Don't Stop Believin'

Album: Escape (1981)
Charted: 6 9


  • Journey's most enduring song, this track has a unique structure, which helps it stick in your mind. Where most songs have a chorus that's repeated several times, "Don't Stop Believin'" brings in its chorus (and title) only at the end - about 3:20 into the song. The structure goes: instrumental, first verse, instrumental, second verse, first pre-chorus, instrumental, third verse, second pre-chorus, instrumental, and then finally the chorus until fade-out.

    It was not their biggest chart hit (that would be "Open Arms"), but is by far Journey's most famous song, thanks to a resurgence in the '00s.
  • The line, "Strangers waiting, up and down the Boulevard" is a reference to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where dreams are made. Keyboard player Jonathan Cain got the idea for the song when he went there to pursue his career. In his Songfacts interview, Cain said: "The song began with the chorus. My father had coached me. I was in Hollywood, struggling with my career, kind of lost. I was asking him, 'Should I come back to Chicago and just give up on this dream?' And he said, 'No, son. Stay the course. We have a vision. It's gonna happen. Don't stop believin'.'"

    Cain's dream came true when he joined a group called The Babys with John Waite. In 1980, he joined Journey in San Francisco, and this song took shape.

    He told Steve Perry about his idea for placing the song in Sunset Boulevard, and Perry had him describe it. "I described the menagerie of people who would show up on a Friday night," Cain said. "All the dreamers that had dreams to become actors. Producers, artists, lawyers, anything... they were all there on a Friday night."
  • Journey lead singer Steve Perry, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon are the credited songwriters on this one, but the entire band contributed. In the Time3 compilation, the genesis of this song is explained: "At the band's Oakland warehouse, this song bubbled out of a rehearsal. Schon developed the bass riff, the chugging guitar line and the sweeping chords on the chorus. Steve Smith built the song around a pattern featuring a lot of tom-toms, anchoring the number to a rich drum figure. Perry and Cain drew from their experiences with the Sunset Strip street scene for the lyrics, 'streetlight people.'"
  • Speaking with New York Magazine, Perry explained that the song originated during a series of gigs in Detroit when he found himself in a hotel room unable to sleep, staring out of the window:

    Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard
    Their shadows searching in the night
    Streetlight people, living just to find emotion
    Hiding, somewhere in the night

    "I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down, so that you couldn't see anything," he recalled. "All of a sudden I'd see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term 'streetlight people' came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing."
  • The popular resurgence of this song can be traced to its use in the 2003 movie Monster, which was based on the true story of the female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The film was not widely seen but drew critical raves and a Best Actress Oscar for Charlize Theron, who portrayed Wuornos. In the movie, the song comes on when Wuornos and Selby Wall (played by Christina Ricci) are skating to it in a roller rink. They mention how they love the song, and as it builds, so does their passion, and they end up kissing outside the rink.

    The use of "Don't Stop Believin'" in this critically adored scene got the attention of the Hollywood community, who saw the emotion the song could bring out and no longer thought of it as a nostalgia track. Requests started pouring in to use the song in a variety of movies and TV shows, and soon another generation was familiar with the song.

    So how did it get in Monster in the first place? The film's director Patty Jenkins used it when they shot the scene and knew it fit perfectly. She sent the band members viewing copies of the film and asked permission to use it on a short budget. Perry called her back and not only gave approval, but helped her select music for the rest of the film; he's credited as a music consultant.
  • The song was written to give the audience a connection with the band, a goal it achieved. Jonathan Cain told Songfacts: "It was the first attempt to bring an audience into the band's world. We're singing for you. We're singing about your world now. So, it was a departure from what they had been doing before.

    What I wanted to do was get a little Bruce Springsteen going on. Bruce was the master of that, bringing his audience into his songs. I was a huge fan of Bruce's."
  • Speaking with the British radio station Planet Rock in 2010, Steve Perry said of this song: "Personally, it's something that means a lot to me. Everybody has emotional issues and problems, and the song has helped me personally to not give up, and I'm finding a lot of people feel that."
  • This is the first track on Journey's seventh album, Escape. It was chosen to lead the album because, according to Cain, "With that piano line, it just sounds like a book opening up."
  • The song got a boost when it was used as the closing number in Rock of Ages, a jukebox musical featuring hits of the '80s. The show ran on Broadway from 2009-2015, and in 2012 was made into a movie starring Tom Cruise. It's an appropriate choice, as Rock of Ages takes place on Sunset Boulevard, which is also the primary setting for the song.
  • In the last ever episode of the TV show The Sopranos, which aired June 10, 2007, Tony Soprano plays this song on a jukebox during the final scene. The episode abruptly ends with the lyrics "Don't Stop" as the scene cuts to black.

