20 Songs About Life and Living It

If you ask a million people, you’ll probably get a million different answers about what it means to live life to the fullest.

For some, it’s about traveling, for others, it’s raising a family, and some are on a mission to solve important social problems.

But what’s common among all these definitions is finding meaning and purpose in what you do and how you spend your time, making life exciting and fulfilling for you.

In this playlist, we’ve gathered tunes that remind us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, to live life to the fullest.

20 Songs About Life and Living It

1. “Don’t Stop Believin’” By Journey

The song “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, released in 1981 on their album “Escape,” is a famous and enduring anthem. It has been on the Billboard charts and featured in many soundtracks. The song’s main message is about believing in yourself and your dreams, which is a valuable life philosophy.

The lyrics tell the story of a small-town girl and a city boy taking the midnight train to anywhere, believing that something great awaits them, even if they don’t know what it is yet.

The song’s story captures the unexpected surprises that life can bring, like “Strangers waitin’, up and down the boulevard, their shadows searchin’ in the night.”

The chorus emphasizes the importance of not giving up on belief and holding onto hope and possibility, with the iconic lines “Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feelin’, streetlights, people.”

2. “Let It Be” By The Beatles

“Let It Be” is a song by The Beatles from their last album with the same name. The lyrics talk about finding comfort and wisdom in tough times. It mentions “Mother Mary,” which might refer to Paul McCartney’s late mother, Mary, who passed away when he was 14.

While some may see it as religious, it’s likely more about Paul McCartney’s personal loss and the troubles within The Beatles back then.

The lyrics convey a message of acceptance and resilience in the face of adversity. They stress that sometimes, in tough moments, it’s best to “let it be.” This means not trying to control everything and accepting things we can’t change. The repetition of “whisper words of wisdom, let it be” drives home this point.

3. “What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong

The song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong is a beautiful ode to the beauty and joys of life. The lyrics celebrate the simple yet profound wonders of the world, encouraging us to appreciate the little things that make life great.

In the song, Louis Armstrong sings about seeing “trees of green” and “red roses,” symbolizing the natural beauty of the world. He mentions how these flowers bloom for everyone to enjoy. The blue skies and white clouds represent the changing yet harmonious nature of our world, from bright days to serene nights.

The lyrics also highlight the diversity of people and the emotions they share. When friends shake hands and say, “How do you do?” they are, in essence, expressing their love and connection. The mention of babies crying and growing up reflects the cycle of life and learning.

Throughout the song, Armstrong expresses his personal awe and gratitude for the world, repeatedly thinking to himself, “What a wonderful world.” 

4. “Beautiful Day” By U2

“Beautiful Day” by U2, released in 2000 on their album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind,” is a song about finding beauty and hope even in difficult times.

The lyrics describe a challenging situation where it feels like there’s no room for positivity, but they also remind us that “It’s a beautiful day, Don’t let it get away,” emphasizing the importance of appreciating life’s beauty despite the hardships we may face.

The heart in the song represents our emotions, and it’s described as a bloom that can rise even through stony ground, symbolizing resilience. The lyrics talk about feeling stuck in a town with no space to rent, reflecting a sense of limitation and frustration, yet encouraging us to “See the world in green and blue” and find hope in the world around us.

5. “Livin’ On Love” By Alan Jackson

“Livin’ on Love” by Alan Jackson is a country song that tells the story of a couple who find happiness and contentment in their love for each other, despite not having much in terms of material possessions. In 1994, it became Alan Jackson’s ninth #1 hit.

The song’s lyrics detail their life journey, with lines like “Two young people without a thing, say some vows and spread their wings,” illustrating their modest beginnings and their commitment to each other.

The song describes how two young people with very little decide to get married and start a life together. They don’t have fancy things or a lavish lifestyle, but they have each other, and that’s what matters most to them.

In the end, it highlights the enduring nature of their love with lines such as “Two old people without a thing, children gone but still they sing.” Even as they grow old and face challenges like failing eyesight and physical limitations, they continue to cherish their love and enjoy each other’s company on their front porch.

6. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor became a massive hit when it was released in the late 1970s during the disco era. It quickly became an anthem for people going through breakups or difficult times in life.

In the lyrics, the singer starts by expressing initial fear and dependence on someone who has left her but then grows stronger with lines like “And I learned how to get along.”

As the singer becomes stronger and more self-assured, she declares, “I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give, and I’ll survive.” She realizes that she doesn’t need the person who wronged her and that she can live a fulfilling life without him.

