10 Peace Songs for Kids to Symbolize the Fight for World Unity

10 Peace Songs for Kids

The never-ending fight for power is a side of history that’s rather hard to explain to kids, but the human quest for peace and brotherhood is definitely easier for children to grasp. During the last century, one marked with two World Wars and several other conflicts all over the world, that dream of unity has often been expressed through peace songs.

Just like other protest songs, anti-war songs may express frustration or indignation and work as wake-up calls, but some other times they become those declarations of pure love, stressing its importance. Our selection of peace songs kids can listen to includes both: songs about the state of our world (What’s Going On, Under Pressure) and songs about loving each other (All You Need is Love, One Love, Imagine) and they can be used as part of a music or even history classes.

 

10 Songs about Peace, Unity and Solidarity

1.

John Lennon – Imagine

John Lennon’s Imagine stands out as one of the most popular peace songs in music history. Its lyrics encourage people to imagine a world of peace, without materialism, without borders separating nations and without religion.

IMAGINE. (Ultimate Mix, 2020) - John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band (with the Flux Fiddlers) HD

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky
Imagine all the people
Livin’ for today

Ah, imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace

You, You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

Click here for Free Imagine Printable Lyrics

2.

The Beatles – All You Need is Love

Lennon’s deliberately simplistic lyrics encapsulated the optimistic mood of the Summer of Love, a 1967 gathering of 100,000 people in San Francisco (who mostly rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War), thus turning the song into an anthem of that philosophy and an unforgettable peace song in general.

All You Need Is Love (Remastered 2015)

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There’s nothin’ you can do that can’t be done
Nothin’ you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothin’ you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

Nothin’ you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothin’ you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

There’s nothin’ you can know that isn’t known
Nothin’ you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love is all you need (love is all you need)

 

Click here for Free All You Need is Love Printable Lyrics

3.

Burt Bacharach / Jackie DeShannon – What the World Needs Now is Love

Burt Bacharach’s collaborator, lyricist Hal David, wrote the words to this waltz having the Vietnam War – a controversial subject in the 1965 USA – as a subtext. The song’s success surprised its creators, but the power of its music and lyrics established it as an all-time classic about loving your fellow man.

What The World Needs Now Is Love

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some, but for everyone

Lord, we don’t need another mountain
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross
Enough to last ’til the end of time

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, but for everyone

Lord, we don’t need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheatfields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, Lord, if you want to know

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, oh, but just for every, every, everyone

4.

Patti Smith – People Have the Power

Although 1988 was not a time when artists used to release songs that would easily be deemed “peace songs”, Patti Smith’s single is a true anthem about people’s dreams and hopes for unity.

Patti Smith - People Have The Power

I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleepin’ it was broken
But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air recognized
Oh, and my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

And the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
From the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
Well, and the armies ceased advancin’
Because the people had their ear

And the shepherds and the soldiers
And they laid among the stars
Exchanging visions, layin’ arms
To waste in the dust

In the form of shinin’ valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

Where there were deserts, I saw fountains
Like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize

There is no leopard and the lamb
And lay together truly bound
Well I was hopin’ in my hopin’
To recall what I had found

Well I was dreamin’ in my dreamin’
God knows a pure view
As I lay down into my sleepin’
And I commit my dream with you

People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it’s decreed the people rule
But it’s decreed the people rule

Listen, I believe everythin’ we dream
can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution

We have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power

The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it’s decreed the people rule
But it’s decreed the people rule

We have the power
We have the power
People have the power
We have the power

5.

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

The song that Rolling Stone magazine placed at number 4 of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004 and 2010 still manages to move people more than 50 years after its release. Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by one of its composers, its lyrics were also inspired by Marvin Gaye’s emotional conversations shared between him and his brother Frankie, who had returned from three years of service at the Vietnam War.

6.

