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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Lyrics for Enlightened Living

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Top 12 List:
Songs and Lyrics for Enlightened Living

“Music—the only sensual pleasure without vice.”
~ Samuel Johnson

Music has always been an instrument of joy, entertainment, and enlightenment in my life. Whether it’s lessons on “achey breaky hearts”, the seduction of the senses through Beethoven’s Fifth, or songs of empowerment like Reddy’s “I am woman hear me roar.”

I’m a big fan!


For me personally, 2009 has been a demanding and challenging year.

I particularly dig it when music has a good beat and a redeeming lesson to boot!

It’s like a two for one. 

So whether you’re recovering from a broken heart, dealing with work woes, or need to be spiritually renewed, here are some of my favorite selections to listen to and live by.

People Who Need People are the Luckiest People in the Worlld Barbra Streisand - Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits - People
Barbara Streisand
Besides being one of my favorite divas, Babs delivers an important message to those who feel shame or uncertainty in their emotional needs. We were made to love, laugh, and discover life at greater levels through human interaction. And to recognize and embrace this yearning puts you one step ahead of the game. This is some deep stuff.

Single Ladies Beyoncé - I Am... Sasha Fierce (Deluxe Version) - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)
“If you like it then you shoulda’ put a ring on it!” This popular tune should serve as a mantra for all the single gals’ who have been in long term relationships with guys who want all the perks of marriage without the responsibilities.  Relationships should not come with “lay-away” privileges.

If you like it, buy it…the whole kit and caboodle.

I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor - Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive: The Anthology - I Will Survive
Gloria Gaynor
This is an “old-school” hit that helped many sisters get some closure and stay strong during love’s battle fares. “Just as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive.  Cause I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive.” This here is a classic folks.

Everybody Plays the Fool Sometimes Aaron Neville - The Very Best of Aaron Neville - Everybody Plays the Fool
Aaron Neville
No truer words were ever spoken! No matter how clever, cute, rich, or highly regarded, the pain of love is afflicted to all of us at some time or another. Not you? Well, in my mom’s words, “keep livin!”

Only Fools Rush In Elvis Presley - Today, Tomorrow and Forever - Fools Rush In
Elvis Presley
This crooner, (gone but not forgotten), touched many hearts with this one. My favorite line? “But, I can’t help fallin’ in love with you.”

I Can’t Make you Love Me Bonnie Raitt - The Best of Bonnie Raitt - I Can't Make You Love Me
Bonnie Raitt
It’s a sobering reality worth remembering. Not to mention, you’ll love her bluesy, no-holds-barred style!

Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson - The Essential Michael Jackson - Man In the Mirror
Michael Jackson
In it, he states, “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at your face and make a change.” It kind of reminds me of Ghandi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Or was that Khalil Gibran who said it? Either way, heed. J

I Believe I can Fly! R. Kelly - The R. In R&B Collection, Vol. 1 - I Believe I Can Fly
R. Kelly
Listen and believe in the possibility of dreams. Be empowered!

Don’t Worry be Happy Bobby McFerrin - Best of Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy
Bobby McFerrin
“In every life we have some trouble, but when we worry we make it double. Don’t worry be happy!”

Simple but profound. Wouldn’t you agree?

I Just Called to Say I love You Stevie Wonder - Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection - I Just Called to Say I Love You
Stevie Wonder
What a terrific sentiment set to song. Call someone today, while you can, and spread some love!

Someday at Christmas Stevie Wonder - 20th Century Masters - The Christmas Collection: The Best of Motown Christmas - Someday At Christmas
Stevie Wonder
If you’ve never heard of it, rush out and score it. It’s a great song for the holidays that speaks to a better world—one without poverty and war. Besides, it’s a great sing along.

What’s Goin’ on? Marvin Gaye - Sichuan Earthquake Relief Album - What?s Goin? On
Marvin Gaye
The master of soul asks the rhetorical question to address many of the ills in our society and our way of thinking. It’s a very thought provoking song that carries a lot of weight.

Well, there you have it—my top 12 songs for enlightened living.

Tune in and be transformed!

Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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