    Steve Perry said in People magazine June 13, 2007: "I needed to know how this song was going to be used. I didn't want the song to be part of a blood-bath, if that was going to be the closing moment. In order for me to feel good about approving the song use, they had to tell me what happened. And they made me swear that I would not tell anybody."
  • This was featured in an episode of the TV show Scrubs called "My Journey." Other television series and films to use "Don't Stop Believin'" include South Park, The Wedding Singer, Shrek the Halls, Bedtime Stories, Yes Dear, King of the Hill, The Comebacks, View from the Top, Cold Case, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, My Name Is Earl, Just Shoot Me and Laguna Beach.
  • In November 2008 it was announced that this track had become the first song available in the pre-digital era to sell more than 2 million downloads through iTunes. The track's popularity increased significantly after its appearance in the final episode of The Sopranos. It also became one of the most popular karaoke songs in America in the late '00s.
  • In May 2009 a remake by the cast of the Fox TV musical comedy Glee debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, five places higher than Journey's version ever reached. It was performed in the season pilot and became part of the soundtrack album Glee: The Music, Volume 1. By the end of 2009, the digital download had earned 500,000 digital sales.

    The Glee version was performed on Sesame Street with monsters portraying the cast. The bit featured the letter G, so the lyrics were adapted to "Don't stop G-ing."
  • Believing in yourself and following your passion are ideals Steve Perry holds dear. When Randy Jackson, who used to play bass with Journey, was a judge on the singing competition American Idol, he asked Perry to come on as a guest judge. Perry turned him down, saying, "I don't feel good about sitting in judgment of anyone's honest passion to perform or their talent. If someone has a passion to perform, they should do it no matter what anyone says."

    Perry added: "I was passed on in the music business many, many times before Herbie [Journey manager Walter Herbert] heard my demo and believed in me. That was the moment that changed my life and I'm still forever grateful to him for believing in me. The hardest part is to keep believing in what you love when others tell you that you are not good at it."
  • MTV went on the air shortly before this song was released. The band made a Spartan performance video for it in an empty arena, apparently at a soundcheck. They made a better one with footage from a Houston stop on their Escape tour, which became the official video that shows up on their VEVO account. Neither video got much love on MTV, which preferred concept videos.
  • In the UK, this song peaked at #62 when it was first released. In November 2009, it was rereleased after Joe McEldry sang it on the TV show X-Factor, and this time, it climbed to #19.

    Joe McElderry won the competition, and franchise boss Simon Cowell wanted to release his version of the song as the single in the aftermath of the teenage singer's victory. However, Journey declined and Cowell instead arranged for McElderry to cover Miley Cyrus' track "The Climb."

    Guitarist Neal Schon explained to The Sun: "We knew about Joe's version because Simon had contacted our management. He wanted to re-do the song with a different arrangement. We listened to it. We declined. There was nothing wrong with the original version - if it's not busted, let's not fix it."

    Schon added that Journey were aware they were possibly passing up a UK #1 hit. "Randy Jackson, who was on American Idol with Simon, was stressing that we should let him do it because it would probably go to #1. But we stuck to our decision."
  • In the UK, the Glee Cast version debuted at #5 on the UK singles chart dated January 17, 2010, one place above Journey's original recording. It was the first instance of two versions of the same song sitting at back to back positions on the chart since December 2008 when Alexandra Burke's take on "Hallelujah" was at #1 with Jeff Buckley's version one place behind.
  • The song starts with Perry singing about a young couple from two different backgrounds:

    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

    But hang on a sec, any good Motor City citizen will tell you, there is no location called South Detroit; Detroit, Michigan, distinguishes only between an East Side and a West Side. If you go south in Detroit ("down-river"), you end up in Canada.

    Perry admitted to New York Magazine that he wasn't overly concerned with being geographically accurate. "I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit," he said. "The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It's only been in the last few years that I've learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn't matter."
  • This was used in the 1982 Atari video game Journey Escape. The song played in the background while you controlled various band members, helping them find the space ship while avoiding groupies and evil promoters. Computer graphics were pretty bad back then, so the groupies were represented as hearts with legs, and the promoters were floating heads. In fact, the very game was created to be based on the band Journey and the album Escape.
  • This was one of the first Journey songs on which keyboard player Jonathan Cain played. He replaced Gregg Rolle for the Escape album.
  • Lady Gaga, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Blondie and Shirley Bassey performed this at the finale of a Rainforest Fund benefit at Carnegie Hall in May 2010.
  • This song was used in a 2005 episode of animated TV series Family Guy where Peter, Joe, Cleveland, and Quagmire did a drunken karaoke rendition of the song. ITunes was catching on at this point, and after this episode aired there was a spike in download sales of the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM
  • Journey toured to support this album, but they interrupted their tour to open for The Rolling Stones in Philadelphia on September 25, 1981. It was The Stones first show on their North American tour.
  • This became the anthem of the Chicago White Sox during their 2005 season in which they won the World Series. Steve Perry attended the last game of the Series and sang the song at their victory parade.

    Perry's allegiance though, is to his hometown team the San Francisco Giants. He was often seen supporting the team when they won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Perry would sometimes lead the crowd in singing along to "Don't Stop Believin'" when it was played between innings at games.
  • Steve Perry severed ties with Journey in 1998 when he needed hip replacement surgery and couldn't give his bandmates a return date. Anxious to tour, they replaced him with the similar sounding Steve Augeri, and later with Arnel Pineda. For Journey fans, a dream scenario finds Perry reuniting with the band, triumphantly taking the helm on "Don't Stop Believin'" in an affirmation of unity and faith. But every year, they scenario seems less likely. In 2017 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Perry attended but didn't perform with the band, which did three songs (including this one) with Pineda.

