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Peter Gabriel — Don't Give Up
Album: So
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 4314









Released: 1986
Length: 5:46
Plays (last 30 days): 2
In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

No fight left, or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face, I've changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose

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

Though I saw it all around
Never thought that I could be affected
Thought that we'd be last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Drove the night toward my home
The place that I was born, on the lakeside
As daylight broke, I saw the earth
The trees had burned down to the ground

Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up
We don't need much of anything
Don't give up
'Cause somewhere there's a place where we belong
Rest your head
You worry too much
It's gonna be all right
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Don't give up
Please don't give up

Got to walk out of here
I can't take any more
Gonna stand on that bridge
Keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come
And whatever may go
That river's flowing
That river's flowing

Moved on to another town
Tried hard to settle down
For every job, so many men
So many men no one needs

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 now
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

Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Don't give up, don't give up, don't give up
Comments (499)add comment
 William wrote:

With Dolly, it probably would have been a classic too. Just a different one. In a perfect universe, we'd get both!


Or possibly we do, in alternate universes...
As a huge Kate Bush fan, I was a bit unsure about Paula Cole singing this in  Peter Gabriel 's Secret World tour.  My concerns were unfounded, she is brilliant. I f you like this song, check out the live version with Paula.
This is so a nice song... Tears in my eyes!
It seems that being sad is the plan of God for me.
Greetings to the good people in this world.
In love...
Reeeeeeally can't hear this song anymore 
This damn song made me get teary-eyed back when I was hearing it on 91X in San Diego when it came out, and it still does. Except now the sound quality is much better. :-)
Peter having come off a very successful and penetrating 4th album - moved ever farther into the depths of his psyche and pulls forth some of the most moving songs to be heard yet today with SO…
 Typesbad wrote:

A few years I ago I was asked to give the eulogy for a man who took his life with a gun leaving behind his widow and two daughters.  He lost his professional job in the film industry and couldn't back on his feet again.  Depression cam e in and did its thing.   

Kate's "Because you have friends" lyric hits me hard because in his fall he alienated and badly treated his family causing a divide where and pretty much all of us friends sided with the family, not knowing of course where this was going.  I'm sure it seemed to him at the end that he had no friends.  I've successfully rationalized my way out of the "If onlys" and "I should haves" at this point but an emotional song like this can quickly bypass all that.

The best songs can be the most difficult to hear sometimes.



I listened to this song a lot in the '80s and '90s but never paid close attention to the lyrics. It just seemed like an earnest ballad about the struggling working class man and his supportive spouse. Then I read these comments all these years later and realize the depth of pathos that was there all along for me to see. Now this song haunts me. A lot. 
 jambo wrote:

if you haven't felt like this at some point in your life, you're a zombie. 


or a lucky bastard
"Got to walk out of here. I can't take any more. Gonna stand on that bridge. Keep my eyes down below" This verse hit me the hardest because I've actually contemplated it before. Whatever it is, just don't give up.
What? No, just something in my eye.
 eroz wrote:

Peter Gabriel originally approached Dolly Parton for the female lead. She turned it down, and thus we were blessed with Kate accompanying Peter and making this song the classic it is.


With Dolly, it probably would have been a classic too. Just a different one. In a perfect universe, we'd get both!
 sniemetz wrote:

Not disputing that; This, however, is not that recording. 
Everyone would love to be hugged the way Kate hugs Peter in the video...
Most would melt into tears...
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:

Cheery song. I envision a guy standing on a bridge rail getting ready to jump. The song ends unresolved but I think he jumps. 



Don't quite get this, and I'm even surprised to see other comments say they envision the same.  I have actually witnessed someone committing suicide. So perhaps that's why I don't fantasize about it.

I see him at his lowest low somehow hearing a gift, a voice of reason, giving him the strength to carry on...  To me, it's a message of hope and redemption.
 daiv wrote:


Given that Paula Cole was about 18 years old when this album was released (and, because of how time works, rather younger when this song was recorded), i think she may not have been the best artist at that time for this role. 
That said, her work on the Secret World Live tour is magnificent.
I did see PG in Oakland, as part of that tour. However, he cancelled his original concert for health issues. When he did the make up date, several months later, Paula Cole was not with him. 
Instead, it was Sinead O'Connor.
I am not complaining. 


