"Swing Life Away" is a song by punk rock band Rise Against, first released on the Punk Goes Acoustic. The song is the second single and 11th track on their 2004 album Siren Song of the Counter Culture. Originally written by Tim McIlrath and Neil Hennessy, the song is distinguished from the majority of Rise Against's catalog because it is performed and recorded acoustically. The lyrics are optimistic and speak of contentment with a less-than-perfect life, although they maintain the band's characteristic themes of self-analysis and hope. At a show at Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia, McIlrath stated the song was written about a good friend of the band who helped them whilst they were lesser known.
The song is an example of Rise Against's tendency to omit the third notes of their acoustic chords, using the resulting fifth chords with four or more strings to generate a raw-sounding guitar piece (as opposed to most other punk and alternative bands, which typically use full chords in their acoustic pieces).
Swing Life Away was released as a single in 2005, and peaked at #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts. The first version was featured in 2003 on Punk Goes Acoustic with a duration of 2:26. In 2004, the song was released with an added guitar bridge on Siren Song of the Counter Culture, clocking in at 3:20.
The song is available as downloadable, additional content for the Lips series.
Machine Gun Kelly covered the song for his mixtape Black Flag with Kellin Quinn singing the hook. This, however, has been criticized by fans of the Rise Against style, due to drastic changes in the song's style and delivery. Fans have further criticized the drastic change from acoustic rock to rap/rock, stating that the cover takes away impact from the song.