Categories: Hear Me Out

11 songs to pimp your Pride playlist

You don’t have to part with your Madonna. You can keep your Diana Ross, your other divas and all the queer classics that stoke your Pride playlist. But is your rainbow losing its luster? Is “We Are Family” really still your go-to? Splash some new color into your celebratory mix with these not-ancient anthems.

“We Exist,” Arcade Fire
There’s no ignoring us now, but still – it never hurts to remind non-queers that we have a place in the world too. On this feisty rally cry directly inspired by the LGBT movement, these Canadian allies stand up with us, rocking their way through an ’80s-inspired call for equality.

“Dance with Me,” Kelly Clarkson
Leave your right-wing angst at the door and douse yourself in the shimmering sounds of Miss Independent’s neon-bright dance delight. No crying. No fighting. No shaming. Kelly Clarkson won’t have any of it … unless it involves body bumping. And glitter, because obviously.

“All Kinds of Kinds,” Miranda Lambert
“Thomas was a congressman with closets full of skeletons,” the country superstar sings, before delivering the real kicker: “… and dresses that he wore on Friday nights.” With compelling character vignettes and a wise assessment of ignorance, Lambert’s guitar-guided ditty celebrates every color of the rainbow.

“Unbelievers,” Vampire Weekend
Capturing unification in all its magical heart-happy glory is this Vampire Weekend groove. As it playfully bounces about, just you try not to get wrapped up in the evocative adorability of the NYC hipsters’ sweet sentiment – love – dedicated to the world’s nonconformists.

“Looking Hot,” No Doubt
Calling all spotlight stealers – this one’s for you. A declaration of fierceness, Gwen Stefani struts her stuff all over this ska-flavored synth song, urging anyone in her path to “go ahead and stare, and take a picture please.” It’s how you’ll feel when you join that sexy sea of gays, wearing your “clothes.”

“Together You and I,” Dolly Parton
To make much headway, we gotta do it hand in hand, right? Dolly knows, and she’s preaching it on this bit of buoyant, pop-country inspiration. “Paint a pretty rainbow with love across the sky,” the Country Queen sings, as if they’re not already painted across every sky, and above every gay.

“Burning Gold,” Christina Perri
Pop singer-songwriter Christina Perri is done waiting and hoping for change to just magically happen. So, with a thundering drum beat behind her, she stops wishing and starts realizing, igniting the flame that’s been right there in her hands the whole time.

“Queen,” Perfume Genius
Who runs the world? You! Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) gives you permission – not that you needed it – to own the crown that was already yours, bestowing it upon all the “cracked, peelin’” queers who are “riddled with disease.” Haters gon’ hate, but as Hadreas warns: “No family is safe when I sashay.”

“The Fight,” Sia
Don’t even bother trying to stand in Sia’s way. The Aussie is one of the world’s most sought-after songwriters, but even before she was swinging from her chandelier, Sia was bigger than life itself on this cartoony romp – and that’s exactly how she makes you feel too.

“Take Me to Church,” Sinead O’Connor
Nothing compares to you. No, really – you’re the best. “Set me on the floor; I’m the only one I should adore,” the Irish icon declares, waxing poetic about finding love in a place where it’s sometimes seemingly impossible – from within.

“Raise You Up/Just Be,” Kinky Boots
In case your kinky boots aren’t enough to get you off the ground, this Cyndi Lauper-penned number from the hit Broadway show will. The show closer is a sparkly, ensemble-sung, feel-good romp that won’t just add pep to your step, but at least three inches to your height.

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Chris Azzopardi

Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. He’s also the proud recipient of an “I adore you, daaahhhling!” from Mariah Carey. Reach him via his website at chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter @chrisazzopardi.

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