International Women’s Day is an annual event, celebrated each March 8th. This collective day has been recognized since 1911 and belongs to women everywhere in the world. On this day, women unite their voices for recognition of gender parity and in celebration for the achievements of women.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 great songs to help inspire your International Women’s Day!
That’s Alright – Laura Mvula
If you don’t already know about Laura Mvula, you are in for a treat! She released her first album, Sing to the Moon, in 2013 which brought her instant notoriety. This British singer, songwriter, composer, and producer has rocketed to critical acclaim. Her energy is contagious.
Find her at lauramvula.com
Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
Beyoncé’s Run the World (Girls) presents an aggressive approach to female empowerment in its lyrical content, musical style, and music video. Queen Bee says,
“I try to write songs that will bring out the best in all of us and keep us close together. I think about saying the things that women want to say but sometimes are not confident enough to say. I am going to continue to write those songs that give women strength.”
Never Give Up – Sia
Sia is not shy about her struggle with mental health and addiction. She has empowered so many women with her words and music to Never Give Up.
Let ‘Em Say – Lizzo & Caroline Smith
How much fun is this song? Collectively, our culture is emerging into an era of body positivity and acceptance, clearly defined in Let ‘Em Say. This anthem inspires women to accept themselves for who they are!
Esperanza Spalding – Precious
Ms. Spalding is a powerhouse of an artist and music educator! She has 4 Grammys under her belt, including recognition as the first jazz artist ever, male or female, to win the Grammy for New Artist of the Year. Moreover, Esperanza is the youngest instructor ever hired in the history of Berklee College of Music.
I Am Woman – Helen Reddy
This song is included on virtually all female empowerment song lists, and that is for good reason! Helen saw the feminist movement of the 1970’s coming. She identified the song she needed to inspire the movement did not exist. Thus, she wrote it and continues to inspire each generation.
Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls
Closer to Fine is not about mediocrity, but about understanding that in the end, everything is going to be all right. The song is about finding wisdom to inspire growth. Along the way, you will encounter ignorance and fear. It’s about taking these lessons learned and transcending in a holistic approach.
Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire
Alicia Keys says it best:
“Before making this record, in some ways I felt like a lion locked in a cage. I felt like a girl misunderstood that no one really knew, I felt like it was time to stop making excuses for any part of my life that I wanted to change. Once I made that choice I became a Girl on Fire, the lion broke free!!”
India Arie – Beautiful Flower
Don’t you appreciate when a songwriter tells you precisely who their song is for? Here is how this inspirational song begins:
“This is a song for every girl who’s
Ever been through something she thought she couldn’t make it through
I sing these words because
I was that girl too
Wanting something better than this
But who do I turn to?”
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
This song is the definition of evergreen! (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman is written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and originally recorded and performed by Aretha Franklin. It’s since been recorded since by its co-author, Carole King, along with other notable artists such as Mary J. Blige and Celine Dion. Generations have loved this song since A Natural Woman was released in 1967.
If you are interested in learning more about International Women’s Day, visit www.internationalwomensday.com. Here you will learn the intention of this day is not to place ownership to one organization or group. Instead, it pertains to women everywhere. We hope you find a way to celebrate the achievements of women and to do what you can to make a positive difference in the lives of women everywhere.
We hope this music has inspired you to make it a great day!
Katie Senn is the Content and Community Engagement Manager for West Music. Her background is in music education, with an emphasis in orchestral directing and cello. She performs regularly around the midwest with her all-female folk band Awful Purdies. She serves her local community as a board member for the following organizations: Iowa City Music Auxilary, Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child, and her children’s before and afterschool program.