10 Songs About Never Giving Up That Are Inspirational
When life throws unexpected challenges at us, it can be tempting to give up, but we’ll never accomplish the things that are important to us if we throw in the towel. So for the times when you need to hear some encouraging words of reassurance, here are 10 amazing songs about never giving up.
Best Songs About Never Giving Up
Let’s begin with a great 1980s classic that, for some wild reason, became an internet meme.
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
It would be a crime not to include this all-time Rick Astley classic about the importance of commitment! In Astley’s 1987 debut single, he promises to always do right by his lover. “Never Gonna Give You Up” is an energetic love song in which a man assures his partner that he’ll stay by her side and never hurt her.
Astley sings all of things lovers want to hear, promising, “Never gonna give you / Never gonna let you down / Never gonna run around / And desert you.” In short, it’s a song about faith between two lovers and a man’s confidence that his commitment will be forever.
Thanks to the phenomenon of “Rickrolling,” this song experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 2000’s, and it remains one of the internet’s favorite songs. Perhaps it’s delightfully corny and quintessentially 80’s instrumentation, or perhaps its Astley fervent delivery, but this song never fails to elicit either a smile or a groan.
I’ll Never Give Up On You by Death Cab for Cutie
Love can renew our sense of hope. It can inspire us to become better people and it can make the world seem like a better place. Death Cab for Cutie explores this theme in their song “I’ll Never Give Up On You,” which closes out their 2022 album, Asphalt Meadows.
In it, a man details all of the things, both good and bad, that he’s given up on in the past, hinting at his fading faith in the world and in himself.
But in the chorus, he reveals the one thing he will never give up on: the person he loves.
“I’ll Never Give Up On You” seems to be a response to the increasingly complicated world we live in. It can be hard to find things to believe in when the world is constantly changing, but Death Cab for Cutie reminds us that love is always worth fighting for.
Lonely People by America
This track off of British-American rock band America’s 1974 album Holiday, offers a ray of hope for those that feel forsaken by love.
In “Lonely People,” America dedicates their message to “all the lonely people / Thinkin’ that life has passed them by.”
They go on to remind the lonely and lovelorn of the world that there is always hope.
“Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup / And ride that highway in the sky,” sing vocalists Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, suggesting that it’s never too late for dreams to come true.
“Lonely People” is a song of faith, and America avoids pitying the titular lonely people and getting too melodramatic about the heartbreak in the world. They sound certain that there is still hope.
With its gentle, folksy melody, “Lonely People” has an uplifting message, and it’s a great song to hold in your heart when you feel hopeless or rejected.
Never Give Up by Barbara Streisand
In her 1980 song “Never Give Up,” Barbara Streisand is determined to meet her goals. “Never Give Up” tells the story of a woman obsessed with winning over a lover. “Wanna rise up in your flames / I wanna be everything you need, babe / I’m begging you to stay in my heart,” she sings, declaring that she will “never give up” her pursuit of her loved one.
This is a highly theatrical song, and Streisand sounds almost manic while singing it. It’s a great simulacrum of how all-consuming infatuation can feel!
Most of all, it’s a song driven by a primal sense of purpose and that’s what makes it so compelling. No doubt Streisand’s heroine sees herself as part of noble cause, and we’re right there with her on her quest.
White Flag by Dido
Love doesn’t always go away easily after a breakup. Sometimes it never goes away at all. In “White Flag,” off of her 2003 album For Rent, English singer-songwriter Dido sings about her enduring commitment to someone who has rejected her.
She addresses a former lover, confessing that even though their relationship is over, she can’t help but still love him.
She respects his decisions and admits her mistakes, but can’t deny the love she still feels. In fact, she seems to take pride in owning the feelings that are still there.
Dido sings, “I will go down with this ship / I won’t put my hands up and surrender / There will be no white flag above my door / I’m in love and always will be,” signifying that she intends to carry her torch forever.
In essence, “White Flag” is about having faith in feelings. In spite of what she has lost, the woman in the song holds onto her feelings, refusing to give up what’s in her heart.
Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder
Matthew Wilder’s 1983 hit “Break My Stride” is a quirky, upbeat song about refusing to let anything stand in your way!
“Break My Stride” tells the story of a man whose girlfriend has left him to follow her dreams.
