10 Best Peace Songs (with videos!)

Throughout the years, music, song, and poetry have been created to spread the message of peace, hope, and love.

In honor of the International Day of Peace (September 21), we at Care2 have compiled 10 of our favorite songs about peace.

Take a listen, and let us know if any of the 10 are amongst your faves. Or, let us know if you have a favorite that isn’t on the list – we’d love to check it out!

Wishing you peace today and every day, and now, let the music begin…

1. Imagine
Artist: John Lennon

Selected by: Samantha S. and Judi G. picked this for their favorite song about peace. We imagine it might one of your faves as well!

Why: “This is such an iconic and powerful song,” says Samantha, Healthy Living Editor. “It gives me goosebumps every time.”
Judi G., Healthy & Green Living Contributor and Garden Expert – “This is a beautiful song that speaks of all the reasons that men go to war and imagine instead, that they have been overcome. It imagines a ‘brotherhood of man’ and gives me hope that peace is possible.”

2. Over the Rainbow
Artist: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole/

 

3. What a Wonderful World
Artist: Louis Armstrong

Selected by: Robyn H., Care2′s Editor-in-Chief

Why: This is a lovely song that speaks of a world filled with love, hope and possibility…listening to either version makes me believe that peace is possible…and that we truly are living in a wonderful world.

 

4. Bomb the World
Artist: Michael Franti

Selected byRobyn H., Care2′s Editor-in-Chief

Why:  Love the lyrics; Michael is a musician, yogini, an active supporter of peace and social justice issues, and an all-around awesome person. (Also check out his 2005 documentary I Know I’m Not Alone.)

Favorite Lyrics: “We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace…Power to the peaceful…And I say, love to the people y’all…”

 

5. We Got To Have Peace
Artist: Curtis Mayfield

Selected by: Megan Z., Healthy Living Editor

Why: I love the passion behind this song. Mayfield worked through tremendous challenges including an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He continued to sing and record despite this setback. His conviction and dedication are very inspirational to me.

Favorite Lyrics: The entire song. (read lyrics here)

 

6. War
Artist: Edwin Starr

Selected by: Melissa B., Healthy Living Senior Editor

Why: I love this song for its passion and authenticity, and I find it impossible not to sing along to, loudly. (Which has proven embarrassing when I’m listening to it on my iPod on the subway.) Great Motown trivia too: It was first recorded by The Temptations, but Motown didn’t want to release it as a single because they were afraid of alienating The Temptation’s more conservative fans. Edwin Starr volunteered to re-record it for release as a single: Starr’s version became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and it became one of the most popular protest songs ever recorded. Yay, Edwin.

 

7. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding
Artist: Performed by Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe

Selected by: Melissa B., Healthy Living Senior Editor

Why: Elvis Costello’s voice can have such a great tinge of yearning and desire–which I adore. His pleading voice mixed with the super obvious question of the song’s title and chorus just kills me. It’s so simple and poignant.

 

8. We Want Peace
Artist: Lenny Kravitz

Selected by: Randy P., Founder and CEO of Care2

Why: “We Want Peace” was released in 2003 around the same time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It was very meaningful at the time, especially since we were opposing the invasion here at Care2.

 

9. Heard Somebody Say
Artist: Devendra Banhart

Selected by: Eric C., Care2 Customer Support

Why: I like both the sound and message of this song and artist!

Favorite Lyrics: “Here’s what we believe…It’s simple…we don’t want to kill..”

 

10. Home
Artist: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes

Selected by: Kayla C., Care2 Campaigns Associate
Why: The lyrics and meaning are simple: wherever you are, if you’re with the ones you love, you’re home. And nothing is more peaceful than the feeling of “I’m home.” Plus it conjures of images of sunshine, waterfalls, pumpkin pie….

What are your favorite peace songs? Please tell us below!

640 comments

Ajax M.
Ajax M.10 months ago

Cat Stevens - Peace Train
Eagles - I Wish you Peace

not a very good list - the commentators have better songs

Aladdin Aladdin
Aladdin Aladdin11 months ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHFuyK65Etg&feature=youtu.be sami yusuf ''the gift of love ''

Aladdin Aladdin
Aladdin Aladdin11 months ago

'' the gift of love '' by sami yusuf

Bob Saget
Bob Sagetabout a year ago

I like Civil War by Guns N' Roses. To me, it's more about world wars. The lyrics are a real eye-opener. :)

Greg Shea
Greg Sheaabout a year ago

Wow, I really hate to be "ageist", but are you all that young? These are great songs, but for me several outstanding ones are missing. One of my favourites is: "Sing A Simple Song of Freedom" by Bobby Darin.

http://www.aquarianradio.com/2013/02/21/bobby-darins-gift-of-peace-a-simple-song-of-freedom-tell-the-people-everywhere-we-the-people-here-dont-want-no-war/

Another one is "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sjSHazjrWg

And, of course, there are a number of wonderful songs by the late Pete Seeger.

"Where Have All The Flowers Gone", "Turn, Turn, Turn", "If I Had A Hammer".

Thank you for these!

Fi T.
Fi T.about a year ago

Let's work out the idea

Ruth E.
Ruth Escudero B1 years ago

Conversation Peace by Stevie Wonder, it deserves a spot. http://youtu.be/zV96vgV9npQ

Diego P.
Diego P.1 years ago

peace song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g3c3IJwPIU

Chayse Kessous
Chayse Kessous1 years ago

One day- Matisyahu

Shan D.
Shan D.1 years ago

I remember that for several weeks after September 11, 2001, Enya's song "Only Time" was often played on CNN.