21 Best Songs About Change & New Beginnings
We all must learn to manage change. These hits can help!
Some songs about change discuss the need for global transformation, while others talk about a revolution on a more personal level.
Whatever you’re facing right now, you can rest assured that you’re not alone! None of us are immune to the many changes that occur in life, whether big or small or good or bad.
We’ve gathered a variety of tunes that explore the theme of change, and hopefully, you’ll find a few that you love.
The 21 Best Songs About Change
When big changes happen in our lives, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Thankfully, music can help you navigate the many emotions that come with times of transition.
Let’s discover some of the greatest, relatable hits for every situation. Here’s our playlist of the 21 best songs about change:
21. Change – Taylor Swift
One of the most popular female singers in the world, Taylor Swift, released this power pop hit from her 2008 album, Fearless.
At sixteen, Swift penned inspiring lyrics about her frustrations of not being successful in her music career but continuing to work hard despite the setbacks.
“Change” peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the Pop 100 charts in 2008. The tune was also featured on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack, which raised funds for the U.S. Olympics team in the same year.
20. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
“Breakaway” was originally for Avril Lavigne but was given to Clarkson to record for the 2004 film, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
The song describes the singer’s dissatisfaction with her hometown and longing to find where she truly belongs.
Between 2004 and 2006, the track earned the top spot on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and #2 on the Adult Top 40.
19. Wind Of Change – Scorpions
West German rock band, Scorpions, released this rock anthem from their eleventh album, Crazy World, in 1990.
The band’s lead vocalist, Klaus Meine, says the song’s lyrics symbolize the end of the Cold War, and the overall tune is a “peace anthem.”
“Wind Of Change” has sold over fourteen million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles in music history. The track also topped charts in multiple European countries during 1991 and 1992, including France, Norway, and Germany.
18. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
“A Change Is Gonna Come” is not only one of the best songs of all time, but it’s also one of the greatest songs about change!
American singer-songwriter, Sam Cooke, recorded this song about the Civil Rights Movement after being turned away from a whites-only motel.
The tune took the #46 spot on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 and was inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2006.
17. Break Away – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys recorded this popular (and highly underrated) track from their album, Sunflower, released to the public in 1969.
The song focuses on how we should all strive to make positive changes in our lives to become better people.
“Break Away” peaked at #10 in Ireland and the Netherlands while also securing the #6 spot on the UK Singles chart in 1969.
16. Change – Carrie Underwood
If you want to make a difference in the world, we highly recommend adding Carrie Underwood’s “Change” to your inspirational playlist!
This great song encourages listeners to do their part to create a better world and reminds us that, often, the small things make a big difference.
“Change” made it to #14 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and peaked at #9 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in 2010.
15. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is one of the best rock bands of the 70s, and their hit song “Landslide” remains one of their signature tracks.
The ballad was inspired by Stevie Knicks’ struggles to make it big in music. During a trip to Aspen, Colorado, she felt that she was similar to the snowy mountains that could collapse at any moment.
“Landslide” ranks among the top rock songs about change and peaked at #10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and #26 on the Adult Top 40 in 1998.
14. Redemption Song – Bob Marley & The Wailers
“Redemption Song” comes from Bob Marley And The Wailers’ album, Uprising, which was released in 1980.
The song tells of all that Marley stood for, including freedom and redemption. In fact, Civil Rights campaigner Marcus Garvey once quotes the lyrics: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”
This track is certified gold in Italy and the UK and has been recorded by several big-name artists, including Stevie Wonder and John Legend.
13. Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer
Have you ever looked at the world around you and wondered why things never seem to change?
John Mayer expresses this sentiment in this jazz-rock hit, which focuses on how most people wait for the world to become a better place rather than doing anything about it.
“Waiting On The World To Change” won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2007 and reached #1 on both the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs and Adult Contemporary Songs charts in 2006.
12. A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow
“A Change Would Do You Good” is a pop-rock song describing different people’s lives and how they would benefit from changing their lifestyles.
If you’re a fan of Sheryl Crow, consider checking out our best 90s songs playlist and listening to her fun track, “All I Wanna Do.”
The tune peaked at #2 in Canada and #8 in the UK while also making it to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart in 1997.
