Never Gonna Break My Faith

14 Apr


Sometimes, there is a song that just sticks with you.

A good friend recently told me that she always wanted to be Aretha Franklin. Now, Aretha is just one of those pulsars that grace a generation. She’s an institution, yet she’s not so self-consumed that she forgets that her gift is to provide music that kun-NECKs with folks. Makes you feel. Makes you sing along.

While Aretha is not high profile anymore, recently she recorded “Never Gonna Break My Faith” with Mary J. Blige and the Harlem Boys’ Choir. Wow. Here are the powerful lyrics to that song, highlighted in the movie, Bobby, about the late Robert F. Kennedy. These lyrics are sooooo powerful to me:

My Lord
I have read this book so many times
But nowhere can I find the page
that says what I experience today
has any Grace.

Now I know that life is meant to be hard
that’s how I learn to appreciate my God
Though my courage made me tried
I can tell you I won’t hide
Because the footprints show you were by my side.

You can lie to a child with a smilin’ face
Tell me that color ain’t about race
You can cast the first stones, you can break my bones
But your never gonna break, You’re never gonna break my Faith.

Faith and Hope aint yours to give
Truth and liberty are mine to live
You can steal a crown from a king
Break an angels wings
But your never gonna break, You’re never gonna break my Faith

My Lord
Won’t you help them, help them to understand
that when someone takes the life of an innocent man
Well they never really won because all they’ve really done
is set the soul free where it’s supposed to be


For those we lose before their time,
I pray their souls will find the light.
I know that the day will surely come,
When His will, His will, will be done.

While designed to pay homage to Bobby Kennedy and his “walk”, the song has meaning in so many of today’s struggles. In light of all those “situations”, this song — delivered with added emphasis from Misses Franklin and Blige, parlay courage to face the day….

Remember, no-one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.


Posted by on April 14, 2007 in aretha franklin, Influences


30 responses to “Never Gonna Break My Faith

  1. texastaylorfan

    April 14, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    I am a huge fan of Aretha Franklin’s. I’m going to see her at the Nokia in Dallas next Saturday night and really looking forward to it. I knew nothing about this new recording. Thank you! Glad to find your blog. I just answered your post in that other little dark room with the bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. You know what I mean. Not sure what your rules are here about mentioning other sites. Guess I’ll go see if you have some guidelines to read. I’m agreeing with what you’re saying over at that other place. Going to check out this Aretha song right now. Thank you! I’m going to bookmark this site. It looks great.

  2. music maven

    April 14, 2007 at 9:12 pm

    TTF — Welcome!! Got NO problem mentioning other sites particularly So exciting about seeing Aretha live.

    I’ve got tickets to see BB King in June and am beside myself about it. At 82, it’s likely the last time I’ll see him.

  3. texastaylorfan

    April 14, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Oh, BB King will be so great! He is coming with Etta James and Al Green to Nokia! I ALMOST got tickets. But they are $125 and I think my husband thinks I’m excluding him from my new music life (he was NOT invited to Taylor Hicks) so I’d have to get two tickets. I’ve been spending a lot of $$ on concerts/music lately so I passed. I regret it already.
    What a memorable show you’ll have seeing BB King. Can’t wait to read your blog about it after the show!
    You got the pot stirred up at GC a bit. Yay. I love seeing a little activity over there.

  4. shrewspeaks

    April 14, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    The chorus of this song is particularly moving. The direct use of such horrid deeds to invoke how strong one’s faith must be to live beyond such evil is amazing.

    I find this strong use of the lyrics interesting…there is hope within the words yet it is static hope as stated in the final stanzas

    “I know that the day will surely come,
    When His will, His will, will be done.”

    As if to say there is something out of our hands…in the tone of a gospel tune, I fully understand this. Now, in the tone of a tribute to a politician…now that I am having trouble swallowing.

    On a personal level I ask myself daily, do I have such faith? Yes. I know I do…but it is faith in humanity. What a fool’s folly that is?

    TTF! I swoon at the thought that you are seeing…the one, the only, the QUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN of Soul. Please, report back your impressions! I have always loved her…but THIS MOMENT left me completely slack jawed with misty eyed awe.

    DD, I am so envious of your chance to see BB King. That is why I spent the clams to see Miss Etta this past summer.

  5. shrewspeaks

    April 14, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    If anyone knows how I can get a copy of Ms. Franklin doing that for my iPod please let me know.

  6. texastaylorfan

    April 14, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    Shrewspeaks, that was awesome! I had never seen that. Thank you.

