Back2Stonewall’s Sunday Tea Dance – October 23rd: Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” Released 38 Years Ago Today – Video

loria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" Released 38 Years Ago Today - Video

 

Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem I Will Survive is 38 years old today. originally released on October 23rd 1978 the song about getting through a broken relationship was quickly adopted by the gay community who embraced it’s themes of strength and persistence.

The song was written by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris, and recorded by Gloria Gaynor in 1978.

‘I Will Survive’ was the b-side to another tune “Substitute”, but DJs loved the song and kept playing it, leading to it being released as a single in it’s own right.

Undoubtedly Gaynor’s biggest hit, ‘I Will Survive’ went to the top of the charts, but the singer also had success with her version of ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ and the queer anthem ‘I Am What I Am’.

In 2016 the cultural significance of the song was recognized when it was added the US Library of Congress.

 

 

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so you’re back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here
with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed my stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second
you’d be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I’d crumble
you think I’d lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my broken heart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person
still in love with you
and so you felt like dropping in
and just expect me to be free
now I’m saving all my loving
for someone who’s loving me

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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