“What does it mean when
You promise someone
No matter how hard
Or whatever may come
It means that I won't give in,
Won't give in
Won't give in
Cause everyone I love is here,
Say it once, and disappear.”
- From Won’t Give In by The Finn Brothers
This is the one of the best Finn Brothers co-writes, maybe second only to their Crowded House classic Weather With Me. I love the song and I use it in a pastoral sense for myself very regularly. The actual context of the song seems to be about marriage and family and that commitment to the long haul. That “What does it mean when/You promise someone/No matter how hard/Or whatever may come” seems to be a good question to ask a culture that skips in and out of wedding vows as if there is absolutely no substance to the promises made at all.
Won’t Give In is a mighty song of resilience and commitment. Here are two character traits often lacking in my own soft and spoiled western soul never mind the wider society around me. Neil and Tim Finn have conjured a powerful few moments of modern pop that can somehow steel up your spine, lift your head and jut your neck out at whatever the world is throwing at you.
Every time I listen to Won’t Give In it gives a spiritual strength to whatever the struggle or fracture might be. It gives fortitude to hold on to whatever you believe in. That could then be applied to any area of life’s important commitments. It might be your marriage, your family or your job. It might be your faith in God. It might be your vision for changing the world.
Many times, in a Church in Guguletu, on the Cape Flats just outside Cape Town we a song at the end of the AIDS section of the service called Never Give Up. Strength for the fight welled up in your soul and your heart. Songs can do that. Won’t Give In does that for me.