  7. texastaylorfan

    April 14, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Oh! Sorry, and if you have a video Ipod, I have finally learned how to get youtube videos on my ipod. Don’t know how to just get the audio though. It’s two steps. One is free (vdownloader) and one is a software you have to download for $40 (Cucusoft). Let me know if you want me to explain in detail.

  8. justwatchin

    April 15, 2007 at 2:22 am

    This is awesome… a place to come for music. I’m a music illiterate, but do enjoy reading about it.

    “Rembember no one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission” Princess Diaries? Tks for letting me vist dD.

  9. music maven

    April 15, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Shrew — I don’t think the song is a tribute to RFK, per se. More like an anthem he would have picked for himself, i.e., you can even kill me, but you ain’t gonna break my faith in my God nor my fellow man.

  10. colette

    April 15, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Hi — just discovered this good site, thanks to Little Debbi from MJ’s. I’m into music and music talk, so this is a great find.

    Just want to note that, for me, there’a a big overdose of ornamentation in vocalists like Mary K. Blige — not just her, but her peers today. What I love about my queen Aretha, and it was especially true when she was Mary K.’s age, is how she uses her higher register and melismatics judiciously, for dramatic effect, as a song builds to a climax.

    This is so much more satisfying to me, and I wish such well-equipped younger soul vocalists as MKB would pick up on that more, instead of indulging in so many vocal pyrotechnics that the song can become static and almost meaningless.

    Here’s what I mean in some early Aretha — on a song others today might do with a lot more fancy stuff, instead of the marvelous variousness of her singing here — alternating sustained notes and faster phrases, and working her entire register bottom to top:

  11. morewines

    April 15, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Just bought the
    DVD “Bobby”. It won
    many awards. Winner of the
    Independent National Board, winner Best
    Ensemble Cast 2006 Hollywood Flim Festival.
    Was nominated Golden Globe Best Picture.

    Now I need to find time to watch it.

  12. colette

    April 15, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    One thing I wanted to mention — hope it’s OK to put it here.

    The very fine jazz singer Dakota Staton just died. Her peers Ella and Sarah are better known today, but Dakota could really swing too. Here’s a rare clip of her performing with noted jazz pianist George Shearing (faded visual, but sounds good):

  13. music maven

    April 15, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    colette — Welcome!! and thanks to Little Debbi.

    I agree with your assessment on Aretha and that she doesn’t need all the vocal acrobatics to really sing a great song.

    She is definitely DA QUEEN!

    Also, thanks for the Dakota Staton clip. I’ll have to do some more research on her. Love the scatting!

  14. morewines

    April 15, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Forgot to say. Love Aretha.

  15. Dingo

    April 16, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Im very happy someone directed me to this site. I am always looking for new music and new meaning to my life. Kinda like a “what’s it all about Alfie?” question. I dont know what its all about but I know that music helps me make my way through this maze we call life.

    >>Remember, no-one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.>>

    If we remember nothing else, remember these words.

    >>For those we lose before their time,
    I pray their souls will find the light.
    I know that the day will surely come,
    When His will, His will, will be done.>>

    Im not a religious person but in music I have found that you dont have to be and that the words can mean almost anything you want them to. I dont know if there is a “His” or a “He” or “His will” but I know one thing, there is something out there thats far more powerful than I.

    Keep the music coming.

  16. Sideways

    April 16, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Beautiful touching song.
    When I was in elementary school, our class had a field trip to see Bobby in a parade which went through our town in Southern California.
    (Guess the school administration must have been Democrats!) I remember how excited we were, not really knowing why we were excited, but feeling all the vibes and hype around us. He was assassinated a week later in Los Angeles.

  17. brc

    April 16, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Totally OT but just feel like venting. I came over here to get some peace. It worked. I’m feeling a real sense of sadness this evening. My 12 year old is experiencing his first bout with bullying at school. Ironic that we all had to deal with cyberbullying this evening over “there.” I apologize if it’s inappropriate to bring the discussion here. I don’t want to discuss it anymore, just needed to get this off my chest among “friends.”

  18. music maven

    April 16, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    brc — bullying sucks. I went through it for over three years with my son. It hurts when you are helpless to “make it better”. All I can tell you is that it does get better.

    Actually, this Aretha song is quite appropriate for this type of thing. Your son must never let anyone break his faith. Just keep on keepin’ on. I know that’s easier said than done, but don’t give the bullies the satisfaction of making you unhappy… the quote goes:

    “Nobody can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.”

