Guide for Caregivers: Songs to remember our hope

WANT A SHOT OF HOPE? Watch “Down from the Mountain,” a musical documentary about the music used by the Coen brothers in their film: O Brother Where Art Thou?We want to get your toes tapping and your spirit soaring with great music!
At ReadTheSpirit, our team of journalists and authors is focused on providing practical inspiration for daily living—in many forms of media. In the winter of 2011-2012, we are rolling out a wide array of resources to help the 65 million caregivers nationwide—plus the millions more who receive care, who are wrestling with crises in their health, their families, their work and their communities.

Why enjoying music matters

ENJOYING MUSIC is one of many helpful techniques in our new Guide for Caregivers, one of the books we are publishing to help individuals and small groups.
Why music?
Because music shapes our lives in powerful ways. Read these reflections by Quaker songwriter Carrie Newcomer and Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield about the potential of music to “open our hearts” and “create sanctuary.”

Please, add to our list!

Tell us what songs help you to remember hope: Email us at [email protected]


  • CLICK ON THE COVER to learn more about the book.Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
  • Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy
  • Copland’s Appalachian Spring
  • Dvorak, New World Symphony
  • Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus
  • Mozart, most of his works
  • Saint-Saens, Organ Symphony
  • American folk music, O Brother soundtrack
  • Hawaiian music
  • A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
  • Amazing Grace
  • America the Beautiful
  • Ave Maria
  • Christmas carols
  • How Can I Keep from Singing?
  • I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • Kum ba yah, My Lord
  • Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  • Joy to the World
  • My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
  • O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
  • O God Our Help in Ages Past
  • O Holy Night
  • O World of God
  • Old Rugged Cross
  • On Eagle’s Wings
  • Open My Eyes, That I May See
  • Simple Gifts
  • T’Filat Haderech by Debbie Friedman
  • This Is My Song, set to Finlandia
  • Tu Has Venido ala Orilla (Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore)
  • We Shall Overcome
  • A Spoonful of Sugar
  • Blue Skies
  • Chariots of Fire soundtrack album
  • Don’t Rain on My Parade
  • Hair, much of the soundtrack
  • Happy Talk
  • I Whistle a Happy Tune
  • Impossible Dream (The Quest) from Man of La Mancha
  • It Might as Well Be Spring
  • Mary Poppins, soundtrack album
  • On a Wonderful Day Like Today
  • Rainbow Connection
  • Sing! (Kermit Frog version)
  • Singin’ in the Rain, soundtrack album
  • Somewhere (West Side Story)
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Wizard of Oz soundtrack album
  • Sound of Music, soundtrack album
  • Star Wars theme song
  • Thank you, very much (From the Albert Finney version of Scooge)
  • Up With People
  • When You Wish Upon a Star
  • Allman Brothers Band, many songs
  • Aretha Franklin, many songs
  • Beatles, many songs
  • Blue Bayou
  • Blues in the Night
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters
  • Good Day Sunshine
  • High Hopes
  • I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
  • Imagine
  • It’s a Beautiful Morning
  • Morning Has Broken
  • My Way
  • Oh, Happy Day
  • Stand by Me
  • Tapestry, by Carole King
  • The Weight, by the Band
  • What a Wonderful World
  • You’ve Got a Friend
  • You’ve Got a Friend in Me


FRAN McKENDREE on his back porch.SINGER-SONGWRITER FRAN McKENDREE SENDS US A SONG: From the Carolinas, occasional ReadTheSpirit contributor Fran McKendree didn’t just send us a song title—he sent us an actual song!

SPIRITUALITY & PRACTICE: Our friends at the Spirituality & Practice website also have assembled a list of Songs about Hope, which includes links to some YouTube videos of music by artists including Jimmy Cliff, Chicago and Bruce Springsteen.

INVITE YOUR CLASS OR SMALL GROUP TO LIST SONGS: If you send us a list you have gathered from your small group or congregation, we are happy to provide a link back to the website for your house of worship. That’s a great way to do a little outreach for your congregation—and help readers. (See the example, below, crediting a church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.)

Care to read more on Caregiving?

Guide for Caregivers: Learn about this very helpful book and online project.

Guide for Grief: Help in Surviving the Stages of Grief and Bereavement after a Loss.

Check out Caregivers on Facebook.

Special Thanks to Contributors!

Special Thanks go, first, to First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, where an adult Sunday school class contributed the first titles to this ongoing song list. Then, to many individuals nationwide (most of whom sent nominations without names). Our named contributors include: Judith Bowers, Tom Carter, M.J. Coots, Roger Cunningham, Celeste Dykas, Betty Greenaway, Elaine Greenberg, Neal Hassler, Hope Janiki, Jan Jorgensen, Brian Killmer, Wallace Manfield, Emma Oates, Warren Petoskey, Benjamin Pratt, Bill and Marge Stills, Thea Strode, Suze Waltz, Fran Washner, Nancy and James White, Skip Willsy, Jan Welch. Thanks to all!

Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email