15 Uplifting Songs From the 1970's

Updated on May 14, 2018
mulberry1 profile image

As a Baby Boomer, I grew up in the '60s and '70s finishing up college in the '80s. Occasionally I like to share some nostalgia .

Source

Music That Moves You

While there is plenty of feel-good music available, some tunes go beyond and inspire us. This is true even of older music from the 1970's. There are of course pop tunes like Dancing Queen by Abba that can get you moving. There is also plenty of rock which can energize and encourage you to persevere and follow your passions; We Are the Champions by Queen and Aerosmith's Dream On are examples. However, some of 70's music touches on other positive sentiments.

I've made up a list of some of the uplifting songs from the 1970's that reflect the overall optimism and growing awareness of an expanding world that represents the decade. The ideas of world peace, love, harmony, kinship, emerging recognition of diversity, and the idea of finding inner peace are reflected in many of these songs although a celebration of romantic love and meaningful friendship is also included.

15 Uplifting Songs From the 1970s

1. Morning Has Broken

2. Imagine

3. I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

4. Dancing in the Moonlight

5. Let It Be

6. My Sweet Lord

7. Spirit in the Sky

8. Bridge Over Troubled Water

9. Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

10. Let Your Love Flow

11. Mr. Blue Sky

12. I Can See Clearly Now

13. Saturday in the Park

14. Rocky Mountain High

15. Top of The World

Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken has a peaceful, joyous feel to it. It is a Christian hymn first written in the 1930's. Cat Stevens worked with Rick Wakeman to record and release his version of it in 1971. Of course, it's been recorded by a number of other popular artists over the years, but Stevens' version brought it to the attention of a wider audience first when it achieved rank on top 40 charts.

For me, this song is an expression of the gratitude we should have for the wonder of the world we have before us each day.

Cat Stevens had other songs which also provided positive messages. One example would be If you Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.

You can enjoy the Morning Has Broken and see the lyrics below.

Imagine

Imagine is a song recognized by generations of listeners. It was written, recorded, and released by John Lennon in 1971 after the demise of the Beatles. It offers the vision of a world that is joined as one, without war, poverty, hate, etc. It's somewhat restrained but hopeful, not rousing the listener to euphoria but a lasting sense of good.

The audio and the song's lyrics are below.

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

While television commercials are sometimes more popular than their products, sometimes the music written for them also exceeds the original aim of the composition. One example is I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing. Originally made for a Coca-Cola commercial it was altered to eliminate the marketing elements and recorded by other artists. In 1971-72 both the Hillside Singers and The New Seekers released their versions with great success.

The song (and cola commercial) promoted the idea of a united, equal, multiracial society living in harmony. It had a light, joyous feel that a wide audience found attractive.

You can hear the New Seekers version of the song below.

Dancing in the Moonlight

Other uplifting songs of the 1970's weren't really about the larger issues of world, peace, utopia, or anything of that nature. Some were simple messages about living a joyful life, experiencing kinship, and enjoying the magic of the simple things in life such as a warm night and a full moon.

When these uplifting messages were combined with a cheerful melody, hits were made. The tune Dancing in the Moonlight was written in 1968 but was recorded and released by King Harvest in 1972.

You can hear it below.

Let It Be

The song Let It Be is not one that will get you dancing in the aisles, but it is one that offers a message about dealing with difficult times. It offers wisdom about finding strength by letting things go, allowing things to happen, and recognizing the need to simply move forward with the confidence that things will turn out right.

Paul McCartney wrote the song in 1969 and it was released as a single in 1970 as the Beatles were breaking up. You can hear it below.

My Sweet Lord

In my list of uplifting songs from the 70s, I've included former Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and John Lennon, now I have to add George Harrison. George is what I would call the more spiritual of the group. He had a number of songs in his solo career that might make this list but My Sweet Lord would be my number one pick.

The song appears to be about the spiritual striving to better know God and the tempo gives it an uplifting feel. It was released as a single in 1971. It's posted below for you to listen.

