We Hold On

Background and Commentary

The piece is the last on Snakes & Arrows and uses the device of a lover’s quarrel with the world to describe how we often want to make a clean break from our daily drudgery (“chafe against the repetition”) to do something entirely new but instead, because of responsibilities and commitments, we find the strength to hold on and do what’s right. The intensity of Alex’s guitar evokes the idea of jumping into your car and tearing away from the curb with a screech or kicking open the kitchen door with your foot and making a dash for freedom. But, of course, that’s exactly what we don’t do. We stay the course. But inside we feel that smoldering intensity.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

Neil in his essay The Game of Snakes & Arrows says he got the device of depicting a lover’s quarrel with the world from Robert Frost and it’s used on several other songs on the album, including “Spindrift.”

“If many of the other lyrics [depicting a lover’s quarrel] illuminate the struggles we all have to face, in love and in life, this one shows how we deal with it: We hold on.”

The line “measured out in coffee breaks” is from T.S. Eliot.

Lyrics

How many times
Do we tire of all the little battles
Threaten to call it quits
Tempted to cut and run
How many times
Do we weather out the stormy evenings
Long to slam the front door
Drive away into the setting sun

Keep going on till dawn
How many times must another line be drawn
We could be down and gone
But we hold on

How many times
Do we chafe against the repetition
Straining against the faith
Measured out in coffee breaks
How many times
Do we swallow our ambition
Long to give up the same old way
Find another road to take

Keep holding on so long
Cause theres a chance that we might not be so wrong
We could be down and gone
But we hold on

How many times
Do we wonder if it’s even worth it
Theres got to be some other way
Way to get me through the day

Keep going on till dawn
How many times must another line be drawn
We could be down and gone
But we hold on

Tablature

By Synthesis

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

These are the 2 main parts, not including the solo.

(Tuning: DADGBe)

Intro/Verse:

e|———————–|———————–|
B|———————–|———————–|
G|———–2———–|———–0———–|
D|——–0—–0—–0–|——–0—–0——–|
A|—–3———–3—–|—–3———–2b-0–|
D|–0——————–|–3——————–|

Chorus:

e|————————|———————–|
B|————————|———————–|
G|————————|-7h8p7p5-7~-7h8p7p5-7~-|
D|————————|———————–|
A|—–3–5–5–5h6p5p3-5-|———————–|
D|–0———————|———————–|

e|————————|———————–|
B|————————|———————–|
G|————————|———————–|
D|————————|-7h8p7p5-7~-7h8p7p5-7~-|
A|—–3–5–5–5h6p5p3-5-|———————–|
D|–0———————|———————–|

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.

Tutorials

“We Hold On” bass cover

“We Hold On” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 21, 2011.

 
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