Friday, January 6, 2012

ALOTT5MA FRIDAY PLAYLIST: We haven't done one of these in a while, but a reader made the request via Twitter: "On ALOTT5MA Music Friday, could I request a list of Positive Songs, in honor of the new year?"


  1. Happy Song, Otis Redding. That's all you need.

  2. littleredyarn8:27 AM

    "Stay Positive", The Hold Steady

  3. Chin Music8:43 AM

    "I Got A Man," Positive K

  4. Maggie9:05 AM

    I love this suggestion so, so, so much.

  5. Jim Bell9:07 AM

    "High Hopes!"

  6. Jim Bell9:23 AM

    Eye of the Tiger

  7. Meghan9:27 AM

    "Solsbury Hill" Peter Gabriel
    For the teeny-bopper chick in me (in all of us, really), I offer "Stronger" by Britney and "Fighter" by Christina.

  8. hmm, only song I have with "positive" in the name is Mojo Nixon's Positively Bodies Parking Lot.

  9. Fred App9:34 AM

    "Better Things" by the Kinks. Or the cover version by Fountains of Wayne.

  10. Maggie9:53 AM

    If you're going for literal - there's always "Positive" from Legally Blonde

    But my actual suggestion is "Moves" by The New Pornographers. (My first thought was a song that makes me feel happy just listening to it, not necessary positive lyrics. And I could have listed tons and tons, but tried to keep it to just one.)

  11. If you don't know Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin'!

  12. "It's All Right" by the Impressions

  13. Emily9:56 AM

    Nina Simone's version of "Feeling Good."

  14. I'm not sure exactly what we mean by positive, but one song that always makes me smile is Kermit Ruffins' version of Skokiaan (which will ring bells for people who watch(ed) Treme):

  15. The Other Kate10:00 AM

    "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan

  16. Andrea10:03 AM

    John Hiatt - Before I Go
    Cat Stevens - Peace Train
    Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly

  17. Also, Nina Simone's version of "Here Comes the Sun" always makes me feel hopeful and Toshi Reagon's "Happy and Satisfied" is another good one.

  18. lisased10:10 AM

    "The Day Brings" by Brad always puts me in a good mood.

    "So gather around/And see what the day brings/And see what makes you laugh/And see what makes you sing"

  19. lisased10:12 AM

    I sang along to "Before I Go" in the car a LOT the year my husband was overseas. Bearfoot does a lovely cover of it.

  20. "Love Is All Around" aka "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme song.  I particularly enjoy Joan Jett's rockin' cover.

    Happy Feet - esp. the Kermit the Frog interpretation
    Vacation - The Go-Go's

  21. Carrie10:24 AM

    You Make Me Fee Like Dancing, Good Vibrations, Walking on Sunshine

  22. Andrea10:24 AM

    With your mention of Kermit I was reminded of the Happy Song from the recent movie.  The recording by the NY Times of Kermit and Bret McKenzie (from Flight of the Conchords!) was delightful.
    Life's a leg of lamb!

  23. And despite myself, I find my spirits soaring for The Polyphonic Spree's "Light & Day"" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140

  24. Adam C.10:27 AM

    The late Harry Kalas would approve.

  25. bristlesage10:37 AM

    Or the cover version by Dar Williams!

    I'm not quite sure what we're looking for, but I think Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" has to count.

  26. Adam C.10:37 AM

    McFadden & Whitehead - Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now
    Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes - Better Days
    OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (as much for the video as anything else)

    Irony division:  Bob Dylan - Positively Fourth Street

  27. I Feel Lucky - Mary Chapin Carpenter

    And on the supercheesy front - "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins aka the gopher song from Caddyshack

  28. Jessica10:40 AM

    Ron Pope - Good Day

  29. Devin McCullen10:46 AM

    Kelly Willis, "Reason to Believe"  (not a cover of the Rod Stewart song)

    Lucinda Williams "Real Love" (not a cover of the Mary J. Blige song, although I'd be interested to hear a mashup)

  30. Meghan10:56 AM

    Another cheesy suggestion is ELO's "Mr. Blue Skies." 