    When Perry emerged with a solo album, Traces, in 2018, he offered some insight into his split with the band and his absence. "My love for music had suddenly left me," he said. "If music was ever to return to my heart, then and only then I would figure out what to do. If not... so be it, for I had already lived the dream of dreams."

    Journey first fractured in 1987 after touring for their Raised On Radio album. This was Perry's doing, as he was burned out and worried about keeping his voice healthy. But it was Perry who initiated their return, calling Cain in 1995 to talk about getting back together. This resulted in the 1996 album Trial by Fire; Perry's hip condition emerged after it was finished.
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" powered Journey's 1988 Greatest Hits album to a whopping 15 million in US sales (Escape sold 9 million), making it one of the best-selling compilation albums in history. In 2001, they released another compilation, The Essential Journey, which sold another 2 million.
  • During the 2020 pandemic, some hospitals used the song as a rallying call for patients recovering from COVID-19 and those treating them. The New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, for instance, played "Don't Stop Believin'" throughout the building each time they discharged a coronavirus patient.
  • In 2020, Ladbaby, a UK duo comprising YouTuber Mark Hoyle and his wife Roxanne, released a playful twist on this song titled "Don't Stop Me Eatin'." Recorded to raise money for foodbank charity The Trussell Trust, Ladbaby's single was the UK's Official Christmas #1 that year.

