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10 Best Songs About Surrender

10 Best Songs About Surrender

We’re taking a closer look at songs about surrender. 

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The word surrender can have many meanings. It can be about admitting defeat. It can be about surrendering our ego in a time of crisis. It could also mean surrendering ourselves to love. It can even mean surrendering to the pressures of conformity.

Whatever the circumstances may be, surrendering puts us in a vulnerable position, making it a great subject for songwriters to tell us a story. We’ve picked ten of the best for you to discover.

Cheap Trick, “Surrender”

A tale of a kid who decides his parents are overprotective but not as out of touch or stoic as his friend’s parents.

The chorus starts out with him talking about his parents being alright but a little weird. The chorus finishes, “Surrender, but don’t give yourself away.”

The message is that as adults, you will have to conform to the roles of society, but this doesn’t mean you should lose your passion for life or give up the things that bring you happiness.


Natalie Taylor, “Surrender”

This pop song is a tale of two loves who avoided facing the deeper issues in their relationship and eventually split up. Now, she’s realizing that she wants the love who has already left her.

“Can we surrender?” means she just wants to go back and apologize to each other.

The linear guitar notes and minimalist background accompaniment underscores her fragile state of mind. It evokes feelings of emptiness and loneliness. It’s a quiet gem.

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Birdy, “Surrender”

A great new ballad that’s ambiguous by design. Some think it’s about her ex-lover not being able to commit to a relationship.

As she sings more about her own feelings, it’s more likely that she’s the one that couldn’t commit which we understand from the line, “This wilderness inside.”

She has come to recognize that she was wrong in not making the decision to make a commitment and now wants to surrender her heart to him. 


Amy Grant, ”I Surrender All”

Surrendering yourself to a higher power is a common theme in Christian worship songs.

Amy Grant’s album, Rock of Ages…Hymns and Faith is a collection of pop/folk songs that celebrate her Christianity. There is no doubt that it’s about surrendering the ego to Jesus.


Rainbow, “I Surrender”

One of the easier songs to interpret on this list of songs about surrender. Joe Lynn Turner sings about surrendering to love. 

If you don’t know classic rock music, this is a great example of the genre. Rainbow was known as a supergroup as its members were all stars from other bands of that era.


Hillsong Worship, “I Surrender”

This is a Christian worship song. The singers are surrendering their will to a higher power. Becoming humble enough to ask for help is one of the cornerstone teachings of Christianity.

The idea is that their intuition has the true answers to their problems and they need to come from a place of love to find them.

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Celine Dion, “I Surrender”

This song talks about forbidden love and the idea of leaving it all behind for someone new. Celine is singing about her comfortable life that seems to be in a rut.

She has fallen in love with another and would surrender all of who she is to be with them. She is one of the few vocalists who could pull off this power pop ballad.


Brian & Jenn Johnson, “You’re Going to Be OK”

A message to someone who is going through dark times. The singer encourages the listener to find inner strength.

It’s a very popular Christian song, but unlike the songs by Hillsong Worship, Amy Grant, and R. Kelly, the religious references in the lyrics are very subtle. This leaves room for personal interpretation and broadens its appeal.


Tom Petty, “Surrender ”

The late rocker Tom Petty’s masterful songwriting is displayed here. While many sing about the emotional release they feel when surrendering to love, Petty is asking his lady to surrender to him.

Why? Because he claims she already told him she loves him. “I’m on my knees…,” tells us he has already surrendered to her and can’t understand why she has backed off from the feelings she has already claimed to have for him.


Sarah McLachlan, “Sweet Surrender”

This is a soft pop song from the 1990 that, like many songs about surrender, can be interpreted in many ways depending on our own personal experiences.

The first idea is that she died and has left her body to meet an angel who will take her to heaven. The cold room is the morgue.

The next possibility is she is surrendering her ego and putting her life in the hands of a higher power.

The final idea is that she has left a bad relationship and has met someone new. Here, she’s surrendering to love and the cold room is the old, cold relationship.

Like “You’re Going to Be Okay,” it shows how being less literal widens a song’s appeal.