But but!!! She did sing with PG
I'll be in the minority and say that this might not be Gabriel's best.
Great Tune!!!
hey everyone...don't give up!
 xcranky_yankee wrote:

Dolly Parton? Perhaps a better choice than Paula Cole but Kate Bush was perfect for this



Given that Paula Cole was about 18 years old when this album was released (and, because of how time works, rather younger when this song was recorded), i think she may not have been the best artist at that time for this role. 
That said, her work on the Secret World Live tour is magnificent.
I did see PG in Oakland, as part of that tour. However, he cancelled his original concert for health issues. When he did the make up date, several months later, Paula Cole was not with him. 
Instead, it was Sinead O'Connor.
I am not complaining. 
 bozobilusic wrote:

Levin's work on this album... makes me want to quit playing bass



Brilliant to juxtapose (sp?) his bass w/ Kate Bush's soprano.
I am not a big Kate Bush fan, but I think she's extremely good on this. 
Got something in my eye.




And to the below post, shut up the pair of you. We don't know.
 johnalexford wrote:

Silly me. I only had this as a 9. 

Anyway, the first part of this song sounds like someone regretting not getting vaccinated and now it's too late. Tell me I'm wrong:

Though I saw it all around
Never thought that I could be affected
Thought that we'd be last to go
It is so strange the way things turn



To me, it sounds more like regretting getting vaccinated. 
&ct=g
Levin's work on this album... makes me want to quit playing bass
Silly me. I only had this as a 9. 

Anyway, the first part of this song sounds like someone regretting not getting vaccinated and now it's too late. Tell me I'm wrong:

Though I saw it all around
Never thought that I could be affected
Thought that we'd be last to go
It is so strange the way things turn
 easmann wrote:


I adore Kate beyond words, but would love to have a chance to hear the Dolly version!
I really needed this song today.  Thanks Bill!
 RabbitEars wrote:

On another PG song page someone recommended the Classic Album documentary series for So. Well worth a view. 



Yes! Loved the bit where his band members (or sound engineer? don't remember) nailed him shut inside his studio out in his garden and wouldn't let him out until he finished the album, apparently he gets distracted on the next idea without finishing the last one ;-)
On another PG song page someone recommended the Classic Album documentary series for So. Well worth a view. 
You're not beaten YET? Not the most uplifting message
Dolly Parton? Perhaps a better choice than Paula Cole but Kate Bush was perfect for this
I liked this song before I liked music
I have had a pleasure to be at Peter's concert. One of the most important mucisians to me.
This is original/definitive version. But Pink&John Legend, under the supervision of Herbie Hancock, made a decent interpretation. 
 Typesbad wrote:

A few years I ago I was asked to give the eulogy for a man who took his life with a gun leaving behind his widow and two daughters.  He lost his professional job in the film industry and couldn't back on his feet again.  Depression cam e in and did its thing.   

Kate's "Because you have friends" lyric hits me hard because in his fall he alienated and badly treated his family causing a divide where and pretty much all of us friends sided with the family, not knowing of course where this was going.  I'm sure it seemed to him at the end that he had no friends.  I've successfully rationalized my way out of the "If onlys" and "I should haves" at this point but an emotional song like this can quickly bypass all that.

The best songs can be the most difficult to hear sometimes.


Thanks for sharing that. I hope that in the coming years people come to understand more about trauma, neuroscience and the nervous system. We are naturally avoidant of people in depression because it affects our state negatively. People in depression naturally drive people away not due to some character flaw, but because their bodies are in a state of collapse that affects their thinking. With some understanding of what's really going on, compassion can overtake judgment and we can learn how to be with people in pain. 
 eroz wrote:

Peter Gabriel originally approached Dolly Parton for the female lead. She turned it down, and thus we were blessed with Kate accompanying Peter and making this song the classic it is.



Either way, PG is a genius.
Timeless
"Rest your head, you worry too much..."
Words I didn't hear until quite late in life. Gets me every time I hear them. .
Is RP trying to be ironic, playing "The Funeral" right after Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up"? Ugh
When I was passed over for Commander, Eva stood by me. This song will always mean the world to me. (Made it the second time around. Kate (and Eva and PG) were right.)

Don't give up.
Sweet
Timely
 ckcotton wrote:
The only Kate Bush I appreciate.
 

I read something similar about Paula Cole vs. Sinead O'Conner yesterday. I just don't get it?? Peter chose who to record with... Alas, opinions are ours to have.
Long Live                                                                                                                                      Radio Paradise
For me                                                                                                                                     9 -OUTSTANDING       
The only Kate Bush I appreciate.
if you haven't felt like this at some point in your life, you're a zombie. tectonic. 10

thanks bill 
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:
Cheery song. I envision a guy standing on a bridge rail getting ready to jump. The song ends unresolved but I think he jumps. 

 
A few years I ago I was asked to give the eulogy for a man who took his life with a gun leaving behind his widow and two daughters.  He lost his professional job in the film industry and couldn't back on his feet again.  Depression cam e in and did its thing.   