Comments: 113

  • Brett from MasonWhether we choose to hear Streetlight People for street lights, people Steve Perry came right out and said after a concert in Detroit he is looking out from his hotel room down on the street and there we're people just wandering around the street. Not necessarily prostitutes or any other specific type of people. More or less aimlessly wandering around Under The Lights doing nothing. Mendez for the South Detroit I don't think he was intending to give a geography lesson. He was making a song sound the best it could possibly be
  • Mckinzie from United StatesThis is my all time favorite song, I say that this is my song because I could relate to this song so much.
  • Nick from OhioThis is the most played classic hit of all time. Who would have thought that a song that peaked at #9 would become the undisputed biggest song in history.
  • Badintense from Erie PaThis song has crossed all generations and ethnicities as a beloved song. Last summer (2019) in my neighborhood a group of young black teens were hauling their giant boom box down the street blaring this song and singing the words perfectly as if they were in an adult karaoke bar. It actually brought a tear to my eye since I was a teen when this song first came out in 1981. Journey's music has really brought people together into a common bond no matter what the media tries to push on people.
  • Question-asker from A Train Going Anywherewhat does the lyric "Oh, the movie never ends It goes on and on, and on, and on" mean in this song?
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI recently took a long trip and played a Journey collection in my car, downloaded from a phone app. It contained a live version of this song, performed in Houston, that I hadn’t heard before. When Perry reached line about the boy, he sang, “Just a city boy, born and raised right here in Houston!” That definitely caught me by surprise.
  • Jodie from XxI'm pretty sure he's saying "streetlights, people". Not "streetlight people".
  • Steve from Albany, NyAnd the nonsense about Windsor being "considered" south Detroit continues to stick to the Wiki page like doodoo. LOL It's been said by many that you should never rely on Wiki as a source of reliable / accurate information. Very true.
  • Charles from CharlotteThe stuff about lowlife killer Eileen Wuernos kissing her female lover just sullies the discussion of a great American pop song. Wish Perry & Co, had said NO!! to that.
  • Leonardo from Connecticut I would argue that the Sopranos season finale repopularized the song, not Monster...
  • Tony from San DiegoSteve Smith plays an amazing drum pattern during the choruses.
  • Steve from Albany, NyThe info on the Wikipedia page for this song is inaccurate. And some moderator is allowing it to be there. I guess the following from John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band's song C-I-T-Y was actually referring to Windsor too: "On the South side of Detroit city I'm working all night on the line" Yep, definitely referring to Windsor, Ontario because everyone knows Windsor, Ontario is "considered" south Detroit. Right. LOL
  • Steve from Albany, NyRegarding "south Detroit", I'm simply going to paste in what I just got done explaining to a mod at Wiki who is apparently bent on leaving misinformation on the Wiki page for this song. Sorry but this is pretty simple stuff and anyone who doesn't get it is an imbecile. ........................ I'm guessing / just realizing that you're a type of moderator here. If you in fact have control over what info is on the page in question, it would be a HUGE wrong to leave in the very misleading entry you've re-submitted. Windsor, Ontario is south _OF_ Detroit, Michigan. Detroit, Michigan is the city that NUMEROUS bands would make reference to in their songs. Especially rock bands and especially during the 70s into the 80s. Not Windsor and not any other suburbs of Detroit that also lie south of Detroit (or "downriver"). The song simply makes reference to the south SIDE of Detroit. The quote by Perry makes it clear that the word south was only added because... well, try singing it without south and just a long INNNN in it's place. As the quote makes clear, the song would not have sounded right without south (or something) before the word Detroit. Not that it's is needed for most to understand that the song is referencing Detroit and only Detroit but there is also a quote by Perry in which he stated that Detroit was very much in their (the writers) minds as they wrote the song. Windsor is not a part of Detroit. The song makes reference to the south side of Detroit. If the entry about Windsor is left on the page, so be it, but it is completely misleading and wrong.
  • John from Chino, CaThis song is played during the final minutes of Detroit Red Wings home games where it seems evident that the team will win. Played over the PA system, the song is muted so the crowd can sing the verse, "Born and raised in South Detroit."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 13th 1981 "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey peaked at #9 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on October 25th and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 in Canada and #6 in the U.K.
    Was one of four tracks from the group's 1981 album 'Escape' to make the Top 100 (the others were "Who's Crying Now" (4), "Still They Ride" (#19) and "Open Arms" (#2)...
    And on September 12th, 1981 the album peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart.
  • Steve from Albany, NySome of the comments here regarding this song and it's mentioning of south Detroit are ridiculous. Saying there is no south Detroit is funny enough (there is a south side of any city and I was born and raised in SW Detroit myself) but I especially get a kick out of the people who say the song is referring to Windsor. If the following Steve Perry quote is accurate, "All of a sudden I'd see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term 'streetlight people' came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing.", then the ONLY city being referenced in the song is Detroit. If by chance the lyrics were written as "South Detroit" as opposed to "south Detroit", I suppose that could indicate that Perry/ the writers were thinking of some area of Detroit or evena separate town with that name but it's not likely and that capital S is the only error here. There's nothing complicated here, the song simply refers to the south side of Detroit.
  • Jay from Centereach, Long Island, NyI am surprised that the "South Detroit" line is so controversial. As a New Yorker, and not wholly familiar with the local geography or the neighborhood names of Detroit, I always thought South Detroit simply meant the southern part of Detroit, much like the South Bronx is the southern part of the Bronx. But who cares? This is a great song; no one should be concerned about a geographic error.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationNeal Schon told RAW RAWK RU NEWS 2011-10-24 that the recent resurgence of "Don't Stop Believin'" after appearing on The Sopranos and Glee -- as well as becoming the first iTunes song to reach two million downloads -- is beyond his comprehension: "When the record came out, there were other songs that were actually bigger than that off it on radio. Y'know, to have it this many years later just come out and be bombastic (laughs) like never before, just like all over the place and just keep on . . . It just keeps on going. Y'know, it's just pretty amazing."
  • Terry from Grafon, WiThis song should be the national anthem of the United States.
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzBwaaahahaha! Now Michelle "White House Crasher" Salahi is shacking up with Neal Schon. Priceless.
  • Ken from San Mateo, CaSince last year's World Series victory, I will always associate this song to the Giants and the Bay Area. Absolutely one of the best songs!!!!
  • Hannah from Gustavus, OhI'm graduating this coming Sunday (May 29, 2011) and I couldn't be more thrilled that this was voted in as our class song. When they announced it at school you could hear people cheering. I think the reason it's such an enduring song for graduation is that unlike most of the class themes that get picked ("Good Riddance," "Here's to the Night," etc.) it's not about looking back and being sad it's over, but rather looking forward and realizing there is indeed life afterward. It's about living life to the fullest (the first verse) and how even though life is difficult ("some are born to sing the blues"), the important thing is to at least take chances and try ("roll the dice just one more time") - and of course, to not give up no matter what may happen, because everything will turn out just fine in the end.
  • Michael from Cincinnati, OhJourney's 1982 album "Eascape was made into a video game titled "Escape".It was produced by Atari for the 2600 model.It was made by Data Age in San Jose,Cal.The Object of the game was to help the band members "Escape" the fans chasing them around.Pretty cool game at the time.
  • Steppy from Detroit, Mi*South Detroit Debate* I'm from metro Detroit (as well as a giant Journey fan) and had always wondered about the reference to South Detroit. I heard and interview a year or so ago with Steve Perry, where he addressed the issue. I listened to it online, maybe Youtube?, so the interview may have been old. At any rate, he said that after a concert in Detroit, he was sitting in his hotel room, very late, working on this song. The room was on a high floor and he was watching the people standing under the lights and pondering their lives ("streetlight people"). While he realized that South Detroit didn't really exist, he used a bit of artistic license, because it flowed better than East Detroit.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlTell me why this is AMAZING?! lol This song is on a totally different level. Awesome.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaGreat song. South Detroit=Winsor,Ontario,Canada.....
  • Jay from St Paul, MnI listened to a few interviews Steve has given. He said he used South Detroit because it sounded better than North, East or West. He said he didn't realize there was no South Detroit. He jokingly said he found out South Detroit was actually Windsor. As far as streetlight people, he said it's something that he noticed when he looked out of a hotel window.

