♫ (Something Inside) So Strong ♫

Almost every song I play here is one I am familiar with … an old favourite.  But every now and then I am introduced to a new song, one that I never heard, but upon listening for the first time, it strikes at something inside, so to speak.  In a conversation last night, David mentioned this song and the title did not ring a bell, so I went in search of.  And found.  And liked.

This song was a hit in the United Kingdom, coming in at #4 upon its release in 1987, and hit #3 in the Netherlands.  However, it did not chart in the U.S., and in fact I don’t know that it was ever played in the U.S.  Too bad, for it is a most deserving piece of music.

The songwriter and singer is Labi Siffre, a a British singer, songwriter, musician and poet.  According to SongFacts …

Siffre was profoundly affected by a television documentary from South Africa showing a white soldier shooting at black children. He came out of self-imposed retirement from music in 1985 to write this protest song against apartheid as a response. Siffre originally intended to give the song to another artist to sing, but was convinced to release it himself. It became one the biggest successes of Siffre’s career, peaking at #4 in the United Kingdom.

Siffre told the BBC’s Soul Music programme in 2014 that the song was also influenced by his experience as a homosexual child, adolescent, and adult.  The song has remained enduringly popular and is an example of the political and sociological thread running through much of Siffre’s lyrics and poetry. It won the Ivor Novello Award for “Best Song Musically and Lyrically”, and has been used in Amnesty International campaigns.  I was surprised to learn that Kenny Rogers covered this song in 1989 … I had not heard his version either, and while I am a fan of Rogers’ voice, his songs, this song, in my opinion, belongs to Labi Siffre.

(Something Inside) So Strong
Labi Siffre

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me, you can decide
To turn your face away
No matter ’cause there’s

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh, something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho (ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh ooh-weh)
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that’s mine
My light will shine so brightly it will blind you
Because there’s

Something inside so strong, strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Oh, something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not good enough
Well we know better
Just look him in his eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway

There’s something inside so strong
And I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong, oh
Something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we’re just not good enough
Well we know better
Just look him in his eyes and say
We’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway
We’re gonna do it anyway
Because there’s

Something inside so strong, (something inside so strong)
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no, oh no
There’s something inside so strong
Something inside so strong (oh oh yeah)
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no, oh no
There’s something inside so strong

Oh oh, something inside so strong
Oh oh, something inside so strong
Oh oh, something inside so strong

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Labi Siffre
(Something Inside) So Strong lyrics © BMG Rights Management

18 thoughts on “♫ (Something Inside) So Strong ♫

    • It’s rare that I like a song the very first time I hear it, but this was the exception and I did like it almost immediately. I’m just surprised it wasn’t a hit over here … perhaps it wasn’t heavily marketed here. Anyway, thanks for mentioning it!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Never heard it, or if it, before, thanks for mentioning it to Jill, David. I knew they watered down the music in the 80s, part of Reaganomics, but this was a travesty. It deserved to be a #1 hit anthem. Maybe, for BLACK LIVES MATTER, it should be re-released. I think I will mention it to Magick.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Out of interest I just Wiki’d this song, and it seems it reached #49 in the US R&B chart, so at least a few over there heard it. I didn’t know Kenny Rogers had recorded it either and have never heard his version. It’s a beautiful song, and so appropriate for Labi’s delicate voice.

    Liked by 2 people

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