9 of the best feel-good songs from the 60s

At the start of the decade, things looked bleak for music in the 1960s. On February 3, 1959, a plane crashed, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson. It was the day the music died. And even before that, Elvis Presley, “The King”, had been written in 1958. Put simply, music needed new heroes. And luckily the 60s delivered.

So, in honor of music’s triumphant comeback in the ’60s, check out just nine of the best feel-good songs from those 10 years below.

1. Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” (1967)

We’re just laughing and running and jumping and jumping when we hear this song. “Brown Eyed Girl” turns 55 this year, and it has remained hugely popular as Morrison’s signature song. There’s simply no excuse not to dance, or at least squirm a little, to this tune.

2. “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles (1969)

Talk about a song that will get stuck in your head. “Here Comes The Sun” dropped at the end of the decade and those doo-doo-doo-doos have lingered for a long time. So everyone, thank you to the late George Harrison for writing the song and bringing us a slice of sunshine.

3. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (1967)

Who doesn’t like this duet between Gaye and Terrell? He has all the emotional ups and downs like the mountains and valleys that his lyrics boast about. ‘Cause baby, there’s no mountain high enough / There’s no valley low enough, no river wide enough / To keep me from reaching you, baby.

4. “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys (1963)

Beach boys. One of the only American pop/rock bands to survive and thrive in the midst of the British invasion. (Yes, we’re still talking about you Brits, John, Paul, George, and Ringo.) This song in particular, “Surfin’ USA,” helped boost the Beach Boys’ popularity in the ’60s, as it became synonymous with Californian sound.

5. “Do You Believe in Magic” by Lovin’ Spoonful (1965)

Oh, we believe in the magic of music. Do you?

6. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations (1968)

This song by The Foundations tells the story of a narrator who loves a woman more than she can reciprocate. So while the lyrics aren’t necessarily the most uplifting, its sound is so bubbly that we just can’t help but support the lovesick singer.

7. “That Magical Moment” by The Drifters (1960)

The song captures a simple moment between two lovers, but it was a moment that transcended time. “This Magic Moment,” written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, has lingered in popular culture for generations thanks to its perfectly sweet tale of love.

This magical moment
While your lips are close to mine
Will last forever
Forever, until the end of time

8. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond (1969)

It is a song embraced wholeheartedly by almost everyone. You often hear “Sweet Caroline” at sports games, crowded bars and beer halls, weddings and father-daughter dances. No one can escape the song of so good, so good, so goodand why would you?

9. “I Say a Little Prayer” by Aretha Franklin (1968)

Franklin covered “I Say a Little Prayer” in 1968, just a year after Dionne Warwick released the original version. Both versions reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remain fan favorites for both singers.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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