    If you Youtube it, you can find the interviews. Very worth while.
  • Ken from San Mateo, CaWhat a song...Like the Chisox, this also became a tribute song for the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants! And Journey is from this area, so it makes better sense.
  • Bobby from Belleville, NjWhile Journey's version is a classic, back in 2008 before it was used in Sopranos, freestyle artist George LaMond remade the song into a pop/dance version. And a very good one, I might add.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyFive years before Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" Olivia Newton-John had a completely different record with the same title, it peaked at No. 33...
  • Bd from Vienna, VaProbably worth noting in the brouhaha about Journey turning down a cover of this song is that Randy Jackson was in the band for a while in the mid-80s before their first breakup.
  • Rob from Fredericton, NbOne of the many anthems most prominiately found in the 80s hall of great music. For every song played on the radio, this one song sticks out the most when I use to go to a carnival in my hometown. With the smell of fries, hotdogs and other foods lingering in the air, you could always hear a Journey tune blaring in the background while everyone enjoyed riding the many rides at this carnival. So when you take an experience, like a carnival, and feature all of it's pleasantries you soon inaugurate any song from the 80s, namely a Journey tune, and the picture is complete. Such a great band and such a great song.
  • Sara from Detroit, MiAnd for those of you that want to split hairs, Look on the map of Detroit. Melvindale, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Ecorse, Delray, Allen Park, Southgate, Taylor, River Rouge, Wyandotte. These are all blue collar or very poor areas, and most people worked for the Big 3 auto companies. This area is called "Downriver" as it is south of Detroit. Detroit itself is a pretty small city. What most people think is Detroit is any one of the suburbs that lies within or outside of Detroit's city limits. Oak Park, Hazel Park, Highland Park, and Hamtramck, are all INSIDE the City Limits. Where as Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Southfield, Eastpointe, are OUTSIDE of Detroit's City Limits...yet most people consider it part of the greater metro area. When the word METRO is used by itself all over the country it means DETROIT METRO. We were the first place to use the term "Metro" as a colloquial term for a specific large area, as Detroit was the first city in the country to spread out that fast with that large of a population. The city of Detroit itself, is small.
  • Sara from Detroit, MiYou are all VERY WRONG about the South Detroit explanation. To those of us who are FROM Detroit and GREW UP THERE....SOUTH DETROIT IS ANYTHING SOUTH OF I-96...a.k.a "Downriver" ....There has NEVER been a place CALLED South Detroit. It's like being in any big city, the term is more loosely used, than say "South Philly", "South-Central L.A." "Southside Of Chicago". Yes Eastpointe was East Detroit but that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this, you don't see a "West Detroit" on the map do you? As for the lyrics it IS in fact "Streetlights, People". It's amazing how many Americans struggle with their own native language!
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaPetra Haden does a cover version of this song.
  • Karen from Manchester, NhI have loved this song for years...until I heard that it was the closing song on the piece of filth that is titled "The Sopranos".
  • Jose from Brisbane, AustraliaPlease tour Australia! I know it's hard because for some reason, Australia never really got into Journey... sad lot we are.
  • Nikki from Yamba, Australiagreta song... love that it has on family guy.. scrubs... the sapranos... the wedding singer and love when LC and stephen sing it on the second series of laguna beach!
  • Ellen from Chicago, IlA great song. See Wikipedia's article (search the song title) for additional details as to what exactly is meant by "South Detroit" - in the section called "Sports".
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiaabsolutely beautiful song....
  • Stu from Philly, PaThey've been quoted as saying "it's streetlight people, we're talking about prostitutes."
    At any rate, check the lyrics book that came with the album.
    One of the greatest songs of all time, it was a real treat to see the cast of Glee perform it on that new TV show. One of the best non-Journey renditions of it.
    My band Raised On Radio usually starts our sets with this song.
  • Mike from Brighton, MaTo answer the age old question, "South Detroit" actually refers Southfield, Michigan. (Southfield, ironcally is north of Detroit.) In the 1980s, Journey played many charity soft ball games with WRIF-FM (The Riff).
  • Mike from Brighton, MaTo answer the age old question, "South Detroit" actually refers Southfield, Michigan. (Southfield, ironcally is north of Detroit.) In the 1980s, Journey played many charity soft ball games with WRIF-FM (The Riff).
  • Brendan from Cape Town, South AfricaThe line after "streetlights, people" sounds like "heaven just a fun emotion" Any other suggestions?
  • Allen from Knoxville, TnOn the University Of Tennessee campus, somebody has spray painted on the stop signs "dont STOP believin'" Great song, even 27 years after it was released!
  • Katie from St. Paul, MnThe lyrics say "Streetlights, people...", not "Streetlight people".
  • Josh from Indianapolis, InJourney Rocks Big Time!!!!!!!!!!!!! thers not a song by them i dont like> Rock on!
  • Bob from Dumbsville, BelarusWow this song is beautiful! Everytime I'm down, I listen to it and it gets me back on my feet again. This song just defines 80s music. Journey will just never be the same without Steve Perry leading their crusade.
  • Morten from Sydney, AustraliaI'm an 80's music tragic but suprisingly had never heard of this song! Thanks to Family Guy for introducing me to this gem!

    -Morten, Sydney, Australia
  • Dean from Windsor, OnI would just like to inform all those people who say this song isn't about Windsor.

    When "South Detroit" is mentioned the city of Windsor is what they are talking about. Windsor is actually SOUTH of Detroit. If your ever around my town and stand at the river your compass will point north.


