Hope is an interesting concept. For some, it is fanciful and has no importance when compared with reality. For others, it is the thing that drives them on.
I have read, as we all do, I suppose, many things and listened to innumerable songs that talk about hope. And I shall look at some of the best songs about hope, but, for me, it is summed up in these few lines:
“Reach for the heavens/And Hope for the future/And all that we can be/Not what we are.”
We will look at the song those words come from a little later. The words aren’t religious; they apply to everyone. They are just encouraging you to make yourself better. Life isn’t just about you and what you can get out of it. Now, there is a lesson for some of our alleged leaders.
A Feeling Of Pessimism
That is what we seem to have today. Starvation, hunger, poverty, people on the streets, and what do some do? Not pay the taxes they should and waste it on pointless exercises.
How much more valuable would it be to address the problems here first. Ego and perceived self-importance are terrifying things.
Can Music Help?
It can’t help those few, but then nothing can. But, it helps us. It can give strength; it can inspire and empower people. And it can help build a connection with people. Hope expressed in music can do all those things. And has done them in the past.
By using music and all its emotions, we can inspire and motivate humanity. Not waste billions on “a certain few” and their perceived self-importance; instead, give it to those that need it.
What an idea…
The idea of hope can be a personal thing, or it can be for more all-encompassing ideas. Sometimes, it gets political. Nothing wrong with that. Providing the violence that often goes along with being ‘political’ doesn’t rear its ugly head.
People have a right to openness and to express opinions. At least in some places. With that said, let’s take a look at what the songwriters have to say, starting with…
Top 100 Best Songs About Hope
Wishin’ And Hopin’ by Dusty Springfield
A song from the great Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was originally written for Dionne Warwick. She released it as a B-side in 1962. Dusty’s version came out in 1964 and was a top ten hit in the UK and America.
For many, it was a turning point in her career. A lot of people were saying, “What a great voice.” On this track, she showed she could be powerful yet gentle at the same time.
In recent times…
The song has been criticized by “certain groups” who were obviously bored that day, complaining it makes women subservient. I don’t think it does that. It is just a girl “wishing and hoping” about the future she might have with a boy. That is wrong, is it?
Better cancel a million or so other songs then, I suppose. Back to the music, a great performance by one of the best female voices of the 60s.
Children of Destiny by Neil Young with Promise of the Real
This is a song taken from Young’s 2017 album, The Visitor. Neither the single nor the album were what you might call a great success. But he wasn’t interested in that “superstar” stuff by this stage of his career. To him, it was more important that he said what he thought.
This track and the album was the second album recorded with the American band Promise of the Real.
This is not difficult to grasp. It is a song about hope and taking a stand. About resisting what is going on around the world. He always was a “righter of wrongs,” even going back to the days of the song “Ohio.”
As he has matured as a writer, his environmental side has become stronger, and that is what this is all about. The hope is that the young people will take a stand to protect the planet for the sake of the future.
I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
This is a great song about hope for the future written by Johnny Nash. It was taken from his eleventh studio album of the same name, I Can See Clearly Now. First released in 1972, it went to #5 in the UK and #1 in America. The first reggae song to achieve that.
It was recorded in London, and Nash relied heavily on the reggae feel of the song, but without overdoing it. He had recently been working with Bob Marley, which may also have influenced the way he styled the track.
There have been plenty of cover versions, making this one of the most recorded reggae songs. Additionally, it’s a great song about finding hope.
Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac
This was taken (as the majority of the people in the universe know) from the album, Rumours. What you may not be aware of is that Rumours was the band’s twelfth album.
They were originally formed in London in 1967. That first lineup included a blues guitarist that made all the others at the time look very ordinary, Peter Green.
No need to go into their history…
That is well-documented. But, there were one or two, to say the least, personnel changes before we arrived at the album called Fleetwood Mac, the album before Rumours.
This track was one of the most popular on Rumours. It was written by Christine McVie and sung by her and Lindsey Buckingham.
