Keep on the Sunny Side

sunny-side-upToday’s Recommend a Track focuses on those songs that remind us to “Keep on the Sunny Side.”

As I wrote in my review of the new Rodney Atkins album, I’m an optimistic guy. So while I do love me some dark and depressing country music, the songs that best match my personal philosophy are those that look at the brighter side of life.

Some of my favorites:

The Carter Family, “Keep on the Sunny Side”

The Grandmama of them all. This was released during The Great Depression, y’all.


Shania Twain, “Up!”

Rodney Atkins sounds about as optimistic as Dwight Yoakam when compared to Shania Twain. This remains one of my favorite songs she’s ever released. Bonus points awarded to this clip because it not only features Alison Krauss & Union Station behind her, but Krauss and Twain discuss deodorant and shaving during the winter seasons.


Travis Tritt, “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”

Darrell Scott penned this ode to taking joy in the little pleasures of life.


Those are three of my favorites. Share your favorites in the comments!


  1. The first song that comes to mind for this criteria was Josh Turner’s “Everything is Fine.” Always gets me in a better mood when I hear it.

  2. I am quickly establishing myself as “Mr. Negative” but I found “It’s a Great Day…” and “Up!” both very corny.
    I don’t know who sang my favorite positive song, and I can’t accurately name it either, but here’s a line or two.
    “Lets forget about the killin’ and the dyin and the shootin’ and the cryin and the feller with the switch blade knife, let’s think about livin’ lets think about life.”
    Actually, that takes the cake for corniness, doesn’t it?

  3. Wow- Shania, Krauss and Union Station should definitely do an album together- I just wish the sound of the clip was better.

    I think “It Happens” by Sugarland fits the bill- and it’s hilarious. “Sunny Side Up” and “Ride” by Martina McBride are both close behind though.

  4. A sunny type song that I’m enjoying right now is definitely corny, but I love it anyway.

    Elizabeth Cook, “Everyday Sunshine”

  5. …And of course, “It Happens” is my not so secret guilty pleasure that I really don’t even feel guilty about at this point.

  6. “One Man’s Crazy” by Mark McGuinn, “Dancing Alone, “Shining Son,” “Nowhere To Go But Up,” “The Next Step” “Life Is A Church” all by Marcus Hummon (maybe that’s why he’s my favorite songwriter?), “Stones In The Road,” Mary Chapin Carpenter, Darrell Scott’s “Let’s Call It A Life,” David Lee Murphy’s “The Road You Leave Behind,” “Beautiful Life by Doc Walker,” “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry. One Flew South’s “Life.”

  7. Big & Rich’s “Loud” for some reason has been capable of cheering me up.

    Other cheery songs that I like include the aforementioned “It Happens” by Sugarland, and “Heart Like Memphis” by the Carter Twins.

  8. Great songs, Brody. By the way, you’ve gotten me into Guy Clark. Everytime I read his name, I think of you.:)

    The Kathy Mattea versions of those songs are great too.

  9. The Sunny Side of the Mountain – preferably by Jimmy Martin but Hawkshaw Hawkins’ version was good, too. The feel of the song is actually a bit sunnier than the lyric but it’s a great song anyway

  10. Earlier today I was listening to Dolly’s New Harvest, First Gathering album, which contains “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” I’m not sure if that is what you’d call “sunny” exactly, but it’s definitely positive.

  11. Last week I wanted to recommend a SheDaisy song (Bucket full of Beautiful, from the new CD which I got a privlage of hearing) but since we didn’t have one of these last week, I’ll also recommend “Don’t Worry ’bout a Thing” this week. Yes it was a single, but it goes with the theme and it’s just a very good song from them.

  12. Recently, I made a CD of my favorite “feel good” songs. This is my top 10. Some of these are not by the original artists, but they are my personal favorite versions! “Country Sunshine” by Dottie West. “The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A.” by Donna Fargo. “Top Of The World” by The Carpenters. “Great Balls Of Fire” by Dolly Parton. “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor” (Carole King’s version is equally great!) “Feelin’ Groovy” by Simon and Garfunkle. “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen. “Roll With It” by Steve Winwood. “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen.

  13. I like “Sunny Side Up” – Martina McBride, “It Happens” – Sugarland, and “Don’t worry ’bout a thing” – Shedaisy (Bucket Full of Beautiful is good too).

  14. “Great Day To Be Alive”
    “Give me One more Shot”
    “Awful Beautiful Life”
    “Ride” and Happy Girl”..even though I’m a guy
    “If You’re Goin’ through Hell”

    Just a few of my favorites

  15. Dolly’s “Better Get To Livin'” from her Backwoods Barbie CD. Great lyrics…should have been a massive hit, but alas, radio has abandoned our beloved Dolly. Words are great..

    “A little more thought about bein’ a little more willin’ to make a better way. Don’t sweat the small stuff, keep your chin up. Just hang tough and if it gets too rough, fall on your knees and pray – and do that every day. then you’ll get to livin”

    Promise you like it…check it out!

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