  • Julie from Taylor, TxWhen this song comes and best friend victoria go crazy! it's their best song. Classic 80's!
  • Melanie from Seattle, WaScott from Boston - what a cool story! Haha I want to go write that on a stop sign now! :D This song is sooo good. Journey's best IMO. Steve's voice is amazing.
  • Neil from Ottawa, CanadaThis song was sung by the football team in the 2007 film "The Comebacks". One of the players starts singing it in the change-room, and it turns in to a full-stage concert. It mocks the sports movie cliche of teams turning it around with an uplifting theme song, and also references the Chicago White Sox World Series.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaWhat a great song! The only song Journey did in the 80s that wasn't horrid!
  • Fredrik from Stockholm, SwedenThis song was also featured in the South Park episode "tsst" when Cartman is plugging in his X-Box. He sings the lines "Don't stop believing, hold on to your feelings"
  • Krista from Elyria, OhI love Journey! And I love it when ametuers sing the lyrics! But I HATE baseball cards...
  • Scott from Boston, MaDuring cross country last year there was a stop sign we always ran by during practice and it said "don't" above it and "believing" below it. It became our team's song and we often sang it very out of tune during runs. Also, that Family Guy episode is awesome (as most are). "Oh my god, that is Journey!"
  • Michael from San Diego, CaOne of the most beautiful songs of all time...if this song doesn't get to you, then you may need to check your pulse!
  • Richie from Sedalia, MoEdgar, Kings Park, NY
    Better luck next time!!
  • Edgar from Kings Park, NyThis song reminds me of my failed suicide attempt. Well... there's always next time.
  • Brian from Portage, MiYes, Detroit is an East/West city, but no matter where an area is, there is still four cardinal directions.
  • Brian from Detroit, MiAnyone from Detroit will know what i am saying, but "south detroit" refers tothe area south of Outer Drive, Detroiters refer to the area as "downriver." i Just want to clear the confusion. It ISINT canada, it ISINT eastpointe, NOR groose pointe.
  • Eamon from Motherwell, ScotlandTHis inspirational song was played every night in a juke by me when I was teaching summer camp in up state New York back in 1980. Being from Scotland, I loved the American rock scene and this classic just typifyies it.
    27 years later, I play the Journey live DVD while I work out every other night and never tire of hearing it, it is in my blood. I had the pleasure of seeing Journey in Glasgow earlier this year and it was a real highlight. One question - I have heard different lyrics for this some say "Heaven is a funky mouse?" Any comments guys and girls?
    Eamon.Motherwell. Scotland.
  • Sergio from Miami, FlI have been listening to this song for a long time now. I grew up listening to it and I admit, its my all time favorite. It is so cool now to see a new generation fall in love with it thanks to Family Guy, Scrubs and Sopranos. I dont think it matters if South Detroit is correct or not cause whenever they performed it live with Steve Perry he always replaced Detroit with the city they were in at the moment. I always thought that was a nice touch and he always got a cheap pop for it. I know I will always love this song and just dont get sick or hearing it. Journey was a fantastic band with some great musicians.
  • Mary from Canyon, TxThis song was my junior class song way back when in ancient times, not too long after it was first released.

    EVen I know Windsor, ON is south of Detroit! (Southeast to be exact.)
  • Mark from Glassboro, NjThis song was used in the very end of The Soprano's Final Episode. The song is cut short and the screen goes to blank.
  • Missy from Ann Arbor, MiYou may not belive this but 'Don't stop Belivin' was my senior class song...I love it and so did my class...we were a pretty small class and we were all ubsessed with soft and classic rock...the good stuff...Whenever I hear those first few piano keys play, I will alway go back to my high school gym, on a hot june day, walking to the stage to graduate...Good Times, Great Memories and GREAT SONG!!!
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlI love the 80's on VH1 ripped this song apart.
  • Mark from Des Moines, IaI can't help but think of the CHICAGO WHITE SOX and their magical run to the World Series title in 2005. What a great season!!! What a great song!!!
  • Maria from Houston , TxI agree with most, his voice is awesome!!!!
  • Kara from Cadillac, MiArtists magic is what happens when you take a group of extraordinarily talented people and put them together, allowing them each to do what they do best. Journey is what happens when it all fits together and creates something wonderful. They're not just a band- they're an era. Neal Schon is with out a doubt one of the most gifted guitarists ever. His knowledge and presentation of his craft are nothing short of brilliant. Steve Perry's vocals are masterful. They, along with Schon's guitar work, gave Journey a distintive sound. Jonathan Cain - a perfect fit, though I admit I've always liked Greg Rolle too. I have a Journey album that was made prior to Steve Perry's joining and listening to that makes me know that Journey would have been great no matter what because they had the talent to be great. I know there were changes in the lineup, but Ross Valory's bass playing was also part of what made Journey what it is to me. I loved Steve Smith on the drums, but as with Rolle, I was sad to see Aynsley Dunbar go. Journey was a concept, a feeling, a part of life, an important accent to memories in my life and continues to contribute to important events in the lives of my kids. Two of my sons play guitar and are greatly influenced by Neal Schon. One of them is currently overseas serving in the millitary- he will marry his high school sweetheart when he returns and their wedding song will be "Open Arms". The two sons that I have at home have recently been getting into Journey - "Generations" and I have found that I love their music now as much as I ever did. It never mattered to me that Steve Perry said "South Detroit" - I lived in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti for many years and I never could keep the suburbs or other offspring areas of Detroit straight anyway. I lived in San Francisco too and always knew that "Lights" was about that city - even if it was written in (or partially in) L.A. - Who cares? Does anybody ever question why "Still They Ride" has traffic lights in it? No. Why? Because it's a truly amazing song about times changing before people are ready for them to with an outstanding guitar lead and excellent vocals. Get over the details. This is legendary music by exceptional musicians. Just enjoy it.
  • J from Boston, Maand I mean (in the last comment) in the chorus part at the end.
  • J from Boston, MaAbout the streetlight line, I think the first time the line is done, it sort of sounds like streetlight with a little extra sound on it. However, the second time the line is sung, he definetly says streetlights. As the song fades out, I think he says streetlight.
  • Jack from London, EnglandComing from England I had never heard this song on the radio before I heard it on Family Guy. I then heard the song during an episode of Scrubs Season 3 called "My Journey" and decided I had to download it. JOURNEY KICK ASS
  • Nathan from From The Country Of, CanadaI always heard this song on the radio, but it wasn't until its appearance on Family Guy's kareokee episode that i realized how good the song actually is.
  • Peter from Detroit, MiNo matter what, at least once a month I hear this song at the bar. My friends and I are from Dearborn Heights, MI and I like to replace south detroit with "dearborn heights" while belting the lyrics to the annoyance of my girlfriend...she thinks I'm cute so it's cool. Rock on Journey!
  • Tom from Vashon, WaThis is an amazing song. It is so sweet. I love it. I think that it has a great message that we can all relate to. Wether we are living on the streets or we are just having problems with our closest friend. You can never stop believing.
  • Dave from Beamsville, CanadaIf you listen closely, you will hear a rendition of this song during the first wedding ceremony on 'The Wedding Singer' when Adam Sandler gets stood up at the alter.
  • Allan from Calgary, CanadaAt The Den (the on-campus bar at the University of Calgary) this song has been the last song every weekend night for the last 10 years. All the regulars drop their pants and do the "no pants dance" Quite a good time and a great way to end the night at a great bar.
  • Zeke from Washington, DcAll the lyrics say that the line is "Streetlight, people..." but if you listen to the song it DEFINITELY sings "Streetlights, people." Which do you think it is?
  • Kevin from Grosse Pointe, MiYeah, but who calls Windsor "South Detroit"?


