The 100 Best Hippie Songs Of All Time

Best Hippie Songs

The hippie movement that spilled out of the United States into much of our world during the 1960s changed Western civilization’s society permanently. The predominantly young hippies came together in large groups and stood together for the love of nature, criticism of immoderate consumerism, and, last but not least, for a peaceful world that left no room for fierce conflicts. The slogan “Make love, not war” advanced to a winged motto, still used on many anti-war demos today. But even beyond politics, the flowery arm of the hippie wave reached a wide variety of social spheres.

The excellent ideas of the “Flower Power” movement were also carried by an extraordinary fashion style and numerous songs that sprouted directly from the heart of the “flower children” wave.

Today we would like to look at those 100 songs still inseparably rooted in the countercultural youth movement. The following list of best songs reveals which 100 songs best convey the spirit of the peace-loving revolution. Enjoy our selection!

1st place: John Lennon – “Imagine

Hardly any song embodies the values of the hippie movement as much as the track “Imagine” by John Lennon, released in 1971. As the international peace anthem title suggests, the co-founder of the “Beatles” allows himself to dream of a better world in the context of “Imagine.”

This is how the music legend, who died in an assassination attempt in 1980, describes it as an idealized society free of materialism, national thought, and religion. The musical appeal for peace achieved significant commercial success, especially in the musician’s native Britain. The song, a release from an album of the same name, reached the top of the charts and was honored with a platinum record.

Even war-weary listeners in the United States, many of whose loved ones were going through hell in the Vietnam War at the time of its release, endorsed the values conveyed by John Lennon, helping the track breakthrough to the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

№ 2: The 5th Dimension – “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”

Shortly after the musical “Hair” premiered at New York’s Biltmore Theatre, it was clear that the show had captured precisely the zeitgeist of the hippie movement of the time. The story about a group of young people who rebel against being drafted into the Vietnam War was not only appealing because of the values it conveyed, but also because of its catchy songs to please.

After seeing the musical, the band “The 5th Dimension” decided to adopt two of the catchiest songs of the stage show and bring them to the commercial music market in the form of a medley. While the intro “Aquarius” has always lived from its spiritual character, “Let the Sunshine In” represents the ultimate appeal to an immediate end of the cruel war and a peaceful coexistence. The record, released in 1969, became an international bestseller almost overnight.

3rd place: Bob Dylan – “Blowin’ in the Wind

“Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan appeared on the music market in 1963 and drew its melodic roots from a traditional gospel song. Although the piece, whose lyrics Dylan penned in a pub, would fall short of charting at the time, the single remains one of the most seminal musical works of the 20th century. Peppered with countless rhetorical questions, the song denounces the common moral and ideal concepts of its time. “How many cannon shots have to be fired before the bloodthirsty goings-on finally come to an end?”, “How many people have to die before we realize how senseless the bloodshed is?”.

The socially critical song soon became the absolute anti-war anthem of the hippie movement.

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4th place: The Mamas and the Papas – “California Dreamin'”

The “California Dreamin'” version of “The Mamas and the Papas” hit the stores in 1965 and tells us the story of a disillusioned protagonist who finds himself far from his Californian home in a cold, ruthless, alien environment. The sung longing for a well-protected home and a peaceful environment reflected exactly the wishful thinking of the hippies, who wished for nothing more than an immediate end of the Vietnam War and the return to a peace-loving society. “California Dreamin'” is considered one of the essential songs of the legendary “Summer of Love” and reached fourth place in the charts in the United States along with a gold record.

5th place: Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth

“For What It’s Worth” is by far the most successful song in Buffalo Springfield’s career and one of the most significant classics in the history of the rock genre. The record, which reached the seventh chart position in the USA and was awarded a silver record in the United Kingdom, knows how to please with its unmistakable melodic presentation and inspires with its clever lyrical direction. Accordingly, the track encourages us to not only dully observe the dubious goings-on around us but to actively stand up against the questionable currents of society and thus stand up for a better future.

6th place: Jefferson Airplane – “Somebody to Love”

“Don’t you want somebody to love?”. If we follow the lyrics of the track “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane, the root of all social resentment could lie in the abstinence of the comforting arms of love. The song knows how to please not only by its sophisticated text passages that encourage us to reflect on our emotional motivations but also by an earworm-worthy melody that, once warbled into our ears, does not disappear so quickly from our auditory canal. While the song was initially penned by Darby Slick but initially remained utterly unknown, Jefferson Airplane’s version helped “Somebody to Love” rise to become a highly regarded hippie hit.

Released in 1967, the track secured fifth place on the Billboard Hot 100 and a gold record.

7th place: The Beatles – “All You Need is Love

The Beatles also used the powerful metaphor of love to remind their listeners of the truly essential things in life. In the incomparably successful discography of the Liverpool-based band Pop-rock band, All You Need is Love” is an unimpeachable milestone. The song, which was released in 1967, is generally considered one of the most famous songs of the music veterans. The simple yet meaningful lyrics of the song show us in an inimitable way that with the help of love, any problem, no matter how big, can be solved.