Kate's "Because you have friends" lyric hits me hard because in his fall he alienated and badly treated his family causing a divide where and pretty much all of us friends sided with the family, not knowing of course where this was going.  I'm sure it seemed to him at the end that he had no friends.  I've successfully rationalized my way out of the "If onlys" and "I should haves" at this point but an emotional song like this can quickly bypass all that.

The best songs can be the most difficult to hear sometimes.

Saturday evening in Germany and you play one favourite song after the other for me ....
Peter Gabriel Kate Bush, great
I read his biography it is really amazing and insightful and takes albums and song by song meanings and personnel .  Worthwhile for those in his space, he's a very deep  thinker and dreamer.
 eroz wrote:
Peter Gabriel originally approached Dolly Parton for the female lead. She turned it down, and thus we were blessed with Kate accompanying Peter and making this song the classic it is.
 
Amazing. I did not know that. Thanks.
Peter Gabriel: ‘Kate Bush replaced Dolly Parton on ‘Don’t Give Up”
 eroz wrote:
Peter Gabriel originally approached Dolly Parton for the female lead. She turned it down, and thus we were blessed with Kate accompanying Peter and making this song the classic it is.

 
Dodged a bullet there.
Peter Gabriel originally approached Dolly Parton for the female lead. She turned it down, and thus we were blessed with Kate accompanying Peter and making this song the classic it is.
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:
Cheery song. I envision a guy standing on a bridge rail getting ready to jump. The song ends unresolved but I think he jumps. 

 
Yes, this is one sad song,, Kate's constant optimism not withstanding (and I think he jumps too). But you know, the occasional sad song is okay with me. Especially one of this high caliber. A great song regardless and always been one of my faves.
The anthem for us unemployed {#Frustrated}
I'm not knocking Mr Gabriel or his fans but I have yet to hear a P.G. song that isn't boring
this song has an average rating of 8, I don't get it {#Sleep}
 
 GeorgeMWoods wrote:
Cheery song. I envision a guy standing on a bridge rail getting ready to jump. The song ends unresolved but I think he jumps. 

 
But at least he's listening to some quality music....
Not all songs are meant to be cheery nor do they need to be, but this one actually is, albeit in a rather subtle and slightly twisted way. Just because the instrumentation isn't overly jovial doesn't mean that there isn't an uplifting message/sentiment there somewhere.
Cheery song. I envision a guy standing on a bridge rail getting ready to jump. The song ends unresolved but I think he jumps. 
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
When Kate sings "you worry too much" I just lose it.
 
Everybody should have a First Aid Kate
easy 10.

Best on vinyl too. 
STUNNING, TRULY STUNNING.
Love the part where the piano comes in. That's Richard Tee.
I never thought I could fail
 Got to walk out of here.
  Got to work out a deal.
{#Notworthy}
 wgsu_1978 wrote:
When Kate sings "you worry too much" I just lose it.
 
yes.
Oh dat dem der bass{#Bananajam}
When Kate sings "you worry too much" I just lose it.
Kate steals it.
Great triplet of songs - Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb, then the best Tori Amos song (the one she doesn't sing in :-)  and then PG (with Kate B in the background...
I heard PG perform this at the Hollywood Bowl with a full orchestra a few years back.  I believe it was his daughter singing the Kate Bush lines.  My wife & I were awe struck at how moving it was.  Most moving live song we have ever heard.  Ever.
At a low point in my life, a longtime friend and colleague gave me this CD. Several songs in particular really hit me: this is one.
A bit surprise on RP... anyway, an absolute classics!

Extremely beautiful and moving!

 


 milleronic wrote:
 this isn't funny, and I feel sorry for you if you think it is.

 
I guess I should then feel sorry for you for missing the point or having a narrow attitude towards life... but I don't feel sorry for strangers and you seem to have enough pity in your life as it is.
 unclehud wrote:

.... because my brother shot himself at age 31.

 
...which only means he's been through a lot worse than you, even though you suffered the loss of him, and you'll never get to know it until you yourself get there.
Everybody in my alien space craft loves this song, and this entire marvelous album...
 unclehud wrote:

Please shed some light.  This looks like the opening line to a good story.

 
Kate Bush on the left. PG on the right. Duh.
 testpilot wrote:


too easy   {#Cheesygrin}

  this isn't funny, and I feel sorry for you if you think it is.


Just those five rising piano notes (twice) in the middle eight lift this song up high. I heard this to overkill in the mid-1980s, but it must be 5 or more years since the last time. Perhaps I don't need to wait another five before the next occasion.
 rdo wrote:

I read them again...nothing.

