Relaxing Music 2 | 13 calming song and their stories behind
If you are looking to enjoy a moment of peace and relaxation, you are in luck because we have prepared the perfect music to concentrate. 13 relaxing songs to escape from the world for a while 💆
Discover the story behind 13 calming songs
If you are one of those people who use music to sleep, to relax, to study or to work, this is your playlist! So, light a candle, fill your bathtub 🛀, if you have one, and let the calm and the music flood you.
And after relaxing, what better than reading the stories that inspired these songs, they are fascinating!
1. ENYA Only Time
‘A Day Whitout Rain’ Album | UK | 2000
- Want to chill out while taking a bath, like Chandler from ‘Friends’ ? Well, get ready because we kick off the relaxing music playlist with ‘Only Time‘ by British singer Enya, one of the most zen tracks ever 🧘
- As its title suggests, the song talks about time and its healing power. Enya explained it like this:
‘Only Time’ talks about the fact that time will heal. It won’t get rid of the wound, but time will bring back a sense of normality that is important to your life.
- Enya performed the track live at the commemoration of attacks to the twin towers on September 11, 2001. She also re-released the song and donated the proceeds to an association in support of the widows and orphans of the firefighters who died in the attacks.
- This song has always inspired me, I hope I can have the same effect with you.
2. ANTONIO VEGA El Sitio de Mi Recreo (The Site of My Recreation)
‘El Sitio de Mi Recreo‘ | Spain | 1992
- It was about time, the great Antonio Vega had to visit us. What an awesome song!
- The story behind this tune is very particular. It turns out that Antonio Vega was in Ibiza and had a binge of ensaimadas (a sweet Spanish bun) 🥐 of course, after a while he couldn’t move! He decided to stay in a cabin, in isolation. That’s when inspiration struck him and he wrote ‘El Sitio de Mi Recreo‘ just as he had eaten the ensaimadas, non-stop.
- Antonio Vega, who was a member of the legendary Spanish group Nacha Pop, described the song as follows:
It is a landscape song that responds to a moment of inspiration in which you find a sequence that leads you down a path.
It speaks of the places where one feels physically and spiritually at ease. More than a place it is a state of consensus with yourself, a non-confrontational place.
- It is one of those tracks that take you to other places, surely that’s why, when the late Pau Donés was asked about a song to put in “the credits of his life”, he chose this one 😢 Could this also become the song of your life?
3. CECILIA BARTOLI Sposa Son Disprezzata (Bride Is Despised)
‘If You Love Me / Se Tu M’ami’ Album | Italy | 1992
- Time for classical music, ideal for working, studying and concentrating or simply to relax your mind. This tune comes from the hand of Cecilia Bartoli and is none other than ‘Sposa Son Disprezzata (The Spurned Bride)‘ 🎭
- Bartoli is especially known for her interpretations of compositions by Mozart, Rossini or even Baroque music, but…
- … where does ‘Sposa son Disprezzata’ come from? Well, it is an Italian aria written by Geminiano Giacomelli in 1734, although its authorship has always been attributed to Vivaldi.
- Specifically, the piece was part of the opera ‘La Merope‘ by Giacomelli and years later was adapted and used by Vivaldi in the opera Bajazet, which led to the confusion of many about its origin.
- In fact, Cecilia herself attributed to Vivaldi the authorship in the credits of her album ‘If You Love Me – Se Tu M’ami‘, since the mezzo-soprano used the piano version by Alessandro Parisotti, dating from the 19th century. What a mess!
- By the way, did you know that originally the piece was titled ‘Sposa, Non Mi Conosci‘? This means, ‘bride, you don’t know me‘. From not knowing him, she went on to being scorned 🙄
4. PLANET FUNK Chase The Sun
‘Non Zero Sumness‘ Album | Italy | 2000
- We continue in Italy, and we do it by changing genre completely with the electronic music group Planet Funk and their ‘Chase The Sun‘ ☀️
- The song kicked-off ‘Non Zero Sumness‘, the band’s 1st album. What a way to start, ascending to the Top 5 in the UK, Spain, and Greece.
