This is a more difficult embodiment of this challenge for me, because listing two songs each that I listen to when I’m sad, happy, and angry is extremely difficult. When I jam out, I tend not to pay attention to who or what I’m listening to, but just enjoy the atmosphere or the lyrics or the tunes weaving through the airwaves around me. Spotify and Pandora playlists are fantastic for that, because then I can just pick a mood or a starting song and let it play without giving it much thought. (It is because of this habit that Ghost, who has much stronger opinions about music than I do, jokes that I have bad taste in music.) However, I have given this some pretty extensive thought, and think I have found some songs that fit the bill. Please excuse my eclectic taste.

Happy Songs

Glitter in the Air” by P!nk is just a go-to for me. The melody is peaceful, but happy; the lyrics are INCREDIBLE to listen to and constantly re-analyze; and P!nk is such a bad*ss, why wouldn’t I like one of her most iconic songs? Seriously, though, it’s the lyrics that get me. You’ll find that as a recurring theme in this post, but come on! The opening┬áverse just sells me, every time:

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don’t care?

“La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong is another mellow happy song. I know most people think upbeat tunes make a happy melody, but I love listening to calming music, and you can’t beat the smokey, sultry, smooth tones of jazz. This song is about looking at all of the good in the world, “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses,” to quote Audrey Hepburn. While it is a love song, it is this view of the world (and the simple, gorgeous melody) that makes it into a happy song for me.

Angry Songs

“I Want to Break Free” by Queen. It’s by Queen, therefore it is awesome. Why I listen to it when I’m angry? Listen to the opening verse, and tell me it’s not perfect for an angry song.

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free

“Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago is a quintessential angry song. How much angrier can you get than “the six merry murderesses of the Crookem County Jail” singing about their men and how they each met their untimely demise? Beautiful, because of the tango tempo; terrifying, because I wouldn’t want to cross these ladies; and, while I would never take out my anger in such a final way as these women, it is quite cathartic to listen to their actions and attitudes. (Don’t judge me, okay?)

Sad Songs

“The Scientist” by Coldplay seems like it is one of the go-to break up songs out there, at the moment, and I have to say I agree. Personally, it is the music and tone rather than the lyrics that sell the sadness for me and give me that emotional relief that I need when I’m feeling down. I’m not a huge fan of Coldplay, but this song is my exception.

“Songbird” by Eva Cassidy is another sad song. Originally written and performed by Fleetwood Mack, this song is slow and mournful with some of the most beautiful lyrics I have ever heard. The lyrics aren’t sad, but the tune slows everything down and makes me pay attention to something hopeful, even when I’m feeling depressed or sad. There’s an additional element of sadness in Eva Cassidy’s performance, since she died of melanoma too young at age 33. The end result of “Songbird,” though, is that such a beautiful, hopeful song always makes me feel better. What better way to end this post than with those lyrics?

For you there’ll be no crying
For you the sun will be shining
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you
It’s all right I know it’s right

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you I love you I love you
Like never before

To you I would give the world
To you I’d never be cold
‘Cause I feel that when I’m with you
It’s all right I know it’s right

And the songbirds keep singing
Like they know the score
And I love you I love you I love you
Like never before Like never before

Like never before

-Wilber

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