Yusuf / Cat Stevens – Peace Train

A simple but moving anti-war song by Cat Stevens, released in 1971. Although Stevens (later Yusuf Islam) had withdrawn from the limelight, during the Iraq War he stated amongst others: “‘Peace Train’ is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions. There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again…

Now I’ve been happy lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun

Oh I’ve been smiling lately,
dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be,
some day it’s going to come

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again

Now I’ve been smiling lately,
thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
something good has begun

Oh peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on now, peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on now peace train

Get your bags together,
go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer,
it soon will be with you

Now come and join the living,
it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
soon it will all be true

Now I’ve been crying lately,
thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
why can’t we live in bliss?

Cause out on the edge of darkness,
there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country,
come take me home again

 

7.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Give Peace a Chance

As the Vietnam War raged in 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono held one “Bed-in” protest at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and one at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. During the second one, when a reporter asked Lennon what he was trying to achieve by staying in bed, Lennon answered spontaneously “Just give peace a chance“. It was the spark that led to the recording that took place in Room 1742. The song quickly became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s.

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. (Ultimate Mix, 2020) - Plastic Ono Band (official music video HD)

Two, one-two-three-four!
Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, is-m, is-m, is-m

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Hit it
C’mon, ev’rybody’s talking about
Ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters
Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Popeyes and bye-bye, bye-byes

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Let me tell you now
Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
Revolution, evolution, mastication, flagellation, regulation, integrations*
Meditations, United Nations, congratulations

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna, Hare, Hare Krishna

All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying is give peace a chance

 

*regarding the use of the word originally used by John Lennon, please refer to the note in the introduction to this article.

Click here for Free Give Peace a Chance Printable Lyrics

8.

Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure

Not actually an anti-war song, but a very moving, powerful modern song about solidarity and love. “Why can’t we give love?“, sings Freddie Mercury in an amazing duet with David Bowie.

Queen ft. David Bowie - Under Pressure (Official Lyric Video)

Pressure: pushing down on me,
Pressing down on you, no man ask for.
Under pressure that burns a building down,
Splits a family in two,
Puts people on streets.

That’s OK.

That’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about.
Watching some good friends screaming,
“Let me out!”

Tomorrow gets me higher.
Pressure on people, people on streets.

OK.

Chippin’ around, kick my brains ’round the floor.
These are the days: it never rains but it pours.

People on streets.
People on streets.

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about.
Watching some good friends screaming,
“Let me out!”

Tomorrow gets me higher, higher, high!
Pressure on people, people on streets.

Turned away from it all like a blind man.
Sat on a fence, but it don’t work.
Keep coming up with love, but it’s so slashed and torn.

Why, why, why!?

Love, love, love, love, love.

Insanity laughs under pressure.
We’re breaking.

Can’t we give ourselves one more chance?
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?

‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word,
And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night,
And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.
This is our last dance.
This is our last dance.
This is ourselves.

Under pressure.
Under pressure.
Pressure.

9.

Bob Marley – One Love / People Get Ready

Although Bob Marley wrote many anti-war songs, like “No More Trouble“, “Buffalo Soldier” and “War“, “One Love” was a reggae anthem for unity.

Bob Marley & The Wailers - One Love / People Get Ready (Audio)

One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!)
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!)
Sayin’: give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Sayin’: let’s get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!)
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!)
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!)
All right!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right
One more thing!

Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armageddon (One Love!)
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Sayin’: “One Love”! What about the One Heart? (One Heart!)
What about the – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
I’m pleadin’ to mankind! (One Love!)
Oh, Lord! (One Heart) Wo-ooh!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right

 

10.

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

A 1964 song written and performed by Sam Cooke. His string-heavy version emphasizes the feeling of hope that the lyrics inspire. A really touching anthem about longing for a better day.

Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come (Official Lyric Video)

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh, and just like the river I’ve been a-runnin’ ever since.
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
but I know, oh-oo-oh,
a change gon’ come, oh yes, it will.

It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die
‘Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
But I know, oh-oo-oh,
A change gonna come, oh yes, it will.

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin’ me don’t hang around.
It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know, oh-oo-oh,
A change gon’ come, oh yes, it will.

Then I go, oh-oo-oh, to my brother and I say, brother, help me please.
But he winds up knocking me back down on my knees, oh.

There’ve been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time comin’,
But I know, oh-oo-oh, a change gonna come, oh yes, it will.

 

Peace Songs for kids – Spotify Playlist

 

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