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59 Best Songs about Fighting to Get You Pumped Up

When we read a title like ‘Songs about Fighting,’ the inference and the connotation are usually negative. We are quite used to reading about and seeing on TV or other outlets plenty of violence. It is usually a manifestation of how low as a human race we can go. Not something to be proud of as some seem to think we should be.

But there is another side to this. And fighting songs can have a positive side. What about those fighting for freedom, justice, or equality? What about those fighting for long-overdue changes? Most of those still apply and are very relevant today.


Some Misunderstandings

There have been plenty of songs written about fighting. Some misunderstood what the writer intended, intentionally or otherwise. Let’s take a look at some from all aspects of the meaning of the word.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at the best songs about fighting that include all the above. And most are as relevant today as they were when they were written.

59 Best Songs about Fighting to Get You Pumped Up

1 Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar

The 60s was a period of great change. Not all of it is good, of course. And one thing that did happen was the rebellious streak of teenagers began to appear. It was probably always there. But stifled by either dictatorial parents and adults or an ingrained instruction that you have to “fit in.”

By the time the 80s arrived, it was almost open warfare in some households. Parents trying to cling to their assumed authority. Kids trying to break free of all that. Kids couldn’t have “their way,” so they left home. After all, we knew better, didn’t we? Well, actually no, looking back on it, we didn’t.

Growing Up

This song from Pat Benatar is a story of growing up and trying to get away from domineering parents. It was a representation of the time, with plenty of movies discussing the same theme.

It had originally been a rather lovely ballad. You can still hear the chord structures creating a sad and moody feel. But it was given a driving bassline and a strong, albeit drum machine, rhythm. One of her best tracks.

2 Street Fighting Man – by The Rolling Stones

Here is one of the songs about fighting I mentioned that was misunderstood by many. This is not a call to go down the bar, get tanked up, and then fight in the street. This was the Rolling Stones being political.

This has an interesting backstory. Mick Jagger attended an anti-Vietnam war demonstration outside the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, in 1968. I went along as well with a group of friends, as did over 100,000 others. He never came up and said hello to us. How rude. Anyways.

This was written about that experience as the crowds were attacked by various unnamed “authoritarian” groups. It was never recorded at the time, but those “purveyors of peace and good order” were attacked back by the people and ran away. 

A Clever Play on Motown?

How could that be? Mick wrote in the lyrics, “Summers here, the time is right, for fighting in the streets.” “Dancing in the Street” had been a big hit recently in the UK. An open encouragement to take to the streets? Undeniably.

It was also a reference to similar demonstrations all over Europe, especially the 1968 riots in Paris. It was the Stone’s most political song, and living in the shadow of the Beatles, proved they could do something right.

3 Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Can you remember the 80’s? Silly haircuts in rock bands were all the rage. Cheesy storylines for the songs and the birth of what was termed “soft rock.” This song had it all. But it did have a little bit more than just a tacky attempt to get attention.

It had a good rock beat, driven on by effective rather than exceptional drums and bass. And it had a pretty good guitar solo. It was a song written for the movie “Rocky III” because Queen had refused to let Stallone use one of their songs.

Certainly, one of the best 1980s fighting songs, even though it has been overplayed a little.

4 Emerald – Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy had a reputation, a “Bad Reputation.” And in some quarters, it was well-deserved. You could take most of their albums and find two or three tracks about fighting someone or something. But this track was different. Our first from “Lizzy.”

Phil Lynott, despite being seen as a half-black rock star (something unusual at the time, especially in Ireland), had a fascination for Irish history. 

This is a song about the warring clans in Ireland going back centuries. Nothing much has changed in that area over time, has it? It is one of their finest tracks, with Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson combining superbly.

Was it Live?

It was included on “Live and Dangerous,” a live album partly recorded at Wembley in 1976 in London. I was there that night. It was pure magic as a band that had every ability suddenly came together and produced the second-best live album of all time. (Deep Purple “Made in Japan” probably beats it, but only just).

Was it Doctored?

The presence of Tony Visconti in the production suite indicates there were plenty of “adjustments” going on when it came to mixing it. Most live albums are tweaked anyway, so it doesn’t matter. It stands out as a classic song about a subject dear to Phil’s heart.

