Song Lyric Sunday — Back Down or Let Go

I knew, as soon as I saw that “let go” was the theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, that I wanted to use that Tom Petty song. You know, it goes, “I won’t let go, no I won’t let go.”

Except that’s not how it goes. The lyrics are, “I won’t back down, no I won’t back down.” Oh what the hell! “Let go” or “back down”? Same difference, right?

So I’m going with my first impulse and will be using Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

Released in April 1989 on Petty’s first solo album, Full Moon Fever, “I Won’t Back Down” was written by Petty and Jeff Lynne, his writing partner for the album. It reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is simply about someone who is standing up and fighting for what he believes in and for what he wants, even if being criticized for it.

Petty played this song on September 21, 2001 as part of a telethon to benefit the victims of the terrorist attacks on America. As a result, it became thought of as a sort of patriotic anthem. Petty said that it was never his intention for the song to be considered a patriotic song, adding, “I just write them, I can’t control where it ends up.”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down) Hey, baby
There ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down) Hey, I
Will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well, I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down) Hey, baby
There ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down) Hey, I
Will stand my ground
(I won’t back down) And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down) Hey, baby
There ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down) Hey, I
Won’t back down

(I won’t back down) Hey, baby
There ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down) Hey, I
Will stand my ground
(I won’t back down) And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down) No, I won’t back down

10 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Back Down or Let Go

  1. Felicia Denise May 27, 2018 / 7:17 am

    I actually fell in love with this song when it used in one of my favorite…um, I mean one of my kids’ favorite movies, ‘Barnyard.’ 😁😁Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. J-Dub May 27, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Good choice. RIP Mr. Petty while your music lives on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helen Vahdati May 27, 2018 / 9:41 am

    Isn’t it funny how we end up remember lyrics wrong? It seems that this one had that “won’t let go” significance for you, so it ends up fitting the theme. It is a great song! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. herheadache May 27, 2018 / 9:41 am

    I’ve always loved the message in this song, but Tom was right. With art, all one can do is make it, create it, and then when you put it out into the world, you let go of control over how it will be interpreted by others.

    Liked by 1 person

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