- Its chillout melody was taken from the soundtrack of the film ‘Metti, una sera a cena‘. More concretely, from the song ‘Alla Luce Del Giorno‘, by Ennio Morricone 🎦 Like two peas in a pod, aren’t they?
- The song has enjoyed a second youth as it started to be used on Sky Sports during the broadcasts of the darts tournament 🎯 You wouldn’t believe the way people sing the song during the commercials.
- But that’s not all, fans of Australian soccer club Newcastle Jets, have also adopted the song as their own.
- Do you know what part of the song they sing? This is it:
I’m flying away
Running like the wind
As I chase the sun
Up spinning around
Circles in my mind
Sailing over ground
5. ADAM LAMBERT Mad World
‘Season 8 Favourite Performances’ Album | USA | 2009
- If we talk about calming music we can not ignore ‘Mad World‘, first released by the duo Tears For Fears on their debut album ‘The Hurting‘ in 1983.
- So, why are we talking about Adam Lambert? It’s because he chose to sing an alternate version of this song for one of his performances on the American Idol competition 🎤
- This was because they asked the contestants to choose a song released during the year of his birth. Strange, isn’t it?
- This song has also been covered by Gary Jules (version in which Lambert was inspired) Kelly Clarkson or Demi Lovato, who confessed that she ran to the studio to record this song after the assault on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.
- A decade after his participation in the aforementioned contest, Lambert returned to perform this song during the virtual LGTBQ+ Pride celebrations in 2020 🌈
6. HOOVERPHONIC Mad About You
‘The Magnificent Tree‘ Album | Belgium | 2000
- We now move on to the Belgian alternative rock band Hooverphonic and ‘Mad About You‘, the most successful song of their career.
- I still remember the first time I heard it, it blew my mind 🤯 That voice and melody were something completely new and groundbreaking.
- Opacity, drama, and a James Bond style define a track that has been part of multiple movies: Driven, New Best Friend or A Lot Like Love.
- The band’s vocalist, Geike Arnaert, left the band from 2008 to 2020, returning just in time to represent her country at Eurovision 2021.
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7. ARASH & HELENA Dooset Daram (I love you)
‘Dooset Daram‘ Album | Iran & Sweden | 2017
- Although it may sound like we’re joking, ‘Dooset Daram‘ may be the ideal music to take a nap 💤
- Iranian singer Arash teams up with Swedish singer-songwriter Helena Josefsson to delight us with a track that I would define as delicate.
- Arash is even better known in Sweden than in his native country.
- In 2009 he participated in the Eurovision Song Contest, but he did not represent Iran, but Azerbaijan with the song Always.
- If you’re wondering what ‘Dooset Daram’ means, we’ll tell you that it’s quite romantic and the lyrics of the song are entirely in English, except for these 2 verses:
Bargard nazar dobare (Every night)
Az chesham baroon bebare (You are in my memories)
Bia ke ghalbe tanham (Anywhere in the world that you may go to)
Paize bi bahare (I’ll follow you)
Paize bi bahare (I’ll follow you)
Dooset Daram (I love you)
Bemoon ba man (Stay with me)
8. LA OREJA DE VAN GOGH Jueves (Thursday)
‘A Las Cinco En El Astorga‘ Album | Spain | 2008
- LODVG (acronym of La Oreja de Van Gogh – Van Gogh’s Ear) is characterized by paying special attention to the lyrics. With ‘Jueves (Thursday)‘ they take the cake.
- There is not a single time I listen to the song that doesn’t make my skin crawl 😭
- The tune is a tribute to the victims of the March 11, 2004, attacks in Madrid. It was the biggest attack in the history of Spain with 193 dead and thousands injured. It occurred when the terrorist group Al Qaeda exploded 10 bombs in several commuter trains.
- Four years after the event, LODVG came across a diary found in one of the convoys. In it, a girl recounts how she fell in love with a fellow traveler 💔
Thursday is a love story we would never have wanted to write about.
It’s a special song, maybe the most special song of our entire career.
It’s one of the little big stories that too many times statistics end up overshadowing.
For once, for just five minutes of music, that March 11, 2004, is once again simply “Thursday.”
- The profits from the sale of the song went to the Victims Association.