5 Fight For Your Right – The Beastie Boys

Here is another song where so many people got the interpretation completely wrong. This was a track from their first album, “Licensed To Ill.” It certainly became one of their most popular songs and gave them a lot of attention.

But it was just a parody, not a call to arms. It was making fun of the mundane rock music that was so prevalent at the time. It was released in 1986, so perhaps it was a reaction against all the “soft rock” I mentioned earlier.

A typical commonplace guitar riff, with driving drums and bass. I thought it was a different way of doing things. A bit like when the Sex Pistols arrived. It isn’t a million miles away from the Pistols in the sound. Some called it rap. More punk, in my view, and a good track and worth including.

6 Saturday Nights Alright (For Fighting) – Elton John

Could Elton rock and roll? Anyone who saw him in the very early days in the Northwood Hills pub in West London on a Friday night had no doubts. His standing on a beat-up old piano was one of my lasting memories of Reggie.

Another song about rebellion. He tells the authoritarians quite firmly to get out of his way. This is a Saturday song and going out with a “handful of grease in your hair.” Once again, a lot has been read into this song. Sometimes songs come from the simplest of experiences.


It is criticized for putting forth stereotypes using the words “juvenile product of the working class.” So what are those people saying, there are no working-class kids today? Or are we just not allowed to mention it. Okay, shhh…

It’s probably a reflection on those raucous Friday nights and sometimes also Sunday lunchtimes. A few beers did go down. And the “Northwood” not being the most salubrious of places, there was the odd punch up. I think it’s called life for those that never experienced it. A great rock n roll song from a great writer and performer.

7 Tubthumper – Chumbawamba

A song that refers more to sticking it out when times are hard. The “I get knocked down, but I get up again” tells the story. And it is not just an emotional or psychological knockdown either.

The word “Tubthumper” goes back a long way and isn’t a punk rock creation. This 1997 release brought it to people’s attention, but the use of the word goes back to the 17th century. It means an advocate, champion for the unfortunate, a supporter if you like.

This is a song about getting knocked down whilst standing up for something. However, it does make references to having a few too many. It is a bit of fun that has a serious side if you want to find it. Or a light side if you don’t. A track that brought them some success.

8 Ballroom Blitz – Sweet

Let’s look at another song borne out of experiences. Sweet was a bit of an enigma. In some circles viewed as a novelty band; in others, as a bit of a joke. They saw themselves, though, as a new Deep Purple. Certainly, they had the drummer for it, but the rest maybe not. 

They played in Scotland one night, in Kilmarnock a few miles south of Glasgow. It could be great in Scotland, or not, for a band. They, like their music, were either very traditional and folky or very hard and rocky. 

Sweet had some rather camp stage clothes 

That would not have amused the audience at all. They left the stage under a hail of bottles without finishing their set. To the band, it was all a bit of fun. To the audience, not so much. 

The experience caused their songwriters to come up with “Ballroom Blitz,” which was ironically a big success. Drummer Mick Tucker remembers having to fight their way out of the venue, literally.

9 Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

Put a sudden surge of interest in martial arts in the mix with disco, and you get this track. It sounded like it was thrown together to use up some studio time at the end of a session. It was. This was never intended to be a serious effort. But the people at Pye Records disagreed. They were right. 

It became a monster hit despite the rather cheesy lyrics and even worse dance routines that went with it. Additionally, it sold over 11 million worldwide, so if you are looking at the bottom line, it was all worth it.

It didn’t last, of course. The follow-up “Dance the Kung Fu” bombed out. However, the interest in martial arts grew even greater. Possibly because of this track.

10 Warriors – Thin Lizzy

Back to Thin Lizzy one last time and to that live album, “Live and Dangerous.” A song that was originally on the “Jailbreak” album from 1976. 

The guitar riff and parts were written essentially by Scott Gorham. The words are a bit wild and all over the place. They refer to certain individuals, two in particular, and their fight to overcome addictions.

“Death is no easy answer, For those who wish to know, Ask those who have been before you, What fate the future holds, It ain’t pretty.”

