Song Saturday: “The Climb”

For this week’s edition of Song Saturday, we’re looking back at one of No Doubt’s most epic and underrated ballads, Tragic Kingdom‘s “The Climb”.

Written solely by Eric Stefani, “The Climb” clocks in at 6:39 on the album and is the band’s biggest song to date. Dating back to one of it’s first performances in 1992, though a much loved song by No Doubt, the band has yet to perform the song live since the Tragic Kingdom tour wrapped up in Rio de Janeiro in November of 1997 (see the video below). It’s been noted that Gwen once said that “The Climb” was one of her favorite songs to sing live. The lyrics tell a story of pushing on and believing in yourself.

“The Climb” was always a definite highlight in the Tragic Kingdom tour setlist. The band incorporated dramatic effects including falling confetti, spectacular lighting and an untouched amount of energy. And Gwen’s vocals are perfection on this masterpiece.

An early version of the song existed with slightly different lyrics and a melody change during the bridge. The band recored an rehearsal demo featuring the early version which you can check out below.

Not much is known about this song, but “The Climb” brought out the absolute best out of No Doubt live.


“The Climb” live in Newport (12/22/1992)


“The Climb” (Early Rehearsal Demo)


“The Climb” live in Fairfax (12/9/1996)


“The Climb” live in Stockholm (3/20/1997)


“The Climb” live in Anaheim (6/1/1997)


“The Climb” live in Minneapolis (7/1/1997) (super high quality audio)


“The Climb” live in Rio de Janeiro (11/2/1997)

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Lyrics

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Step by step I come closer to reaching the top
Every step must be placed so that I don’t fall off
Looking down to see about how much higher I am
Another cool wind comes through, brushes my skin

Oh the harder I push the tension does grow
I gather my thoughts the further and further I go
With some luck I just might keep on climbing (climbing)
So better to climb than to face a fall (to face a fall)

So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)
So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)

Oh pulling myself up by a rope I better my view oh
The only thing in sight is what I must do
As I turned I could see myself falling falling (falling)
Which in return gave me strength for the climb (strength for the climb)

So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)
So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up, up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)

Although many failed
I must now prevail with no questions
Have no time to stop
Onward to the top of the mountain
Oh and I, I can’t turn back now
It’s so very high but I can’t turn back now
If I keep it up, I’m gonna make it
I’m so very close can’t you see

So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)
So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds) oh

So high the climb (so high the climb)
I can’t turn back now (can’t turn back now)
Must keep climbing up to the clouds (climb to the clouds)

Getting closer getting closer coming closer getting closer ooh
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you
To the top to the top to the top to the top to the top to the top to the top to
The top to the top
Climb up to the top to the top to the top to the top to the top to the top to the top

Oh looking back to you
Looking back to you
Looking back to you

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