Spirit in the Sky

An interesting blend of gospel and rock, Spirit in the Sky, was written in 1969 but on the charts in 1970. It's creator, Norman Greenbaum enjoyed this early success but in the end was basically a one-hit wonder. Clearly, the song is about Jesus and reaching heaven after death so for those who are believers, this can be a rather uplifting song.

You can hear it below.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

I also consider Bridge Over Troubled Water to be an uplifting song. While the tempo and melody may not have listeners thinking of a celebration it does offer an inspiring message of supportive friendship. Through troubling times, through thick and thin, we all treasure the thought of someone who will always be there, who will have our back.

Paul Simon primarily wrote the song and musical partner Art Garfunkel sang it. It was released in 1970 just before the duo broke up. You can listen to it below.

If you prefer a more light-hearted song about friendship you might try Queen's You're My Best Friend from 1975.

Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

Of course, Christmas songs are uplifting in general, but John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded and released Happy Christmas (War Is Over) in 1971 adding an element of war protest to the mix. At the time, they were heavily involved in efforts to end US involvement in the Vietnam war.

The song has its cheerful melody and its "make love, not war" type lyrics going for it which has allowed it to continue to be a standard Christmas favorite even today. You can hear it below.

Let Your Love Flow

In 1975-76, Let Your Love Flow was a very popular song in the US and in other countries as well. It was recorded by the Bellamy Brothers and basically sang the praises of love and the joyfulness of allowing it to flourish. Simple and uplifting.

You can hear it below.

Mr. Blue Sky

A song celebrating the return of a better day whether it's just blue skies or happier times is certainly one to lift the spirits. We've all endured cloudy days, literally or figuratively, and Mr. Blue Sky expresses the feelings well. Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released the song in 1978 with Jeff Lynne being the lead vocalist (and writer).

You can listen to it performed below.

I Can See Clearly Now

American singer, songwriter, sometimes actor, and record label owner, Johnny Nash wrote and recorded I Can See Clearly Now in 1972. It is a reggae-influenced pop tune which also speaks of emerging from hardship to a better day. A simple, positive message with a cheerful melody sure to lift spirits. The song has, of course, been re-recorded by other artists since.

You can hear Nash's version below.

Saturday in the Park

Another uplifting 1970's song was Saturday in the Park by Chicago. It's another song that appears to celebrate a beautiful day where people are happy and loving. But perhaps there is more. Maybe every day can be a "Saturday in the park"? The song asks if we can see it, if we really want it, and tells us that every day can be the 4th of July.

You can hear a live performance of the 1972 song below.

Rocky Mountain High

John Denver penned and sang a number of odes to home, the beauty of nature, and the joy to be found in the simple things of life. Welcome Home (Country Roads), Thank God I'm a Country Boy, and Rocky Mountain High are examples.

Rocky Mountain High was written and released in 1972. Despite what some censors believed, the song is not about marijuana use. Instead, it captures Denver's love and exhilaration for the Rocky Mountains. For those who share this reverence for the earth we've been given, this 70's song is inspirational.

You can listen to the song below.

Top of the World

It's time on my list to include a nod to romantic love. Brother and sister duo, Richard and Karen Carpenter had a number of singles that brought them success in the 1970's. Their music was often about love, either finding it or losing it. Close to You, We've Only Just Begun, and Top of the World were a few of the popular love songs.

Top of the World was a tune about the abundant feeling of being in love. It was written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, then subsequently recorded and released by both Lynn Anderson on the country charts and The Carpenters on the pop charts in 1973. Even the Carpenters version of the song had a country music vibe to it. You can hear it below.

© 2018 Christine Mulberry

What 1970's Songs Do You Find Uplifting?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      5 months ago from Canada

      Big fan of John Denver. He wrote some wonderful lyrics. ELO is awesome, too, as always. Thanks for the trek down memory lane :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I know and enjoy many of the songs in your list. Thank you for reminding me of them and for showing me some new songs.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 

      5 months ago from Indonesia

      Wow great songs. I didn't realize there were many inspiring songs in my generation and the one I love most Dancing in the moon light.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)