Savior (Rise Against song)

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Cover art for the single "Savior" by Rise Against.
Single by Rise Against
from the album Appeal to Reason
Released June 3, 2009
Recorded January–June 2008 at the Blasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
Genre Punk rock
Length 4:02
Label DGC, Interscope
Writer(s) Tim McIlrath
Rise Against singles chronology
"Audience of One"
"Help Is on the Way"

"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.


"Savior" was written by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath in collaboration with the song's producers, Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore. Stevenson and Livermore engineered the song alongside Andrew Berlin, while Chris Lord-Alge served as the mixer. It was recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado and mastered by Ted Jensen.[1] Rise Against released the song as the album's third and final single on June 3, 2009.[2]

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".[3] In a 2014 interview, McIlrath commented on how he had originally voted to cut the song from Appeal to Reason, but was eventually overruled.[4]


John Hanson of Sputnikmusic praised the track, calling the lyrics poignant, while describing the pace as frenetic.[5]


The song is available as downloadable, additional content for the Rock Band series along with "Prayer of the Refugee" and "Re-Education (Through Labor)".[6] Also, in the trailer for the PC game The Sims 3: Ambitions, the song plays in the background in Simlish. It is a playable track in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and is available on Rocksmith 2014.[7]

Music video[edit]

On September 8, Rise Against finished[8] shooting a video for "Savior" with director Kevin Kerslake, who directed "Re-Education (Through Labor)", which also appears on Appeal to Reason.[9] 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.[10]

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.


The song peaked at number three on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart, equaling the peak set by the same album's first single, Re-Education (Through Labor), and set the Billboard Alternative Songs chart record for weeks on the chart at 65 weeks, and was one of three at the time to beat former record holders 30 Seconds to Mars' The Kill, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus's Face Down, and Finger Eleven's Paralyzer, all tying at 52 weeks. It managed this feat by remaining in the top 10 beyond the 52nd week, after which all songs outside said threshold are retired. It also peaked at number three on the Rock Songs chart.[11] It was #1 on the Rock Songs year-end chart[12] while landing at #2 on the Alternative Songs Best-of-2010.[13] It became the band's second single to reach the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at #18. It is also Rise Against's highest charting single on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, peaking at #2 (equivalent to #102 on the Hot 100). Savior is also notable for the extensive amount of time it has spent on the U.S. charts, spending 37 weeks on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, the fourth-highest since the creation of the chart.[14]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Appeal to Reason (liner notes). Rise Against. DGC Records, Interscope Records. 2008. 
  2. ^ Hoose, Bob. "'Savior' Track Review". Plugged In. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  3. ^ Another Station: Another Mile (Documentary). October 5, 2010. 
  4. ^ Schreurs, Jason (June 27, 2014). ""There is no song for everybody"—Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath discusses their risky new album". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ Hanson, John (October 7, 2008). "Rise Against - Appeal to Reason Review". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved January 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Games Are Fun—Weekly Round Up 7/27". Game Informer. July 27, 2009. Archived from the original on July 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Rise Against To Shoot Video For Savior" Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  10. ^ "Director's Commentary on Savior Music Video" Youtube. com. Retrieved on February 11, 2010
  11. ^ "Savior - Rise Against". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  12. ^ a b "Rock Songs Year End 2010". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Alternative Songs Year End 2010". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Rise Against – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Rise Against. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  16. ^ Trust, Gary (July 2, 2010). "Ask Billboard: Madonna Vs. Lady Gaga". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Rise Against – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Rise Against. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  18. ^ "Rise Against | Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Rock Songs Year End 2009". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Alternative Songs Year End 2009". Billboard. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  21. ^ "American single certifications – Rise Against – Savior". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]