The two were Jimi Hendrix, who died in 1970, and Jim Morrison in 1971. Both fought battles to overcome their excesses. Phil Lynott wrote most of the words. That was ironic as he succumbed himself to pneumonia, complicated by his addictions in 1986. Some battles are fought, and the only monuments are gravestones.

11 Revolution – The Beatles

Can’t have a list of the best fighting songs without including this lot somewhere. This is an interesting song in that John’s lyrics explored the possibilities of fighting and opposing but without any violence. Possibly a precursor to later efforts with a similar message in “Power To The People” and “Imagine.”

Just like “Street Fighting Man” by the Rolling Stones from earlier, this was inspired by the demonstrations in London in 1968. But whereas Mick called for the people to go on the streets aggressively, John’s message was the opposite.

12 Fighter – Christina Aguilera

13 Fight Fire with Fire – Metallica

14 Fight the Power – Public Enemy

15 Uprising – Muse

16 Fight Inside – Red

17 Fight Like a Brave – Red Hot Chili Peppers

18 Take the Power Back – Rage Against the Machine

19 Break Stuff – Limp Bizkit

20 Fight Test – The Flaming Lips

21 We Gotta Fight – The Chemical Brothers

22 Fight – Icon For Hire

23 Fighting – Yellowcard

24 The Fight Song – Marilyn Manson

25 Fight for Life – Good Charlotte

26 Battle Born – The Killers

27 Out of Control – Hoobastank

28 All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, and Rick Ross

29 Stand Up – Trapt

30 Fight the Feeling – Mac Miller feat. Kendrick Lamar

31 Break My Fall – Breaking Benjamin

32 Blow Me Away – Breaking Benjamin feat. Valora

33 Don’t Stay – Linkin Park

34 War – Sum 41

35 Never Again – Kelly Clarkson

36 Battleflag – Lo Fidelity Allstars

37 Fight for Your Life – Helloween

38 Fistful of Silence – The Glitch Mob

39 You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi

40 Fight to Survive – Stan Bush

41 This Means War – Avenged Sevenfold

42 Ready for War (Pray for Peace) – Adelitas Way

43 Rise Above This – Seether

44 Fight Like a Girl – Emilie Autumn

45 Second Chance – Shinedown

46 Bulletproof – Godsmack

47 Burn It Down – Fitz and The Tantrums

48 Fight Like Hell – Sia

49 The Last Fight – Bullet for My Valentine

50 Overcome – Creed

51 The Battle of One – 30 Seconds to Mars

52 Get Up – Stand Up – Phunky Phantom

53 Sound Off – Trapt

54 A Beautiful Lie – Thirty Seconds to Mars

55 Silent Running – Mike + The Mechanics

56 Fight for All the Wrong Reasons – Nickelback

57 Fallen Leaves – Billy Talent

58 Fight or Flight – Horizons

59 Crawl – Kings of Leon

Internal Arguments

John abhorred the idea of the “New Left” and their violent overthrow of authority. He wanted peaceful change. But the rest of the Beatles weren’t so sure they should get involved at all. It caused some dissension. But John put his foot down, and it was released on the B-side of “Hey Jude.” It also appeared on the “White Album.”

Of course, criticism came from all quarters. The “New Left” claimed the Beatles had “sold them out,” and the right was saying keep your nose and your noise out.

Revolution was a song that affirmed John’s beliefs in peaceful change and that the fight is in the minds and hearts and not with violence. Wouldn’t have been impressed today, would he?

Looking for Meaningful Songs?

We can help you with that. Have a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Clouds, the Best Sing-Along Songs, the Best Songs About FriendshipFunny Songs to Sing with Kids, and The 20 Best Jazz Albums of All Time for more fantastic songs.

And you will need some way to listen to all these songs. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best Headphones for Music, and the Best Headphones with Volume Control you can buy in 2023.

Songs About Fighting – Final Thoughts

So there we are. That is eleven songs that are all about fighting. But not about cracking heads or firing guns. The most important battles for some are often fought in other ways, hidden from public view.

Until next time, let the music play and never give up.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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