Well, I won't back down
No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

No, I'll stand my ground
Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground

And I won't back down
(I won't back down)
Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

Well I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground

And I won't back down
(I won't back down)
Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

(I won't back down)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I won't back down
(I won't back down)
Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won't back down
No, I won't back down


Lyrics submitted by oofus

I Won't Back Down Lyrics as written by Tom Petty Jeff Lynne

Lyrics © Gone Gator Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Won't Back Down song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentIn the end of september of 09', i bought a 100 pill bottle of tylenol at the supermarket and was planning to try to kill myself. On the way home from the store, this song played on the radio and when i got back home i flushed the pills down the toilet. This song means alot to me now and i believe that i am meant to be alive
    ThinkSolutionson February 02, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song has nothing to do with america being "Hurt" after 9/11, it has noting to do with america either, Its about someone who is standing up and fighting for what he believes in and for what he wants, and being criticized for what you believe in. Standing up for what you believe in and fighting all the criticism is hard
    Veers1on May 16, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI think Tom wrote this about a personal experience he had. But the message is simple & can apply to anyone: Stick to your guns. Don't compromise your values. Uphold your principles. Stand your ground, even if it makes you unpopular. That's how I look at it & how I try to live my life.
    rockinazon August 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my favorite petty song EVER! i saw him in concert this august and he was awesome as i expected. this song is just a highschool/teen anthem to me. you can't back down or give in to people who put you down and want to see you fall. you have to stay strong through whatever life throws at you because you only get one chance at life so you have to live it the best you can. AWESOME SONG BY AN AWESOME BAND!

    p.s. wtf is up with saying "blink rules!" on the tom petty page? i mean go over to the blink section of the site if ou wanna do that, we on this message board prefer GOOD music. :]
    CupCake0711on August 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbryan b, tom petty is three times the artist johnny cash is, and i really dont think that he preformed wont back down better that tp himself. Tom is an amazing artist. he hits everypoint in life. At every single moment of my day, i could sum an event up with a TP song. Hes written so many just about everyday stuff that its impossible not to be able to connect with any and all of them. Even now, i consider this like runnin down a dream, cuz im writing this as im driving around the city listening to the radio with my laptop in my lap. Oddly enough, its also raining.
    shutout30on September 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song I think it's one of my favorite songs that Tom Petty did.
    Me and my bastfriend/ex Jason use to listen to this song all the time and
    we say we'd never become are, well his Dad, and my Bio Mom. And no matter
    what happened we wouldn't back down. Well, Jason found away to forgive his dad and
    were not really that great of friends at this moment but i hope he doesn't change and stands his
    ground. oh well I can't change him and I'm not going to try, cause it up to him. I love you Jason tho so be careful and don't forget that I love you always.
    darbynicoleXDon July 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn the end of september of 09', i bought a 100 pill bottle of tylenol at the supermarket and was planning to try to kill myself. On the way home from the store, this song played on the radio and when i got back home i flushed the pills down the toilet. This song means alot to me now and i believe that i am meant to be alive
    ThinkSolutionson February 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLots of info on the real meaning of this song here, as well as some history:

    "Before recording Full Moon Fever, an arsonist burned down Petty's house while he was in it. He escaped and spent much of the next few months driving between hotel rooms and a rented house. It was on these drives that he came up with many of the songs for the album, and the fire was a huge influence. Petty felt grateful to be alive, and the whole incident had a calming effect on him."

    also

    "George W. Bush used this in his 2000 Presidential campaign. When Petty found out, he threatened to sue, as he did not support Bush. Bush stopped using the song but won the election anyway. Petty's home state of Florida decided the election when Bush won the state by a very slim margin."

    songfacts.com/…
    Iemanja75on January 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Memoryso a couple days ago, I was out busking, and this young girl and her mom come walking up with a therapy dog, after chatting with them for a bit i find out the girl suffers from several psychological disorders, anyhow, she asks me to play Tom Petty, and I pull this song from who knows where, mid song it just kinda clicks to me that to me atleast this song has a new meaning, being that she had these issues, and i've got several of my own, to me now this song is about facing your inner demons and not letting them control who you are. I WON'T BACK DOWN!!!!
    fallon920on August 02, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. When they played it on the Tribute I LOVED it! It was totally in your face anyone who thinks America is hurt or wounded somehow, yes we are perhaps dented, but the dent only brought parts of us closer together. and we wil 'Stand our Ground. And we won't back Down'!
    smile_lots22on May 05, 2002   Link

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