I have noticed a surprising trend in pop music these days.  Amid the messages of the blurred lines of appropriate sexual conduct and the rage against the establishment there seems to have grown a nice little crop of optimistic songs.  These are the kinds of songs that stay with you, sometimes annoyingly so, but in a good way.  They are a refreshing break from the heavily romance-themed music or songs about drinking you so often hear. (I'm looking at you, Katy Perry.)

Anyway, one of these relatively new releases is called "Home"  by Phillip Phillips, an artist so nice they named him twice.  Although this song has committed the cardinal sin of being sold  for use as a commercial theme song, it still makes me feel good.  Some of the lyrics say, "Settle down, it'll all be clear. Don't pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear.  The trouble, it might drag you down.  You get lost, you can always be found.  Just know you're not alone, cause I'm gonna make this place your home."

Bad grammar aside, this is a message for all those who fear in the world, and there are an awful lot of us.  As a pastor I would conclude that yes, if you are lost you can always be found, but probably for different reasons than this songwriter envisioned.

Another of my favorites is by a group named for optimists, Fun.  They feature heavy drum beats and lots of rhythm in their music.  They definitely appeal to a young generation, but old people like me love the, too.  The song I admire is called "Carry On." Again, it seems to send a message of hope to the lost: "If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on.  May the past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on."

And then there is "The Best Day of My Life." Come on, in terms of optimism you can't beat that.  If it's pure optimism you're after, there's no better song than "Happy." It is  so upbeat that churches have even  made their own videos utilizing the message.  Plus, it involves clapping, which always fits my daughter's criteria for a good song.  "Because I'm happy.  Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. (because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth (because I'm happy) Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do."

Besides giving me a reason to sing along, these kinds of songs give me a sense of hope, because even when our country is majorly divided over issues so basic they seem to need no explanation, there are still young artists out there who find some cause for celebration in the world and want to share that.   I grew up in the era of anti-war protest songs so it's nice to see someone with an attitude that everything doesn't stink and all is not lost.  That makes me happy.

I have noticed a surprising trend in pop music these days.  Amid the messages of the blurred lines of appropriate sexual conduct and the rage against the establishment there seems to have grown a nice little crop of optimistic songs.  These are the kinds of songs that stay with you, sometimes annoyingly so, but in a good way.  They are a refreshing break from the heavily romance-themed music or songs about drinking you so often hear. (I'm looking at you, Katy Perry.) Anyway, one of these relatively new releases is called "Home"  by Phillip Phillips, an artist so nice they named him twice.  Although this song has committed the cardinal sin of being sold  for use as a commercial theme song, it still makes me feel good.  Some of the lyrics say, "Settle down, it'll all be clear. Don't pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear.  The trouble, it might drag you down.  You get lost, you can always be found.  Just know you're not alone, cause I'm gonna make this place your home." Bad grammar aside, this is a message for all those who fear in the world, and there are an awful lot of us.  As a pastor I would conclude that yes, if you are lost you can always be found, but probably for different reasons than this songwriter envisioned. Another of my favorites is by a group named for optimists, Fun.  They feature heavy drum beats and lots of rhythm in their music.  They definitely appeal to a young generation, but old people like me love the, too.  The song I admire is called "Carry On." Again, it seems to send a message of hope to the lost: "If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on.  May the past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on." And then there is "The Best Day of My Life." Come on, in terms of optimism you can't beat that.  If it's pure optimism you're after, there's no better song than "Happy." It is  so upbeat that churches have even  made their own videos utilizing the message.  Plus, it involves clapping, which always fits my daughter's criteria for a good song.  "Because I'm happy.  Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. (because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth (because I'm happy) Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (because I'm happy) Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do." Besides giving me a reason to sing along, these kinds of songs give me a sense of hope, because even when our country is majorly divided over issues so basic they seem to need no explanation, there are still young artists out there who find some cause for celebration in the world and want to share that.   I grew up in the era of anti-war protest songs so it's nice to see someone with an attitude that everything doesn't stink and all is not lost.  That makes me happy.