11. Everything Has Changed – Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran teamed up on this folk-pop song that appears on Swift’s 2013 studio album, Red, and a re-recorded version, which is included in her Red (Taylor’s Version) album from 2021.
“Everything Has Changed” is about the desire to know and understand your significant other more deeply.
The love song won Best Musical Collaboration at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards and reached #8 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart in 2013.
“Everything Has Changed (Taylor’s Version)” peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #51 on the Canadian Hot 100 in 2021.
10. Change – Blind Melon
Blind Melon’s late lead vocalist, Shannon Hoon, wrote this tune during his drug addiction and released it in 2012.
“Change” is about realizing your mistakes and wanting to change the course of your life, but also feeling like you’re trapped at the same time.
Although the song didn’t chart much elsewhere, in 2021, “Change” reached #70 on Chile’s Radio Top 100 Rock Songs chart.
9. Imagine – John Lennon
In 1971, John Lennon released this soft rock hit from his album of the same name.
“Imagine” inspires listeners to picture a better world without poverty, war, division, or materialism.
This motivational tune was the best-selling single of his career, selling over 1.7 million copies worldwide, and he received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.
8. Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
“Bitter Sweet Symphony” is an uplifting tune that motivates people to get out there and start changing the world.
This song conveys that life is bittersweet due to its endless toil and was inspired by the lead singer’s experience watching his father work so hard and achieve nothing.
In 1997, this Britpop track won Rolling Stone’s Single of the Year Award, and in 1998, it reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
7. Change – Christina Aguilera
Pop singer extraordinaire Christina Aguilera released this gospel-inspired ballad in 2016 as a tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, encouraging acceptance of all identities.
If you want to wow the crowd at karaoke night, we suggest checking out our best karaoke songs playlist, which features Christina Aguilera’s timeless hit, “Genie In A Bottle.”
“Change” reached #5 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and #32 on the Digital Song Sales chart in 2016.
6. The Times They Are A-Changin – Bob Dylan
“The Times They Are A-Changin'” was released in 1964 from Bob Dylan’s album of the same name.
The song summarizes the hippie movement and is a sort of call to action meant to motivate people to prepare for change, whether they’re ready for it or not.
The folk anthem made it to #9 on the UK Singles chart in 1965 and has been recorded by numerous artists, from Nina Simone to Phil Collins.
5. Change The World – Eric Clapton
This song was originally recorded by Wynonna Judd before Eric Clapton released his version for the 1996 movie, Phenomenon.
“Change The World” features a male narrator who wishes he had the power to change specific things in the world to show his woman how much he loves her.
The single won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and topped charts in Canada and the U.S. in 1996.
4. Everybody’s Changing – Keane
If pop-rock is your jam, we highly recommend listening to “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane.
The lyrics talk about the frustrations of feeling like everyone around you is succeeding and moving on with their lives, but you’re stuck where you are.
“Everybody’s Changing” reached #4 on the UK Singles chart and #6 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart between 2004 and 2006.
3. Changes – David Bowie
David Bowie released this art pop tune from his Hunky Dory album in 1971.
“Changes” is all about embracing your independence, ignoring the critics, and doing what you want to do in life.
This track peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 and, in 2016, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
2. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
This is one of the greatest hits pop music has ever had! MJ released “Man In The Mirror” in 1988 on his seventh album, Bad.
The song reminds us that we should search our hearts to discover what needs to be changed before we can make a difference.
“Man In The Mirror” is one of the best 80s songs, earning #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988.
1. Changes – 2Pac ft. Talent
2Pac’s “Changes” takes the #1 spot on our list of the best songs about change, exploring various issues in the world and how things never seem to change.
The lyrics reference racism, police brutality, the war on drugs, and poverty in African American culture.
“Changes” received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2000 and MTV Video Music Award for Best Editing in a Video and Best Rap Video in 1999.
There you have it, the best songs about change, spanning every genre from rock to rap!
We felt “Changes” by 2Pac deserved the top spot on this list because of its poignant lyrics and catchy beat, which has raised awareness about the issues commonly faced by the African American population.
We hope at least a few popular tracks make it onto your playlist. Lastly, we’ll leave you with advice from Arleen Lorrance: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
What’s the best song about change, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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