  31. If there's an irony division, then I nominate the obvious: R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People"

  32. Adam C.10:57 AM

    Bill Withers - Lovely Day
    Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke (nothing specific in the lyrics - just makes me outrageously happy)
    Stevie - Uptight (Everything's Alright)

  33. Oddly enough, like the Polysphonic Spree song, featured on the Eternal Sunshine soundtrack.

  34. Adam C.11:05 AM

    Second for Joan Jett's cover of LIAA.

  35. What popped into my head was Paul Simon's "Late in the Evening."  I can't listen to that song and NOT be a in a good mood.

  36. 10,000 Maniacs, "These Are Days"

    And just because I've had it on repeat for weeks now: Florence & the Machine, "Shake It Out"

  37. Not all these songs have "positive" in the title but they all have positive messages and are just delightful.

    If I Had $1,000,000 - Barenaked Ladies
    Jump in the Line - Harry Belafonte
    Flowers in the Window - Travis
    Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
    I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - The Jayhawks
    Sugar Hill - Dolly Parton
    Wonderful Day - O.A.R.
    You Gotta Be - Des'ree
    Sydney (I'll Come Running) - Brett Dennen
    Eleanor Put Your Boots On - Franz Ferdinand

  38. Neato Torpedo11:43 AM

    I Feel Good - James Brown
    Kate - Ben Folds Five
    Gimme Some Lovin' - Spencer Davis Group

  39. Adam C.11:43 AM

    Springsteen division:
    Land of Hope and Dreams
    Janey, Don't You Lose Heart

  40. Meghan11:54 AM

    I love that Brett Dennen song.  Aside from it just being catchy and upbeat, we heard it a lot on our beach trip this spring and my memories make it that much better.  Aw.  Thanks, Maret. 


  41. I'm more partial to their "Two Thousand Places" if only because it makes it's tons of fun to belt "YOU'VE GOTTA BE GOOD!  YOU'VE GOTTA BE STRONG, YOU'VE GOTTA BE TWO THOUSAND PLACES AT ONCE! in your car.

  42. Anonymous11:55 AM

    I love love love Solsbury Hill.

  43. D'Arcy11:56 AM

    Guest was me.

  44. Paul Tabachneck11:57 AM

    "Island in the Sun" by Weezer always makes me happy.

    "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers, too.

  45. Two Nice Girls' Sweet Jane (with Affection).


  46. The Pathetic Earthling11:59 AM

    Michael Franti's "Say Hey (I love you)" and "Sound of Sunshine" always lift my spirits.

  47. I heard it for the first time after subscribing to Linda Holmes Spotify playlist she created when she crowsourced twitter for joy last year. Awesome playlist, awesome song -- probably my favorite song discovery of last year.

  48. Tosy and Cosh12:06 PM

    Blasts of pure joy, for me?

    Overture (Candide_ - Leonard Bernstein
    Window in the Sky - U2
    Beautiful Day - U2
    This Little Light of Mine - Bruce Springsteen
    Brown-Eyed Handsome Man - Nina Simone
    Twisting by the Pool - Dire Straits
    Old Macdonald - Ella Fitzgerald
    Bambale - Audra McDonald
    New York, New York - Leonard Bernstein
    Beat Out Dat Rhythym on a Drum - Mandy Patinkin
    Be Our Guest - Alan Menken

  49. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Perhaps it's the post-holiday blues exacerbated by a post-holiday cold, but I had some trouble coming up with positive songs today.  The ones that came to mind were songs that really belong to friends of mine.

    Many years ago, a friend whose daughter was going through tough times away at college spent a week searching record stores so she could send her a copy of Nina Simone's version of "Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier)."  I actually like the original by the Five Stairsteps a little bit better because of the mix of male and female voices, but the positivity's the same.

    I also knew someone at college who used to like to cheer himself up by playing James Taylor's "Shower the People."  It's a beautiful song, but to me James Taylor always has a streak of melancholy that makes even his happiest songs seem tinged with a sense of how fragile and fleeting happiness can be.

    I gave a friend a copy of Kate and Anna McGarrigle's eponymous album for a birthday present several years ago.  She and her children were all taken with their cover of Loudain Wainwright's "The Swimming Song," which is both very positive and an excellent teaching tool for explaining what an extended metaphor is.

    As for me, today, I'll chose one in Adam C's irony division, The Pogues' "Sunnyside of the Street", and I'll spare some time today to listen to some of the excellent choices here to lift me out of this mood.

