Nina Simone

The romance of new beginnings is a theme often addressed in music. These legendary songs do a great job of encapsulating the hope that new beginnings offer.

Four Songs for New Beginnings

Written by: Egoslim

September 17, 2020


Ironically enough, the only constant in our lives is change. Whether you want it or not, change is inevitable. In this, it is also beautiful, as it allows for new beginnings. The slate is completely blank — you can fill it in with whatever you desire. The romance of new beginnings is a theme often addressed in music. These legendary songs do a great job of encapsulating the hope that new beginnings offer.


“I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor

We are starting off this list with perhaps one of the most recognizable songs about new beginnings. The simple yet powerful lyrics of “I’ve got all my life to live / And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive” are relevant to anyone that’s been through a break-up. This serves as the perfect reminder that it’s never too late to start living your life. This song is about emerging from a bleak past to a life filled with love and embracing a new beginning — “But now I hold my head up high and you see me / Somebody new”.


“Feeling Good,” Nina Simone

As ubiquitous as “I Will Survive,” and certainly a classic, “Feeling Good” is one of the greatest “feel good” (no pun intended­­) songs of all time. Nina Simone perfectly captured the euphoric feelings of starting over, and finding everything beautiful. With her incredible voice, she belts out: “It’s a new dawn / It’s a new day / It’s a new life / For me / And I’m feeling good.” With the instruments in the background accentuating the emotion in her voice, this song is one of the greatest pieces about new beginnings.


“I Can See Clearly Now,” Johnny Nash

Johnny Nash’s clear, melodic voice, backed by bright and stark instruments, has serenaded millions. He starts off the legendary song with “I can see clearly now the rain is gone / I can see all obstacles in my way / Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind / It’s gonna be a bright / Bright sunshiny day.” Short yet sweet, and its beauty is in its simplicity — the rainbow he and the others prayed for has finally appeared.


“Brand New Me,” Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys’ “Brand New Me” is a timeless soft pop and R&B ballad. It perfectly expresses reinventing yourself after a breakup. What sets this song apart is the fact that Keys emphasizes that she worked hard to start over: “It took a long long time to get here / It took a brave, brave girl to try / It took one too many excuses, one too many lies.” Lastly, a newfound freedom and a better version of herself demonstrated on her lyrics: “Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand-new kind of me / and it ain’t bad, I found a brand-new kind of free.”


Gloria Gaynor, Nina Simone, Johnny Nash, and Alicia Keys are all master singer-songwriters. These songs are written like poetry and embracing our emotions; allowing us to express how we feel. Although painful, these songs remind us that there is just as much beauty and hope in starting new. An even greater beauty in the expression of that growth through words and lyrics.

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