"Keep Holding On" is a power ballad recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne and is the theme song for the 2006 film Eragon. It also appears as the last track on Lavigne's third album, The Best Damn Thing, which was released on April 17, 2007. Lavigne has described the rest of the album as being upbeat and heavy in comparison to "Keep Holding On". Originally, an alternate version was to be included, but the original version made it instead.
The song was written by Lavigne and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald; Luke also produced the single. It was the first single from the soundtrack and premiered on radio stations across North America in November 2006. "Keep Holding On" was one of the songs short-listed for the "Best Original Song" category at the 79th Academy Awards, but it was not among the final nominees. The song was also ranked on the iTunes Australia top 500 at 403.
"Keep Holding On" was written by Lavigne and Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald. Dr. Luke also produced the song. The strings were arranged and conducted by L. Leon Pendarvis, long time SNL associate with Dr. Luke. The song was recorded at Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles) in 2006. According to the sheetmusic published at musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing Group, the song is composed in the key of G major and is set in time signature of common time with a tempo of 56 beats per minute. Lavigne vocal range spans from F#3 to D5.
"Keep Holding On" reached number two for four weeks on the Canadian BDS Airplay Chart, being kept off the top spot by Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right". It became her highest-peaking airplay single there since "Complicated" which peaked at #1 for 1 week in 2002. It peaked within the top 20 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart, peaking at #17, and the top 10 on the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks format chart. This feat is particularly impressive considering no official music video was made to promote it. It was not released in most of Europe, although it got to #9 in Slovakia, #27 in the Czech Republic and #32 in Latvia. The single was one of the first to be issued as a digital-only release in Australia, where it charted at #5 on the Top 40 Digital Tracks chart. It was also certified Gold by the RIAA on February 22, 2007 and Platinum on January 31, 2008. As of July 2013, "Keep Holding On" had sold 1,505,000 digital copies in the USA.
Despite the film being panned by critics, the song has been well received by music critics, with Billboard describing it as a "gorgeous song" in which Lavigne seems to be "set to remain for the long term". Darryl Sterdan of JAM! described the song as "A strummed guitar, lush strings and a soaring vocal about love and loyalty". He went on to compare it to "a sweeping Alanis-like ballad". Despite this, Sterdan advises the reader to skip the track. Sal Cinquemani of Slant magazine described the song as "sullen". Entertainment Weekly was negative: "And: I will only have like 3 slow songs on the record. Yay!! Yay, indeed, given how little heart she's invested in that trio of limpid ballads, including Keep Holding On, a.k.a. the love theme from Eragon." Stylus described "“Keep Holding On” ends the album for the same reason graduation ends high school: because after all that, Hallmark means something." Dave Donnely praised the picking: "‘Keep Holding On’ is a stay-over from the Lord of the Eragons soundtrack, a pop ballad which demonstrates his gift for spotting and isolating great melodies." PopMatters stated that this song tries to match "I'm With You" but it fails.
In an AOL Radio listener's poll, "Keep Holding On" was voted Lavigne's fifth best song.
The song was used in the season 2 finale of the American television series Ghost Whisperer. An arrangement of it was sung by the cast of Glee in the episode "Throwdown" in October 2009. The song is also sung by eliminated cast members of the show The Glee Project at the end of each episode. For Children in Need 2011, this song was sung by choirs all over the UK in unison to raise money. This led the song to re-enter the UK top 200 chart at no.141. Allen Jane Sta Maria performed this song on the X Factor Philippines Boyce Avenue. The song was redone and covered by Mark Salling, on the 100th episode of popular musical series Glee.