Question of the Week: What song or artist is most inspiring…

when you feel low and have little faith in life or mankind?


13 thoughts on “Question of the Week: What song or artist is most inspiring…

  1. For me, it’s Bruce Springsteen. But in all truthfulness, when I’m low, I seek out music that keeps me down … “Street Hassle” is a good one for that.

  2. I’ll go with another Lou Reed song, The Blue Mask. Certainly the entire Fun House album from the Stooges. Or Sly’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On. I may be confusing inspiration with catharsis though.

    Incidentally, is that the same Oh Happy Day song from The Thing With Two Heads movie? Now that’s inspiration.

  3. It certainly has to be Sam Cooke with a “Change is Gonna Come,” which became the anthem of civil rights, and frankly, one of the greatest songs ever recorded or done by a living human. That opening string line almost makes my spine grow cold every time.

  4. Hey, scratch that Mahalia and Nusrat stuff. I just fired up a cigarette with my Bic and had an epiphany: Make that “Free Bird,” man!

  5. “Born With A Purpose” by Dr. Alimantado – written by the good Dr. after he was kicked nearly to death by thugs in Kingston for being a rasta. Introduced to me via Johnny Rotten’s legendary Capital Radio broadcast, prefaced with Lydon’s remarks that he used the song for strength and inspiration after he was attacked twice in the summer of ’77: “If you feel like you’ve got no reason for living/Don’t determine my life.” Also, “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff: “I’d rather be a free man in my grave/Than living as a puppet or a slave/And sure as the sun will shine/I’m going to get my share of what’s mine/And the the harder they come, the harder they fall/One and all….”

  6. Usually, the voice of a woman is comforting or even corroborating… often, Diana Ross, a light voice, with energy, intelligence, sensuality; but, sometimes Miriam Makeba (an earthy voice), Aretha Franklin (a voice of anger and sorrow), or Cassandra Wilson (a voice of contemplation and attitude).

  7. I’d have to say that “Cheree” by Suicide on Red Star Records is the most inspirational song for me. But I must point out that I co-produced it and might be slightly biased. Still, check it out; it’s really a beautiful song and Alan Vega and Marty Rev do it justice.

  8. In times of trouble, I tend to find stimulus from my carefree childhood and the music that sountracked those happy times.

    The Clash’s “I’m Not Down” from “London Calling” is a perfect example.

    “If it’s true a rich man leads a sad life
    That’s what they say, from day to day
    Then what do the poor do with their lives?
    On judgment day, with nothin’ to say?

    I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown Out
    But I’m not down, Oh I’m not down
    I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up
    And I’m not down, Oh I’m not down

    On my own I faced a gang of jeering
    In strange streets
    When my nerves were pumping out
    I Fought my fear in, I didn’t run
    I was not done

    I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown Out
    But I’m not down, No I’m not down
    I’ve been shown up, but I’ve grown up
    And I’m not down, No I’m not down

    So I have lived, that kind of day
    When none of your sorrows will go away
    Go down and down and hit the floor
    Down and down and down some more
    But I know, there’ll be some way
    When I can swing everything back my way
    Like skyscrapers, rising up
    Floor by floor, I’m not giving up

    So you rock around and think that
    You’re the toughest
    In the world, the whole wide world
    But you’re streets away from where
    It gets the roughest
    You ain’t been there”

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