26/4/17 – Peter Gabriel And Kate Bush – Don’t Give Up – 1986

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

Today Olivia and I had a quintessentially English day visiting the “queen of cathedrals” at Wells in Somerset. The oldest clock face in the world from 1390 in an edifice that was constructed between 1175 and 1490. Original ancient, beautiful stained glass windows and giant organ pipes that were blasting through the stone arches and pillars as the organist practiced his licks. It took them nearly three hundred tears to build it and it is the finest and the possibly first example of Gothic architecture on a grand scale in Europe.

So today’s duet has to be quintessentially English as well. So here we have another song from Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. It comes from the mega album So and it appealed to the whole world. But its’a funny thing – I like everything about the idea but not the result. The song, their voices, the video concept by Godley and Creme (I’ve never seen the Jim Blashfield directed version but perhaps they made two videos for the song because they weren’t convinced by this one). It all seems good on paper but for example, I wish they’d look at each other! Isn’t she supposed to be consoling him? Just holding him like that isn’t enough, she needs to look into his eyes so he knows she really means it.

Musically it’s all a bit too perfect. How can you criticize Gabriel’s voice? Can a singer be too good? Kate Bush as your duet partner? Are you kidding? What could go wrong? Is it the song? One problem is that the song is inspired by the depression era images of Dorothea Lange and it all sounds a little bit too expensive, like they drove to the studio in jaguars. The sound doesn’t reflect the content. Should it? Aren’t beautifully photographed images of terrible poverty uncomfortable?

Punk managed to sound like the issues, whether they ultimately abandoned the principal for fame and fortune or not, at least they sounded hopeless. I was much more comfortable with Peter Gabriel’s fantasy world, where you might imagine a surreal cricket match or rather croquet with tumbling heads. And as for Kate I miss her waving her arms about.

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 going to be alright
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 anymore
Going to 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





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