Hippies are cool, calm, and fashionable – they’re not just people, they’re a lifestyle, a mindset. Journey with us as we revisit the best 20 hippie songs that epitomized an era, shaped culture, and still continue to move hearts.
Hippies are all about freedom, spirituality, and peace. Their profound presence particularly echoed throughout society in the previous century, significantly shaping and influencing the music industry. A wave of songs emerged, not only portraying the essence of this vibrant culture but also celebrating its depth and purpose.
- 1. “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
- 2. “Feeling Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel
- 3. “Imagine” by John Lennon
- 4. “Knights In White Satin” by Moody Blues
- 5. “Light My Fire” by The Doors
- 6. “Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young
- 7. “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat
- 8. “Special Rider Blues” by Insect Trust
- 9. “California Dreamin” by Mamas and the Papas
- 10. “For What It’s Worth 1967” by Buffalo Springfield
- 11. “Blowin in the Wind” by Stevie Wonder
- 12. “Hotel California” by The Eagles
- 13. “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles
- 14. “Melody Fair” by The Bee Gees
- 15. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)” by The Byrds
- 16. “Time Of The Season” by The Zombies
- 17. “Sound Of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
- 18. “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell
- 19. “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones
- 20. ” If I Had A Hammer” by The Weavers
- Final Thoughts
1. “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s 1962 masterpiece is a powerful commentary on societal issues of his era, with lyrics questioning notions of freedom, war, and peace. Its timeless relevance seems to echo the sentiments surrounding the Vietnam War, suggesting that a solution exists, but only for those courageous enough to seek it.
2. “Feeling Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkel
In this soothing ode to everyday life, Simon and Garfunkel encourage listeners to decelerate and find joy in simplicity. Amidst the hustle-bustle and the monotony, “Feeling Groovy” serves as a reminder to breathe, to cherish the blossoms, feel the breeze, and embrace the world around us.
3. “Imagine” by John Lennon
This mellow song is in sync with the ideals hippies have. It is about living in a world where there is everlasting peace. The tune longs for a time and place where there is no war and suffering. Living in such a world is wonderful and even to date, many are trying to achieve it through advocacy.
4. “Knights In White Satin” by Moody Blues
A poignant portrayal of the tumultuous journey to maturity, “Knights In White Satin” narrates the story of a rocky relationship from the perspective of a young adult. Laden with emotions of desperation and frustration, it reflects the inner turmoil experienced on the path of growth and self-discovery.
5. “Light My Fire” by The Doors
This song uses a lot of metaphors, leaving it open to interpretation. It can be viewed as a high yearning for physical intimacy, or it can the euphoric feeling through the use of substances. These activities were liberally experimented on by hippies. Some may not approve of these practices but you can charge this one to experience. As it is always said, experience is the best teacher.
6. “Heart Of Gold” by Neil Young
This rock and roll tune talks about an individual in search of kindness. The lyrics imply that the persona involved is trying hard to find genuine people with sincere hearts. Based on the song’s construction, it seems that there isn’t much success yet. However, he remains hopeful for things to get better.
7. “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat
Hippies love the calm that comes from nature. Since they are advocates of peace, these individuals prefer a quiet life. This song captured this preference and became popular among the group. The refreshing nature theme of this tune is truly notable. Who could resist a very relaxing song?
8. “Special Rider Blues” by Insect Trust
This jazz-rock tune has a tinge of psychedelic genre. The combination of the vocals and guitar accompaniment gives this song a unique charm. It also has many sounds from different string instruments giving it a distinct hippie vibe.
9. “California Dreamin” by Mamas and the Papas
Drift into the dreamy harmonies of this folk-rock staple. True to the hippie ethos, “California Dreamin'” enchants listeners with its tranquil melodies and nature-infused lyrics. It resonated so well that it soared to number 4 on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 charts.
10. “For What It’s Worth 1967” by Buffalo Springfield
Highlighting the contentious issue of the Vietnam War, this iconic track resonated with the anti-war sentiments and youth movements prevalent in the hippie culture. “For What It’s Worth” speaks to the inherent longing for freedom among the youth, making it a potent protest anthem.
11. “Blowin in the Wind” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s soulful rendition of this song, which topped the Billboard Hot Rhythm and Blues Chart, is an emblem of hope for racial equality. As relevant today as back then, it encourages us to stand up for justice, reminding us that better times will surely follow.
12. “Hotel California” by The Eagles
A timeless classic from The Eagles, “Hotel California” is a narrative on the trappings of materialism, a topic quite prevalent in the 70s, not just in California but globally. This tune serves as a reminder that we should not let ourselves be enslaved by materialistic desires, hinting at the inevitable downfall that awaits.
13. “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles
Self-reflection and enlightenment are something the children of the 60s and 70s craved. This desire is a reflection of the ideology of hippies. This tune by the legendary Beatles talks about the journey out of sadness and pressure. It expresses hope that these conflicts will melt away as the sun takes over. This optimistic melody yearns for the brighter days when all the hurt has passed.
14. “Melody Fair” by The Bee Gees
A hidden gem by The Bee Gees, “Melody Fair” resonated with listeners despite not being released as a single. The pop tune tells the tale of Melody, a girl grappling with low self-esteem and an unclear sense of direction, themes that echo the confusion and struggles faced by many during the transitional hippie era.
15. “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)” by The Byrds
This folk-rock song is very straightforward about correcting the ways of the world. It tells the listeners to turn away from their wicked ways. The lyrics also imply that there is a time for everything. Timing is essential and knowing when to make the right turn is important as it will be the deciding factor of success or failure.
16. “Time Of The Season” by The Zombies
Hailing from the psychedelic pop band The Zombies, this track from their critically acclaimed album “Odyssey and Oracle” earned its place on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. With an undercurrent of playful intimacy, the song is a nod to the power of the right moment.
17. “Sound Of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
Here is another solemn folk-rock song on the list. This poignant folk-rock piece explores the complexity of human communication. It’s a gentle reminder of the beauty of silence and introspection, a sentiment that strongly resonates with the introspective nature of the hippie ethos.
18. “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell
Deemed an anthem for the hippie generation, “Woodstock” paints a picture of finding inspiration in an unlikely encounter. Despite the world’s challenges, the lyrics convey a sense of unwavering hope and faith – the very essence of the hippie spirit.
19. “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones
This awesome B-Side track is one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. It’s mellow and catchy at the same time. This song tackles about yearning for freedom to enjoy the fullness of life.
20. ” If I Had A Hammer” by The Weavers
This lively tune has a very refreshing feel. Overflowing with the desire to spread love and goodwill, it embodies the core values of the hippie movement.
Embodying themes of love, harmony, freedom, and youthful zest, these songs beautifully encapsulate the essence of the hippie mindset. As you immerse yourself in these tracks, you can’t help but feel a sense of kinship with the artists who, through their music, voiced the hopes, dreams, and concerns of their generation. Creative and invigorating, they offer a refreshing perspective on the world and continue to resonate with listeners even today.