I have a confession. I love music. I know that’s not a surprise to some of you as I’ve been co-producing a community radio show with my partner for the last nine years, but I want to take a different slant on music in this post.
Today I’m sharing songs about ‘self love’. Now please, take your mind out of the gutter. I meant to say ‘self affirmation’. These pop songs are the inspirational type when you need a dose of ‘I believe in myself’ when the world is telling you otherwise.
KISS – I
Yes, this song is simply called “I” and comes from their least successful album ‘Music from The Elder’. I am an old KISS fan and have a vinyl copy of this album which features The American Symphony Orchestra and the St Robert’s Choir. Although I don’t love every KISS song (I cringe when I hear ‘God Made Rock’n’Roll’), I feel their triumphs outweigh their mediocre attempts. Classics like ‘Strutter’ and ‘Deuce’ always entice my inner-hetero, and I love the more melodic ‘Sure Know Something’.
Note: Turn your speakers up loud before hitting the play button and sing along!!! The chorus is catchy.
GREATEST LOVE OF ALL – WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yes I know George Benson sung the original, but this is only one of two songs that Whitney released that I liked. I’m not a fan of hers although my partner loves her. This, I feel, is better than the original and I was in my very early twenties when it was released. It’s message of learning to love yourself was something I had yet to learn.
EXPRESS YOURSELF – MADONNA
Ah, Madonna before the cougar took over. Maybe not totally a self-love song but it’s main message of leaving a second-rate relationship because ‘you’ll be better, baby, on your own’ is the main reason I love this song. So many times I’ve seen people in so-so romances, so it’s the words to this song I quote to them. If you haven’t really listened to the words, take note. There’s wisdom in this song.
When this track was released in the 1990’s, a friend and I wanted to write to Madonna and convince her to remake the whole film of Metropolis, and not just leave her vision in this short reworked video clip. Of course we wanted roles in the film, even if we were just extras.
ADAM AND THE ANTS – PRINCE CHARMING
Okay, this is not one of his best songs, but like Madonna and Kiss, he was a favourite of mine. This was released during my teenage years and it’s re-imagining of the Cinderella tale sets the scene for its message. As a teen I loved the line ‘ridicule is nothing to be scared of’ in relation to dressing up. Maybe that explains more about my personality than I care to admit to?
BORN THIS WAY – LADY GAGA
The only modern (16:9 HD) contender. This one doesn’t need explaining as the message is very obvious. When it came out I played the video over and over again, just like I was sixteen again. It just shows you how ‘youthful’ good pop music can make you feel. Or maybe there’s a teen still hiding somewhere in my persona.
My favourite line (and there are many) is ‘You’re on the right track, baby, because you were born to be brave’.
ARE YOU STILL HAVING FUN? – EAGLE EYE CHERRY
Now one for the adults…
It’s not a song in the same vein as the others, but it does make us grown-ups sit and re-evaluate. So why is it in this list? To me it has that same ‘kick in the pants’ effect to its listener that tells them whatever the issue, it is still within your grasp to change things. Remember your ‘gut feeling’.
And I think this is why these songs appeal to me. Whenever I hear any of these, they either remind me of my youth when I was still trying to work out who I was (thanks Whitney, Adam and KISS); who I knew I was (Madonna, please look backward the next time you re-invent yourself); how my younger tribe need that reassurance (go Ga-Ga), and how ever old I get, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost my sense of wonder and joy (thanks Eagle-Eye).
Please comment below and let me know what songs remind you that you are special. And please share this blog if self-assurance is what your friends and followers need to hear…