"Savior" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their fifth studio album Appeal to Reason (2008). Written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath, the track deviates from the social and political topics normally found in Rise Against songs, and instead discusses the theme of forgiveness. It was released as the album's third single on June 3, 2009.
It is the band's most viewed music video on YouTube with over 50 million views as of 2015. Despite being one of the band's most successful songs to date, lead singer Tim McIlrath originally voted against having the song appear on the album.
During the writing process for Rise Against albums, McIlrath will sing nonsensical words for completed melodies, in order to identify the lyrical tone each song will eventually convey. For "Savior", McIlrath remarked that while he mostly sang gibberish, he always found himself singing the line "I don't hate you". McIlrath used this line to construct the lyrics and themes present within "Savior". In a 2014 interview, McIlrath commented on how he had originally voted to cut the song from Appeal to Reason, but was eventually overruled.
On September 8, Rise Against finished shooting a video for "Savior" with director Kevin Kerslake, who directed "Re-Education (Through Labor)", which also appears on Appeal to Reason. It was premiered on MTV2 on September 28. The music video depicts the band playing in a construction site, while numerous people in animal costumes mosh. In between there are scenes of a polar bear riding a bus seeing what looks like animals in homeless situations, such as a lion going through a dumpster, a tiger lying on the steps of a morgue, a group of rabbits standing around a trashcan fire. At the bridge of the song the polar bear sees an elephant limping; in a flashback scene, the elephant is shown violently pushing the polar bear out of the mosh pit, repeatedly. The polar bear then stops the bus, letting the elephant sit next to him. The two hold hands as the song ends. According to the director, the song is about forgiveness, and that the elephant represents the Republican Party, while the polar bear is representative of endangered species.
Rise Against later released a slightly different version of the music video, that focused on the band's performance aspects from the original video in which they play and destroy their instruments at the end of the song.