Music can comfort people in times of need and sadness and offer a positive emotional stimulant to bridge the gap to the often unknown but anticipated future.
Expressions of hope and longing are popular themes for pop songs but the three listed below exude a special warmth and tenderness to warrant their choice. All three are great tunes on their own, but listened to as a trilogy, their collective emotions leaves an even more intense sense of hope within each one of us...
This song is on the list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and inspired more than twenty covers since its 1970 release. Recorded by Chicago soul family group the Five Stairsteps, it was released it on the Buddah label as B-side but broke out in the key markets of Philadelphia and Detroit to rise as high as #8 the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1970.
Featuring various members family members singing various parts of the song, the catchy refrain and uplifting message still triggers a powerful sense of innocence and hope today.
What a gorgeous tune—it still gives me goose bumps after all these years... This type of hope is kindled by love and the joy of knowing the long wait is over:
"Came a thousand miles just to catch you while you're smiling'"
And such beautiful poetic imagery in the lyrics:
"...hoping you've faith in impossible schemes that are born in the sigh of the wind blowing by.."
Hope springs eternal... A tender love balled (atypical for Tull), the simple arrangement of guitar, flute(s) and subdued Hammond organ—as well as a sparse but wonderful string arrangement—do a wonderful job of supporting the beautiful lyrics and making this a touching tribute to love.
Released as the B-side to their very popular hit song "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," this was fairly obscure song that became a crowd favorite.
In their own strange and unique way, Steely Dan created a very gentle yet powerful song about hope and starting over. Offering consolation to someone whose world seems to be falling apart, the usual over-used cliches like "when one door closes, another opens" are re-spun in a refreshing new way: "Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again"
Of course the lyric "Have you ever seen a squonk's tears?" a puzzle to many listeners becomes even more poignant when you realize it refers to an imaginary creature, the Squonk who according to the legend, dissolves into a pool of tears to escape from being captured. Brilliant!
Waking On Sunshine
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
-- Sept.17th, 2013 --