Sometimes fighting is necessary—and not all fights are physical. Whether you’re fighting for survival, or simply fighting for what you believe in, here are our favorite songs about fighting that we hope inspire you.
Songs About Fighting
Let’s begin with probably one of the biggest songs about female empowerment in modern day music—“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Low points in your personal life can be extremely difficult to process. If you’ve ever been hit with the swift south paw of reality, you know how detrimental it can be on your self-esteem, depleting your ability to believe in yourself.
Fight Song by Rachel Platten is an inspiring story about a woman fighting to regain her grip on her life. Throughout each verse, she speaks about the moments when she felt less than capable, but regains her self-worth by mustering up the little strength she has left, and using it to push through.
To fight for something means to have hope in it, specifically hope within yourself. There is an intense level of heartfelt emotion in the lyrics of this song, and it’s no mystery why. Platten reveals Fight Song was never actually intended to be released as a single. Come to find out Platten wrote Fight Song during a particularly hard time in her life, intending the song to only serve as a catalyst of personal healing. Little did she know her creative self-therapy would go on to fuel hope in countless others as well.
In her moments of darkness, she realized she was having troubles believing in herself, so she wrote a song to pull herself back. Because of this, her story would write the survival guide for other people attempting to climb the same mountain.
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Fighter by Tyrone Wells
When your life is comprised of back-to-back challenges, taking it all in stride while maintaining a warm disposition can be difficult, to say the least. Sometimes to be a fighter means to not let the never-ending curveballs of life keep you down.
Fighter by Tyrone Wells shows us just what it means to get knocked down seven times but stand up eight. In his song, Wells paints the image of a girl seemingly fueled by adversity, taking hardship and turning it into strength. This girl isn’t some basic “positive vibes only” individual. According to Wells, she’s a no-nonsense force of nature that burns brightly in the dark, doing what needs to be done, and pushing through all turbulence, maintaining a loving softness throughout.
Certainly, any person of any gender identification can resonate with this song, but I believe the female identifying population may feel a little extra impact from the lyrics of Fighter.
As a female in this world, you are faced with many socially normalized, dehumanizing behaviors from strangers, as well as people who claim to love you. Daily life is riddled with battles, usually while simultaneously carrying those around you because you’re seen as the nurturer. Weakness never shows because weakness cannot be an option. As a woman myself, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with comfort from this song.
Fighter can make a woman feel seen in her battle, and for that, I say thank you Tyrone Wells. Your music makes the fight a little easier.
Till I Collapse by Eminem
When you’re feeling run down to the point of giving up, you need to turn on Till I Collapse by Eminem.
This song is an endurance song if I’ve ever heard one. Eminem introduces the song with words of encouragement right off the bat, telling his listeners in their lowest moments to reach inside themselves, find their inner strength, and fight like hell.
In his song, Eminem raps about persistence. Music is what he knows, what he loves, and what he’s good at, and despite the dialogue and exchanges of those who want him to fail, he vows to keep rapping so long as he’s alive and has the physical capability to do so.
Till I Collapse is a propitious song that sends a powerful message to its listeners: stand tall in what you’re passionate for, fight relentlessly in your pursuit of life, and don’t let the haters get you down.
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
You don’t always have to fight by yourself. Sometimes it takes an army, or in this case, just a really, really good friend.
In her song Keep Holding On, Avril Lavigne sings about standing beside her friends during inevitable hard life moments. Not only does her song instill a sense of comradery, but it also recognizes that sometimes battles really can’t be won by yourself.
Lavigne’s melodic voice gives her song’s message an added emotional delivery, and you can genuinely hear her love and loyalty behind her words. It’s as if she’s singing directly to her best friend in person.
Often in life, I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get through rough patches alone, but truthfully, what we should be doing is leaning on the people who love us to help in the fight.
Luckily, we have artists like Avril to remind us, if you’re lucky enough to have a supportive friend, use your resource, because they love you and they want to be there for you.
Our friends can be our biggest cheerleaders, and sometimes we need them to remind us to keep holding on. So if you’re looking for one of the top Avril Lavigne songs, you really can’t go wrong with a track like “Keep Holding On.”
Angel With A Shotgun by The Cab
If you’ve ever been in love, you know how even the most beautiful of emotions can evoke battle-like conduct, especially when fighting for someone you care deeply about.
Through the symbolism of heavenly warfare, Angel With A Shotgun by The Cab portrays the story of a man willing to lay it all on the line for love, even if it means dying in battle.
The clever lyrical composition is represented with equally clever cover art of a black violin sporting additional details of a trigger, magazine, and barrel of a black rifle (don’t ask me what kind of rifle, I’m a music writer, not a gun enthusiast.) The title of the song, the picture on the album, and the endearing, poetic lyrics, really do a great job tying together the overall message of this song: loving someone means fighting for them to the death, even if you’re a celestial being dedicated to peace and harmony.
