Today, we celebrate the Anniversary of Mariah Carey (for you non-Lambs, her birthday) and all the ways she has brightened the world with her moving music and beautiful soul. However, amidst these trying times that have undoubtedly changed our lives, we turn to her music as a form of solace; to let her words and voice soothe our souls. So, press play on our playlist of Mariah Carey songs that can ease your stress, heal your pain, and soothe your soul.
1. Rainbow (Interlude)
The “Rainbow (Interlude)” was placed toward the end of Mariah’s 1999 album of the same title, but here, it kicks off the playlist with a hopeful message before launching into another Rainbow track, remixed.
“I know there is a rainbow
For me to follow
To get beyond my sorrow
Thunder precedes the sunlight
So I’ll be alright
If I can find that
I will be alright
If I can find that
2. “Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme),” Morales Revival Triumphant Mix
This dance mix is just under 11 minutes and is an anthemic celebration of “the light that shines inside” of us all. Despite all the darkness in the world right now, let this track revive your spirits.
“They can’t take that way from me
No… they can’t take this
Precious love I’ll always have inside me
And certainly the Lord
Will guide me where I need to go”
3. “Triumphant,” (Vintage Throwback Mix)
Written in 2012, inspired by Mariah’s former husband Nick’s health battles at the time, “Triumphant” is and was literally an anthem of survival in the face of life’s challenges. During these uncertain times, “Triumphant” serves as an anthem to fight, and survive, against this pandemic.
“Even when clouds surround you
And everyone seems to doubt you
Baby, still know who you are
So you got to keep on climbing
In spite of the chains that bind you
You can see the mountain top
It’s not too far”
4. “There’s Got to Be a Way”
Written in the late 1980s for Mariah’s debut album, “There’s Got to Be a Way” is an inspiring and hopeful (albeit, dated) bop about uniting as a people against adversity.
“There’s got to be a way
To connect this world today
Come together to relieve the pain
There’s got to be a way
To unite this human race
And together we’ll bring on a change”
5. “Anytime You Need a Friend” (C&C Club Version)
This gospel-tinged club mix delivers a message of love and friendship, one that is especially appropriate as we are all feel so far apart. It’s always good to know that you have friends and family who love you, no matter how far away they may be.
“Anytime you need a friend
I will be here
You’ll never be alone again
So don’t you fear
Even if you’re miles away
I’m by your side
So don’t you ever be lonely
Love will make it alright”
6. “Fly Like a Bird”
Another gospel song, this ballad, from her 2005 comeback album The Emancipation of Mimi, is yet another reflection on the state of the world, but this time, she asks for God’s support to make it through.
“If we loved each other
We would find victory
But in this harsh reality
Sometimes I’m so despondent that I feel the need to
Fly like a bird, take to the sky
I need you now Lord, carry me high
Don’t let the world break me tonight
I need the strength of you by my side
Sometimes this life can be so cold
I pray you’ll come and carry me home”
7. “Through the Rain” Remix, featuring Joe & Kelly Price
The remix to her 2002 single “Through the Rain” is a more mellow, R&B take on the power ballad original version. While sonically different, the message remains the same: strength and survival are guaranteed, if you just have faith.
“I’ll make it through the rain
I’ll stand up once again
On my own and I know
That I’m strong and in time
I can mend
When I’m afraid
I hold tighter to my faith
Live another day longer
And I make it through the rain”
8. “Whenever You Call”
While technically a love song, this ballad from 1997’s Butterfly still provides a powerful promise of love. A lot of us are suffering through pain and loss, whether its a job or a loved one. Now more than ever, we need to love one another. This song has just the message. While the video version features Brian McKnight, I personally recommend the solo version.
“And I will breathe for you each day
Comfort you through all the pain
Gently kiss your fears away,
You can turn to me and cry
Always understand that I
Give you all I am inside”
9. “I’ll Be There,” (Live from MTV Unplugged) featuring Trey Lorenz
A cover of the Jackson 5 classic, Mariah’s live rendition with her friend and background singer Trey Lorenz became a #1 hit in its own right. Its message of mutual support, both in its lyrics and the fact that it was sung by Mariah and one of her best friends, is one that is very much needed in these tough times.
Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness, well that’s all I’m after
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be there to protect you,
With an unselfish love I respect you
Just call my name and I’ll be there
10. “One Sweet Day,” duet with Boyz II Men
For anyone who may have lost a loved one during these times, Mariah’s 1995 duet with Boyz II Men has become a comforting classic for those in mourning. On this occasion, some of us may unfortunately need to turn to it yet again.
“Although the sun will never shine the same again
I’ll always look to a brighter day
Lord, I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray”
11. “When You Believe,” duet with Whitney Houston
From the 1998 Prince of Egypt soundtrack, “When You Believe” is a moving ballad that was written to inspire. It urges us all to have hope, and faith, that miracles can indeed be achieved.
“They don’t always happen when you ask
And it’s easy to give in to your fears
But when you’re blinded by your pain
Can’t see your way clear through the rain
A small but still resilient voice says, ‘Help is very near!'”
One of Mariah’s signature songs, “Hero” has been an anthem and inspiration for people worldwide since its release in 1993. Ever since, in times of crisis and times of joy, the world has turned to Mariah Carey’s “Hero” to be uplifted. Whether it be the tragedy of 9/11, the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Mariah was there, with “Hero.” In the context of this pandemic, we dedicate “Hero” to all of the healthcare and “essential” workers who are keeping the world moving.
“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”