I love big, loud, inspiring songs about pursuing your dreams–whatever dream matters most to you. Apparently quite a few other people do too, because my post on the subject has been one of my most popular. So I thought–why not a follow-up?
My last post featured two of my favorites, “A Piece of Sky” sung by Michael Crawford, and “Santa Fe” from Newsies. Here are a handful of other particularly inspiring ones! As usual with songs, links will take you to a song video.
“It’s a Long Way Up” by Barry Manilow
If Barry Manilow has any recurring theme in his songs besides “I loved her and I lost her” it’s about chasing dreams, and “It’s a Long Way Up” is just about perfect–loud, defiant, determined.
“Don’t give up the dream, you know it’s dark before the dawn.
When you think you just can’t take it, you see, that’s when you’ll make it.
But you got to fight a little harder, you got to push a little more,
You got to gamble everything you’ve got to get you through the door,
‘Cause it’s a long way up when you’re coming from nowhere.”
Just apply it to whatever you’re struggling with, and sing it loudly!
“Just Around the River Bend” from Disney’s Pocahontas
I love Pocahontas’ exhilarated singing as she thinks about choosing a safe path, but can’t resist the call of her dreams somewhere in her future – “why do all my dreams extend, just around the river bend?”
“Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello, Dolly
A large-scale production number about stepping out and embracing life: “I need a goal again, I need a drive again, I want to feel my heart coming alive again…before the parade passes by.” In this clip, Streisand doesn’t get properly enthused until 3:40 into the video, but it was the only one I could find.
“Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl
Another Streisand song, this is all about charging ahead even if you fail–and don’t let anyone deter you: “Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to. If someone takes a spill it’s me and not you. Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?”
“Defying Gravity” from Wicked
This song did more to make me like and understand Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, than Maguire’s entire 500 page book. Elphaba has decided to cast off ties, cast off restraints, and set out to change her life and the world, defying all limits along the way.
“I’m through accepting limits because someone says they’re so.
Some things I cannot change, but ’til I try I’ll never know…
And so if you care to find me, look to the Western sky.
As someone told me, they believe everyone deserves a chance to fly.
And if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free.
To those who’d ground me, take a message back from me–
Tell them how I am defying gravity.
I’m flying high, defying gravity!”
A surprising predominance of soundtracks, which I didn’t realize until I assembled this list–maybe it means I need to look farther afield. What would you recommend?