    I love this song, but that line always bugs me.

    Why not say "Just a city boy, born and raised in East Detroit"

    East Detroit is the former name of Easpointe, Michigan. Also, East Detroit is just considered the East side of Metro Detriot, so he could be from the eastern part of the city of Detroit or from any one of the suburbs that is considered East Detroit (Harper Woods, Roseville, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores)
  • Emma from Palm Beach, AustraliaThis song was performed in episode 403 of "The Family Guy" entitled "Don't Make Me Over" (original air date 06/05/05) by Peter, Cleveland, Quagmire and Joe. It's an enjoyable rendition, with pall bearers even dropping a coffin in order to hit "The Drunken Clam" to check out the performance.
  • Matt from Haddon Hieghts, NjThis song is great and i got my whole family to love this song its Steve Perrys voice thats just awesome and its one of my fav
  • Cindi from Vancouver, CanadaOMG WHO care weather it is North, South. East or West it is a great song.....I can think about better things to debate than which way is up, down or left or right....I agree with who ever said there is N,S, E or West every where just get a compass and stand outside this isn't rocket science it's a Rock song.
  • Zeke from Washington, DcActually, Canada IS south of Detroit. The southern part of Ontario is actually south of Detroit. Check your map Jon from Regina.
  • Justin from Monson, MaI think Journey's song "Don't stop Believin" is the greatest song in the world. I love it so much. Each time it comes on the radio, I turn it up loud. By the way, why does anyone care about how the city of Detroit is used in the song. The song's great!!!!!!!!
    -Justin Dubois,Monson,MA
  • Matthew from East Brunswick, NjGreat song, Journey is a godsend of the 80's!
  • Anwiya from Sterling Heights, MiHey John from Canada, you know nothing. A portion of Canada (city name: WINDSOR) is south of Detroit.
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Flwhite sox have used it for their theme song, omg!! at least it kept them going on to believe that they could win, and they did, so this song is like, an inspiration.
  • Christa from Aurora, IlThis was the song the white sox used for inspiration to win the world series 2005!
  • Jeff from Sothington, Ctthis is an inspirational song that has a good guitar part in it...the family guy episode was funny and the fact that i knew this girl that would sing this song and now everytime i hear it i see her singing it..but i still see myslef playing guitar...nice solo though
  • David from Yosemite, CaI heard this song sung a few weeks ago in San Francisco's North Beach--I was trying to sleep in the GreenTortoise hostel in the room above the lounge--and a chorus of girls was singing it. It must have been Kerioki night, but it was lovely. I couldn't recall the group (Journey), but heard a bit on the radio, and googled the lyrics. I've been googling lyrics all weekend--Napster's having free downloads, which brought me here--nice site.. I wish I could have recorded the girls singing. David Yosemite Sept. 4, 2005
  • Chase from Pasadena, CaMost of the memories posted on this website are by a girl named "Stephanie."
  • Stephanie from Ellicott City, Mdthis song brings back some great memories .... reminds me of being just over the edge of 17, vacationing in Florida with my family. we were staying at this resort, and i was hanging out in the game room. i had been pretty bored, and i met this guy about 2 years younger than me. he was from a small town in Maine, while i was from the big city in Maryland. i was grateful to find someone close to my age, and we played airhockey, with us deciding to make a friendly bet, the terms to be determined after the game. he let me win, and the term of the bet was decided to be a kiss. we ended up making out for awhile, and when we parted for the night, we shared no pretense that we'd ever meet again. the next night, i heard this song, and it made me think of him - although it was reversed, he was the small town boy and i was the city girl, for a smile we shared the night, and the memories go on and on. i had been feeling pretty low about myself at this time, and feeling undesirable, and he made me feel like, hey, maybe there is something desirable about me after all. so, Matt from Maine, thank you.
  • Ryan from Windsor, CanadaAmazing song, one of the best from the 80's. oh and Jon from Regina, check your map bro. I'm from Windsor, Ontario Canada and to go to Detroit I'd have to travel North, not South (one of those "tricky" geography catches).
  • Jev from Marietta, GaWell does anyone know where I can get a good ringtone of this song period.
  • Patrick from Charlotte, Ncno.
  • Jev from Marietta, GaDoes anybody know where I can get a Don't Stop Believin ringtone that is reliable?
  • Jon from Regina, CanadaThis is a great song. By the way, who really cares if they say South Detroit? It's not the end of the world. And John from Scottsdale, I thought most people knew this, but Canada is NORTH of Detroit, not south.
  • Matthew from Marquette, MiOk... I don't know how many of you really know Geography, but there is a North, South, East and West of EVERYTHING! There is South America, Southern US, Southern California, South Detroit, my dorm room even has a southern part. While you may not find South Detroit on a map, there is in fact a South Detroit. The guy probably grew up near Michigan Avenue. As for the song... GREAT EFFIN' SONG!
  • Tatem from San Diego, CaNo matter the radio station I'm listening to, you can always tell that distinctive Journey-Steve Perry sound and instantly know a Journey song regardless of your knowledge of their song list. Steve Perry gave Journey their uniqueness. I had heard about the Monster movie thing, never saw the movie though. It's hard to believe how old these guys are now. Steve Perry was a hottie. Aging happens to the best of us!!
  • Perviz from Cochin, IndiaWords can't describe the kind of feeling you get on hearing this song. Truly a masterpiece!!
  • Perviz from Cochin, IndiaThis is truly a super duper song. Thanx a million Journey.
  • Kevin from Grosse Pointe, MiYeah the whole South Detroit thing always bugged me too. Detroit is an East Side/West Side city, not a North Side/South Side city like Chicago.

