last updated June 1, 2021
posted by Catharine Hannay
Continuing the popular series of song playlists for teachers, here are a wide range of musical styles and perspectives on peace, love, and tolerance. You may want to use them in teaching about positive values, or as a personal playlist when you're feeling overwhelmed and in need of some encouragement.
The focus here is on lovingkindness and love for humanity. If you're looking for other types of love songs, see Songs about Healthy and Unhealthy Romantic Relationships and Songs about Love for Friends and Family
Teachers, as always please watch the full video and/or read the full lyrics before deciding what's appropriate for your students. I try to avoid any potentially-offensive words or images, but you're the best judge of what's appropriate for your particular context.
"It's not always a big event, time or money that we spent tryna make the world a better place. It's usually just a helping hand, an open mind, the will to stand. Those hard conversations with folks you thought you'd figured out. Yeah, that's what it's all about."
Everyone is Different, Lanny Sherwin
"We're all different colors, we wear different clothes, We speak differently from different zip codes. We're short, we're tall, we're fat, we're thin, We're square pegs in round holes just trying to fit in."
If you teach younger kids, you might like the playlist of Children's Songs about Mindfulness, Kindness, Self-Acceptance, & Gratitude
Free and Equal Blues, Josh White
"I went down to that St. James Infirmary, and I saw some plasma there. I asked the doctor man, "Say was the donor dark or fair?"...He said, 'Metabolism is international.'... Trying to disunite us with their racial supremacy, and flying in the face of chemistry... You can't overthrow the circulatory system."
If you're looking for more anti-racist songs, check out the playlist with Songs about the Civil Rights Movement and #blacklivesmatter
Fussing and Fighting, Bob Marley
"We should really love each other in peace and harmony (peace and harmony). Instead, we're fussing and fighting."
Higher Love, Steve Winwoodlyrics; performance by Ndlovu Youth Choir on America's Got Talent; performance by Kelly Clarkson
"Things look so bad everywhere. In this whole world, what is fair? We walk the line and try to see. Falling behind in what could be. Bring me a higher love. Where's that higher love I keep thinking of?"
Human Rainbow, Johnny Clegg and Savuka
"At the end of all bloody human storms, as the last embers and flames glow. We peer up into the wounded sky, and search for the human rainbow. And in the fading light, I wonder why we can never free it from the sky."
"I want to live in a friendly world. I want to live in the kind of world that's kind to folks like me. If I run short of a cup of milk... I want to know that [my next door neighbor] won't say no to the color of my skin. Or the church I worship in. Or the town from which I came. Or my great grandfather's name."
"If Jesus met Mohammed. What do you think they'd say?...Three old friends just sharing good times... They'd probably sing a song together about joy and peace and love. And maybe say a little prayer to heaven up above."
Keep Your Heart Right, Terry Callier
"In a weary world that needs redemption, Maybe we can learn to love again. And this time there will be no exemptions, only better days ahead for us my friend...
In brightest day or darkest night, don't give up the faith and keep your heart right. Like a mountain stand for eternity, and your light will shine for the world to see."
"Time is getting shorter and there's much for you to do. Only ask and you will get what you are needing. The rest is up to you. Plant your love and let it grow."
A Love Supreme, Pt. 1 (Acknowledgement), John Coltrane
[No lyrics; instrumental jazz music]
Lullaby for a Child in War, Mike Nobel
"Close your eyes. A kiss goodnight. Don't think about the fire in the sky. Just squeeze my hand, tight as you can. We'll be ready when the thunder roars again... Dream your dreams. A child's dreams of a world where people live in harmony."
Make Love (not war), Jason Mraz
"Make love, not war. World peace begins within. In each beat of the heart underneath our skin. Breathe and release the binds you're holding and free your mind. Step back from the drama and observe it. Draw the energy in and conserve it. Every pain is a lesson for the learning. Mother Nature didn't make us to be murdering."
"This is a plea for peace (world peace). To the oppressors of the world and to the leaders of nations, corporate profit takers, to the everyday citizen. Greed, envy, fear, hate-- the competition has to stop. When you see someone down, now's the time to pick them up. Set our differences aside and never look back."
[This is an interweaving of peace prayers from many different traditions, part of the Sapient project.]
[no lyrics; instrumental jazz music]
[no lyrics; instrumental piano music]
"You gave me the peace I need, so now I'm giving it back to you. I'm wishing you peace tonight."
Praying for Peace, Kayo Musiq & Berklee College of Music
"All we are saying, is to live as one family. All we are praying is for peace."
Put a Little Love in Your Heart, Jackie DeShannon
"Take a good look around, and if you're looking down, put a little love in your heart. I hope when you decide kindness will be your guide. Put a little love in your heart. Each and every day there is no other way. Put a little love in your heart."
Seeds of Freedom, Manu Chao
"Small seed big tree. Gardens of hope. Seeds of freedom. Wind blows seed goes from hand to hand. Spread in the air of society. Gardens of hope growing slowly. Stand up together, be ready."
Selam Salam Shalom Shlomo, Karibuni
video (lyrics and translation in video description)
translated lyrics: "Peace is our wish, Love is our goal Peace is our wish, Joy is our goal. Peace and love for all people. All over the earth, all around the world."
"No matter where you come from, no matter your religion, please turn around & show some love. We maybe differ in culture. We maybe differ in colours. We maybe differ in tongues. We are all created by one God. Show Some Love. Some kindness. Let's make the world a happy place."
"Teach me how to sing the songs. Songs of love, songs of peace. Teach me how to stand for truth. Stand for love, stand for peace."
Undivided, TimMcGraw and Tyler Hubbard
"I think it's time to come together. You and I can make a change. Maybe we can make a difference, make the world a better place. Look around and love somebody. We've been hateful long enough. Let the Good Lord reunite us 'til this country that we love is undivided."
[no lyrics; instrumental trance music]
The Way to Peace, Uman
"I was just thinking about the ways a man could find peace for himself."
We All Love, Lenore Troia
"Do we really live in a world of us and them? Sometimes it seems that way... We really need to look at just how much we are the same."
We Shall Be Free, Garth Brooks
"When the last thing we notice is the color of the skin, and the first thing we look for is the beauty within, when the skies and the oceans are clean again, Then we shall be free... When this world's big enough for all different views. When we all can worship from our own kind of pew. Then we shall be free."
"As I walk on through troubled times, My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes. So where are the strong and who are the trusted? And where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry. What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"
"Lord, we don't need another mountain. There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb. There are oceans and rivers enough to cross. Enough to last 'til the end of time. 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. Not just for some, but for everyone."
"We'll always keep our heads up. We'll always sing along. We'll walk the path of kindness. Know where we belong... We are moving in wider circles. We are opening our circles."
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