Hayes Carll’s 7 Spiritually Uplifting Songs

Hayes Carll’s 7 Spiritually Uplifting Songs

“What makes a song spiritually uplifting to me is when it can achieve some combination of putting life into perspective, bringing joy, and making me feel less alone.”

The country simplicity that imbues Hayes Carll’s songs can sometimes hide the social conscience and sharp humor that also run through them. But if you want to find those things, they are there. In fact, Carll has spent over 20 years having a conversation with anyone who will listen about what it is we’re all doing here. He makes us laugh––but then he makes us cry. We judge a song’s protagonist, only for Carll to spin us around to commiserate with them. The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter’s new album You Get It All is the celebrated troubadour’s eighth and the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2019 release What It Is. Hayes Carll has won over audiences with his literate, cinematic, and soulful songwriting. The 11 songs on You Get It All, all co-written by Carll, uniquely blend his signature balance of grit and tenderness.

1. Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”


Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright.

This song immediately changes my mood for the better.

2. Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”


If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me.

An atmospherically perfect song by an incredible singer.

3. Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World”


The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, “I love you.”

A poignant and beautiful reminder of what’s timeless and important: the planet, humanity, life, love.

4. Emmylou Harris’s “Every Grain of Sand”


Don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake
Like Cain, I behold this chain of events that I must break
In the fury of the moment, I can see the master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

I love Bob Dylan’s versions, but Emmylou’s ethereal voice takes this to another level.

5. Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”


I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
any day now, any day now
I shall be released

I don’t know what Dylan intended, but when I hear this song, I feel a joyous release from physical or spiritual heaviness, from the struggle of life. Someday, a weight will be lifted, he tells us, and I believe him. I love so many versions of this song, but my favorite is from the “Last Waltz” concert with The Band because it combines an incredible collection of artists on a historic night.

6. Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (from The Concert in Central Park)


Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

The voice, the audience, the song, the moment. When I listen to the last chorus, I find it impossible to feel alone. It’s perfect and it moves me.

7. Todd Snider’s “Enjoy Yourself”


Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, it’s while you’re still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think

This is lighthearted and fun, and it hits me in the best way. My shoulders ease up, my blood pressure drops, I let go of some worries, and I can’t help but smile.

Keep the music playing with M.C. Taylor's spiritually uplifting songs.

Hayes Carll

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