"Don't Give Up" is a song written by English rock musician Peter Gabriel and recorded as a duet with Kate Bush for Gabriel's sixth solo studio album So (1986). The single version was released as the second single from the album in the UK in 1986 and as the fifth single in the United States in 1987. It spent eleven weeks in the UK Top 75 chart in 1986, peaking at #9.
Gabriel drew inspiration from Dorothea Lange's images such as this, her most famous: "Migrant Mother".
The song was inspired by the Depression-era photographs of Dorothea Lange, showing poverty-stricken Americans in dust bowl conditions. Gabriel saw Lange's images in a 1973 book titled In This Proud Land. He felt that a song based on this was wholly appropriate to difficult economic conditions in England under Margaret Thatcher. He composed lyrics within a situation about a man whose unemployment causes stress in his domestic relationship. The verses, sung by Gabriel, describe the man's feelings of isolation, loneliness and despair; the choruses, sung by Bush, offer words of hope and encouragement.
Gabriel originally wrote the song from a reference point of American roots music and he approached country singer Dolly Parton to sing it with him. However, Parton turned it down, so his friend Kate Bush took her place.
Two videos were created for the song. The first, by Godley & Creme, consisted of a single take of the singers, as they sing, in an embrace, while the sun behind them enters total eclipse and re-emerges. (Of the shoot, Gabriel remarked, "There are worse ways of earning a living.") The second video, by Jim Blashfield, featured Gabriel and Bush's faces superimposed over film of a town and its people in disrepair.
Keys commented that "I love this song. And I love Bono. I really respect what he has done for Africa and how he has used his fame to do good in the world. I hope I can do half as much in my life". Keys and Bono performed the song live at Keys' charity event the Black Ball, which raises money for the organization Keep A Child Alive. The pair performed the song also on The Oprah Winfrey Show in October 2006.
Jann Klose and Renaissance vocalist and painter Annie Haslam released their version, produced by Rave Tesar in June 2017. The recording features Jann Klose on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, Annie Haslam on lead vocals, John Arbo on upright bass, Rob Mitzner on cajon and Rave Tesar on keys. Proceeds from the sale of the recording benefit Desmond Tutu's TutuDesk foundation.
A cover version was recorded by Australian artist Shannon Noll and former Rogue Traders frontwoman Natalie Bassingthwaighte. It was produced by Michael "fingaz" Mugisha who also produced hits for Jessica Mauboy, Big Brovaz and recorded for the compilation Home: Songs of Hope & Journey. It was released as a charity single for the depression organisation beyondblue. It was the most added song to Australian radio in its first week. It made its debut at number seven on the Australian Singles Chart, and, in its second week, climbed to number two with a Platinum certification. The song was also performed live on the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars. The music video features Noll and Bassingthwaighte in the studio recording the single.
Senegalese singer/guitarist Jimi Mbaye covered the song on his 2005 album "Yaye Digalma"
Tara MacLean covered the song on the Songs For Sunset album in 2006.
The songwriter/guitarist Shark from Wild Colonials and Dead Rock West singer Cindy Wasserman released the song in 2008. The proceeds of the record going to the charities Farm Aid and the Red Cross, to help the farmers affected by the floods of 2008. The sleeve design is an homage to the original Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush sleeve with similar typography.
Dutch singer Chielie(.nl) (uncredited) sang the Gabriel part on a cover of the song (Bush part sung by also uncredited unknown female singer - Chielie and she never met for the recording but did their work separately) produced at Flowerhouse Studios of Haarlem, Holland, on a CD called 'Duet for lovers' (90.807-2 UK), released 1994 by PMF Records.