To some, when the word bravery is mentioned, they automatically think of combat situations. But there are other situations where bravery is also important.
There are many more instances than just combat where bravery needs to be shown. In a military situation, there is sometimes no choice. In personal experience, there is a choice. You can lay down and give up or stand up and show what you are made of.
Where individual character needs to be the dominant factor, that is where I will be concentrating my choices about songs and music that personify bravery. Some will be personal, others songs that motivated nations and peoples.
So, let’s take an in-depth look at some songs about bravery.
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
- My Immortal – Evanescence
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland
- We Are The Champions – Queen
- Hold Your Head Up – Argent
- Let It Be – The Beatles
- Hold On – Wilson Phillips
- The Show Must Go On – Queen
- Something Inside So Strong – Labi Siffre
- You’re The Voice – John Farnham
- In Search of Songs with Sentiment?
- Songs About Bravery – Final Thoughts
This song became somewhat of an anthem in many ways. It was written about a lady finding the courage to put her life back together after a break-up. Openly saying, “at first, I was afraid.” But then, from within, finding the courage to get on with her new life.
But it became so much more than that, and the song took on a wider meaning. It became an encouragement to women in all walks of life and all situations. It became empowerment and, in some ways, an anthem for women’s movements.
I am not sure that writers Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris knew that was what it would become. To them, it may just have been a disco hit record.
Now to a band that has produced some great tracks over the years. They are known for being rather morose, and their songs tend to have an air of sadness about them. This is a good example.
It is a song about being brave after the tragic loss of a loved one. “My Immortal” is a song about finding the courage to carry on without them.
A song that is good for anyone who is in a similar situation and struggling with their grief. A song about finding bravery inside you may never have known existed.
A strange choice? Not really; this is a song about hope and believing that a better place exists. A place where dreams come true. It can be interpreted in both positive and negative ways.
The negative way is to wish for it but realize that no such place exists. The positive way is being brave enough to believe it might just exist. A song that encourages you to be brave enough to reach for better things and to believe you can achieve them.
Freddie Mercury had a way of writing songs to bury his arrogance in the essence of the song. This was first written in 1975 and considered rather arrogant as a piece of work.
The idea that Freddie said he had had “sand kicked in my face” but had come through it intimated what we all knew he wasn’t. But there was a much deeper meaning as there usually is with his songs.
It is much more personal and humble than just winning
Freddie saw winning as not about fighting or exerting authority over someone else. He saw it as being brave through the hard times and coming out the other side. And at the time, he was going through some really tough times. He came through it all and became, in his mind, a champion by being brave enough to overcome it.
Certainly one of the most underrated bands I ever saw, Argent were formed from remnants of the Zombies. This song was written by bass player Chris White and Rod Argent.
There has always been a little confusion over it. But the song is about giving strength to women, empowering them if you like. The words “hold your head up” are only part of the story. The next word of that line, “woman,” is often forgotten or misheard. What you, therefore, get then is “Hold Your Head Up…Woman”.
A song that encourages women to overcome abuse and ridicule and rise above it all. That takes some bravery.
The many myths and stories surrounding the Beatles were all crammed into this period. “Let it Be” was the last single but wasn’t the last album recorded. Although it was the last album released.
There are too many considerations of the in-fighting and why between all four to go into here. Needless to say, this track is particularly poignant in that it has a message of being brave enough to get out of problems and things that cause you sorrow.
John didn’t like its “pseudo-religious” atmosphere. Everyone knew McCartney had been baptized a Catholic, although he didn’t follow the religion. The inference of “Mother Mary” then was strong. But it wasn’t religious at all.
Not Religious as Some Assume
McCartney’s mother died when he was 14; her name was Mary, she was also a Catholic. This is the “Mother Mary” he saw in the dream that allegedly inspired the song. Nothing religious about it at all.
But it was a song about escaping from sorrow and misery. And that is just about how at least three of the four saw it at the time. Even mild-mannered George couldn’t stand McCartney’s attempted dominance at the end.
Why is it here? How brave would you have to be to walk away from the greatest band there ever was or ever will be?
This was a song released in 1990 by the US girl group of Wendy and Carnie Wilson and Chynna Phillips.
Mums and Dads
They didn’t have a bad pedigree before they even started. Wendy and Carnie are the daughters of a certain Brian Wilson. Chynna was the daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of Mamas and Papas fame.
