A bridge in Freiburg, Germany

More songs to raise your spirits (European edition)

I’ve written before about how we can turn to music to cope with difficult times. It’s time again to look for uplifting music. This time, I’m turning to Europe. The elections in the UK and France are sources of optimism, and we hope far-right extremists in our country will face a similar drubbing this fall. As we deal with the uncertainty in the meantime, we can look to Europe for uplifting music. Here are three examples.

“Rim Tim Tagi Dim,” Baby Lasagna

Eurovision 2024 in Malmö was a huge mess, but the music was amazing. This year’s winner, “The Code” by Nemo from Switzerland, blended genres and defied conventions. Ireland’s Bambie Thug gave a stunning performance with “Doomsday Blue” that featured amazing staging. My other favorites were “Teresa & Maria” by Ukraine’s alyona alyona and Jerry Heil and Netherland’s Joost Klein’s “Europapa.”

My favorite is the runner-up from Eurovision, “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” by Croatia’s Baby Lasagna. While the subject itself is serious—how young Croatians must migrate elsewhere in Europe to find economic opportunity—the song presents it with a humorous tone and infectious beat that you can’t help but dance to. If you’re going to face the challenges of starting over, why not deal them with a spring in your step and a smile on your face?

Their Eurovision Grand Final performance is unforgettable, but my favorite video of this song shows Croatians dancing proudly to their entry. (And if you coach a cheerleading squad, follow the example of these Croatians and add this to your routines this coming football season. This can pump up your fans when your school administrators won’t let you play “Not Like Us.”)

“Links Rechts,” Snollebollekes

Speaking of songs that pump up fans, this song went viral as the rally song for the Netherlands soccer team at Euro 2024. However, it has been around since 2015. It’s in Dutch, but the only words you need to know are “links” (go left) and. “rechts” (go right). Think of it as the Dutch version of the “Cha Cha Slide.” And like the “Cha Cha Slide,” “Links Rechts” is a song you can’t help jumping and moving to as you root your favorite team to victory. And even if you don’t know the language, you’ll still try to sing along. Just put on something orange and get out and dance!

Taylor Swift is American, but I’m including this mashup here because she first performed it in Amsterdam.

Plenty has been said about the relationship between her and Travis Kelce and how we watched it grow publicly in football stadiums and the Eras Tour stage. But I want you to listen to the song and sit with it for a while. What you’re seeing is an expression of pure love from someone who experienced plenty of betrayal and heartbreak and yet dared to open her heart again. Then listen to the crowd singing along. In Taylor’s love story with Travis, the audience can reaffirm their faith in love and having such happiness of possible for them. That is the power of connection.

Music can uplift us when it reminds us of the power of love, shows how we can deal with upheaval with an upbeat attitude, or just gets us up and dance. We can find that type of music anywhere, even if we don’t know the language of the lyrics. Let the spirit of the music move you.

What songs inspire you? Post them in comments.

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