Giving to others and being helpful as a friend, family member, and member of the human race is one of the most important responsibilities we all share. Sometimes we can help others in need by donating to a charitable organization. Other times, we might simply give comfort to a friend who’s in pain.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Pop and Contemporary Songs About Giving to Others
- Religious or Spiritual Songs About Giving to Others
Regardless, music often reminds us of how important giving to others is. It can also help you better understand precisely how you can give to those in need when the opportunity to do so arises.
Consider these songs about helping others. Ranging from modern pop hits to centuries-old hymns, they celebrate the joy that generosity brings not only those we help, but to ourselves as well.
Pop and Contemporary Songs About Giving to Others
The chance to give to others has always been and will always be part of the human experience. Thus, it makes sense that many contemporary songs express this idea. Significant examples include the following:
1. "Firework" by Katy Perry
An easy way to make someone’s day is to remind them they’re a special person with plenty to offer the world and others. In “Firework,” Katy Perry also reminds us that sharing this message of encouragement with a friend is an easy but wonderful gift anyone can offer.
2. "Fix You" by Coldplay
Songs about giving frequently touch on the importance of helping a grieving friend. That may be why Coldplay singer Chris Martin referred to “Fix You,” about a friend trying to help another through a loss, “probably the most important song” the band has ever written.
3. "That’s What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Elton John
This recording adds additional meaning to the song’s original message about the value of friends giving one another the gift of companionship.
Released to raise money and awareness for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, it transforms an already inspirational track into a song about giving to others struggling with illness.
4. "Ronan" by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift was among many others who followed the moving but devastating story of Ronan Thompson, a young child whose mother Maya Thompson chronicled his struggle with cancer via her blog.
The story touched Swift so much she recorded this track for Ronan, donating the profits to cancer charities and encouraging others to also give what they can in the process.
5. "One" by U2
Musiclore holds that U2 originally wrote this song to describe the fractured state the band was in when recording their album Achtung Baby.
That said, singer Bono has stated the lyrics have taken on a new meaning, describing how family members whose relationships have suffered as a result of disagreements can learn to give love to one another again.
6. "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" by Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff’s “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” offers a simple but hopeful message: We have the power to make the world truly wonderful if we all share our love with one another.
7. "Ripple" by The Grateful Dead
Songs about giving often highlight the fact that music itself offers support and comfort to people throughout the world. Consider the example of “Ripple,” in which The Grateful Dead encourages listeners to give back to the world by sharing their own music (and inspiring each other to do the same).
8. "Kind and Generous" by Natalie Merchant
Not all songs about giving need to be from the perspective of the one doing the giving. In “Kind and Generous,” Natalie Merchant sings from the perspective of someone reflecting on the love and support another has given her throughout life.
9. "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler
There are times in our lives when our loved ones need our support. However, there are also times when what they need most is for us to give them thanks for the support they’ve provided over the years. Like “Kind and Generous,” “Wind Beneath My Wings” captures this sentiment beautifully.
10. "I’ll Stand by You" by The Pretenders
Sometimes, the greatest give you can give someone is a reminder that you’ll always be there, even (as this song highlights) in their “darkest hour.” That’s when those we love need us the most, after all.
11. "Do They Know it’s Christmas?" by Band Aid 1984
Again, giving to others in need doesn’t merely involve giving love and support to the people closest to you in life. It can also involve giving to people in pain throughout the world, even if you’ll never meet them. This classic celebrates just that type of giving.
12. "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp
This tune may be simple, but that doesn’t mean its message is unimportant. “Give a Little Bit” serves as a catchy and iconic reminder that one of life’s greatest joys involves sharing love with someone else, and receiving their love in return.
Religious or Spiritual Songs About Giving to Others
It comes as no surprise that religious and spiritual songs often touch on the value of giving and generosity. Numerous religions consider charity to be a crucial value. These songs express that belief.
13. "Called as Partners in Christ’s Service" by Jane Parker Huber
This classic hymn describes how the greatest way many Christians know to celebrate Jesus is to follow Christ’s example and offer aid to others in need.
14. "Do Something" by Matthew West
Religious songs about giving aren’t limited to traditional hymns. Contemporary religious artists such as Matthew West have also used their platforms to remind listeners about the importance of giving to those in need.
15. "I Thank You" by Geron Davis
Remember, songs about giving can also be songs about thanks. For example, in “I Thank You,” Geron Davis simultaneously thanks God and the important people in his life for all the support they’ve unfailingly provided.
16. "Hinei Mah Tov" by Anonymous (Traditional Hebrew Folk Song)
This song, often sung in a circle, conveys a simple message about the value of living together with others in harmony, and being there for your “brothers and sisters,” just as they will be there for you.
17. "Take My Life" by Chris Tomlin
Another contemporary hymn, “Take My Life” by Chris Tomlin expresses the belief that, if they allow it, Jesus can act through his followers to help others.
18. "I Will Offer Up My Life" by Matt Redman
“I Will Offer Up My Life,” like numerous other Christian songs about giving, embodies the Christian idea that because Jesus sacrificed himself, it’s the duty of a Christian to honor that sacrifice by giving to those in need throughout their life.
19. "Doxology" by Thomas Ken
This 1674 reworking of a tune that originally dates back to 1551 explains how giving to the less fortunate is, for many Christians, also a way of giving thanks to God for the blessings they have.
20. "Yihiyeh Tov (It Will Be Good)" by David Broza
Few can deny many in the world still struggle with pain and poverty. While David Broza’s song doesn’t ignore this, it also highlights the fact that we can support such people by being charitable and focusing on the good to come.
21. "My Tribute" by Andrae Crouch
A favorite contemporary gospel tune at many churches, “My Tribute” is another Christian song expressing the desire to worship Jesus by devoting one’s life to being a helpful and charitable follower.
22. "Your Grace is Enough" by Matt Maher
Some people don’t do all they can to help those in need because they feel they deserve to have more in life. In “Your Grace is Enough,” Matt Maher’s lyrics suggest that, because God’s grace should be enough for someone to live a satisfying life, all should be willing to give.
23. "Angels Among Us" by Alabama
It’s worth noting that giving the gift of the right song at the right time is one way to help a grieving friend.
An option to consider is “Angels Among Us,” a Christian song by pop/rock group Alabama that reminds someone in mourning their loved one is now like an angel, whose presence in their life can inspire them to help others in pain.
24. "I Don’t Have Much" by Taylor Leonhardt
In terms of money and worldly possessions, some people have more to give than others. This song reminds us that even those who may not have much to give can still give their love and devotion to not only their god, but to those whose lives they touch.
25. "A Generous Heart" by Mark Altrogge
Many religious people wish to be closer to their god. As this song states, one way to do so is to be generous.
Songs Remind Us of the Power of Giving
Music isn’t just entertainment. The songs we listen to and the messages they offer can influence who we become as people. For instance, if you listen to songs about giving, truly taking their messages to heart, you may find you also have the power to help those in need, whether they’re a grieving friend or someone on the other side of the world.
- Kennedy, John R. “6 Songs Of Support For Someone Who's Suffering.” iHeartRadio, Bell Media, 25 January 2017, www.iheartradio.ca/news/6-songs-of-support-for-someone-who-s-suffering-1.2354652