My high school choir in 1978

Even more songs to raise your spirits

In these crazy times, even good news can make us nervous. When we gain victories, we worry they might be taken away. Seeing the schoolyard bullies who never grew up facing consequences can make us fearful of more dangers ahead.

As always, I turn to music for comfort and inspiration in difficult situations. This list of songs has a common theme. They speak about determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

“The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha

I saw Man of La Mancha when I was in high school. Of course, “The Impossible Dream” became one of my teenage theme songs. Unlike “Corner of the Sky,” I understood the song in the context of the story. As powerful and inspirational as the song is, it’s sung by a person everyone considered crazy. They called his principles archaic and foolish, and his desire to fight for good as, well, quixotic. That’s why the reprise of the song as Don Quixote is dying is the most important.

In the end, “The Impossible Dream” uplifts everyone around Don Quixote, including himself. The real value of the impossible dream isn’t its achievement. It’s how it inspires others to see more in themselves than they thought possible. This is especially true for Aldonza, who, after a life of degradation and abuse, sees herself as the worthy Dulcinea. Impossible dreams don’t seem impossible or crazy when we see how they motivate others to achieve great things.

“We Got It” from The Wiz Live!

Here’s another song from a musical I saw. This was a 2015 production of The Wiz that aired on NBC. In addition to the great numbers from the original show, the TV production added a new song, “We Got It” that the characters sing as they contemplate the dangers of facing the Wicked Witch of the West.

If you ever faced a difficult situation and struggled with the impulse to give up, you can relate to this song. This is why I listen to this song whenever I need a boost. It shows the importance of finding people who support you and give you the courage the pull through. When you find that courage, anything becomes possible. And speaking of courage in daunting situations…

“Kalyna” by Go_A

Like most people, I got turned on to Go_A from “Shum” at Eurovision 2021. But when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022, they released this song:

Kalyna is an important part of Ukrainian culture—a culture Russia suppressed for centuries. With Russia trying to suppress Ukraine again, “Kalyna” shows the Ukrainians’ determination to protect their independence and identity. It’s a fight that should inspire all of us.

What songs inspire you? Post them in comments.