If you were to change something about yourself, what would you choose to change? Your appearance? Your work ethic? Your social skills? We all have parts of ourselves that we wish we could improve, even just a little bit. It’s this desire for change that drives us to become better people. It’s this desire that gives us a goal to meet.
And like with changing ourselves, there are also things about our environment that we may want to change. It could be something as simple as the way we live our lives to something more complicated like the society we live in or the government we live under.
So to inspire our desire for change, we have collected a handful of relevant songs that you can relate to. These are songs about changing the world, the environment we live in, and ourselves.
Eric Clapton – Change the World
This pop and RnB song is one of Eric Clapton’s most famous hits. Change the World is about the singer’s desire to show his love for a woman. However, he can’t expect her to love him back unless he makes a change in his life. However, that doesn’t stop the singer from dreaming that if he could change the world, the love he feels for this woman would be reciprocated.
Change-inspiring lyrics: That this love I have inside
Is everything it seems.
But for now I find
It’s only in my dreams
And I can change the world,
I will be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby, if I could change the world
Michael Jackson – Man in the Mirror
Here’s another song that can inspire you to make a change. Man in the Mirror is pretty much the song version of the quote “be the change you want to see in the world.” The music video was also particularly moving in that it shows various historical events that have had a negative impact on the world. This only hammers home the idea that change starts with the man you see in the mirror.
Change-inspiring lyrics: I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
David Bowie – Changes
David Bowie has never shied away from making songs that are like a commentary on the world of music. In his song Changes he talks about how quick and seemingly spontaneous the changes in the art world are, as well as how he wants to distance himself from what is considered as mainstream rock. According to one Rolling Stone reviewer, it’s a song about a young man’s attempt to imagine how he’ll react when his musical generation is on the decline.
Change-inspiring lyrics: I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
Keane – Everybody’s Changing
Have you ever felt like the world and the people in it are moving so quickly, and you can barely keep up? This is the exact sentiment that Everybody’s Changing captures so eloquently. In times like these, you wonder if you’re on the right track or if you should shift paths.
Change-inspiring lyrics: So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same
John Mayer – Waiting on the World to Change
In an unprecedented move by John Mayer, he creates a politically tinged song about seeing what’s wrong with the world and not being able to do a thing. He notes that even though he may care about all the violence, corruption, and discord in the world, he feels like his generation is not yet ripe to make a real change in the world.
Change-inspiring lyrics: It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting, waiting
Waiting on the world to change
The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
Ashcroft was right in saying that life is one long bittersweet symphony. You live, you work, you try to make ends meet, and then you die. The song itself is a critique on how life ends up being a repetitive cycle unless you break out of your mold and make a change.
Change-inspiring lyrics: Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony this life
Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die.
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah
Collective Soul – Run
In the same vein as Bitter Sweet Symphony, Run is also about the monotony of life of no change. But unlike the previous song, Run is a little more foreboding in its message. It likens life to a race where the further you get, you feel like you’re losing so much of yourself in the past.
Change-inspiring lyrics: Is there a cure among us?
From this processed sanity?
I weaken with each voice that sings
In this world of purchase
I’m gonna buy back memories
To awaken some old qualities
Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
Stepping away from their more somber hits, Coldplay wrote this song as an anthem to inspiration. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall is a “flag-waving ode to change-as-inspiration.” And true enough, this is the type of hype-up song you want to listen to when you’re down in the dumps and looking to find inspiration in the changes all around you.
Change-inspiring lyrics: I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don’t want to see another generation drop
I’d rather be a comma than a full stop
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
Many people think of success as that one moment when you shift from the losing side to the winning side. But as exemplified in Eye of the Tiger, success is more of a constant series of changes that you make in order to meet your goal. In the song, the singer constantly keeps his passion and his dream alive to become all he’s ever wanted to be.
Change-inspiring lyrics: So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive
Foo Fighters – Learn to Fly
If there’s one rock song that’s going to inspire you to just let go, it’s the Foo Fighters’ Learn to Fly. This song is all about acknowledging that life is filled with complications and conflicts brought about by change, but that shouldn’t stop you from living. Instead, it’s getting through these tough times that makes life so much more interesting!
Change-inspiring lyrics: Now I’m looking to the sky to save me
Looking for a sign of life
Looking for something to help me burn out bright
I’m looking for a complication
Looking ’cause I’m tired of lying
Make my way back home when I learn to fly high
Matisyahu – One Day
One Day is a song of hope for future generations. It’s a song about wanting to end the violence so that one day the children of the world can play freely and enjoy their childhood. With all the violence going on in the world, it’s no surprise that artists are creating songs about their desire for change. And of all those songs, this beautiful song by Matisyahu might just be the most inspiring.
Change-inspiring lyrics: All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There will be no more wars
And our children will play
2Pac – Changes
Changes is a song that addresses so many relevant social issues in both 2Pac’s time and today. It talks about the rampant drug use in the United States, the racism against black people, and the vicious cycle of poverty among minorities. Changes, while talking about these issues, also tells us that we’re all in this world together. And instead of treating each other like strangers, we should see each other as brothers.
Change-inspiring lyrics: We gotta start making changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers
And that’s how it’s supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me?
I’d love to go back to when we played as kids
But things change… and that’s the way it is
Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind
While often seen as a protest song, Blowin’ in the Wind is actually just a series of rhetorical questions that make you wonder about the state of the world. It asks the listener how many more people must die, how many more people must suffer, and how much violence must we endure before we can start taking steps to make the world better.
Change-inspiring lyrics: Yes, ‘n’ how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky
Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry
Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
John Lennon – Imagine
In line with Blowin’ in the Wind, Imagine is one of those songs that really make you think about the state the world is in. But instead of making you wonder about the negative side of things, Imagine implores you to imagine a peaceful world where people of different cultures, creeds, and religions are united.
Change-inspiring lyrics: Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
George Harrison wrote this song as a sort of victory song for being able to skip out on a meeting that day. Lyrically speaking, it’s about the singer’s relief at the arrival of spring and all the changes it brings. While in the case of Harrison, it was just a temporary relief from acting formal at a meeting, it can be seen as a song about the changing of the seasons. And with all the songs in this list talking about making huge changes in the world, sometimes a simple song about the change of seasons is just the breather we need.
Change-inspiring lyrics: Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Which of these songs about change do you like the most? Share your thoughts with us below!