10 Songs For When Everything Turns Out Alright

It’s pretty easy to feel bleak about the state of the world these days. That’s why we wrote up a soundtrack for the apocalypse back in September. But there’s also beauty in optimism, so I now feel the need to pose the question: what if everything turns out alright?

No matter how you feel about Donald Trump’s presidency or politics in general, there will (hopefully) come a day when we’re over all of this – when things are less partisan and more logical, and we don’t spend every day wondering what crazy thing might happen next.

There may not be an exact moment that denotes when we’ve reached that point. But just say there is. Say there’s a day in another year, or (if you’re not a fan of Trump) in 2020, or in five more years, when you can look around and think, everything’s going to be alright. Won’t you want to burst out in song? Me too. These are some of the tracks I suggest remembering when that happy day arrives.

Motion City Soundtrack – ‘Everything Is Alright’

Okay, so maybe it’s a little on the nose. But an upbeat song hailing from a happier era and revolving around the lyrics, “tell me that it’s alright – yeah everything is alright” is the perfect potion for a day when we can let go of our troubles. I’ll be throwing it on the moment the apocalypse is definitively averted, and I might just be listening to it about 10 times over.

Queen – ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’

Like most Queen songs, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ is a curious combination of absolutely ridiculous and irresistibly catchy. It also happens to have ranked in the top spot on a list of the 10 most uplifting songs according to science, and I’m not one to argue with science. So naturally, this belongs on the list!

Third Eye Blind – ‘Semi-Charmed Life’

I just can’t think of a much happier-sounding song from my lifetime. The lyrics to this famous late-‘90s rock/pop hit are fairly evasive (meaning if you think you’re understanding them you’re probably just muttering gibberish), and actually not quite as cheerful as the tune suggests. Nevertheless, few songs put a smile on your face like this one, even if you aren’t quite sure how to sing along to it. On a related note that will surprise some modern music fans, Third Eye Blind is still coming out with new material, and some of it is pretty good.

Andrew W.K. – ‘Party Hard’

Remember this little number? You have to have something to jump up and down, mosh, and bang your head to when you hold your Not The Apocalypse Party in a few years, and ‘Party Hard’ seems as good a choice as any. Incidentally, this song also features the lyrics “everything is alright.”

The Beatles – ‘Come Together’

It’s fair to say that a lot of our troubles these days – the ones that can feel like they’re bringing on the apocalypse – stem from disunity. I can’t imagine a better sentiment if and when we emerge into better days than that expressed in ‘Come Together,’ perhaps the most iconic song from the most iconic band of all time.

Jimi Hendrix – ‘Purple Haze’

I’m amazed how well this song has stuck around despite being mostly meaningless. It seems to pop up in TV and movies now and then, and inspired its own bonus feature at a 2016 Jimi Hendrix slot game designed to “represent the glorious days” of the rock era. Ultimately though its meaninglessness is its charm. Hendrix claimed at different points that he wrote about the “wars on Neptune” and that he wanted people to just go nuts to his music after he died – so that’s what I intend to do.

John Mayer – ‘Who Says’

Look, you don’t have to take the song literally if it’s not your thing (as in, “who says I can’t get stoned….”). But if you want to celebrate the Not-Apocalypse in a calmer manner, burrowing into deep, existential relaxation rather than throwing a party, it’s probably the perfect song. Few others are as convincing that it’s okay to simply unplug, detach, and do exactly what you want to do for an evening or two.

Orson – ‘The Okay Son’

This is probably the most obscure song on the list, but give it a listen. Orson is an LA-based rock/pop group that almost sounds like a more upbeat Oasis, and this is a catchy song about how “everything will be okay.” You get the idea (and if you like the group, check out ‘Bright Idea’ as well).

The Beach Boys – ‘God Only Knows’

Rolling Stone wrote that this song had a “heavenly feel” while listing it at 25th among the 500 greatest songs of all time. And if you look around, that’s actually on the low side. It’s an all-time classic, and one that can just overwhelm you when you’re in a happy, grateful, or reflective mood.

U2 – Beautiful Day

I know, I know, we all got tired of this song together. But come on… it will be a beautiful day.