This song, like many others on the album, reflects on broken relationships and the hope that things will get better. Something they all knew plenty about at the time.
In some ways…
When the name of the band is mentioned, people often think about the turmoil they experienced rather than the exceptional songs on this album. Released in 1977, it went #1 in the UK, America, and five other countries.
Hope You’re Feeling Better by Santana
Santana was a band formed in San Francisco by Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana in 1966. They shot to fame on the release of their first album in 1969, simply called Santana.
But, it was their appearance at Woodstock which cemented them firmly into music’s consciousness. The second album was called Abraxas, which is where this song with hope in the title comes from.
It is a song that typifies everything that Santana was about. Creative and innovative, with thundering drums and percussion and prominent organ, they were unique to the time. And this track showed that.
Lean on Me by Bill Withers
Brought up as a child in the rough part of town, he experienced both hardship and the strength of a community. He wrote this song, and it was released in 1972, probably based on the things he saw in those days.
In this famous song of hope, he talks about how everyone has sorrow and pain but looks to the future with hope. There is always tomorrow; he reminds us. It has been covered many times, most notably perhaps by Tina Turner, and even used in a film.
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
Some songs will always be with us. Some songs whose meaning just goes on and are always relevant. And so it is with this Paul Simon song. It was taken from the album of the same name, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
This was the fifth album where the two worked together, and it proved to be their last. There had been a conflict of interests for years between them. Finally, this was released in 1970, and they went their separate ways. Although, there were a couple of one-off reunions.
A song that recognized extreme hardship and all the bad emotions. But with the hope that someone will be there to help, and it will all get better. It sold more than twenty million copies, making it one of the best songs about hope.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland
From the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz,” this is one of the songs that immediately come to mind when you think of Judy Garland.
This is a popular song all about hope. A hope and a belief that there is a better place to go to. Over the years, it has been the subject of a range of discussions on the song’s real meaning.
So, what is over the rainbow?
Some take a negative viewpoint. They think the song might have been all about emphasizing that there is no better place. The positive way, and the way I think it is written, is that we should be brave enough to believe there is. This is not necessarily a religious argument, although some take the view it is.
Whatever place you happen to be in, you can always make it better. And hope is the first step on that road.
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life by Monty Python
Thus far, it has all been quite serious. So, maybe it is time to lighten up for a minute. It doesn’t hurt to have a laugh, and I doubt there is a song about hope that will make you laugh more.
Taken from the movie “Life Of Brian,” it was written and sung in the film by Eric Idle. It is a song that simply says what the title says. And, by doing that, we are hoping things are going to get better.
Imagine by John Lennon
When the talk is about The Beatles, sooner or later, the conversation will turn to this song. Or, as a friend I knew who worked at Apple used to say, “The song that McCartney wished he’d written.”
The Message Can Be Overlooked
It is easy to do that because the lyrics go from one place to another. The song could be said to be about change. But what it is all about is that he “hopes” people will change. Hoping we can be better than we are.
He does speak against organized religions. Those that have bank accounts hidden away with too many noughts. It talks about the dangers of nationalism, and we still see that in the world. And his very real dislike of the corporate world and all its greed.
Just A Fraction
He highlighted that if the super-rich were to donate a tiny amount of their enormous wealth, it could benefit the poor, hungry, and homeless. Rather than flying around pretending to be something they’re not.
This is the song “Imagine.” Dreaming and hoping for the future through change. Nice idea, John, and one most reasonable people would agree with.
Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
Staying with the members of The Beatles, rather than the band itself, this George Harrison composition is special. Furthermore, these days it is one of the most streamed of all The Beatles songs on Spotify.
It is, without question, one of the best songs about hope. Hope that all the in-fighting and the selfishness in the band at that time would go away. Or the “long cold lonely winter,” as he calls it. Here comes the sun is a reference to the time he, and they, all knew was coming.
He walked out of the Abbey Road studios one day. He’d had enough and went off on his own to play his guitar, and this came out. Interestingly, his hope overshadowed all because the song feels so positive.