    If the lyrics had said "East Detroit" it would have made more sense.
  • Ryan from Lansing, MiThere is no East Detroit however as everyone should know, they changed there name to Eastpointe. But yeah he should really have said southren Detroit.
  • John from Scottsdale, AzWhen I ever hear this song, I have to say "you've got it wrong, Steve, and sing "There ain't no such place as South Detroit." I grew up in Detroit. There's an east side and a west side. The dividing line is Woodward Avenue. South Detroit is..uh... Canada. Stand on the plaza in downtown Detroit, and look south. Oh, Canada. Otherwise, I like the song, but Steve and his buddies should hvae stuck to San Francisco or looked at a map
  • Tom from Alma, GaAck! Another cookie-cutter corporate rock band. Being a child of the 80's, however, they did have some good stuff.
  • Dawn from Highlands Ranch, CoWell, Neal Schon, Steve Perry and Jon Cain I think all take credit for the genesis of this song, which probably explains part of why they're not together anymore. But actress Charlize Theron really wanted this song for a scene in her movie Monster, so she and director/writer Patty Jenkins wrote a letter to Steve Perry begging him to allow them to use the song. He saw the scene they wanted it for, said it was perfect, through Sony contacts asked Jon and Neal if they were ok with it, they said yes, and Steve became musical consultant for the film, as well as the song being in the film. Steve is still traveling around the US and Canada with Patty helping her promote the movie and accepting awards for it.
  • Mooler from Detroit, MiNora hit the nail right on the head. South Detroit is just referring to the southern part of the city just as south west detroit or west side or east side or northeast detroit...etc etc. I should from north east detroit. 7 and gratiot.
  • Paul from Greenwood, ScJust a couple live shows, Journey frontman Steve Perry would insert the name of whatever city that would be hosting them, evidenced by the NFL films documentary of them from the late 80's where they are playing in Philly..."Born and raised in Phil-a-del-phia!"...also the guitar break between the first and second verse spotlights Schon at what he did best. Neil Schon was discovered by Carlos Santana and was playing on stage at the age of 15. He is incredibly fast and it shows on this classic.
  • Larry from Artesia, CaStreetlight people, living just to find emotion
    Hiding, somewhere in the night
  • Angela from Santa Fe, TxDoes anyone know the lyrics to this song? I know most of them, however, there is one line in there where I can't seem to catch all the words. It is right after the line in the chorus "Streetlife people". Can anyone help me? Thanks.
  • Nora from Richfield, MnThe lyrics didn't say 'south OF Detroit', it said South Detroit. Big difference
see more comments

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