The record sold more than half a million copies in the group’s native Britain alone and secured the top spot on the charts in ten different countries.

8th place: Jefferson Airplane – “White Rabbit

The hippie movement was not only characterized by its peace-loving protest character but was also repeatedly associated with the consumption of psychoactive substances. If you will, “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane is a psychedelic music trip that takes us on a wondrous journey into the fabled dream world of “Alice in Wonderland.”

However, the acoustic excursion into the realm of white rabbits and living chess pieces does not merely describe a blunt idea of intoxication but encourages listeners to look beyond their horizons and view life from a different, admittedly whacky perspective. The release from the album “Surrealistic Pillow” seamlessly followed the success of “Somebody to Love” and reached the eighth chart position in the United States and a record in Silver.

9th place: Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends”

Although “With a Little Help from My Friends” was written by the Beatles, it was mainly the successful cover versions, which helped the song to international fame. Unforgotten is the version by Joe Cocker, who performed the song at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969, among other places. The track’s content evokes the unshakable community of like-minded people, within which all adversities of life can be successfully overcome.

While the Beatles decided against releasing “With a Little Help from My Friends” as an independent single, Joe Cocker’s version became an international chart-topper.

10th place: The Byrds – “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

Also, in the context of our 10. In the second place, we deal with a song whose cover version became much better known than its original.

The spiritual forefather of “Turn! Turn! Turn!”did not come from the inner ranks of the U.S. band The Byrds but was named Pete Seeger.

However, while the folk musician’s song remained largely under the radar of commercial success, The Byrds achieved the feat in 1965 of making “Turn! Turn! Turn!” for three weeks on the first place of the Billboard Hot 100 to place.

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In terms of content, the song alludes to a famous text passage from the Old Testament, according to which the various events of life are subject to constant change.

11th place: Simon & Garfunkel – “The Sound of Silence

Silence can be so loud. When we find ourselves in a quiet environment that lacks any visual and acoustic distractions, we begin to give free rein to our innermost thoughts. Simon & Garfunkel describes how such an inner monologue can occur in their classic “The Sound of Silence.”

Here’s how the legendary folk-rock duo reflects on life and society’s questionable developments within the context of their track, released in 1964. The multi-layered, melancholy song went to ninth place on the charts in this country, while “The Sound of Silence” clawed its way to first place on the sales list in its U.S. homeland. It sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide, earning four gold records and one platinum.

#12: Bob Dylan – “The Times They Are a-Changin'”

The hippie movement was undoubtedly carried by an unprecedented wave of change. The fitting anthem to accompany the new march of the youthful zeitgeist was penned by Bob Dylan and aptly titled “The Times They Are a-Changin'”.

The track, which was part of an album of the same name and saw the musical light of day in January 1964, encourages its listeners to come together in large, peaceful groupings and at the same time appeals to the arch-conservative faction of society to openly accept the burgeoning movement and not categorically reject it out of long-established principled loyalty. Thanks to songs like “The Times They Are a-Changin'” the US-American artist achieved the unique status he still enjoys today.

13th place: Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee

The Country song “Me and Bobby McGee” is something like the musical prime example of a successful dropout song. In 1971, the American singer Janis Joplin finally helped the song emerge from its shadowy existence into the big world of international success. Janis Joplin’s version was prevalent in the United States, reaching the top.

The song’s content deals with the idealized happiness of a hitchhiking couple who have turned their backs on the old-established society and are now carefree on their way through the vast plains of the USA.

14th place: Barry McGuire – “Eve Of Destruction”

Put, the message of “Eve Of Destruction” can be boiled down to one concise sentence: It’s five to twelve! Within the song, singer Barry McGuire evokes an ominous doomsday mood that comprehensibly describes the delicate predicament the world was in at the time of the song’s release.

Among other things, the track deals with the controversial Vietnam War, the still pervasive racism against the black population, the ignorance of leading politicians, and the threat posed by the Cold War. The musical reckoning with the establishment found its way into stores in 1965 and reached an honorable 37 in the United States. Charting.

15th place: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze

In the context of “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix gave his fans another musical trip. The song, released in 1970, shows the Guitar virtuoso once again his incomparable talent on the guitar; lyrically, we go on a mind-expanding journey, which is like an actual acoustic intoxication. “Purple Haze” reached third place in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and is still one of the most covered tracks of the much too early deceased artist.

It’s no surprise that the song is part of the legendary Grammy Hall of Fame.

#16: Scott McKenzie – “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”

As is well known, the hippie movement was also known as the “flower power wave.” And indeed, the preference for flowers could not deny the community members purely visually. Scott McKenzie’s song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” provides his fans with essential fashion tips and portrays in detail the ideological values of the entire peace-loving protest movement.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the track, released in 1967, became a celebrated hippie anthem within a very short time. The record sold around seven million copies worldwide, and 250 million copies were sold in England alone.000 copies of the hit sold.

