26 Jun 10 YEARS, 10 SONGS
‘Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form’
– Plato in Wordsworth Dictionary of Musical Quotations, 1991, p. 45
Over the course of these ten years hundreds of songs inspired us with tremendous messages of life, love, beauty, kindness, courage and a lot more. Part of these songs were brought to action at the stages of our conferences, some were integrated in texts, books or proposals as inspirational mottos, some others are just listened at the office while we are working and enjoying the day.
Here is a playlist of ten songs that we love!
(Please note: we love all the songs and order is aleatory)
1. David Bowie, Changes
‘Changes’ became one of Bowie’s best-known songs. The lyrics are often seen as reflecting his chameleonic personality, the frequent change of the world today, and frequent reinventions of his musical style throughout his career. We love this song because we believe that it is crucial that people and organizations question things as they are, challenge the status quo and don’t be afraid to take risks and work towards change and reinvention. Every single leader or organization that has ever wanted to have a great impact has had to challenge the status quo, evoke, provoke and lead change. It was always like this and it will be always like this!
In 2016, three weeks after David Bowie passed away, we brought on stage Changes, for 1000 leaders, in PBS Grand Conference 2016, at Casa da Musica. The theme of that year’s edition was Leading for Tomorrow and Beyond, and Changes message couldn’t have been more opportune and beautiful for the moment. An incredible homage sung by Henrique and Nuno Feist and their super band! Watch a bit of PBS Grand Conference 2016 and by the end of the video will have a look and feel of Changes by the Feist brothers 🙂
2. Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’
Opening with one of the best keyboard riffs in rock, this song evokes overcoming failure, the importance of patience and the power of perseverance. According to an article in the Guardian, the title of the song came from something keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s father frequently told him when he was a struggling musician living on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard ready to give up because he was not having success in the music industry. Each time he would call home in despair, his father would tell him, ‘Don’t stop believing or you’re done, dude’. In life and in business, your mindset is decisive. So, don’t stop believing. Never.
3. Oasis, Whatever
This song is about escaping from the pressure around us – society, family, friends, etc – to become who we want to be and to do what we want to do. We should do the things we know deep down we should be doing. Many people don’t realize how much strength, resource and power can come our way when we are doing what we are meant to do. We all have our own special talents and ways of creating impact, therefore only by being our true selves and pursuing our own goals can we make a real difference in the world. And we should let no one take that from us.
This song was played at Happy Conference 2011, a conference dedicated to confidence. We had more than 100 children on stage, conducted by Maestro João Castro, singing and feeling the strength of this powerful song and inspiring all the 900 attendees to a fuller future full of essence in action. Enjoy a bit of that wonderful Happy Conference 2011 🙂
4. Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World
Recorded for the first time 50 years ago by Louis Armstrong, this song captures the simplicity, the lightness and the beauty of life, bringing the focus on the power of little wonders and the things that really matter. It is said that George Weiss wrote the song specifically for Louis Armstrong because he was inspired by Armstrong’s ability to bring people from difference races together. We think this is one of the most uplifting songs of all times, playing the beautiful and necessary role of making us conscious of how wonderful our world is.
Inspired by this song, by the 50 years from its first recording, and above all by the beautiful and timeless message that it carries on, we dedicated Inspiring 2018 – from our Inspiring Years publishing series – to What a Wonderful World, resulting in a lovely set of cards to inspire little wonders in people’s lives. And we think to ourselves, what a wonderful world…
5. Randy Newman, You’ve Got A Friend in Me
This song is about the invaluable value of friendship. Having a friend that is there for you, that will help you and guide you through life, on the happy but also on the tough times, is one of the most precious things in life. We all need friends who we trust, who won’t hesitate to pull us through life’s obstacles and insecure moments. Because we all have them. And having such friends is often what enables us to keep going.
This song was part of the Singing the Future Choir line up. One of the most important projects of WIN World that one day will be re-launched for sure.