I have thrown some shit back at you elsewhere on RP because you seem to get off scott free for some confounding reason...don't be a pussy about it.... 

 
go clean your gun.
...would love to hear this roll into 'No Ordinary Love' by Sade         {#Whisper}
 *wink*
 Mannick wrote:
Pleaaase enough with this song! It seems like it's played at least once every 24h! To be honest, even if it was a song I love --clearly it's not but that's just remotely important -- it's on air way to often, just like the other one... Diggin in the dust!

 
You mean: (aka 'WHINE area')  Played twice in the last 30 days I say is not enough!  An 8 from me!
Gorgeous.
Pleaaase enough with this song! It seems like it's played at least once every 24h! To be honest, even if it was a song I love --clearly it's not but that's just remotely important -- it's on air way to often, just like the other one... Diggin in the dust!
 gemtag wrote:
Love Peter, Love Kate. Great Album. His best. but this song is so sappy it makes me want to hurl pancake syrup. 
 
Balance it with some of his other work. I recommend "Intruder". There. You can take the sappy again :)
A very moving song from a Masterful album.

 
It may be material for ridicule now, but this song helped so many that were thinking there was no escape, nothing to live for. Who know how many lives it touched - and saved.
Please, please... please, FFS, GIVE UP!
 oldsaxon wrote:

read them again...and again if you must. They tell such a rich story that they desrve understanding.

 
I read them again...nothing.

I have thrown some shit back at you elsewhere on RP because you seem to get off scott free for some confounding reason...don't be a pussy about it.... 
 RabbitEars wrote:


 
Please shed some light.  This looks like the opening line to a good story.
 testpilot wrote:
Oh.... and you're so sure of it because you've been through all the possible hardships one can imagine, or...?  {#Smile}
 
.... because my brother shot himself at age 31.
This song is particularly satisfying today.
 oldsaxon wrote:

read them again...and again if you must. They tell such a rich story that they desrve understanding.

 
I'm sure there's a specific story behind the lyrics- but to me, they are translatable to any circumstance involving hardship- whether societal or personal.


 rdo wrote:

It is a very inspirational song.   I am not sure what the lyrics mean.  I seldom do. I seldom care.   But this is wonderful.

 
read them again...and again if you must. They tell such a rich story that they desrve understanding.
 impediguy wrote:
This song helped me through some very tough times so long ago.
 
It is a very inspirational song.   I am not sure what the lyrics mean.  I seldom do. I seldom care.   But this is wonderful.


This is such a beautiful song...  this album is awesome...

 
 unclehud wrote:

Never a good choice.  Ever. 

 


Oh.... and you're so sure of it because you've been through all the possible hardships one can imagine, or...?  {#Smile}
The always exquisite and angelic vocals of Kate Bush.
 bendame wrote:
Not his best song.
 

... but still incredible and beautiful
Song remains relevant and poignant here in 2013 given the continued high levels of unemployment and general economic malaise we are enduring.

But then again, I really like Peter Gabriel...
{#Notworthy}
 testpilot wrote:


 
Never a good choice.  Ever.  Even if I don't like you.
 lidia88 wrote:
this is one of the most important songs in MY LIFE.. 
 
 
That's kind of sad. The song is so weepy and maudlin.
bendame wrote:
Not his best song.
 
Maybe, but that is what happens when you have a catalogue of songs as deep and strong as he does. Few artist reach that mark.I like this one. Bass playing strong, arrrangement builds nicely, heart felt story... 


too easy   {#Cheesygrin}
 bendame wrote:
Not his best song.
 



Well except maybe fir Tony Levin's playing :-)
Not his best song.
wnen the piano comes in the song goes from the particular to the universal...as relevant today as when it was  written
Would have been OK (just) if Kate Bush wasn't singing. 
So much precious so early in the morning.
 She put out a beautiful album 50 Words for Snow last November. Really worth checking out...especially as the winter is approaching :)

mgkiwi wrote:
Whatever happened to Kate's bush {#Twisted}
 


 mgkiwi wrote:
Whatever happened to Kate's bush {#Twisted}
 

heh heh.    ummmmmm.... i don't think they have those anymore...almost positive
Whatever happened to Kate's bush {#Twisted}
This song helped me through some very tough times so long ago.
 rdo wrote:
Only one word to describe this.  Genius. Shite.  {#Notworthy}
 


 rdo wrote:
Only one word to describe this.  Genius.  {#Notworthy}
 

{#Daisy} you are so wrong  {#Daisy} 

  {#Daisy}  wrong wrong   {#Daisy} 

     {#Daisy}  wrong    {#Daisy}
{#Sick} 

{#Eek}

{#No}

{#Sad}

{#Ass} 
Only one word to describe this.  Genius.  {#Notworthy}