«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 albumSo. The single version was released as the second single from the album in the UK in 1986 and fifth in the United States in 1987. It spent eleven weeks in the UK Top 75 chart in 1986, peaking at number nine.
The song was inspired by the Depression-era photographs of Dorothea Lange, showing poverty-stricken Americans in dust bowlconditions. 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 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 in an embrace, as the sun enters total eclipse and re-emerges; the second, by Jim Blashfield, featured Gabriel and Bush’s faces superimposed over film of a town and its people in disrepair.