7. “Who Wants To Live Forever” By Queen

“Who Wants to Live Forever” is a song written by Queen guitarist Brian May for the 1986 film soundtrack of Highlander. In the movie, the main character is immortal, while his beloved is not.

The lyrics express the bittersweetness of their love and immortality, with lines like, “There’s no time for us, There’s no place for us,” and “What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us?”

The singer repeats the question of who would want to live forever, and it acknowledges the challenge of loving eternally when love must eventually end, with the lines, “Who wants to live forever, Who wants to live forever, Ooh.”

8. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” By Kelly Clarkson

In the song “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Kelly Clarkson sings about overcoming adversity and emerging stronger from it, with lyrics like “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller.”

Kelly Clarkson draws inspiration from her personal struggles as an artist. By the time she released “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” she had already achieved significant success in her career, having appeared on the Billboard charts eight times.

In the lyrics, she also talks about not letting past failures or heartbreaks define her: “You tried to break me, but you see, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” She embraces the idea that difficult experiences can make a person stronger and more resilient in life. 

9. “It’s My Life” By Bon Jovi

“It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi, released in 2000 as the lead single from their album “Crush,” carries a message of seizing the moment and living life to the fullest.

The lyrics emphasize a determination to break free from limitations and make one’s own choices in life, as evident in lines like, “This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted” and “You’re gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud.”

In the lyrics, the singer expresses that this song is not for those feeling broken-hearted or faith-departed, but rather for those who want to stand out from the crowd.

The phrase “It’s my life, it’s now or never” underscores the urgency of taking control of one’s destiny because life is short and finite.

The mention of an open highway and doing things “my way” alludes to the idea of living life without regrets, much like the iconic singer Frankie, who did things his own way, as reflected in the lyrics, “My heart is like the open highway, like Frankie said I did it my way.”

10. “Better Get To Livin’” By Dolly Parton

“Better Get to Livin'” is a pop country song performed by Dolly Parton, a renowned country music superstar. The song carries a message about living life to the fullest and finding inner strength even in the face of difficulties.

In the lyrics, Dolly Parton responds to people who ask her about the secret to her positive attitude and outlook on life, singing, “You better get to livin’, givin’, don’t forget to throw in a little forgivin’, and lovin’ on the way.” She suggests that the key to a fulfilling life is to live, give, forgive, love, and care.

Dolly Parton’s lyrics convey the idea that life can be challenging, but we have the power to make it more meaningful through our actions and attitudes.

She advises not to sweat the small stuff and to turn to prayer during tough times, singing, “And if it gets too rough, fall on your knees and pray, and do that every day.”

11. “Live And Let Die” By Paul McCartney And Wings

“Live and Let Die” is a song written by Paul McCartney and his wife Linda for the James Bond movie of the same name. Paul McCartney and Wings performed it. The song encourages us to accept how others live and behave.

In the lyrics, the singer talks about when you’re young and open-minded, you believe in the idea of “live and let live.” He sings, “When you were young, and your heart was an open book, you used to say ‘Live and let live!'” This means that you used to think you should let others live their lives as they wish.

However, as life’s challenges and changes occur, some may become more cynical or want to intervene in others’ lives, like their children’s lives. In those moments, the singer reminds them that everyone might possibly die, so we should accept their way of life. He declares the attitude of “live and let die!”

12. “Long Live” By Taylor Swift

“Long Live” is a song by Taylor Swift from her album “Speak Now” released in 2010. The lyrics express Swift’s gratitude for her fans and bandmates, with lines like “Long live the walls we crashed through, How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you.”

Taylor Swift recalls a moment when she and her bandmates were celebrated like royalty, feeling like kings and queens. The song celebrates their achievements, the memories they’ve created, and the magic they’ve experienced together.

Taylor reflects on how they were once outsiders but overcame obstacles, as she sings, “And bring on all the pretenders, I’m not afraid.” Now that they have lived through those difficulties, she hopes that they will be remembered for their accomplishments, as captured in the line, “One day, we will be remembered.”

13. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” By Bobby McFerrin

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is a song by Bobby McFerrin, released in 1988 as the first single from his album “Simple Pleasures.” The song’s message is simple but powerful: in life, we all face troubles, but worrying only makes them worse. Instead, choose to be happy because when you worry, you create additional problems.

The lyrics of the song encourage a carefree and positive outlook on life. As Bobby McFerrin sings, “Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note, Don’t worry, be happy.”

He goes on to emphasize that even when facing challenges like not having a place to stay, financial difficulties, or loneliness, it’s better to maintain a positive attitude because “when you worry, your face will frown, and that will bring everybody down.”

