Hold On Tight

Album: TIME (1981)
Charted: 4 10


  • An uplifting song about perseverance, "Hold On Tight" was the first single from Electric Light Orchestra's TIME album. By this time, they were credited as ELO, downplaying the orchestra because they had jettisoned their string section. The lead instrument on "Hold On Tight" is piano played by group leader Jeff Lynne, who wrote the song.
  • TIME is a concept album about a time traveler who visits the year 2095. This song takes place on his return trip in 1981. He is inspired, and now knows that everything he needs he can find back home.
  • The third verse is in French. The translation is:

    Hold on tight to your dream
    Hold on tight to your dream
    When you see your ship go sailing
    When you feel your heart is breaking
    Hold tight to your dream
    Suggestion credit:
    Logan - Troy, MT
  • The National Coffee Association used this in their Coffee Achievers ad campaign in the '80s to tout the benefits of drinking coffee. ELO appeared in the commercials, along with Heart and David Bowie. Saturday Night Live lampooned the campaign in the sketch "The Crack Achievers."
  • An elaborate (for its time) video was made of this song. Directed by Mike Mansfield, it's a sendup of sci-fi movie trailers from the 1940, which often blared words on the screen in huge font (AMAZING!, BREATH-TAKING!). Their violinist, Mik Kaminski, had left the group by this time but shows up in the video miming guitar.

Comments: 18

  • Eric Paul Johnson from 62294This was NOT the first released ELO song without strings. That was "Don't Bring Me Down."
    Unless you're being persnickety about the name of the group. From 1981-1983 they went by the name ELO instead of Electric Light Orchestra.
    So, yeah, I guess you could technically say this was the first song by ELO without strings. But not the first song without strings in the band led by Jeff Lynne from 1971-1986.
  • David Anderson from HerefordshireWhen people sleep at night time most people when it's the first they after waking up is what they always say its a saying hold on tight your dreams
  • Jim from Boston, MaI thought it was Joltin' Joe Montana in the Coffee Achievers commercial. God above, I miss the 70's (and 1981).
  • Todd from Brentwood, CaThis whole album (Time) is one of my ELO fav's. If you listen to the words of all the songs, it's almost like Jeff L. was putting together his own Rock Opera - love story, based in the future... in this case it was with an android. My favorite song, although not released as a single is "Here is the News". I even recorded the intro as my ringtone. They just don't make music this good anymore!!!
  • Mitch from Crown Point, InKen Anderson, quarterback from the Cincinnati Bengals was featured on that coffee ad eons ago. They just played in the recent Super Bowl. Can you imagine an ad like that now?!?
  • Miked from Ann Arbor, MiI second the comment below about the correction regarding the first ELO song to feature No strings. It was "Don't Bring Me Down." After it charted higher than any of their previous singles in the U.S., ELO is rumored to have sent the string players they used for their recordings a farewell note!
  • Steve from Milford, United KingdomMik Kaminski the violin player appeared in the Video for this even though he was not on the album
  • Jose from Phoenix, Azi first heard this song on a tv ad so 7 albums later i think there a great band and this a great song
  • Lynda from Pasadena, TxVery uplifting song.
  • Julia from Knoxville, TnELO is good running music to get the rhythm that I want. For those of you who put in your post that they and Jeff Lynne are underrated, you could not have been more right.
  • Madison from Norway, MeIt's impossible to listen to ELO and be in a bad mood. I've tried!!!
  • Christopher from Nashville, TnI was intro'd to this song by the Honda commercial...thought I'd take a listen, and it has become my favorite ELO song. I absolutely love the keyboards, the tempo, and the French in it is quite a neat little addition.
  • Logan from Troy, Mt"Accroches-toi a ton reve
    Accroches-toi a ton reve
    Quand tu vois ton bateau partir
    Quand tu sents -- ton coeur se briser
    Accroches-toi a ton reve."


    "Hold on tight to your dream
    Hold on tight to your dream
    When you see your ship go sailing
    When you feel your heart is breaking
    Hold tight to your dream."

    It's the first verse in French.
  • Mike from Flowery Branch, GaYES!!! I remember the "Coffee Achievers" (I before E accept after C) That's when I found this song. I used to listen to the old E.L.O on 8-track. One of my favorite bands of all time!!!!

    Jeff Lynne RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Alan from Milwaukee, WiI see 'Honda' is now using this song for their "New" Accord automobile ads
  • Beryl from New York, NyVery inspirational! I might teach this song to my 4th graders!
  • Benn from Arcola, IlThis song was also used in the '80s as part of a series of "Coffee Acheivers" commercials. Anyone remember those?
  • Benn from Arcola, IlUm, no, actually, 1979's "Don't Bring Me Down" was the first ELO hit to forego the use of strings.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song Titles

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song TitlesMusic Quiz

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have some rather unusual song titles - see if you can spot the real ones.

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Tony Joe White

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.