hit on most of the official music charts worldwide. This includes earning the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as the pop charts belonging to Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, South Africa, and the UK. With over nine million copies of this single sold worldwide, “Eye of the Tiger” managed to earn multiple gold certifications and platinum certifications. With the Recording Industry Association of America alone it was certified platinum ten times.
#1 – Bridge over Troubled Water (by Simon & Garfunkel)
“Bridge over Troubled Water” was destined to become that one song of hope the moment Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel released this as a single on January 26, 1970. Even as some of the critics felt the song was a bit dull, the fans had the ultimate say on the matter.
In 1971, Bridge over Troubled Water won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, as well as Best Engineered Recording. “Bridge over Troubled Water” won Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, and Best Arranged Accompanying Vocalist(s). Both the song and the album still continue to earn accolades and awards for the significant impact that was made in the music industry.
It’s also been one of the top song choices when it came to dealing with problematic issues where someone was in need of support. “Bridge over Troubled Water” was inspiring enough to influence scores of recording artists to perform their own versions. When Simon and Garfunkel released this incredible tune it became a number one hit on a global scale, including on the US Billboard Hot 100. On a worldwide level, there have been over twenty-five million copies of “Bridge over Troubled Water” sold, and has been the recipient of a multitude of gold and platinum certifications. From the Recording Industry Association of America alone it was certified platinum eight times. The UK’s British Phonographic Industry had this song certified platinum eleven times.
So it would seem there are at least twenty-five million people who are in agreement that “Bridge over Troubled Water” is the ultimate “go-to” song when it comes to lifting their spirits up to where it needs to be.
Top 10 Songs About Hope And Inspiration article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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