5 Socially Progressive Songs To Make You Feel Better About Humanity

5 Socially Progressive Songs To Make You Feel Better About Humanity

I find myself wondering: what the heck happened to music? What the heck happened to actual lyrics?

Maybe it's because I'm turning a quarter of a century soon and am prematurely settling into my jaded old lady role, but I've grown so very tired of popular songs telling me to "strip it down for a thug."

And I already know that the last guy who broke my heart was an a**hole, so singing about it again and again seems unproductive. Or in general, those songs that involve a very well to do person singing about problems that I can't relate to. My ears are bleeding. My eyes are rolling.

I'm over that noise; it's not music.

So, I find myself wondering: what the heck happened to music? What the heck happened to actual lyrics? What the heck happened to the protest songs of the '60s and the ballads of the '80s? Why does it all sound so blah and unimpressive?

I miss songs that give me goosebumps, that transport me, make me think and feel, that compel me to dance.

So, 2017 was a rough year. It was President Trump's first year in office, and the deep division within our country became all the more cavernous. And for much of the year I turned to music as an escape, and in doing so, I realized that all hope isn't lost...in the world of music anyway.

Though I don't think hope is lost in the real world either.

I heard some powerful vocals and some thought-provoking lyrics back in popular music. Now, I'm not big on mainstream music, but it's comforting to know that what everyone is listening to isn't all eye-roll inspiring noise.

So, to remind everyone that hope exists in popular music, here are five socially progressive and well-crafted songs with real messages from 2017.

1. "Prayin’" by Ke$ha

The first time I heard this song was on my car stereo. I actually had to pull over because the power behind her vocals just seemed to stop time, and I didn't think I could focus on driving until it was over. One of those pieces that you can't help, but immerse yourself in. And what an amazing sentiment after everything that she went through and continues to go through. It's her journey to accepting what happened to her and coming out the other side of tragedy. There is some serious beauty in her strength.

"Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell I had to learn how to fight for myself and we both know all the truth I could tell. I'll just say this is ‘I wish you farewell’. I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'. I hope your soul is changin', changin'. I hope you find your peace falling on your knees, prayin'.”

2. "Most Girls" by Hailee Steinfeld

Ladies, who here is tired of society lumping us all together like we're all the same? Who here is tired of words like "basic" to describe women who happen to like popular trends? I know I am. This song fights back against the age-old stereotype that women are one-dimensional.

"Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful. Most girls, work hard, go far, we are unstoppable. Most girls, our fight to make every day. No two are the same. I wanna be like, I wanna be like, most girls.”

3. "Glorious" by Macklemore Feat. Skylar Grey

Just watch the video and you'll understand why this song is so great.

"When I leave here on this earth, did I take more than I gave? Did I look out for the people or did I do it all for fame?"

4. "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons

This is a song for warriors, a great jam to pump you up. It's about standing up for yourself and feeling empowered after a lifetime of people kicking you down.

“You say you're basic, you say you're easy. You're always riding in the back seat, now I'm smiling from the stage while you were clapping in the nose bleeds.”

5. "Sick Boy" by The Chainsmokers

Not a song you would expect from The Chainsmokers and perhaps not the most positive message, but it describes the divided political climate in our country right now so well.

“Welcome to the narcissism, we're united under our indifference”

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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