Each new year offers the opportunity for a fresh start, whether you seek to wash away the sins of the previous year or reinvent a better future that follows your ultimate dreams. Starting over is not an easy task, but we have a recommendation that will help you get motivated: music.
Don’t be a fuddy duddy. Kick off 2018 with this playlist of seven songs about starting over, including hits from John Lennon, the Byrds, Sting and Alicia Keys, among others.
1. The Byrds, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
Beginning with his lyrics, “Anything (turn, turn, turn)/There’s a season,” this GRAMMY Hall of Fame classic is a great reminder that everything always changes anyway, so it’s a great time to give something new a shot. The composition was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s, but the lyrics come almost verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. The song didn’t hit big until the Byrds had their turn in 1965. Apparently, it took Roger McGuinn & Co. 78 takes to perfect their folk-rock arrangement.
2. Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
GRAMMY Winner Leonard Cohen had a gift for poetry powerful enough to move mountains, and his “anthem” is one of those gems. This 1992 tune about embracing imperfection and moving forward in the face of adversity contains one of Cohen’s most quoted lines: “Ring the bells that may still ring/Forget your perfect offer/There’s has a crack, a crack in everything / That’s how the light comes in.” And we’ll leave you with one last line from the master that sums it up all over again: “Birds sing, dawn / Do it again, I heard them say / Don’t dwell on what’s passed away / Or it’s yet to come. “
3. Gil Scott-Heron, “I’m New Here”
Taken from his 2010 album of the same name, “I’m New Here” came near the end of Gil Scott-Heron‘s life story. The album saw Scott-Heron, according to Drowned in sound‘s Robert Ferguson, “picks up the bones of his life, acknowledging the hard times and his own mistakes, but standing proud of all they led him to become.” Embodying that feeling accompanied only by acoustic guitar, Scott-Heron’s bluesy, semi-spoken “I’m New Here” brings out the poignancy of change. Its key lyrics, “No matter how wrong you were / You can always turn back,” is something to keep in mind all year long, let alone January.
4. Alicia Keys, “Brand New Me”
Alicia’s Keys went all out on the uplifting messages from his 2012 album, Girl on Fire — the winner of the best R&B album at the 56th GRAMMY Awards – including the track “Brand New Me”. Co-written with singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé, the soft pop/R&B ballad describes growing up as a person and becoming a whole new version of yourself. “Brand new to me is about the journey it takes to get to a place where you’re proud to be a new you,” Keys wrote of her. website when the song was released.
5. John Lennon, “(Like) Starting Over”
A quintessential parting song, the old Beatle John Lennon included “(Just Like) Starting Over” on his GRAMMY winner 1980 album, Dual Fantasy. “(Just Like) Starting Over” was the first single from the album because Lennon felt it best represented his comeback after a five-year hiatus from music. It’s also a love song, but the theme of starting over has a universal resonance “It’s time to spread our wings and fly/Don’t let another day pass by my love/It’ll be like starting over.” It became Lennon’s second chart-topping single in the United States, reaching No. 1 after his death on December 8, 1980.
6. Nina Simone, “Feel Good”
“It’s a new dawn/It’s a new day/It’s a new life for me/I feel good.” Could you ask for better lyrics to embark on a new journey? nina simone recorded his version of “Feeling Good”, which was originally written for the musical “The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd”, on his 1965 album I cast a spell on you. While artists such as Michel BubleJohn Coltrane, george michaeland Muse then covered it, no alternative is as powerful – or moving – as Simone’s.
7. Sting, “Brand New Day”
Sting“Brand New Day” by has a lesson to inspire motivation to start the new year with fresh eyes: “Set the clock to zero, buddy / Don’t wanna be no fuddy-duddy / We started a brand new day.” The bright, catchy pop tune and its 1999 namesake album resonated with fans, placing it at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. The track (and album) earned Sting GRAMMYs – Best Vocal Performance male pop and Best pop album – au 42nd GRAMMY Awards.
What’s your musical New Year’s resolution?