Peace and Love Songs, by Rich Paschall

With all the hate, violence and anger in the world it seems like a good time to reach for some peace and love.  There was a time when music spoke to the social conscience of society.  In the late 196os and the 1970’s in particular, the force of music moved our hearts and our society away from war and civil disruption and toward a calmer more loving society, at least on the surface anyway.  The rallies, the marches and the songs all spoke, or should I say sang out, to the need we had then to stop the violence.

No H8

No H8

It’s a much different society today and I am not sure the rallies for peace and songs about love will move us in the right direction.  It doesn’t hurt to try, however, so I bring you some moments of peace.  You will be able to find all of these and a few others on a playlist on my You Tube channel.

So, it’s time to ask “What’s Going On?” as we look “From A Distance” for “Joy To The World.” “People Got To Be Free” and “We Have Got To Have Peace.”  Sing out in joy with the “Rainbow Race” and “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

10. Get Together – The Youngbloods, 1967
Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry

09. Why Can’t We Live Together? – original Timmy Thomas, 1972 – Sade, 1984
Tell me why, tell me why, tell me why.
Why can’t we live together?
Tell me why, tell me why.
Why can’t we live together?

08. Why Can’t We Be Friends? – War, 1975
I seen ya around for a long, long time
I really remember you when you drank my wine
Why can’t we be friends
Why can’t we be friends

07. Imagine – John Lennon, 1971
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

06. Give Me Love – George Harrison, 1973
Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth

05. Peace Train – Cat Stevens, 1971. This was Stevens’ first Top 10 hit in the US.
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Some day it’s going to come

04. Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon, 1969 This Lennon/Paul McCartney composition was Lennon’s first solo single.
All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

03. All You Need Is Love – The Beatles, 1967  Another Lennon/McCartney song was a single in ’67 and Britain’s contribution to the first world wide television broadcast by a satellite link.
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

02. Love Train – The O’Jays, 1972.  It was their only number 1 record.  Here they ride with the Soul Train too.
People all over the world (everybody)
Join hands (join)
Start a love train, love train

01. What The World Needs Now Is Love – Jackie DeShannon, 1965. The popular tune was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some but for everyone

For 6 through 10 above, click on the title to go to the video, or click on playlist to go to all and a few more.


Let The Sunshine In, Rich Paschall

Now that Spring has officially arrived, we are thinking more of enjoying the sun.  You may have told someone that “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” or that you wanted to share the “Sunshine Of Your Love,” but you may be looking at this differently than we are.  Of course, “There Ain’t No Sunshine When You’re Gone,” but “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying.”

If it remains cloudy were you are, don’t believe “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.” Just keep telling yourself, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” and you will soon have your “Seasons In The Sun.”  Just be sure to stay away from the “House Of The Rising Sun” and you will be fine.

So let me be your “Sunshine Superman” and offer my top 10 Sunshine Songs to brighten up the beginning of Spring:

10. You Are My Sunshine, The Pine Ridge Boys.  This 1939 “standard” has been covered by so many artists it is hard to say where I heard it first.  Originally performed as a country song, it has received a lot of musical treatments.
9.  California Sun, The Rivieras.  The 1961 song by Joe Jones became a big hit when The Rivieras covered it in 1964.  The 1977 Ramones version also became a hit and showed up on various albums.
8.  Walking On Sunshine, Katrina and the Waves.  The 1985 hit was a consistent seller for the record company and pure gold for the artists who retained the publishing rights and songwriter royalties.
7.  Soak Up The Sun, Sheryl Crow. It’s her only number one hit and you can probably sing along with the chorus.  The 2002 release was written by Crow and Jeff Trott.
6.  I’ll Follow The Sun, The Beatles.  The Paul McCartney, John Lennon composition was written as early as 1960 but the Beatles hit was released in 1964 with lead vocals by McCartney.

5.  We’ll Sing In The Sunshine, Gale Garnett.  This happy pop tune was released in 1964 and won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording in 1965.  Yes, it was the era for Folk Rock.

4.  Good Day Sunshine, The Beatles  There was no plan to add multiple Beatles songs.  I made up a list and then gave them a ranking.  This 1966 Lennon, McCartney composition also has McCartney on lead vocals.  Paul played piano on the track and later overdubbed his bass part.  I could not find a Beatles performance, but Sir Paul can still bring it.

3.  Let The Sun Shine In, The 5th Dimension.  The recording by the 60’s pop group is actually a medley of two songs from the musical, Hair.  It was at the top of the charts for 6 weeks in 1969.  Opening with “Aquarius,” the sound was sometimes called “Psychedelic Pop.”

2.  Sunshine On My Shoulders, John Denver.  Co-written and recorded by Denver for his 1971 album Poems, Prayers & Promises, it was released as a single in 1973.  By early 1974 it reached number 1.  When the album came out, I recall singing this song over and over with a friend.  I think our performance may have been fueled by adult beverages.  It will always hold great memories from a youth well spent.

1. Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles  This time it is a George Harrison composition that brings The Beatles back to the list.  Recorded in 1969 for the Abbey Road album, it was never released as a single.  Nevertheless, the track received critical acclaim and has been played and downloaded often.