  19. brc

    April 16, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks dd. I can’t find the damn headphones and don’t want to wake the whole house up but I’m going to listen to the song in the morning and maybe have my son listen to it too.

    Gonna see if I can make myself read your newest thread. Don’t know if I’m ready yet. It hurts too much.

  20. brc

    April 17, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Finally got to listen. “Courage to face the day…” indeed!

  21. nolagirl

    April 17, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Finally getting over here to see what you’ve been up to. GREAT song! I had not heard it before. Man, this part sure gets ya right in the gut in light of the VA Tech tragedy.

    “For those we lose before their time,
    I pray their souls will find the light.”

  22. Laurita

    April 18, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Hello dd, and gracias for this great posting and all the rest of the cool reflections, music links, etc. on your site.. thanks also for the posting about ‘passion’… brc, thanks also for your inspiring writing too..

    and Gray, for coming here to communicate with us.. just still hoping that you’ll save the Archives and have them back up somewhere, somehow soon…

    I also hadn’t heard the soundtrack yet for this truly fine film “Bobby”, and appreciate the path to get there via this song..

    in answer to Shrew’s question:

    If anyone knows how I can get a copy of Ms. Franklin doing that for my iPod please let me know.>>

    there are two options i just found:

    1) I found the “Bobby” soundtrack for sale on Amazon (track list below), so you can just buy the CD, upload it to your computer and then put it on your iPod that way..
    2) the same soundtrack is on iTunes, and you can buy the whole album for 9.99, or just that song for 99cents, and then of course import it to your iPod..

    And TTF and others writing about the awesome Aretha, a second song by her (the oh-so-sweet “Baby, I Love You”) is also on this soundtrack, as you can see below…

    here’s someone’s nod to her album covers over the years, backed up by this song:

    take care all, lauri

    “Bobby” – Track Listings

    1. A Generous and Compassionate Country (RFK Speech)
    2. Aretha Franklin & Mary J. Blige feat. The Harlem Boys Choir – “Never Gonna Break My Faith”
    3. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – “Tracks Of My Tears”
    4. The Supremes – “Come See About Me”
    5. Shorty Long – “Function At The Junction”
    6. Hugh Masekela – “Grazing In The Grass”
    7. Stevie Wonder – “I Was Made To Love Her”
    8. The Moody Blues – “Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)”
    9. Los Bravos – “Black Is Black”
    10. Marvin Gaye – “Ain’t That Peculiar”
    11. Aretha Franklin – “Baby, I Love You”
    12. Demi Moore – “Louie Louie””
    13. Mark Isham – “No One Left But Bobby”
    14. Simon & Garfunkel – “The Sound Of Silence”
    15. Mark Isham – “The Mindless Menace of Violence” and `On The Mindless Menace Of Violence’ (RFK Speech)

  23. shrewspeaks

    April 19, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks so much. appreciate it!

  24. EDon

    April 28, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I’m new to the blogosphere, but googling the song “Never Gonna Break My Faith” after watching “Bobby” and finding all of this here is inspiring! Thanks for your faith!

  25. EDon

    April 28, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Oh yeah, the lyrics are not quite right on the top here, it should read “courage may be tried,”

  26. music maven

    April 28, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Welcome, EDon. And, thanks. Lyrics corrected. Hope you’ll come by again. “It’s all about the music”.

  27. daniar

    July 25, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    anyone has this song?
    please, share with me….
    such a deep lyric

  28. Carlyn

    June 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I am so moved by this song that it stays with me practically night and day, so thank you. Don’t forget, y’all, divas will come and divas will go and a lotta divas will sound a lot alike, but there will never be another Aretha Franklin. She’s at the top all by herself, still and forever the Queen of Soul.

    • music maven

      June 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

      Carlyn — completely agree re: Ree Ree. Also, ‘Faith’ is still one of my favorite songs and never ceases to move me, as well.

  29. Vincenza

    April 2, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Hei , Happy April Fool’s Day!!

    Leah had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months.
    Yet Tony, her husband, had stayed by her bedside every single day. One day, when Leah came to, she motioned for Tony to come nearer. As he sat by her, she whispered, eyes full of tears,
    “You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times…
    When I got fired from my secretarys job, you were there to support me.
    When my first hairdressing business failed, you were there.
    When I got knocked down by a car, you were by my side.
    When we lost our dear Jonathan, you stayed right here.
    When my health started failing, you were still by my side…
    You know what?”
    “What dear?” Tony gently asked, smiling as his heart began to fill with warmth.
    “I think you bring me bad luck.”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!


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