Bryan and I have unconventional playlists. When people hear we listen to metal, they automatically think of people in scary masks screaming about death into their audio equipment. When people hear I listen to traditional folk, there isn't much of a reaction.
While working or when we need a pick-me-up, some of following songs help boost our morale to do the best we can! Also, there is no rhyme or reason to the order of these selections - which will probably be more enjoyable!
The Last Stand by Sabaton
Before getting into the history of the song and album, you'll feel the need to jump up and down with the crowd at the 3:00 minute mark. You'd be doing this song a complete injustice if you don't listen all the way through.
"A concept album about “last stand” military battles, every song on The Last Stand tells the story of an extraordinary act of defiance by an outnumbered or outgunned military unit, spanning the millennia from the famous Battle of Thermopylae in ancient Greece (Sparta) to a small group of paratroopers who fought off 250 rebels during the Soviet-Afghan war in 1988 (Hill 3234).
"Sabaton fact: The Last Stand is the band’s biggest international success to date, reaching #1 in the album charts in Sweden, Finland and Switzerland."
Try Everything by Shakira
I've always been a fan of Shakira's and been following her work for years! This song as the theme to Disney's Zootopia is first heard when Judy Hopps takes the leap to the city of Zootopia to become the first bunny police officer.
Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtracks by Hans Zimmer
Although it's been rumored (because I can't find the article to back me up right now!) that Hans Zimmer's orchestral soundtracks supposedly help motivate one while studying or working - I believe it does! There's no distraction of lyrics, the melodies flow, and personally, I feel a sense of power when I listen to these albums like I can manage a whole army of zombie pirates!
Nina Cried Power by Hozier ft. Mavis Staples
This is the first album Hozier released since 2016 after his hit record Take Me to Church took the world by storm. After two years of touring, the Irish musician needed to escape his intense tour schedule and needed a break. He was looking for an escape in the countryside, as he explained to Billboard.com. This is the first record on his latest album and he explains it's meaning, and personally, I think this has been the song we've all been waiting for from him:
"“Nina Cried Power,” for me, unbridled optimism: it’s looking at a bad situation, feeling lost, and saying, “There is a legacy and a history we can draw from here, all is not lost!” That, to me, is the core of the song. The song swings off with, “I could cry power. Power has been cried by those stronger than me. People have faced this before. There have been uncertain times before. There has been bravery before. And it has been overcome.” To me, “Nina Cried Power,” it’s looking at the great bonfire of the world and standing in a place of optimism and hope and solidarity. Other songs, some embrace a certain nihilism; it can be anything from a “hurry up and get on with it” to just dancing around the fire and making a bit of noise."
Gaelic Storm from the Titanic Soundtrack
Every Friday at my job, we receive Friday Fun Facts and one of my favorite ones highlighted how to stay healthy during St. Patrick's Day celebrations. One of the tips and tricks illustrated was called "Shake Your Shamrock." To keep up with fitness and movement, they shared a St. Patrick's Day-themed playlist and this song was listed. Whether for work or to groove during off hours, the song will pick up you!
Mo Ghille Mear performed by the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin
Performed a capella with a single drummer, the striking, choreographed music video is sure to put you in the mood to be your own hero!
Warrior by Anilah with Einar Selvik
It is not very often that I cannot find the words to say about a piece of art, so here is way better description of the jumble in my brain:
"“Warrior (Revisited)” takes us on a profound journey towards inner healing and peace, allowing for visions of uplifting power that are deeply rooted in the natural world and are meant to stir the heart in such a way as to awaken its true strength."
Even though this is a slower ballad, the epic vocals and instrumentals have a great, overcoming power and creates some sort of emotional "imbalance" for the state it leaves you in.
Odin by Faun ft. Einar Selvik with Wardruna and Martin Seeberg
Another song that seems a bit slower, the underlying chants and ancient-like instruments do entice you to seek a higher sense of self and is quite spiritual.
Völuspá by Wardruna and Trevor Morris
We have a small obsession with Einar Selvik of Wardruna and you can tell where are interests lie. This song, like Odin, is more along the spiritual lines and is a good "wake-up and "greet-the-day" track.
Almost There from The Princess and The Frog
Like I mentioned earlier, no rhyme or reason to the order of songs here!
Actually, this song I listened to when we were filing the documentation to become a registered business!
You Gotta Walk That Lonesome Valley performed by Pete Seeger with Arlo Guthrie
To anyone that listens to traditional or classic folk music, everyone copies each other's songs but adds new lyrics or twists to them! This spin-off of Lonesome Valley is a great reminder from two folk icons that you want to do something for yourself, ain't nobody gonna get you there but you.
The Mary Ellen Carter by Stan Rogers
Based on a true story (like all other folk songs), Stan Rogers tells the tale of a ship called "Mary Ellen Carter" that sunk to the bottom of the sea after a bad storm and how a crew strives against all odds, including the ship's original owners to bring her back to life. Stan Rogers creates a sensation in all his songs to uplift and is a true storyteller. My favorite lyrics from the song goes like this:
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again
Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa
Everywhere I go, I am usually belting this song. May be an odd one to start shouting out, but the steady beat and the fact it's on the Deadpool soundtrack makes it pretty solid for me! I'll be honest though, I only know some of the lyrics and I usually just say shoop over and over again!
Jenny from the Block by Jennifer Lopez
Although I find the video purposefully hypocritical, but you should always remember where you came from when you make it big (and I'm talking to you, Jenny) or starting a local company like ours.
We Know the Way from Moana
What could be more inspiring after banging on a drum and seeing your ancestors traveling across the South Pacific in the sails?
What's your go-to song to help keep you motivated? Share in the comments and sign-up for updates!