top of page

Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’



Released in June 1981, the song appeared on the rock band’s seventh album, “Escape.” Although it never made it to No. 1 on the charts, “Don’t Stop Believin’” has seeped into our culture in countless ways.

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain tells the story of the tune’s genesis in his new memoir, Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, the Band and the Song That Inspired Generations.


In the 1970s, Cain ― then an aspiring musician ― left his hometown of Chicago for Los Angeles in hopes of landing his big break. When things didn’t go as planned, he phoned his father for some help. It turned out to be a fateful call.


“I was in Hollywood when my dog was injured by a car, and I had to pay the vet bill. And, thankfully, they were able to save her life,” Cain told HuffPost at the Build Series. “I had phoned him for a loan, for some money. And I despised having to call my father for a loan. ‘Dad, should I simply give up on this and come home?' I asked. It appears that I will be relocating to Chicago.' 'No, no, please don't come home.' Adhere to your principles. Don't give up hope. ‘OK,' I said. I would doodle in my tiny notebook where I penned songs in response to everything he said to me. That's very much what happened. 'Don't stop believing,' he had advised, and I had taken it to heart. He sent me the money, and wonderful things began to happen.


In 1980, Cain left his previous group, the Babys, to join Journey, replacing Gregg Rolie on keyboards. While writing songs for “Escape” with Journey singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon, Cain began to flip through his notebook.


“Steve Perry asked me, ‘Is there another idea around? We need one more song.’ And when I looked in the back of the spiral notebook, there was ‘Don’t stop believin’’ ... and I thought, ‘Well, Steve Perry would sing this if I can bring in a chorus of some kind,’” Cain said. “So I wrote this chorus, and I brought it in, and all of us together finished the song in a room. It was magical.


Lyrics


Just a small-town girl Livin' in a lonely world She took the midnight train goin' anywhere Just a city boy Born and raised in South Detroit He took the midnight train goin' anywhere A singer in a smokey room The smell of wine and cheap perfume For a smile they can share the night It goes on and on, and on, and on Strangers waiting Up and down the boulevard Their shadows searching in the night Streetlights people Livin' just to find emotion Hidin' somewhere in the night Workin' hard to get my fill Everybody wants a thrill Payin' anything to roll the dice just one more time Some will win, some will lose Some were born to sing the blues Oh, the movie never ends It goes on and on, and on, and on Strangers waiting Up and down the boulevard Their shadows searching in the night Streetlights people Livin' just to find emotion Hidin' somewhere in the night Don't stop believin' Hold on to that feelin' Streetlight people Don't stop believin' Hold on Streetlight people Don't stop believin' Hold on to that feelin' Streetlight people


Comments


bottom of page