9. AGNES OBEL September Song
‘Aventine‘ Album | Denmark | 2013
- We now dive right into what is probably the most relaxing track on the whole list.
- ‘September Song’ is an alternative pop tune played exclusively on piano.
- Its creator, Danish Agnes Obel sings on all her tracks, but this time she let the music tell the story:
I recorded everything quite closely, miking everything closely in a small room, with voices here, the piano here – everything is close to you.
So it’s sparse, but by varying the dynamic range of the songs I could create almost soundscapes. I was able to make something feel big with just these few instruments
- The track was part of the 1st season of ‘Big Little Lies‘ series 📺 If you want to know the meaning of Cold Little Heart by Michael Kiwanuka, the theme song of the series, we tell you the whole thing.
10. EVANESCENCE Missing
‘Anywhere But Home’ Album | USA | 2004
- ‘Missing’ is the perfect finale of ‘Anywhere But Home‘, Evanescence’s legendary live album, which also includes ‘Bring Me To Life’, a somewhat less relaxed track 🤘
- Our song has a previous version, recorded in 2001 for ‘Fallen‘, the 1st album of the group, although it was finally discarded and re-recorded for its release in 2004.
- The lyrics refer to a relationship in which the girl knows she is not reciprocated and, therefore, tries to leave everything behind even if it hurts her.
- Here is a fragment of the lyrics that fully expresses that feeling of losing the person you love:
And if I bleed, I’ll bleed
Knowing you don’t care
And if I sleep just to dream of you
And wake without you there
Isn’t something missing?
11. ENIGMA Return To Innocence
‘The Cross of Changes’ Album | Germany | 1993
- We continue with ‘Return To Innocence‘, the first single from ‘The Cross of Changes‘, Enigma’s second CD.
- The song was a huge success, reaching number 1 in countries like Norway, Ireland or Japan. 3 years after its release, it had again a great repercussion when it was used as the theme song for the promotions of the 1996 Summer Olympics 🏊
- Return to Innocence features the voice of singer-songwriter Angel X.
- The track uses several samples:
- On the one hand, it contains fragments of ‘Jubilant Drinking Song‘. Some Taiwanese tribal chants were extracted, which, were included without the permission of their original performers. Finally, after a lawsuit, in 1998 the duo formed by Kuo Ying-nan and Kuo Hsiu-chu obtained a financial compensation and the recognition of the authorship of their songs.
- On the other hand, we can hear the rhythmic base of Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks’.
- Finally, the voice of Michael Cretu’s wife, Enigma‘s founder, can be heard in one of the verses.
12. BAZZI Mine
‘Cosmic‘ Album | USA | 2017
- Bazzi debuted in music with this ‘Mine‘, a song that was born while the singer was relaxing at a pool party ☀️ He liked what he had written so much that Bazzi recorded it in the studio two days after composing it.
- In his lyrics, Bazzi talks about his obsession with a girl who, we assume, will be his famous girlfriend and model Renee Herbert.
That melody just hit me in the head. I instantly knew what I wanted the entire song to look like.
I started voice noting. I have a really early voice note of what the song was like. But you can tell exactly what it molded into from that.
- The first verse of ‘Mine‘ starred in hundreds of memes on Snapchat in 2018, thanks to a filter on the platform.
- It also brought a successful debut for the singer despite its short 2-minute length ⏳
13. COCO LEE A Love Before Time
‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ Album | Hong Kong | 2000
- Sorry, this is the end of our playlist of music to relax body and soul. But we’re going all out with ‘A Love Before Time‘ by Coco Lee.
- We’ve included the English version, but the original track is in Mandarin Chinese.
- The song is part of the soundtrack of the movie ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘.
- Thanks to it, Coco Lee was the first ethnic Chinese artist to sing at an Oscar gala 🎬
- Coco Lee worked during her youth singing karaoke. One day her best friend recorded her and distributed the cassette at her father’s restaurant. She later participated in a TV show hoping to get money to repair her mother’s car. After that, she started her career in Taiwan in 1994 and has since released albums in Cantonese, English and her mother tongue, Chinese, languages she masters perfectly, in addition to French.
- That’s the end of it. We hope you liked it a lot, that you share it with your friends, and, above all, that you are very relaxed 😊
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