Sunshine and wispy clouds over a calm ocean. Label reads "reggae and soul"

Mood: Slow, Hopeful, Optimistic Themes: 60s songs, Showtunes Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Reggae and Soul Written in 1972, Johnny Nash’s song “I Can See Clearly Now” shows a person beginning to see clearly the problems that they are facing while also looking towards the future.   Nash collaborated with Bob Marley early in his career. He took…

Read More

We often think of “Auld Lang Syne” as a song for New Year’s Eve. Traditionally sung at the stroke of midnight among cheers and clinking glasses, the song provides an opportunity to say goodbye to the old year with fondness. This song may also feel strangely appropriate in March 2021, one year after the Covid-19…

Read More
Close up of colored Christmas lights and tree branches with snow on top. Label reads "holiday."

Mood: Cheerful, Celebratory Themes: Holidays, Winter Tempo: Moderate Genre/Style: Holiday Nat King Cole is well known for his popular hits like “L-O-V-E” and “Unforgettable,” but his music has also become quite the holiday musical staple, with his holiday tunes reemerging on the Billboard charts year after year. It’s a helpful reminder that even though things…

Read More
Raindrops on a window. Outside are shadows. Label reads "60s soul"

Mood: Slow, pensive, hopeful Themes: Civil rights, song of change Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Soul, R&B Sam Cooke is considered to be the King of Soul. The subjects of his songs range from light to serious, and he knew the power that music has to address difficult subjects and create a sense of unity within a community.  Sam Cooke…

Read More
Fluffy brown and white kitty with a white butterfly perched on its nose

Mood: Humorous, Light-Hearted Themes: Funny Songs, Songs about Animals Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Classical We often associate western classical music with seriousness and exactness. Many composers capture the complex emotions that we experience and transform them into great works that stand the test of time. So, it may be easy to forget that composers have also…

Read More

Mood: Relaxed, Caring, Supportive Themes: Life Experience, Emotions, Companions and Friends Tempo: Relaxed Genre/Style: Folk Many songs feature grief and troubled times. Some songs explore how it feels to be alone, sad, and isolated. Other songs feature words of encouragement and themes of supporting others through what they are experiencing. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is…

Read More

Mood: Relaxed, Reflective Themes: Life Experience, Opposites Tempo: Relaxed Genre/Style: Folk Rock In times of change, we may see things from a different perspective. Written by Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides, Now” follows the singer’s perspective from their young and impressionable years through their adult life. Through the journey of this song, their experience of clouds,…

Read More

  Mood: Relaxed, Happy Themes: 70s Country, Happiness Tempo: Moderate Genre/Style: 1970s Country   Mornings can set the mood for an entire day. Some folks appear to have a spring in their step and a smile on their face as soon as they wake up, while for others, it can be quite challenging even to peel…

Read More
Rainbow piercing through a cloud with a dark background. Words read "1940s popular song"

Mood: wistful, dreamy Themes: Rain, Rainbows Tempo: slow Genre/Style: 1940 popular standard The days are getting longer again and with the peak winter month past, we eagerly await the spring rains and the rainbows gracefully accompany them. In this spotlight we explore “Over the Rainbow,” one of Judy Garland’s top songs. Try out some of…

Read More
Blue fireworks on a night sky. Label reads Holiday/Show Tune

  Mood: Hopeful  Themes: New Year, Celebration Tempo: Relaxed, Slow Genre/Style: Holiday/Show Tune Another year has zipped by and it is time to usher in the New Year. The time of resolutions and reflection has arrived, and whether you are a fan of setting a goal for the new year, this song beautifully states an…

Read More