From the icy relationship, they had at the time to the warmth of the springtime that was coming. He wouldn’t have to live in anyone else’s shadow anymore. The hope for all that was to come shines through and makes this one of the greatest Beatles tracks.
The Eagle and the Hawk by John Denver
John Denver was a singer-songwriter who was considered by many “just another country singer.” Not really the case.
He wrote plenty of tracks that fall into the “good old home-loving country boy ethic.” Some of them are iconic songs that he and others had great success with. He could write some fun stuff as well, but he had another side to him. A far more serious side.
This is a song that, for me, was always his finest. And, I am not just talking about the song, but the message and the production as well. His trademark acoustic guitar style dominates the early part of the song as we move towards the arrival of the orchestra.
But, before we get to that orchestration, we get this …
“Reach for the heavens/And Hope for the future/And all that we can be/Not what we are.”
…this is where we came in.
A well-written score that builds the tension as it grows towards the climax. And what a climax! Possibly his greatest work, and possibly the greatest song written about hope for the future.
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Better Days by Goo Goo Dolls
You’ve Got a Friend by Carole King
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
Rise Up by Andra Day
Carry On by Fun.
A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion
I’m Still Standing by Elton John
When You Believe by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush
Good Life by OneRepublic
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and The Waves
Heal the World by Michael Jackson
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
You Gotta Be by Des’ree
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
One Day by Matisyahu
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
We Are the Champions by Queen
Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna
Hero by Mariah Carey
Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
Hall of Fame by The Script feat. Will.i.am
Don’t Give Up on Us by David Soul
Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
There’s Hope by India.Arie
Firework by Katy Perry
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Stronger Than Me by Amy Winehouse
I Believe by Fantasia
Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw
The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross
When You’re Gone by Avril Lavigne
More 50 Best Songs About Hope
- What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) by Kelly Clarkson
- Strong by London Grammar
- Don’t Stop by Gin Wigmore
- Dream Weaver by Gary Wright
- Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder
- Here Comes the Sun (Again) by M. Ward
- Wide Awake by Katy Perry
- Love Don’t Die by The Fray
- It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
- The Man by Aloe Blacc
- Sky’s the Limit by The Notorious B.I.G.
- I’m Still Here by John Rzeznik
- You Get What You Give by New Radicals
- Hold On by Wilson Phillips
- Here Comes Hope by Jackson Browne
- Better by Khalid
- Let It Be by The Beatles
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Wonderful World by Sam Cooke
- High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco
- This Is Me by Keala Settle
- One Love by Bob Marley
- It’s a Beautiful Morning by The Rascals
- Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFadden and Whitehead
- Rise by Katy Perry
- Fly by Nicki Minaj (feat. Rihanna)
- Something Beautiful by Needtobreathe
- Stronger Than You Think by Fireflight
- My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit
- I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
- Here Comes The Sun Again by M. Ward
- Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead
- You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
- Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson
- So Much Love to Give by The Bee Gees
- Redemption Song by Bob Marley
- All You Need Is Love by The Beatles
- The Rose by Bette Midler
- True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
- Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
- Higher Love by Whitney Houston (feat. Kygo)
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
- We Will Rock You by Queen
- Believe by Cher
- Uprising by Muse
- Roar by Katy Perry
- It’s My Life by Bon Jovi
- I Believe in You by Michael Bublé
- I’m Alive by Celine Dion
Want to Find More Incredible Songs?
We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Friendship, the Best Songs About Dreams, the Best Songs About Change, the Best Songs About Heroes, the Best Songs About Magic, and the Best Songs about Fighting for awesome song selections.
You will want to listen to all those songs. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best JBL Wireless Headphones, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones you can buy in 2023.
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Best Songs About Hope – Conclusion
We have covered just a few of the many. It is not an easy subject to include everything because hope can cover such a wide variety of aspirations. One person will hope, for one thing, another for something completely different.
Perhaps the most important hope we can have is not about ourselves; it is about others. There are a few songs that cover that type of hope on this list.
Until next time, happy listening.