Inspirational Music and Movies

I love inspirational music, movies, speeches, stories. Who wouldn’t want to be more inspired to feel more, do more, love more, dream more?

I recently came across the YouTube video of We Are The World, the #2 most popular music single of all-time in the United States. I had never heard of it, but apparently it was a music sensation in the 80’s. Some of the biggest American pop stars of the day came together and collectively recorded the song to raise money for African relief work. To see Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, and many others all together is magical. If you want an inspirational boost to start your day, watch the performance.

Elsewhere in the inspiration category, I saw the movie Joyeux Noel ("Merry Christmas" in English). This tells the true story of Christmas Eve, 1914 during World War I. The Germans, French, and Scottish lay down their arms and sing carols together. Touching, and highly recommended. I also saw The Pursuit of Happyness, the true story of a near-homeless man in San Francisco who turns his life around after numerous bad breaks and financial challenges.

Here’s my tag (other links) for "inspiration". Leave other recommendations in the comments.

10 comments on “Inspirational Music and Movies
  • While I was a kid when “We are the world came out”, it makes me feel old that you lack this lame cultural touchstone. For a while there was a whole trend to have celebrities get together to sing for some cause. Check out “Don’t they know it’s Christmas”.

  • Check out Band-Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas. It was put out shortly before We Are the World and it’s the stars from the UK.

    Bob Geldof did it first and like a ton of stuff, we copied the UK here in America. I still think they are both lovely songs.

  • Okay, I feel old now.

    I remember my mother taking me and my brother to do the Hands Across America thing, which I believe coincided with the We Are the World release. Either way, the memory makes me cringe.

    “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was also a bit of an embarrassment for those involved. From the Wikipedia entry: “The lyrics present a simplified and perhaps stereotypical description of Africa, very much from a Western perspective. Lines such as Where nothing ever grows are naive given that the area in Ethiopia where the famine took place is normally fertile. Furthermore, the lyrics ignore the fact that the vast majority of Ethiopian Christians are Orthodox and use the Julian calendar, meaning that their Christmas falls on January 7, rather than December 25th.”

  • Way to make your readers feel old, Ben! I was already out of school by the time We Are The World arrived. Sigh.

    Somehow the lyric “we’re saving our own lives,” when sung by publicity-hungry, washed-up celebrities, seems unintentionally apt.

    There was a brilliant Saturday Night Live spoof of WATW, but I can’t find it on YouTube. (And for readers who are too young for Saturday Night Live, well, as Emily Litella would say, never mind.)

  • Alright, I feel old now too. I as 11 when “We Are The World” came out. It was a huge event. Definitely a cultural classic.

    I watched the video again for the first in many, many years. One of the things that stuck out for me – at least with the artists – is who had to read the lyrics and who sang without needing to refer to them 🙂

  • Thank you for the inspiration.

    My inspirational films are “The Colour Purple” and “Empire of the Sun”. I was shocked when I discovered they are both by Steven Spielberg (from his early days, yet still seem fresh). Highly recommended

    I feel guilty that I enjoy the YouTube music video of “Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)”

    Ciao, Ciao, Ciao…

  • I remember walking my bike right through the “Hands Across America” lineup in Pittsburgh. It was a big media event, and from what I recall, the money it raised was pretty well matched by the cost of putting it on.

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