  50. J.OConnor12:12 PM

    Whoops!  Guest is me.

  51. Maggie12:34 PM

    I just looked at my "Hop In Your Step" playlist and would add (again more for the way these songs sound, rather than any meaning in the lyrics):
    Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
    Vivrant Thing - Q Tip
    Kids at the Back - Washington Social Club
    Dropped - Phantom Planet
    MMMBop - Hanson
    Now We Can See - The Thermals

  52. "Centerfield," John Fogerty
    "Can You Picture That,"  Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
    "Jessica," The Allman Borthers Band

  53. lisased12:46 PM

    Mojo made our favorite Christmas CD, "Horny Holidays."

  54. Slick1:17 PM

    I never hear Walking on Sunshine without thinking of Barry's Monday morning mix tape.  Always makes me laugh.

  55. Benner1:21 PM

    how about "I got life?"

  56. Meghan1:22 PM

    John Lennon's "Oh Yoko" is a great love song.

  57. victoria2:14 PM

    "Walk Unafraid", R.E.M., and "Top of the World", Carpenters and/or Shonen Knife

  58. Jenn.2:29 PM

    Ac-Cent-Chu-Ate the Positive:  Kelly Hogan with Jon Rauhouse.  (Sure, it's technically listed in the other direction, but c'mon.  It's Kelly.)
    Red Red Robin:  Rosie Flores
    Beautiful World:  Eliza Gilkyson
    Smile:  Lily Allen (well, it is cheerful)

    Co-sign several above, including U2's Beautiful Day and 10,000 Maniacs' These Are Days

    A few artists whose music tends to make me happy and energized:
    Billy Bragg with Wilco
    The Bird and the Bee
    New Pornographers

  59. Watts3:19 PM

    "Catch My Disease" is now burned into my brain as the theme song to "Too Beautiful to Live" - the podcast from Luke Burbank.

  60. Bobby3:44 PM

    Jens Lekman, "Sipping On The Sweet Water"

  61. bristlesage4:23 PM

    The Weepies--oh, irony!--"Happiness".  "It's a mean town/but I don't care/try and steal this/can't steal happiness."

  62. Megan4:49 PM

    "Good Day" Luce
    "New Shoes" Paulo Nutini (I think)
    "All Will Be Well" Gabe Dixon Band. I heard this one on an episode of Parks and Recreation and have been listeing to it a lot since. Really nice song. 

  63. gtv2005:41 PM

    59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)

  64. Maddy5:51 PM

    The Popular Thing - Jukebox the Ghost
    At the Hop - Devendra Banhart
    Love Will Come Through - Travis

  65. Hannah Lee6:26 PM

    So many good songs listed already...I'll add a few

    Dance Dance Dance - Steve Miller Band
    Listen to the Radio - Nancy Griffith
    Shake it Out - Florence + the Machine
    (dumping the negative from your life, and embracing life and hope "It's hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off, whoa")
    Your Life is Now - John Mellancamp
    One Big Love - Patty Griffin

  66. Big Joe8:07 PM

    Dire Straits - Walk of Life
    Faith Hill - This Kiss
    Mary Chapin Carpenter - I Feel Lucky
    Henry Mancini - Baby Elephant Walk

  67. Meghan8:14 PM

    Oh, One Big Love is such a favorite of mine. Good call!

  68. Deanna8:51 PM

    Just about anything from Michael Franti works for me. "Hey Hey Hey" is high on my happy list.

  69. one more...the music for the Kevin Kling/Steve Kramer play Of Mirth and Mischief (free download!). The entire play (which you can stream elsewhere on the MPR site) is generally positive. For the songs I'll call attention to At the Hospital -- which basically seduces a young boy into believing that a hospital isn't scary and might even be fun; and Nighty Night to Brother, which has to be about the most upbeat way to end a day.

  70. Genevieve12:46 PM

    and also "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree (speaking of stronger).

  71. Genevieve12:48 PM

    I actually really liked Crystal Bowersox's version of "I'm Alright".

  72. Marsha12:23 PM

    I only know that song from the Scrubs episode is was used in. Yes, quite joyous.

  73. Genevieve10:42 AM

    Very much looking forward to making a playlist of these songs - thanks all!!

  74. Stacie from St. Louis1:40 PM

    "Girls in their Summer Clothes" - Springsteen