Wednesday, April 9, 2014

clap along if you feel...

Okay, I'll just say it. You've been living under the proverbial rock if you haven't yet been exposed to Pharrell's infectiously happy "Happy". In fact, I'd even venture a guess that there are those of you who feel you've been waaaaaay overexposed to this giddy celebration of feel-goodness and are ready to say enough already to Pharrell AND his HAT (now that is a hat, my friends, that deserves all caps!)  ;-)  Like people the world over however, I fell almost immediate victim to its charms (the song, not the hat), and found myself wanting to dance-walk my way along the street, or break out in a happy dance in the middle of a mall - or wherever and whenever I heard it playing.  (To my daughters' eternal gratefulness, that hasn't happened - yet). :) I still love it, and will no doubt continue to turn to it for those times when I need a little extra jolt of exuberance.

Before Pharrell's ode to jubilation, however, there were a host of other songs that made me happy - you know what I'm talking about - those songs that fill your heart with unadulterated JOY when you hear them - that make you want to turn to the stranger next to you and give them a big HUG.  I continue to be in awe of the power of music - it can soothe us in times of sorrow, and lift our spirits out of the depths of misery. In fact, did you know that the "happy hormone", serotonin, is known to elevate when listening to music?  Of course, one person's auditory exultation may be entirely different than the next persons - but I thought I'd share with you a small sampling of songs that make me feel, well.....happy!  Some you may be familiar with, some may be new to you - but hopefully they'll all put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and fill your heart with joy! :)

I'll start with one my MOST favourite musicians, a literal force of positive energy,  Michael Franti.  I was first introduced to Michael's music about six years ago when he opened a concert for John Mayer in Toronto - and I don't believe I've ever witnessed anything like it.  Without a word of a lie, he had an entire arena of pre-concert goers on their feet and jumping - most of whom were not there to see him.  Although I'm a huge John Mayer fan, I'm not lying when I tell you I was sorry to see Michael's set end - and since then, I've made a point of going to see him whenever I can.  This is a man with a HUGE heart, and it comes through not only in his music, but in what he does off stage too.  Check out his Do It For The Love Foundation when you have a moment - and enjoy I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like) right now:

You heard Michael Franti's little rap bridge in the song above, right?  Where he talks about Jay Z and Beyonce?  Well, next up, none other than Queen B herself - singing Love On Top.  You may remember her performing this song at the 2011 VMAs as a precursor to her mic dropping announcement to the world that she was expecting...

...and even though she can be WAY over the top sometimes, the sentimental me ate it up.  I love the graduated changes in octave in this song - and just watching how B fabulously coordinates her costume changes (and an ever-increasing curl in her windblown hair) with each one is enough in itself to make you happy:

Next up, a few from probably my most favourite musician, Sting.  First, the closing track from his 1993 Ten Summoners Tales album, Nothing 'Bout Me.  A perfect jazzy little pick-me-up that never fails to elevate my mood:

Next a classic from his days with The Police, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic:

Ah, they were so young.  (And so was I).  I've seen Sting perform this song countless times in person, and it never fails to throw a little burst of joy into my heart - especially near the end when you can sing along with those "eeeeyooo's" (or whatever he's saying) at the top your lungs.

As long as we're back in the 80's, how about Space Age Love Song, by A Flock of Seagulls?  This a a great happy "car song" - one of those you can play at full volume with the window open or the top down on a hot summer's day (still patiently awaiting such an opportunity, but it's coming!).  And if the song itself doesn't put a smile on your face, those classic 80's hairdos sure will:

Jumping back into something a little more recent, here's one by another of my very favourite musicians, Mr. A to Z himself, Jason Mraz. It's a bit tough trying to choose just one of his songs that make me happy - he's got quite a few that elevate the old serotonin levels - but this one in particular, Gypsy MC/Mudhouse, never fails to amaze:

Well, that's probably enough for now...but I'll finish where I began - with Pharrell.  I don't know what was up with Pharrell this year, but he had the Midas touch when it came to feel-good songs, and it paid off for him BIG time when he collaborated with Daft Punk on their recent Grammy winning Record of the Year - Get Lucky:

(Honestly, the video isn't all that exciting, but all you need is a pair of ears to understand why this song was so immensely popular - and why it's hard to sit still when you hear it). :)

I could go on.  (And probably will in future installments).  But I think you get where I'm coming from - in today's world, we need happiness wherever we can find it - and music is a pretty fine place to start.  How about you? What songs make you want to "clap along if you feel like a room without a roof"?  I'd love to hear - feel free to leave a comment below - and have a HAPPY day! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment