1.) “Walking on Sunshine,” by Katrina and the Waves
Released in April of 1985 and re-released in 1996. Although this song only made it to number 4 on Billboard, it is consistently regarded as a top feel-good-song. It was also sung by many notables, including Dolly Parton, the Muppets and Clifford the Dog.
2.) “Uptown Funk,” by Bruno Mars
This contagious toe-tapping-song is yet another hit from this young musical genius. In 2013, 28-year-old Mars was named Billboard’s “Artist of the Year” and made Forbes’ number 1 on their “30 Under 30” list; he is the fastest-rising male singer since Elvis.
3.) “The Shoop Shoop Song,” by Betty Everett in 1964 and Cher in 1990
Also known as “It’s in His Kiss,” this upbeat song will have you singing along in no time. It hit number 1 in 1964, was re-recorded by many artists, but made famous by Cher in 1990. It was also featured in her movie, Mermaids.
4.) “Keep Your Head Up,” by Andy Grammer
Released in 2011 to moderate success, but made hugely popular when featured in the 2012 mega-hit movie, Pitch Perfect. Partly pop, partly funk, and wholly fun!
5.) “Don’t Stop Me Now,” by Queen
Written and performed by Freddie Mercury (and Queen) in 1979, this song reached number 4 in the UK and only 89 in the US. But since then, through media and consistent airplay, it has become one of Queen’s most popular songs. Check out Paul Rudd’s lip-sync version on the Tonight Show, on Youtube!
6.) “Firework,” by Katy Perry
Co-written and performed by Katy Perry in 2010. Bullied and taunted as a teen, she wrote this song to encourage young people to believe in themselves. It scored in the top 5 on 20 charts internationally and sold over 7 million copies.
7.) “Shut Up and Dance with Me,” by Walk the Moon
Co-written and performed by Nicholas Petricca (and Walk the Moon) in 2014 as an “Ode to the Dork” inside all of us. Spoiler alert: The dork wins the girl. This song may just make you want to dance.
8.) “Proud Mary,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969 and Ike and Tina Turner in 1971
A classic, no matter which version you prefer.
9.) “Build Me Up Buttercup,” by the Foundations
Released originally in 1968. Since then it has been recorded by many artists and become a beach music staple here in the South. It is also the Los Angeles Angels’ seventh-inning stretch crowd song (similar to the NY Yankees’ “New York, New York”).
10.) “On Top of the World,” by Imagine Dragons
Released in 2013, this song will have you smiling and playing your air drums in no time at all.
11.) “Grace Kelly,” by Mika
Released in 2007 in the UK, it spent 5 weeks at number 1. Written by Mika, who was told he should try to be “like someone else,” it is an anthem for young people to be themselves. Mostly, it is just really happy. And it is my personal ring tone!
12.) “This Train is Bound for Glory,” by Mumford and Sons with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow
Originally written and recorded in 1922, it was a traditional American gospel song. It has been recorded by countless greats, including Louis Armstrong, Pete Segar and Bob Marley. This version, however, was performed live at an outdoor mega-concert in New Orleans in 2011, as a tribute to folk icon Woody Guthrie. Catch it on youtube. I dare you not to smile and dance.
13.) “Brown-Eyed Girl,” by Van Morrison
Written and recorded by Van Morrison in 1967. It became an overnight hit, even though many stations banned it because it mentions “making love in the green grass.” Today, “Brown-Eyed Girl” is considered one of the top 5 most-requested Karaoke songs and is another Southern beach music classic.