The Top 10 Jewel Songs

Jewel’s career is remarkable. At a time when flannel and aggression were dominating the airwaves in the mid-’90s, the blonde Alaskan, with a charming smile, who grew up yodeling was selling tens of millions of albums. Indeed, the Grammy-winning artist, born Jewel Kilcher, became a star in the ’90s starting with her 1995 LP, Pieces of You.

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Today, the 48-year-old Jewel says she loves grunge. It was a revolution. When glam and synth-pop ruled the airwaves, grunge came along with an honesty that said we’re not all fine, we’re not all happy. At the time, Jewel told American Songwriter, she knew deep sadness, too. She appreciated grunge’s message, and her own added to the ideas grunge offered. You can only be in pain for so long before you either end it or build out of it, Jewel says. Thankfully for her fans, Jewel didn’t find her end then. Instead, she prospered and continues to today with the release of her 2022 LP, Freewheelin’ Woman.  

“Music critics hated me,” says Jewel of her entry into popular culture. “They’d call me Pollyanna. They didn’t know what to do with me.” 

In her several decades as a music star, which included a recent win on the popular singing competition show, The Masked Singer, Jewel has amassed a number of hit songs, some of which have earned millions and millions of streams. But, you might be wondering, what are Jewel’s top 10 songs?

That’s what we are diving into today.

1. “Who Will Save Your Soul”

One of the artist’s biggest hits, this song boasts 21 million streams on YouTube alone. The track features Jewel’s signature part-operatic, part-warble, part-pop voice. Driven by an acoustic guitar, this song also, in a way, is a bit of spoken word. In it, Jewel tells stories of people in the world—who will save their souls? The track was also the first song released from Jewel’s 1995 studio album, Pieces of You, which was everywhere on the airwaves.

2. “Foolish Games”

“Foolish Games” consists of guitar picking blended with a heartfelt, catchy piano line. Then Jewel’s voice breaks in like a ray of light. Her vibrato reminds fans of the artist, Brandi Carlile. This track was the third song released from Jewel’s debut LP. It was also the third single from the popular Batman & Robin motion-picture soundtrack. It’s emotive, accentuated by a single violin mid-way through.

3. “You Were Meant For Me”

This might be Jewel’s most well-known track. The breakup song is about the loss of a relationship and the feeling of not knowing where to go next with your life. Dreams last for so long, even after you’re gone. I know you love me and soon you will see… you were meant for me and I was meant for you. One of the most famous lines of the ’90s, bar-none.

4. “Hands”

“Hands” is the first single from Jewel’s 1998 second studio album, Spirit. The track was also one of the more ubiquitous songs from the ’90s. My hands are small I know but they are not yours, they are my own. It’s funny—these were some of the most heard lyrics in the same decade that gave us Eminem, Nirvana, Tupac, and many more. Jewel was everyone’s heartfelt star. Even in an era rich with biting frontmen.

5. “Down So Long”

Channeling her inner Tom Petty, “Down So Long” also came out on her sophomore album, the 1998 offering, Spirit. Jewel wrote the tune in 1992 at just 18 years old. The brightly performed song is about feeling “down so long.” Sometimes depression needs a smiling messenger. That is the case with this tune.

6. “My Father’s Daughter”

This music video shows a struggling Jewel as a young child, yodeling with her father in a home video performance. The song, which is about family (and fathers), features the great Dolly Parton (current American Songwriter cover star). When Jewel and Parton harmonize on the chorus, hearts melt everywhere.

7. “Long Way ‘Round”

From Jewel’s latest album, the 2022 offering, Freewheelin’ Woman, this song has a soulful gospel feel. It’s not necessarily a vibe the artist showcased in her earlier years. But it’s one that’s earned and shown with maturity. Want to know her these days? Check out this song. You get to get lost to be found, she sings.

8. “Pieces of You”

From her debut album, this song is like a prayer sung into a cavernous world. The song, which may bring a tear to your eye, has lyrics that might make you uncomfortable. But in the best of ways. The song, we should mention is NSFW. Check out some of the lyrics below:

She’s a pretty girl, does she make you think nasty thoughts?
She’s a pretty girl, do you want to tie her down?
She’s a pretty girl, do you call her a bitch?
She’s a pretty girl, did she sleep with your whole town?
Pretty girl, pretty girl
Do you hate her ’cause she’s pieces of you?

9. “Intuition”

A different direction for the singer, this pop hit is something that Shakira might bring to the forefront. But Jewel does an excellent job. It’s a hip-shaker.

10. “Grateful”

Another from Jewel’s 2022 album, Freewheelin’ Woman, “Grateful” also shows off her slower, more thoughtful sense of writing and vocal performance. It’s all about the little things, Jewel tells us. That’s a lesson one learns after three decades in a business that can crush and inflate your soul.

Photo by Dana Trippe / Shore Fire Media

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