i need movement.

What song most “moves” you?

I started my undergraduate social psych class with a discussion about music and want to continue the trend as we talk about affect, cognition, and behavior tomorrow.

What’s a song that stirs your feelings, makes you think, and/or urges you into action (whether starting a revolution or breaking down into tears)? It doesn’t have to be a political or sad song, although the last few years I’ve used “Where is the Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas. At times I’ve even considered using the “Hamster Dance.” I thought about The Beatles’ “Let It Be” for tomorrow, but I wouldn’t be here asking for suggestions if I was set on it.

18 thoughts on “i need movement.”

  1. Kool & the Gang makes me speed, as I once found out to the tune of a big nasty ticket for reckless driving.

    “The Living Bubba” by the Drive-By Truckers both depresses me and makes me believe in the healing power of rock and roll. Really, almost anything by the Drive-By Truckers moves me.


  2. anything by the violent femmes or primus for the revolution/anarchic, rageful, feel. Yes, this is what I exercise to — TAKE THAT Bob Jones University!

    For actual emotion – they would be too corny to tell. Maybe if I go log in under one of my (NOW MANY!) other names.


  3. Missed the Boat, by Modest Mouse. I’m not sure, but I think its about using your own unique, God-given* creativity, rather than being a follower or a fan.

    * or wherever creativy comes from, since maybe there’s no such thing as God


  4. When i saw the question before the jump, i couldn’t help but first think about the first time i heard “Where is the love” (ironically – in a church service), then i followed the jump and saw your mention of it. Well, i can say for me, at the time that it “worked” but i don’t know how much of that was the newness of it for me. Anywho, some others (more than you were probably looking for…but these are the sorts of diversions i like thinking about) that still evoke a strong reaction from me most times that i hear them (for a VERY different set of reasons):

    “Behind the Wall” – Tracy Chapman
    virtually anything from The Joshua Tree – U2
    “Fire and Rain” – James Taylor
    “Center Aisle” – Caedmon’s Call
    “Hurt” – (especially Johnny Cash’s cover, though the original too)
    “On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson (probably warrants an explanation, but let’s not)
    “I Will not Take these Things for Granted” – Toad the Wet Sprocket
    most of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back – Public Enemy

    …and i haven’t yet figured out if i should be slow to admit this or not, but “Lose Yourself” – Eminem


  5. The semester it was a hit, “Waiting For The World To Change” by John Mayer got mentions in my Class & Power course.

    Cliche from grad school: Ani DiFranco, on the “urges to action” thing. Sample quotes: “You’ve got your whole life to do something, and that’s not very long.”
    About “looking for the holes in your jeans:” “Are they worn out in the seat, or are they worn out in the knees?”

    Also, I second the Public Enemy mention, and confess to still loving Rage Against the Machine as I drive to work. (The singer majored in social studies at Harvard and it shows.)


  6. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car – really good life lyrics
    And as someone else mentioned, the Johnny Cash version of Hurt (if you search you can even find a Kermit version on video which is REALLY disturbing)
    I agree with Lose Yourself by Eminem, and therefore will embarrassingly add Making Love (Out of Nothing At All) by Air Supply


  7. Depends on my mood, but three I go to on special occasions are:

    – U2 – “Where The Streets Have No Name”
    – RATM – their cover of “Ghost of Tom Joad”
    – Coltrane – the entire “A Love Supreme” suite


  8. I second shrinkingisaac’s suggestion of just about anything from “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back.” On the far other end of the movement continuum, though, I’m also a huge fan of Sweet Honey in the Rock (“Wade in the Water” or “Feel Something Drawing Me On”).


  9. – tracy chapman, subcity. “please give the president my honest regard for disregarding me”
    – sinead o’connor, thank you for hearing me.


  10. Someone already posted it, but I immediately thought of “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2 when I read this. But you have to remember to crank it up so you can hear the organ fade in at the beginning.

    Some others:
    “Keep ya head up” by TuPac
    “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai
    “Karma Police” by Radiohead
    “Under Pressure” by David Bowie & Queen
    “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd
    “You get what you give” by The New Radicals
    “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash
    “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat
    “One” by Metallica (although I’m really thinking of the video in combination with the song)
    “Ode to my Family” by The Cranberries
    “20 Dollar” by M.I.A.
    “Imagine” by John Lennon


  11. Joni Mitchell-“Amelia” and pretty much everything off the Hejira album (in equal part because of my dear departed Jaco Pastorius … speaking of which )

    Jaco Pastorius-“Portrait of Tracy”

    Chet Baker-Playing and singing “Embraceable You” pretty much anywhere

    I will add that I do like that Black Eyed Peas song “Where is the love” in fact I showed the video in my Intro Soc Psych course last semester when talking about “love” and relationships … and it’s a nice contrast to Kelly Clarkson’s “Before Your Love” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” … talk about the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality …


  12. A series of studies have shown that the most emotionally provocative song recorded in the history of popular music is “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” both in human beings and laboratory mice.


  13. next time you see eric, just sing the part, “turn around bright eyes. . . ” he falls on the floor laughing and then curses you because it is one of his worst ear worms


  14. I appreciate all the suggestions and I’ve added a bunch of great new songs to my playlists. Of course I ended up being so torn that I went with the old standby and played “Where Is the Love?” Total Eclipse of the Heart, though, would definitely top my personal list.


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