6. Johnny Nash, I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone
This song explores the way from hardship to hope. “The tone has the blues of generations of resistance and survival in it,” said Liam Omaonlai, singer for Hothouse Flowers, who covered it in 1990. No one goes through this life without encountering defeats, difficulty and suffering. Sometimes everything seems going wrongly. However, we must hold on and not be defeated, because things will get better and hardship opens up our eyes to a strength that we didn’t know existed. So, when times get tough, don’t despair, hold on, be resilient, learn everything there is to learn. The sun will shine again.
This song was also part of the Singing the Future Choir line up.
7 . Carmen Twillie, The Circle of Life
Energy, nature, life… don’t stay in a place: they are a constant loop, following cyclical patterns. Day and night, the seasons, the ability to give birth, the sun and the rain, life and death, seeds and trees, … everything happens in a cyclic way. The circle of life also moves us all through despair and hope, through faith and love, as the lyrics of this song say. This song reminds us that no being is omnipotent or invulnerable, that nothing is guaranteed forever, and that no matter how talented or insignificant we might be at some moment, all of us have a role to play. As the beginning of the song:
“From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done (…).”
Beautiful and magical, this song was played at Happy Conference 2014, which was dedicated to the creation of magical organizations. We had Lee Cockerell from Disney, as guest speaker, and by the end, our Singing the Future Choir went on stage for The Circle of Life. Watch and enjoy a bit of Happy Conference 2014.
8. Phil Collins, Son of a Man
Disney animated movies and songs have really important and wonderful lessons to teach our kids and to remind us as adults. This song of Phil Collins for Tarzan is uplifting, exciting and inspiring. It is about overcoming adversity and empowering ourselves to grow: “There’s no one there to guide you/No one to take your hand/But with faith and understanding/You will journey from boy to man.” No matter what our circumstances are, we can make our way to be better persons and fulfil our dreams.
At WIN World, we really love Disney and we watched almost all animated movies at the office, studying and learning messages and emotions all the way… and it’s so good. This means we can’t live without Disney and Pixar and so on. But it’s fair enough to say that we can’t live without Phil Collins too. Well, in this song we combine two passions – Disney and Phil!
9. Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody is one of those songs which sparks a great energizing fantasy feeling. It basically goes on like play, through a set of emotions: from confusion (‘Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?’) to nonchalance (‘Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low, any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me’) realization (‘Mama just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead’), regret and drama (‘Mama, life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away’), anger (‘So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye’ …), and so on. It is literally spectacular, both in terms of music and lyrics. It’s absolutely unconventional. People should just to listen to it and make up their own minds as to what it says to them… We love Bohemian Rhapsody because it is fantasy, diversity, creativity, outside the normal, outside any musical category, outside anything ever done before – it’s unique and we love uniqueness! As Freddie Mercury puts it: “Bohemian Rhapsody” didn’t just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research although it was tongue-in-cheek and mock opera. Why not?”. And so we say: why not?
10. Cirque du Soleil, Alegria
Last but never the least, Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria.
“Alegria, Beautiful roaring scream of joy and sorrow, so extreme there is a love in me raging, Alegria, a joyous, magical feeling” [English translation]. Cirque du Soleil went on to capture the magic essence of circus and took it to a whole other level. It explored a more enchanting, sophisticated and comfortable style, it glamorized the tent and created a unique venue with an unique magical and glamorous mood. Instead of competing with other traditional circuses, Cirque du Soleil reinvented the circus show itself. This song reveals what is at the center of Cirque du Soleil’s magic: the creation of a raging joyfulness that turns the whole audience to little children with starry eyes.
At WIN World, we are so crazy about the Cirque du Soleil that every time the Cirque came to Portugal, the company invited all its people and closest family to attend the show. But more, we love so much the Cirque du Soleil that we invited Lyn Heward, the former president and COO of Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Division, for Happy Conference 2010 and it was an incredible event totally devoted to creativity and emotions, at the Cirque and at all our organizations. At this conference, we brought together Patricia and João Castro for a magnificent interpretation of Alegria, in duet. The two singers and many other artists on stage made an epic happy end for a great Happy Conference. Enjoy a bit of Happy Conference 2010!
No doubt that Cirque du Soleil evokes emotions and this song is tremendously illustrative of that.