He’s confused as to why she’s left him in the dust, but she explains, “Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride / Nobody gonna slow me down / Oh no, I got to keep on moving.”
In other words, her dreams are too important to her, and she can’t let anyone hold her back. And he seems to be respect her for it, resolving that if he meets another girl, he will say the same thing to her.
The fast pace and inspiring message of “Break My Stride” make it memorable hit. It’s a great song for anyone who feels dismissed or held back by the challenges in their life.
Never Give Up by Sia
In this song off the soundtrack from the 2016 film Lion, Sia uses her compelling voice to tell a story of resilience in the face of adversity.
In “Never Give Up” a woman sings about the struggles she has faced in her life. She expresses a lot of pain and regret in her past, but in the song’s powerful chorus, she resolves, “But I won’t never give up, no, no, no / … / And I won’t let you get me down.”
“Never Give Up” is a tale of inner-strength, and it expresses a woman’s promise to herself to do her best. It’s also a reminder that it is possible to be stronger than your own demons, and it serves as an anthem of hope for those who are in pain.
Reflecting the Indian roots of Lion, Sia invigorates the song with an evocative Bollywood-influenced feel that sets it apart from the rest of her catalogue.
Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel feat. Kate Bush
In this haunting progressive rock ballad, English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel teams up with Kate Bush to address an entire nation’s fall from grace.
Peter Gabriel wrote “Don’t Give Up” in 1986 after seeing Dorothea Lange’s famous In This Proud Land photographs, which showcased the brutal conditions in the American dustbowl during the Great Depression.
The idea of a once great land’s downfall with Gabriel, especially amidst the crumbling economy and rampant unemployment of Thatcher-era Britain, so he wrote “Don’t Give Up” as a sign of strength to struggling communities.
In the song’s verses, Gabriel expresses uncertainty and disappointment in how the world has turned out, but flickers of hope begin to appear in the chorus, as Kate Bush joins in to sing, “Don’t give up, ‘cause you have friends / Don’t give up, you’re not beaten yet / Don’t give up, I know you can make it good.”
Gabriel’s song reflects the tenacity with which we can hold on to hope in times of grief. It’s made even more poignant when you realize that Gabriel and Bush are singing about something they truly love – their community – and that’s why they are so committed to their faith in it.
Never Give Up on the Good Times by the Spice Girls
The Spice Girls’ 1997 album Spice World is full of anthems of self-love, and on their track “Never Give Up on the Good Times,” they sing about the importance of having fun and finding your own happiness.
In “Never Give Up on the Good Times,” the Spice Girls preach that no matter how complicated life gets, we should always make time to have fun and surround ourselves with the people we love.
“Never give up on the good times / Livin’ it up is a state of mind,” they sing in the chorus, suggesting that we all deserve some room to let loose now and then.
It’s a powerful message. Everyone needs to have fun, and the ability to enjoy yourself in spite of adversity is a strength.
“Never Give Up on the Good Times” is a great choice for the soundtrack to your night on the town. Along with its fun-loving lyrics, the soaring string interludes harken back the days the disco and make this a danceable pop favorite!
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 Grammy-winning hit is a song with a message that everyone needs to hear!
Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” tells the story of a woman moving on from heartbreak and determining to do her best and “survive” no matter who tries to hurt her.
When her former lover comes crawling back to her, she tells him off, declaring that she doesn’t need him anymore.
Gaynor was most likely singing from the heart, and she herself endured a lot of hardships (including personal loss, professional rejections, and severe health issues) before making “I Will Survive” a hit, so it’s no wonder the song has had such a powerful impact.
“I Will Survive” has served as an anthem for marginalized people across America. Antiracists, feminists, and the LGBT community have all embraced the song’s message of empowerment in the face of adversity. It was especially tied to the gay community in the 1980s as they fought for survival against the AIDS crisis.
It’s not hard to understand why “I Will Survive” resonates with so many people. It’s a song about finding inner strength and independence when we need it most, and its dynamic energy is irresistible. Gaynor passes on the will to survive through her music.
There will always be a place in the world for songs about never giving up. There’s nothing more inspiring than thinking about those who have stared the impossible in the face and found solutions to life’s problems. Hopefully some of the songs on this list have given you the strength you needed to face your demons and follow your dreams. Maybe the next great success story will be yours!
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