I will survive

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I Will Survive ( English for "I will survive") is a song that was first interpreted by Gloria Gaynor and released in October 1978. It was composed by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris and arranged by Mac Huff .

The song is about how the lyric self recovers from a mental breakdown caused by breaking a relationship.


The song was originally released on the B-side of Gloria Gaynor's single Substitute , as her label thought this song would have had more potential over the mainstream . However, after I Will Survive became more popular, it was also released as a single.


The song is one of the most famous disco hits and Gloria Gaynor's best known title. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 . I Will Survive received a Grammy for Best Disco Recording in 1980 . That year was the only one in which this award was given. In 2004 Rolling Stone Magazine included the song in its list of the 500 best songs of all time at number 489.

The hit was covered by numerous artists, including Diana Ross , Pussycat Dolls , Robbie Williams , Cake , Snuff , Hermes House Band and Ajda Pekkan and has also been parodied several times. The most famous parodies are the Alien Song by Victor Navone from 1999 and Jesus Christ - The Musical by Javier Prato.

The song appears in the films Knockin 'on Heaven's Door , Heroes from the second row , Priscilla - Queen of the Desert , My Wife, the Spartans and I , Men in Black II , Beyond the Silence , Mr. Lehmann , The Moon Man , The Martians - Rescues Mark Watney , Coyote Ugly , Dr. Dolittle 2 , Valentine's Day , In & Out and Rio 2 - Jungle Fever as well as in Bloch: Gut feeling .

Especially in the gay scene , the song has achieved cult status and is considered one of the most important hymns of gay self-esteem, the so-called Gay Pride .

In 2010 a video by the Australian artist Jane Korman caused a sensation in which her father Adolek Kohn , a survivor of the Holocaust , danced with her and her children in front of various Nazi memorials, including the Auschwitz , Dachau and Litzmannstadt concentration camps .

Cover versions (selection)


The piano intro, which is played entirely with a fort pedal , begins with a deep octave fingering (E 'and E); from that develops as arpeggio first the E Major - seventh chord , which after reaching the seventh (d) in a reduced seventh converts (f-g # h-d '). These four notes are played at high speed up to f '' '' and down again to f. The actual song begins when the vocalist starts.

The chord structure is based on a harmonic ostinato , ie a short sequence of (in this case eight) chords is continuously repeated cyclically. Expressed in chord symbols , these are : Am, Dm, G, C maj7 , F maj7 , Bm 7 b5 , E sus4 and E.

The fundamental tones of the chord progression result from the fact that the underlying song key a- Moll in Quart - (up) or fifth steps (down) is traversed; In doing so, the corresponding ladder-specific triad is played on each note , occasionally enriched with ladder-specific seventh notes. The last two chords (both on the dominant , i.e. the fifth degree of the scale) deviate slightly from this scheme: here a double leading tone is created by means of a fourth lead and then by temporarily changing the basic key to harmonic minor , which results in the thinning of the dominant triad achieved.

Compositional details have been simplified and / or changed in some cover versions of the song. The information given here relates to the original version by Gloria Gaynor (1978).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Der Tagesspiegel : Auschwitz survivor Adolek Kohn "I will survive" ; Article dated August 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Frankfurter Rundschau : Dancing Auschwitz: Dance of a Survivor ( Memento from August 16, 2010 in the Internet Archive ); Article dated August 12, 2010.
  3. Spiegel Online : Holocaust: Look here, I'm alive! ; Article dated August 9, 2010.