14. “One Of The Living” By Tina Turner

“One of the Living” is a song performed by Tina Turner, featured in the soundtrack of the movie “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” This song won a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

In the lyrics, there is a sense of desperation and struggle in a harsh desert environment, where every step could be the last: “In the desert sun, every step that you take could be the final one.”

The song suggests that living under these conditions is so difficult that the dead might be envied: “Oh, they always said that the living would envy the dead.”

However, the song also encourages us not to give up and emphasizes the need to fight and persevere: “Don’t wanna fight, but sometimes you’ve got to.”

The recurring refrain, ‘You’re one of the living,’ celebrates the resilience of those who endure this challenging environment.

15. “I Lived” by OneRepublic

“I Lived” by OneRepublic was released in 2013 and became popular for its uplifting and inspirational message. It is a song that encourages living life to the fullest and embracing both the good and challenging moments.

The lyrics convey the message of not fearing taking risks and giving your all to every experience, as seen in the lines: “Hope when you take that jump, You don’t fear the fall.”

The singer wishes for someone close to him to face life with courage and optimism, expressing the sentiment with lyrics like: “I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain.”

Throughout the song, the repeated phrase ‘I, I did it all’ serves as a powerful reminder to live life without regrets and to fully embrace every aspect of it.

16. “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo

“Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull and Ne-Yo is a song that’s all about living life to the fullest, even when things are tough. In the lyrics, the singer talks about how he can’t pay his rent, but he’s not going to let that bring him down. He decides to go out and have a good time with the little money he has left, singing, “I knew my rent was gon’ be late about a week ago.”

The song is about celebrating and enjoying every moment, especially when you’re facing challenges. It encourages people to have fun, party, and appreciate the present, regardless of the difficulties they may be going through.

The lyrics convey a message of resilience and making the most of life, even when it’s tough, with lines like, “But I got just enough, to get off in this club, have me a good time, before my time is up.”

17. “In The End” By Linkin Park

“In The End” was released by Linkin Park as a part of their debut album “Hybrid Theory” in 2000. The band is known for blending elements of rock, hip-hop, and electronic music, and “In the End” is one of their signature songs.

The song explores the feelings of frustration and disappointment that can arise from investing time, emotions, and effort into something or someone, only to realize that it ultimately doesn’t lead to the desired outcome.

The singer reflects on trying hard and keeping his feelings inside, but despite his efforts, everything falls apart. He sings, “I tried so hard and got so far.” However, he gradually learns to accept that sometimes, failures in life are unavoidable, and we just have to accept that life isn’t perfect.

The line “But in the end, it doesn’t even matter” conveys a positive message that we can still live our lives even when things don’t turn out as expected. Time flies, everything passes, and nothing matters in the end.

18. “Living In The Moment” By Jason Mraz

“Living In The Moment” is a song by American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz from his album “Love Is a Four Letter Word,” released in 2012.

The song’s lyrics promotes mindfulness and the idea of living in the present moment, appreciating life for what it is without dwelling on the past or fretting about the future.

As the song goes, “I will not waste my days making up all kinds of ways to worry ’bout all the things that will not happen to me.” The singer encourages us to release regrets and anxieties and to enjoy life as it unfolds, with lines like “With peace in my mind, heart, and soul, wherever I’m going, I’m already home.”

19. “Just Fine” By Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige’s song “Just Fine” is all about celebrating self-love, resilience, and finding happiness in life. As the lyrics go, “So I like what I see when I’m looking at me, When I’m walking past the mirror.”

In the song, Mary acknowledges that life can be hard, and you might face challenges, but she refuses to let those obstacles ruin her day. She loves herself, feels confident when she looks in the mirror, and wouldn’t change a thing about her life because it’s “just fine.”

The song is a powerful anthem that encourages people to embrace self-confidence and live their lives to the fullest, as the lyrics say, “I ain’t gon’ let nothing get in my way, No matter what nobody has to say.”

20. “Livin’ On The Edge” By Aerosmith

The song “Livin’ On the Edge” by Aerosmith, released in 1993, reflects a sense of concern about the state of the world and the challenges people face. The lyrics convey the idea that something is wrong with the world, but the singer can’t quite pinpoint what it is. 

The song also touches on the theme of judgment and prejudice, suggesting that people often judge others based on superficial factors like skin color. The singer questions if one can truly judge a wise person by such criteria.

Throughout the song, there’s a feeling of instability and uncertainty, symbolized by phrases like “the light bulb’s gettin dim” and “meltdown in the sky.” Despite this, there’s a desire to hold on and continue living on the edge, even in a world filled with complications and aggravations. 

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