Angel With A Shotgun is delivered in an emo/pop punk tone, giving the composition an added feel of intensity. While many fans of The Cab would agree this song is a true banger (pun intended) not many people know of its existence, so if you haven’t heard it before, I highly recommends you check it out.
A song about fighting, capable of simultaneously posing as a love song, Angel With A Shotgun adds a lot of value to playlists of all kinds.
Bigger Man by Joy Oladokun, Maren Morris
Oppression declares war on humanity every single day. While the battle against systemic flaws such as racism, sexism, and homophobia rages on, a mentally taxing part of the fight can be rising above the small minds casting the stones.
Bigger Man by Joy Oladokun and Maren Morris delivers a healthy dose of perspective to listeners. Their song speaks of those born into a level of privilege, shedding a fluorescent light on how the ignorance produced from said privilege has forces them to be the “bigger man” in many situations where they’re being treated poorly, unfairly, or unjustly.
This song is not only thought provoking, and emotional, but it’s extremely valuable. Bigger Man does two things: it allows those who belong to certain populations to feel seen in their battle, and it also challenges those belonging to privilege to reflect on their current life setup to see where they may contribute to the problem.
Being the “bigger man” in many social situations can be mentally taxing, especially since ignorance blinds the people involved, and most of the time you’re taking the high road without any recognition. After a while, this can begin to make you feel truly invisible.
Bigger Man captures the warrior spirit of the singers and songwriters, while creating a safe platform for listeners to feel understood.
Underdog by Alicia Keys
When you come from a background of limited means and sparse resources, achieving your dreams can feel a million miles away. Thankfully we have the words of Alicia Keys to assist in the journey.
In her song Underdog, Keys pays homage to various narratives about people tirelessly combating against the odds to give themselves a better life, the underdogs of society. In a theme song of hope, and a power ballad of self-determination, Underdog reminds the listener of their own power, telling them to keep believing in themselves, no matter what they’re up against.
Underdog isn’t just a song, it’s a motivational weapon best kept in your playlist arsenal, and easily accessible when life pushes back just a little too hard.
Fight For It by Brave Holiday
Mental illness can make completing even the smallest of tasks feel like a week’s worth of manual labor. The mind is heavy, the motivation is fleeting, and the drive to keep going is slowly fading in the background.
In their song Fight For It, musical duo Brave Holiday, made up of Brook Bonderer and Alan Davis, sing of the mental struggles that come with what would appear to be depression. The song begins with the first difficult step of the day, just getting out of bed. With the heavy progression of the day, the constant question is asked in each verse “do I give up now? Or do I try again?”
As the song continues, the narrative changes from how hard daily tasks can be, to motivational reminders that hard times make us stronger, urging the listener to keep moving forward, push through the pain, and fight for what you’re living for.
What makes this a truly impactful song about fighting, is the way the song demonstrates how hard the internal battle can be just to get by on a normal day when you’re living with a mental illness.
It’s Not Over Yet by for KING & COUNTRY
Sometimes the voices in your head are so loud, you can’t hear anything else, and when those voices are telling you that you’re unforgivable, or that there’s no redemption for your actions in this life, it can be extremely hard to fight back against them.
It’s Not Over Yet by for KING & COUNTRY is an inspirational song, written for those who feel as if the rest of their life is determined based on something temporary, such as a mistake they may have made, or something that may have happened to them at one point.
As the lead singers of For KING & COUNTRY, the Smallbone brothers do an utterly fantastic job supercharging this emotional song with tear evoking instrumentals and powerful vocals. The musical accompaniment really amplifies the already heartwarming words, giving It’s Not Over Yet a very infectious sound.
If the title is any indication, It’s Not Over Yet reminds the listener that as long as you’re still here, it’s not over yet, keep fighting the good fight, and work with the time you still have. Nothing is set in stone.
I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty
Short, sweet, and to the point, Tom Petty shows us how fighting is a natural part of surviving life in his song I Won’t Back Down.
While many songs about fighting entail beautifully complex and poetic lyrics narrating the fights that stand before them, Tom Petty keeps it simple: there’s no easy way out, so stand your ground, and don’t back down.
Sometimes, when you’re fighting as hard as you can, whether it’s for yourself, for your family, or for the greater good, all you really need to hear is someone singing an uncomplicated, straightforward tune, reminding you life’s tough, but you’re tougher.
In one way or another, we all must battle something in this life. Depending on the cards you’re dealt, your battles may differ from others, but chances are there’s someone else out there enduring similar altercations as you. Still, in moments of hardship, it’s important to be able to turn to songs about fighting for the inspiration you need to persevere and win.