This is a song that might be called a “support-group” song. It is often played as an encouragement to groups that have got together who have problems in their lives.
Chynna wrote the words of this song whilst not only experiencing substance abuse but also in the midst of a dreadful relationship. Battling on two fronts, she overcame them both.
“Hold On” is an encouragement for people suffering such things to hang in there and be brave because things will get better, as they did for her.
Let’s take a look at one last song that refers to the need for personal bravery. Taken from the 1991 album “Innuendo,” this is a Queen song that sometimes goes under the radar. This may be because it was so hard to face the facts.
It was written by Brian May, not Freddie Mercury as some say, who had to show bravery in one way. It was written about Freddie Mercury, who was trying to show it in another.
The Quiet Secret That So Many Feared
The mesmeric frontman had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. No one knew except those closest to him, although we began to wonder. It was never a cry for help. It was a documentary about how you handle news like that from both sides of the equation.
One side says, “Inside my heart is breaking, My make-up may be flaking, But my smile still stays on.” The other side affirms, “I’ll face it with a grin; I’m never giving in.” Bravery indeed from both sides.
It took him at the end, of course. But the band played to the last moment, and he fronted them as long as he could. All of them were broken inside by what was happening. But showing the bravery required to see it through was manifest in the lyrics of this song.
So, what about songs that inspire nations and peoples? I can vividly remember hearing this song for the first time. In my ill-informed ignorance, I was aware of apartheid in South Africa but didn’t comprehend its effect. This was a song written and sung by British singer-songwriter Labi Siffre that changed all that.
He is an interesting character. Born in London to a Nigerian father and a British mother who was part Belgian and part Barbadian. He wasn’t the deprived individual many thought he might be and had a good education and upbringing.
But his desire for freedom in South Africa was influential. He wrote this song after watching a documentary about apartheid in South Africa on TV.
When Botha resigned as President in 1989, the ANC was already a growing political concern as many indigenous people joined the call for equality. Botha’s successor, F. W. De Klerk, brought this about. Mandela was released in 1990, and the rest is history.
First released in 1987, this song was a big part of the growing movement for that equality. It became a symbol of oppression but also a call to be brave and throw down the oppressive regime peacefully. Of course, it wasn’t all peaceful and hasn’t been since. But the message is still strong even today.
When Others Have the Guns
Labi Siffre’s emotional and emotive performance encouraged and fortified people who had to be brave to achieve what they needed to. Bravery when the other side has guns, and you haven’t is “real” bravery.
His line in the song, “The higher you build your barriers, the taller I become,” resonates even today in various countries. If you want or need a song to instill bravery and inner belief, then this is it. We are better than we know, and how some of us behave.
I am going to finish our look at songs about bravery from Australia that is more than special. In Hyde Park in London in 1985, there was a protest march against nuclear weapons.
It was far larger than what was imagined in terms of numbers, well over 100,000. The people of the UK and those who came from overseas spoke very loudly. We don’t want them. We don’t support countries that do.
It became the inspiration for this song and an anthem in many places. The message was clear, and it took brave people to say it in a world where imaginary muscles were being flexed. Singer John Farnham said, “It’s an anti-war song,” really.
“We’re all someone’s daughter, all someone’s son. Yet we look at each other down the barrel of a gun.”
It Resonated With Some
The message resonated, and the song went to number 1 in the UK, Australia, Sweden, and West Germany. A massive hit in Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, and a dozen other countries.
Of course, the public of the war-mongering nations ignored it. If they were even allowed to hear it. And a bagpipe solo in the middle, that was brave as well. Sometimes it is the bravest man or woman who stands up and says no more. This song did just that.
In Search of Songs with Sentiment?
We can help with that. Have a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Friendship, the Best Sing-Along Songs, the Best Songs About Clouds, Funny Songs to Sing with Kids, and The 20 Best Jazz Albums of All Time for some great songs to add to your playlists.
Likewise, you’ll need to listen to all those tracks. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Digital Audio Players, the Best Smart Speakers, and the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers you can buy in 2023.
Songs About Bravery – Final Thoughts
Bravery comes in many shapes and sizes. But the bravery that really counts is sometimes the private battles of individuals. And sometimes, most times, they are the catalyst for change.
Until next time, let the music play.