Throughout my adult life, there have been a handful of songs that I can rely on to lift my spirits or keep me going, when I thought life dealt me a bad hand or I was down and depressed for whatever reason. One of those songs is “Don’t Give Up” by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.
“Don’t Give Up” appears on Peter’s 1986 breakthrough album, SO, was the second single released in the U.K., and the fifth one released here in America. Despite 3 Top 40 hits on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 (including a No. 1 ranking for “Sledgehammer”), “Don’t Give Up” wasn’t well-received here, and stopped at No. 72. Across the globe, it was a Top 10 hit in the U.K., Holland, Ireland and Australia.
There were two videos released for the song, but it was the first video – directed by Godley & Creme – that moves me to this day. It’s a heartfelt 6-minute embrace between Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, with the sun going through a total eclipse in the background and comes back out again. I loved the video so much, I bought the accompanying VHS tape with the videos to the songs on SO. The Godley & Creme video for “Don’t Give Up” is one of my all-time favorite videos to this day.
Many covers have been done over the years, including versions by Alicia Keys and Bono, Jody Watley, P!nk and John Legend, and a version by Willie Nelson and Sinéad O’Connor from 1993, which I’ve never heard but will now have to pick up ASAFP.
I’m sure everyone has their go-to songs when things aren’t going right, and I’m all for that. I don’t know where I’d be now if music wasn’t such a big deal in my life, and it’s songs like “Don’t Give Up” that helped get me to where I am today – breathing, optimistic, happy to be living, excited to see what’s coming up next, thanks in no small part to these words…
Don’t give up / ‘cause you have friends
Don’t give up / you’re not the only one
Don’t give up / no reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up / you still have us
Don’t give up / we’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up / you know it’s never been easy
Don’t give up / ‘cause I believe there’s a place
There’s a place where we belong…