17th place: Richie Havens – “Freedom

Music history has often sung about the personal desire for a free, self-determined life. The legendary Woodstock performance by Richie Havens is still unforgotten today, which helped the singer to achieve absolute exceptional status within just a few minutes. As the New York-born artist was encouraged by the excited crowd to perform more and more encores, the time came when the artist ran out of his songs.

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Havens then decided to sing a version of the time-honored folk song “Motherless Child,” He added a passage in which he incessantly shouts “Freedom!!” repeated. The spontaneously created song became a highly acclaimed worldwide hit and symbolized the freedom-loving hippie character.

#18: Plastic Ono Band – “Give Peace a Chance”

As part of the group “Plastic Ono Band,” John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono decided to breathe fresh air into the music world. Formed in 1969, the band, which did not have a fixed line-up, quickly made a big name for itself because of its prominent lead singers and its important singles.

In the context of “Give Peace a Chance,” which was recorded in the summer of 1969, the musicians involved once again appealed for an immediate end to the Vietnam War.

19th place: Jimi Hendrix – “Star-Spangled Banner

When Jimi Hendrix was playing in the early morning of 17. When Jimi Hendrix’s version of “Star-Spangled Banner” brought the glittering Woodstock festival to an end on August 1, 1969, many of those present probably couldn’t believe their ears. The music icon had decided to perform the U.S. national anthem – but unprecedentedly.

The distorted style with which Hendrix played the hymn of the old-established establishment was so proud was equivalent to a simple political statement against the authorities. A milestone in the musical protest movement, which was probably the most successful acoustic rebellion against blind patriotism in history.

20th place: Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son

The members of Creedence Clearwater Revival also rebelled against the arch-conservative part of the US-American population in the course of “Fortunate Son”. The track of 1969 criticizes thereby purposefully the widespread military love of the highest society view, from which the musicians dissociate themselves again clearly.

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The ranks 21-100 of the best hippie songs:

21.Neil Young – Harvest Moon
22.The Who – My Generation
23.Simon and Garfunkel – Scarborough Fair
24.Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
25.Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
26.Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Love the One You’re With
27.Grateful Dead – Dark Star
28.Marvin Gaye – What´s Going On
29.The Beatles – Let It Be
30.America – A Horse With No Name
31.The Beatles – Across the Universe
32.Woody Guthrie – This Land Is Your Land
33.Simon and Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence
34.The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
35.The Doors – The Unknown Soldier
36.Hurdy Gurdy Man – Donovan
37.Buffy Sainte-Marie – The Circle Game
38.Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Teach Your Children
39.Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi
40.Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
41.Peter, Paul and Mary – If I Had a Hammer
42.Woodstock – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
43.Billy Bragg – A New England
44.Cat Stevens – Peace Train
45.It´s A Beautiful Day – White Bird
46.Pink Floyd – See Emily Play
47.Ton Steine Scherben – Keine Macht Für Niemand
48.The Zombies – Time of the Season
49.Neil Young – Heart Of Gold
50.The Doors – Break on Through
51.Cream – Sunshine Of Your Love
52.The Band – The Weight
53.Rascals – Groovin’
54.Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz
55.MC5 – Kick Out The Jams
56.Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now
57.George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
58.Love – Alone Again Or
59.Cream – Strange Brew
60.Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
61.Country Joe McDonald – I-Feel-Like-I´m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
62.Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart
63.Simon & Garfunkel – The Boxer
64.Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
65.Janis Joplin – Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
66.Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
67.The Doors – Riders On The Storm
68.Strawberry Alarm Clock – Incense and Peppermints
69.Ten Years After – I´d Love To Change The World
70.Edwin Starr – War
71.The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
72.The Doors – Light My Fire
73.Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Helpless
74.Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
75.Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
76.Truckin’ – Grateful Dead
77.Wishful Thinking – Hiroshima
78.Fleetwood Mac – Black Magic Woman
79.The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower
80.Donovan – Universal Soldier
81.Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful
82.The Moody Blues – Nights In White Satin
83.Ton Steine Scherben – Rauch-Haus-Song
84.Canned Heat – Going Up The Country
85.Eric Burdon & The Animals – San Franciscan Nights
86.Jonathan Wilson – Desert Raven
87.Bob Marley – Redemption Song
88.Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
89.The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Hey Joe
90.Public Enemy – Fight The Power
91.Juliane Werding – On the Day Conny Kramer Started
92.Bob Dylan – Masters Of War
93.Hair – Cowsills
94.Sly & The Family Stone – I Want To Take You Higher
95.The Clash – White Riot
96.Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Ohio
97.Sly & The Family Stone – Everyday People
98.Buffy Sainte-Marie – Universal Soldier
99.Canned Heat – On The Road Again
100.Tame Impala – Let It Happen

Hippie Spotify Playlist:

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