songs to bring your fight back – a playlist for the gloomy

I do like a good anthem.

There are a few songs which I always turn to if I’m feeling low and they pull me back up. I stick them on really loud in the living room and leap around — do a ‘stage dive’ off the sofa, head-banging until my glasses fly off and I feel sea-sick….or just curling up in the bean-bag next to the speaker and letting the words wash over me.

Pear Jam ‘The Fixer‘ – see it HERE.

When I first heard this song I felt like Eddie Vedder was singing my soul. I am a bit of a ‘fixer’ (which is not always a good thing – sometimes broke things are broke) and I usually see the best in people and life…listening to this song gives me such an emotional charge – for me it’s like to plugging into a universal battery or something…

Sample lyric:

“When somethings dark, let me shed a little light on it
When somethings cold, let me put a little fire on it
If somethings old, I wanna put a bit of shine on it
When somethings gone, I wanna fight to get it back again…”

The Clash ‘I’m not down‘ – listen to it HERE.

I love this song so much – I even quoted in a poem in ‘The Comforter’. It’s uplifting properties are pretty obvious, I think.

Sample lyric:

And I have lived that kind of day
When none of your sorrows will go away
It goes down and down and hit the floor
Down and down and down some more
But I know there’ll be some way
When I can swing everything back my way
Like skyscrapers rising up
Floor by floor, I’m not giving up.”

Bjork ‘Five Years‘ – listen to it HERE.

I love the crashing, plodding beat of this song….great for angry dancing. The song is a tirade against people who won’t step up to the slings and arrows of really loving someone. Good song to put on when someone you love has let you down.

Sample lyric:

“I dare you
To take me on
I dare you
To show me your palms

I’m so bored with cowards
That say what they want
Then they can’t handle

You can’t handle love
You can’t handle love
You just can’t handle.”

Morrissey – ‘I know it’s going to happen someday.’ Listen HERE.

Yearning alert! This song is so full of yearning it is painful! but oh – what exquisite pain!


My love, wherever you are 
Whatever you are 
Don’t lose faith 
I know it’s gonna happen someday 
To you 

Please wait
Please wait
Don’t lose faith 

You say that the day just never arrives 
And it’s never seemed so far away 
Still, I know it’s gonna happen someday 
To you 

Please wait
Don’t lose faith.” 

Le Tigre  – ‘Keep On Living‘ – HERE

The punk equivalent of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ without the calm, so much, coz this is a song with fighting spirit. Again, excellent for living room thrash-dancing.

Sample lyric:

You gotta keep on (keep on livin!)…
Look up to the sky sky sky.
Take back your own tonight.
You’ll find more than you see.
It’s time now now get ready.
So you can taste that sweet sweet cake
And feel the warm water in a lake (y’know).
What about that nice cool breeze?
And hear the buzzing of the bumble bees.
Just live beyond those neighborhood lives
And go past the yard outside
And push through your greatest fears
And live past your memories ters
Cuz you don’t need to scratch inside.
Just please hold onto your pride and…
So don’t let them bring you down
And don’t let them fuck you around cuz those are you arms,
That is your heat and no no they can’t tear you apart.
They can’t take it away, no!
This is your time. This is your life.’

Tall Dwarfs ‘Mr Broccoli’ – HERE

This song is so simple and happy and unlike the usual Tall Dwarfs style – it makes me smile and float off into a specifically New Zealand dreamland of warm afternoons lying on the grass in the backyard, drinking endless cups of tea and being silly with your mates…..

Sample lyric:

Who will bring the sunshine?

Who will take the rain?

I will be waiting

I’ll remember

I will be waiting – here forever.” 

Santigold ‘The Creator’ HERE

This is my ‘writing rejection’ song – when I get another rejection and I feel like no one gets my shit. This song is about ORIGINALITY, tearing down the plans and making the world afresh! Also….banging dance track  – plain and sumple.

Sample lyric:

Got no need for the fancy things 
All the attention that it brings 
Tell me no, I say yes, I was chosen 
And I will deliver the explosion 

Can’t say it’s gonna get me far 
Do no good to say what you are 
I run the streets and I break up houses 
River runs deep and the flame devours it 

Me, I’m a Creator 
Thrill is to make it up 
The rules I break got me a place 
Up on the radar 
Me, I’m a Taker 
Know what the stakes are 
Can’t roll it back, it’s understood 
Got to play our cards.

Bad Brains – ‘Sailing On’ Listen HERE – although it’s pretty bad quality

This one is good for letting go! (and jumping.)

Sample lyric:

So I’m sailin’, well I’m sailin’ on. 
I’m movin’, hey I’m movin’ on.
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.’

Hole – GutlessHERE

Another great one for venting when you’re pissed off at someone:

Sample lyric:

‘You can try to suck me dry 
But there’s nothing left to suck 
Just you try to hold me down 
Come on try to shut me up 
Step and fetch. Grease my hips 
I don’t even have to pause 
I don’t really miss God 
But I sure miss Santa Claus 
You’re gutless 
You’re gutless.’

Kimya Dawson – ‘I like giants’HERE

Sweetness made music.

Sample lyric:

‘I am grounded, I am humbled, I am one with everything.’

Michael Franti & Spearhead ‘Hey World‘ – HERE

A big ‘get up / stand up’ to the world from peace warrior Michael Franti. MOTIVATING.

Sample lyric:

Hey world, you know you got to put up a fight 
Hey world, you rumble in the jungle tonight 
Hey world, keep bringing it the rest of your life 
You got to put up a fight.’

Jimmy Cliff ‘You can get it if you really want‘ – HERE

Super-encouraging for those dejected days, and fun to dance to as well.

Persecution you must fear

win or lose, you’ve got to get your share

got your mind set on a dream

you can get it – hard as it seems now!’ 

There are a tonne more on my ‘fight back’ list – but this post is getting really long, I might do #2 another day!

Do you have any personal anthems?


2 thoughts on “songs to bring your fight back – a playlist for the gloomy

  1. Michael Franti & Spearhead ‘Hey World‘ has been my #1 get up off the couch and get back on the horse (the horse in this metaphor usually being some campaign to save the world…) song since it came out.

    When I got back from Gaza and was processing a lot of grief and a bit of shell shock, and living with my sister whose boyfriend/best friend had just committed suicide we used to play Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn & Bic Runga’s joint version of ‘Something Good’ every morning to get us up and going (Together in Concert: Live album).


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