Somewhere between the happy songs and the sad songs are the alright songs. According to the grammatical gurus, there is a distinct difference between “alright” and “all right”, the latter meaning “all correct” (all good) and the former meaning “so-so”, or “okay” (pretty good). Some of those grammatical guru’s would also say that “alright” isn’t even really a word at all, yet, it certainly seems to be a popular lyric.
My inspiration for this list was the first song on the list. Feel free to stop reading for a moment, scroll down a bit and press play on the player below.
While putting together this list, I tried to stay away from love-inspired all rightness (like Janet Jackson’s “Alright”), and wanted to try for a more “being” all right without outside influence (with a few slight exceptions). Unlike “Happy Songs”, these songs are a bit cooler, laid back and in some cases rebellious declarations of alrightness. In any case, if you feel alright, or all right, or you need to feel that way, here are some great tunes for just that.
“I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins
This is a driving song, a “I’m going to do my own thing” song, and of course, a dancing gopher (for those of us who remember). “I’m Alright” was a #7 hit for Kenny Loggins in 1980, and its upbeat tempo tempts us to roll down the windows and put the pedal to the metal while singing along. That’s right, you heard me, I’m Alright, don’t nobody worry bout me.
“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley
I have no idea what the three little birds mean, but Marley’s uncharted song is as endearing and recognizable as any Billboard chart hit. For almost three full minutes, Bob reminds us not to worry about a thing because, you guessed it, every little thing is going to be all right. Add a few spliffs and I bet he feels alright with or without the birds.
“It’s All Right” by The Impressions
Just say “It’s all right”, clap your hands and have a good time. Wise advice from this Curtis Mayfield led trio on their 1963 #4 hit (#1 on the R&B charts). This standard is one of the more soulful grooves on this all right list, and again leaves a feel-good feeling. It’s all right.
“Feeling Alright” by Joe Cocker
This 1972 Joe Cocker tune walks the line a bit, where at first he asks “Ya feeling alright”, he comes back in the very next line with the statement “I’m not feeling too good myself”. Yet, the whole song Joe seems to be coming to a realization that he needs a change from some bad scene he’s gotten himself into. As the listener, I’m left wondering who he is asking the question to. Regardless, it’s a feel good song, and the title – although somewhat misleading – makes a clear statement.
“Revolution” by The Beatles
The controversial 1968 Beatles hit charted at #12. The thing is, while John Lennon calls out the counter-culture, he repeatedly assures us “You know it’s gonna be all right”. You want a revolution? You got a solution? You want to change the world? Alright, as long as you don’t talk about destruction, or carry pictures of Chairman Mao, it’s gonna be alright, or all right.
“All Right Now” by Free
This was Free’s only Top 40 hit, and reached #4 in May of 1970. “All Right Now” seems to essentially be a song about a guy picking up a girl, and taking her back to his place. What could be wrong about that? Over and over the lyric “All Right Now” is repeated, which is unquestionably how a guy would feel getting a girl back to his place.
“But It’s Alright” by J.J. Jackson
Not to be confused with the MTV VJ of the same name, J.J. Jackson wrote and recorded this soul R&B hit in 1966, which was later covered by Eddie Floyd and then Huey Lewis. J.J. tells his girl that she can hurt him, but she’ll never find a good guy like him. But it’s alright, because you’ll reap what you sew, and you’ll meet a guy that treats you bad… and you’ll get what you deserve. But it’s alright.
“That’s All Right” by Elvis Presley
The first song Elvis ever recorded for Sun Records on July 5, 1954. Originally written and recorded by Arthur Crudup in 1946. The tune was basically an accident, as Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black were merely messing around in the studio. Sam Phillips – producer and owner of Sun Records – has the great wisdom to ask them to do it again, this time recording the track… and the rest is history. Now that’s alright.