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Song of the Day: “Never Give Up On A Dream” by Rod Stewart


Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big Rod Stewart fan.  I can still remember my sisters singing and dancing to Maggie May many years ago when it first came out.  The fact that his career has lasted so long is a testament to his talent.  I’ve seen Rod live more times than any other artist and he never disappoints.   Fans who have come to his career fairly recently probably only know him as a singer of other people’s songs, but there was a long period of his career when he was a prolific songwriter.  He is an impressive wordsmith.  While Rod always loved the ballads, he could also rock out with the best of them.  It’s always been abundantly clear that he loves to have a good time and very much enjoys and appreciates what he does for a living.

I’ve always preferred singers with unique voices and Rod definitely has that.  What he doesn’t have in vocal range or power he more than makes up for in his ability to bring real sometimes raspy emotion to the songs.   Moreover, his ability to interpret the work of other artists in quite remarkable.   You can tell he is an avid student of other vocalists especially those who come from a gospel and rhythm & blues background.  The influence of likes of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke is always evident beneath the surface of his own musical efforts.

Rod’s work has had many phases and I’ve always enjoyed listening to where his muse is taking him next.  This particular song, “Never Give Up On A Dream” isn’t well known, but is one of my favorites.  It was written in 1980 and celebrates the gallant efforts of Terry Fox – a young man with cancer who attempted to run across Canada on one good leg as he struggled with his disease.  Sadly, he passed away shortly thereafter.  As always is the case you can hear when Rod is truly inspired (as many of us rightfully were at the time).  He is truly in his element.   Like all good songs, the lyrics transcend the original motivation and resonate on a higher level.

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