Warm it up, *Chris*… I’m about to.
Finally… my FAVORITE decade! I’m a 90’s girl who knows first-hand what it’s like to rock Timberland boots and flannel shirts, then seamlessly transition to Mary Janes and a baby-doll dress with an empire waist.
They carried me through my teenage angst, break-ups, and figuring out who I was and what I believed… "as if" we would want to miss these songs from the 90’s that taught me about overcoming!
1. Hero - Mariah Carey
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on, and you cast your fears aside, and you know you can survive. So when you feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong, and you'll finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you.”
Motivational Boost: Sometimes it seems difficult to find people you can rely on or look up to, but if you look hard enough, you can find amazing mentors. Don’t ignore the fact that you’ve overcome a lot of adversity. As long as you have breath, you have another chance to start a new beginning. Embrace the hero within!
2. Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "I know this pain. Why do lock yourself up in these chains? No one can change your life except for you, don’t ever let anyone step all over you. Just open your heart and your mind… You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness. You got yourself into your own mess. Lettin’ your worries pass you by, don’t you think it's worth your time to change your mind?”
Motivational Boost: Flat out, these chicks get it. Carnie, Wendy, and Chynna don’t beat around the bush or sugar-coat a thing. ‘Hold On’ is a tough-love, encouraging reminder to not be a victim… and that you CAN overcome, but it starts with YOU. Get it, girls!
3. Open Up Your Eyes - Tonic
Overcomer Power Lyrics: “…people’s voice's make hollow sounds. Just be quiet, they’ll go away. Open up your eyes. Don’t let your mind tell the story here.”
Motivational Boost: People will talk and try to get you off your game, and sometimes the chatter isn’t even meant as an attack against you. Regardless, it can get in your head and mess you up if you aren’t careful. Tonic wants us to open our eyes, start seeing situations for what they really are, and stop making matters worse by creating stories in our heads. So basically, “If you will, brother Bill, take a chill pill.”
4. Flood - Jars of Clay
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "Rain, rain on my face. It hasn't stopped raining for days. My world is a flood, slowly I become one with the mud. But if I can't swim after forty days and my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves lift me up so high that I cannot fall, lift me up when I'm falling, I’m weak and I'm dying, I need you to hold me, and keep me from drowning again.”
Motivational Boost: Life can be super hard to deal with. Some circumstances can make us feel like we’re drowning, but God is always there to pick us up when we’re falling, when we’re weak, and when we simply cannot continue on our own. No matter what we face, He’s there and waiting to help us overcome!
5. You Gotta Be - Des'ree
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds, try and keep your head up to the sky… You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser. You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger. You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together. All I know… love will save the day.”
Motivational Boost: Get down to the beat, but don’t get down on yourself. You gotta be a lot of things in life, but there are a lot of things you “don’t gotta be” (ugh, this poor grammar is KILLING ME). Des’ree doesn’t focus on what not to do, but gives us the 101 version of how to overcome, and that’s the 411!
6. Roam - The B-52's
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "Fly the great big sky, see the great big sea. Kick through continents bustin' boundaries… roam if you want to, roam around the world. Roam if you want to, without wings, without wheels.”
Motivational Boost: Any song that encourages me to travel more and explore our world is a song I wanna jam to, but it doesn’t stop there. ‘Roam’ takes another direction by proclaiming we don’t have to stay stuck where we are! We can try new things. We can see what works and what doesn’t. We can think for ourselves, and we can shake it hip to hip, rock it through the wilderness.
7. Jesus Freak - DC Talk
Overcomer Power Lyrics: “What will people think when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak? What will people do when they find that it's true? I don't really care if they label me a Jesus freak - there ain't no disguising the truth. Kamikaze, my death is gain. I've been marked by my Maker a peculiar display. The high and lofty, they see me as weak, but I won't live and die for the power they seek.”
Motivational Boost: As a 90’s teen, I sometimes felt torn between doing what my peers were doing and what I knew God wanted me to do. To stand out in a crowd and swim upstream was a challenge that many times overcame me. ‘Jesus Freak’ was a big-time motivator to be fearless in my faith, my testimony, and my witness to live my life for Jesus. This song will forever be a big-time motivator that demands to be blasted!
8. I Don't Want to Wait - Paula Cole
Overcomer Power Lyrics: “…all we have is this very moment. And I don't want to do what his father, and his father, and his father did, I want to be here now. I don't want to wait for our lives to be over, I want to know right now, what will it be? I don't want to wait for our lives to be over, will it be yes or will it be sorry?”
Motivational Boost: We are NOT a product of our past. While we can’t choose the family we come from or the circumstances we were born into, we can choose how we rise above and overcome. We can break negative cycles from the past and live for each moment… and we can enjoy re-runs of Dawson’s Creek.
9. Shine - Collective Soul
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "Give me a word, give me a sign. Show me where to look. Tell me, what will I find? Lay me on the ground, fly me in the sky. Show me where to look. Tell me, what will I find? Oh, heaven let your light shine down.”
Motivational Boost: To get through this life we must look to God for help, answers, guidance, and direction and we must be willing to go where He leads, reflecting His light along the way. Come on and shine!
10. I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly
Overcomer Power Lyrics: "See I was on the verge of breaking down, sometimes silence can seem so loud. There are miracles in life I must achieve, but first I know it starts inside of me. If I can see it, then I can be it. If I just believe it, there's nothing to it. I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky. I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away. I believe I can soar. I see me running through that open door. I believe I can fly!”
Motivational Boost: Oh, R. Kelly. While I’m definitely not promoting him as an artist, there’s no denying this song was super-positive and optimistic. It was played at many graduation ceremonies and kids still sing it today. Note to self: good things happen when you believe!
2 Legit 2 Quit - MC Hammer
Overcomer Power Lyrics: “I don't quit, no! I just press harder than I ever did before. Going for the dreams that I have in store in my mind and I know that i'm makin' it… and nobody's takin’ it away… too legit... too legit to quit!”
Motivational Boost: If aren't instantly moved to do the hand motions to this song, I feel sorry for you. :) A totally 90's staple, '2 Legit 2 Quit' is a pump-up anthem that helps you find your confidence and keep pushing on, especially when faced with challenges. And with hand motions that endure the test of time, you're bound to keep overcoming for years to come! Thanks, Hammer.
Here's a quick tutorial for those who want to learn the fly moves!
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And there we go; the top 11 songs of my favorite decade, the 90's, that taught me about overcoming!
I know there are some fantastic songs I missed. Which songs made your list? Comment and share your favorite overcomer songs from the 90's on my Facebook page!
Be sure to stay tuned for my next post of 2K Songs That Taught Me About Overcoming!'