Sunday, February 5, 2017

What is Love? Songs about Friends and Family (part 1 of 2)


photostock for FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here's the latest in the popular series of song playlists for values-based teaching, including compassion and gratitude.  This time, the focus is on love and on healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.


Part 1 focuses on families and friends; part 2 will focus on romantic love.  There are several songs that could actually go either way, so it's worth checking out both lists.  And as always, please read the full lyrics and watch the full video before deciding what to share with your class.  Some of the songs are heartbreaking rather than heartwarming, and not all them are appropriate for all age groups.




Songs about Love for Family and Friends




Count on Me, Bruno Mars
lyricsofficial video (audio with album cover); video of cover by Goodnight Fellows; video of American Sign Language interpretation by Soph 1951

"Find out what we're made of when we are called to help our friends in need.  You can count on me like one two three.  I'll be there.  And I know when I need it I can count on you like four three two.  You'll be there, 'cause that's what friends are supposed to do."



Dance with My Father, Luther Vandross
lyricsvideo
"Back when I was a child before life removed all the innocence.  My father would lift me high, and dance with my mother and me.  And then spin me around 'till I fell asleep.  Then up the stairs he would carry me.  And I knew for sure I was loved."



Daughters, John Mayer
lyrics;  video
"Oh, you see that skin?  It's the same she's been standing in since the day she saw him walking away... So fathers, be good to your daughters.  Daughters will love like you do."


Everything (You're Still Here), Alanis Morisette
lyricsofficial video (There's one potentially-offensive word in the first line.) 
"You see everything, you see every part.  You see all my light and you love my dark.  You dig everything of which I’m ashamed.  There’s not anything to which you can’t relate.  And you’re still here."





Hold My Breath, Verona Blu
video (lyrics not available)
A father raps about his love for his little boy.




I Won't Let Go, Rascal Flatts
lyrics; video of live performance
"I will stand by you.  I will help you through.  When you've done all you can do.  If you can't cope, I will dry your eyes.  I will fight your fight.  I will hold you tight, and I won't let go."



I'm Gonna Love You Through It, Martina McBride
lyricsofficial video (song is intercut with women talking about how their loved ones supported them through cancer treatment)
"She dropped the phone and burst into tears.  The doctor just confirmed her fears.  Her husband held it in and held her tight...  He said, "I know that you’re afraid and I am, too.  But you’ll never be alone, I promise you."


It Won't Be Like This For Long, Darius Rucker
lyricsvideo
"He didn't have to wake up.  He'd been up all night... listening to his newborn baby cry... And just watching her it breaks his heart 'cause he already knows it won't be like this for long.  One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone.  This phase is gonna fly by.  He's trying to hold on.  It won't be like this for long."


Jealous, Labrinth
lyricsofficial videovideo of cover by Josh Daniel dedicated to his best friend, who died at age 18 in a car crash (on The X Factor UK; worth watching until the end to see fellow judges wondering how to comfort Simon Cowell, whose mother died a month earlier)
"I wished you the best of all this world could give, and I told you when you left me there's nothing to forgive... It's hard for me to say, I'm jealous of the way you're happy without me."



Mama, This One's for You, Beth Hart
lyrics; official video (live performance intercut with film clips of mothers and daughters) 
"For all the things I never said, I’m sorry that I never did.  I thank you for your precious time.  For teaching me how to climb... You’ve been such a good friend of mine... I learned to love because of you."


My Angel, Kellie Pickler
lyrics; video of cover by Brittany Mercedes, dedicated to her own grandmother who just passed away

"You were like my mother. You were my best friend. You were everything I want to be, and all the good inside of me. There's never been another that loved me like you did. My grandmother, my angel."



Once a Day, Michael Franti and Spearhead
lyricsofficial video, which looks like a crazy multi-cultural street party; alternate video of quieter live performance (song was written after his son was diagnosed with a serious illness)

"You got your friends, you got your money,  got your family, got your honey, you think you got a million days. But then life comes along, and it knocks you right down to the ground, and that's why I say,  Everybody oughta hug somebody, at least once a day ...  And everybody gotta love somebody, every day!"



Parents, Nothing More, Rosa Lee and Damon Timm
video: sign language (ASL) performance artist Rosa Lee Timm pairs up with her husband, musician Damon Timm, for a naptime recording of a song about the challenges of caring for a baby.

"We used to dream of touring... Now we don't dream of anything, 'cause we're never asleep that long.  But it's all right, 'cause we're parents, nothing more."



Ready, Set, Don’t Go, Billy Ray Cyrus
lyrics; video of cover by Mama Uke
"She's gotta do what she's gotta do, and I've gotta like it or not.  She's got dreams too big for this town, and she needs to give 'em a shot... She's waitin' on my blessings before she hits that open road... Baby, get ready.  Get set.  Don't go."



She's Leaving Home, The Beatles
lyrics; video of cover by Andy Prasa
"Silently closing her bedroom door. Leaving the note that she hoped would say more... She's leaving home, after living alone for so many years."


Shower the People, James Taylor
lyrics (click on song title); video of live performance
"Tell me how do you stand there with your broken heart, all ashamed of playing the fool...  Oh, father and mother and sister and brother, if it feels nice don’t think twice.  Just shower the people you love with love."


Unsteady, X Ambassadors
lyrics; official video
"Mama, come here.  Approach, appear.  Daddy, I’m alone.  'Cause this house don’t feel like home.  If you love me, don’t let go.  Hold on to me 'cause I’m a little unsteady."


You Are My Friend, Ledisi
lyrics, video (audio with still photos and album cover)
"I am your friend. I will run to you. I'll be your shoulder to cry on when you're feeling blue. I'll be your shelter, through all kinds of weather. I'm here, yeah, 'cause you are my friend."

You've Got a Friend, Carole King
lyrics; video of live performance by James Taylor, video of cover by McFly, filmed with children in Uganda 
"When you're down and troubled, and you need some loving care, and nothin', nothin' is goin' right.  Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest night."



You've Got a Friend in Me, Randy Newman
lyrics; video of cover by ortoPilot
"When the road looks rough ahead, and you're miles and miles from your nice warm bed, you just remember what your old pal said. Yeah, you've got a friend in me... Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am.  Bigger and stronger too, maybe.  But none of them will ever love you the way I do."



Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
  • How is love for our friends similar to and different from love for our families?
  • How is love between grandparents and grandchildren similar to and different from love between parents and children?
  • What are some of the challenges of taking care of someone we love (a baby or someone with a severe disability or illness)?
  • Have you ever lost someone you loved?  How do you honor his or her memory?
  • If you wrote a song about friendship or family love, who would you dedicate it to, and why?

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