3 Classic Rock Songs About Appreciation

Lyrical music is essentially poetry sang to a rhythm. Some of classic rock’s best bands not only have written beautiful poetry, but poetry that provides exquisite metaphor and symbolic images to the keys to happiness.  Here are 3 songs and their verses that preach self-awareness and appreciation. The words capture both the fallacies and truths of what can drive happiness.

Led Zeppelin – What Is and What Should Never Be

Song meaning:

The song is about a man trying to take his beloved woman to a magical place. He wants to be the ringleader, as she will follow him wherever he goes. The only thing that can stop them from a magical journey is “what is” and “what should never be.” Those are the woman’s two choices: to follow him (what is) or to leave him (what should never be). She can have everything she’s ever wanted- the majestic sunrise, all her dreams come true- but if she doesn’t get those things, then she can only blame herself.

Lyrics on Happiness:

'So if you wake up with the sunrise, and all your dreams are still as new. And happiness is what you need so bad, girl, the answer lies with you.'

Be thankful for what you already have. You need to remind yourself that you have food on the table, a roof over your head, friends and a loving family. We think that happiness is conditional and only comes once we’ve reached our dreams; whether it be a dream job, dream relationship, dream financial situation. Now that these wishes have come true, we must be grateful. If you can’t be thankful for all the surrounding greatness, then you must look inward. The answer lies with you, you, YOU.


Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias

 Song meaning:

The man was spontaneously drawn to this beautiful woman and decided to pursue her (“I might as well try”). They flirted and he was drawn to her composed and cool vibe, but their companionship ultimately faded. He acknowledges that while she was beautiful, he’s been around and been hurt by other beautiful women before. He has a realistic outlook that he’ll recover from this sad failure, just as he has in the past. Once again, he knows nothing wrong with her, and he will not fault her for not wanting him they way he wants her. He’s able to let her go with a fresh perspective that not only alters remorse but his outlook on everything, including the heavens and the earth.

Lyrics on Happiness:

'Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.'

Developing a more flexible, fluid way to look at a poor situation may take you down new and unexpected avenues of joy. We usually have goals and strict expectations of criteria to be happy. For example, people have precise expectations for what constitutes a fun vacation. A fun vacation may mean a good golf score, seeing a certain number of shows, and great food at the resort’s restaurant. If these are the parameters for a fun vacation, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. We would be better off focusing on the vacation being a time to relax and spending time with loved ones. Look outside the box for things that make you happy. For goodness sakes, even waiting in line to get flight tickets to Bermuda makes you unhappy. Change your criteria and you will see the light.


The Rolling Stones – Get Off Of My Cloud

Song meaning:

Everyone needs a bit of space. The main character wants serenity and to hit pause on the chaotic outside world. Disconcertingly, people continue to present new tasks and hassles to interfere with his life. After two such episodes, the main character travels farther into a desolate part of town, hoping to find peace, yet he wakes up to find that someone gave him a parking ticket. He accepts that there is no longer such a thing as privacy.

Lyrics on Happiness:

'Hey! You! Get off of my cloud. Don’t hang around because two’s a crowd.'

Although good relationships with friends and family are critical, the ability to get alone time is fundamental. Choosing to have alone time frees us from other people’s opinions and our need to entertain. Aloneness allows us to meditate and separate from our needs and issues that relate to others. People have their own clouds, which is conducive to a mindset of tranquility. On each person’s cloud, the individual can perch up and appreciate the surrounding divine aspects of life. If only we could schedule time to break away from our phones and TVs and take nights off to stay at home by ourselves and read. Take time by yourself to find your inner peace, because sometimes you shouldn’t have people on your cloud.

Feature Image: http://louderthanwar.com

This is the first post from a new series, Classic Rock: Keys To Happiness. It will focus on your favorite classic rock songs and the meanings behind their lyrics as they pertain to happiness. Adam Sheinman is a HooplaHa Contributor. Find him at @sheinonyoucrazy.


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