Given Up

Album: Minutes To Midnight (2007)

Songfacts®:

  • Similar to early Linkin Park songs like "In The End," the lead character in this song feels alienated and desperate. The song is punctuated by Chester Bennington's scream, which goes on for about 17 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR
  • Guitarist Brad Delson in Kerrang! magazine: "We had a really bad song called 'Fire in the City' - the chorus actually had the words 'fire in the city' on it! I took the bassline and the drums and built weird sounds around it, which eventually became this song. Chester's screaming: 'What the f--k is wrong with me? Put me out of my f--king misery!' so, without explaining exactly what the song's about, it's pretty clear he's not happy."
  • The working title was "21 Stitches," inspired by Bennington's injuries from a drunken attempt to break into his dad's house after losing his key.
  • Bennington wrote this about his alcoholism after returning from rehab. He explained in a 2008 Loveline Radio interview: "I wasn't leaving my house. I would shack up in my closet in the dark and shake all day. I would wake up and have a pint of Jack Daniel's to calm down, then I'd pop a bunch of pills and go back in my closet and fucking freak out. I was a mess. I was falling through windows, having seizures and going to hospital the whole time. It was fucking ridiculous. I was a total wreck."
  • In 2020, Shinoda recalled Chester's famous bridge scream: "He was just on it. He was just pissed off or had all this crazy energy. He was doing the scream for that bridge part and he didn't know the structure of the song that well yet, so he did the scream... he did a couple of takes and we were like, 'oh that's too short, that doesn't fit in the spot it needs to fit in, it just needs to be longer.' And he did it again, and it was still kind of short, so I said 'oh it needs to be a lot longer than that.' So he just did THAT - he kept going and he knew he was just doing it over the chorus, then he finished it and I was just SCREAMING myself, like 'that was the most epic thing I've ever heard!' He was just laughing... sweating and laughing. That was for sure 'no shirt on, freaking out in the vocal booth day.' I was like, 'I'm just going to work around it, I'm going to work the song around the scream.'"
  • This was the fourth single from Linkin Park's third studio album, Minutes To Midnight. The band, who debuted to acclaim with Hybrid Theory in 2000, didn't want to replicate the nu-metal vibe of their previous records, so they put less emphasis on rap and more on alt rock and electronics. The first step was bringing Rick Rubin on board as producer. Joe Hahn, the band's DJ, explained in 2006: "We wanted to step it up as far as working with a producer and really try to create an atmosphere that will challenge us in different ways. We chose Rick Rubin because his credits alone speak a lot about his ability and his open-mindedness as a producer, working on everything from the old Def Jam, Beastie Boys and Run DMC, to Slayer, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think the common denominator with all these groups is that they create great music through the years that has stood the test of time."
  • This was used in the movies Grave Encounters 2 (2012) and Red 2 (2013).
  • The video, directed by Mark Fiore, features footage from the band's January 2008 performances at the Manchester Evening News Arena and the O2 Arena in London. The clips were altered using special effects for coloring and distortion.
  • Aside from their 2004 collaborative EP with Jay-Z (Collision Course), Minutes To Midnight is the first Linkin Park album to include profanity, which resulted in their first Parental Advisory label.

Comments: 18

  • Alex from NafplioThe "clinging" sound effect in the background is actually Chester jiggling his car keys.
  • Matt from IllinoisLiving with MDD (Major Deprsssive Disorder) or clinical depression in conjunction with GAD (Generlazied Anxiety Disorder) and of course to top it off with insomnia ... it’s really easy to sum up the meaning of where most of Chester’s lyrics stem from.... but unless you live with a mental illness, most people are blind to the fact of what any of his songs relate to and that honestly you can’t resonate with any of them unless you truly understand where it’s coming from. Yeah so this track specifically is about Severe depression, and that he’s tried all types of pills and or therapies and they failed, but I gotta give it to him man... I idolize him 100% for what he was able to accomplish in his time on earth... but yeah coming from someone who wants to die everyday, his suicide was selfish because he had wayyyyy more to lose and throw away than just a regular mentally ill guy like me.
  • Maverick from Houston, TexasLove this song. So amazing especially because of Chester's 20-second long scream.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjMy favorite song from the grossly underrated Minutes to Midnight.
  • Elizabeth from Grants Pass, OrI claim this as my theme song. I was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, an often excruciatingly painful condition that leads to frequent subluxations (partial dislocations) and dislocations. I was misdiagnosed for a long time; doctors couldn't understand how a seemingly healthy 19-year old could be suffering from constant joint pain. Doctors were convinced that I was a hypochondriac, and that the pain was all in my head. For a long time, Chester's "tell me what the f--k is wrong with me" echoed my own thoughts. While the previous quote fortunately no longer applies to me, unfortunately his incredible screaming solo in the song's bridge (the piece in which he pleads for God to put him out of his misery) still does. :( However, regardless of my thoughts, this song will remain and continue to be an amazing contribution to the world of music.
  • Seth from Under Your Bed..., MnI love this song!!! my favorite part is where he sreams for like 26 seconds!!! :)
  • Effy E. Goodwin from Cov, United KingdomThis song can feel related to by those who suffer from severe depression, lonliness, suicidal thoughts and want to commit suicide, but also sort of want help as well.
  • Luke from Filey, United KingdomIt is because Chester was sexually abused as a child.
  • Billy from Denver, Coits about withdrawl
  • Bubba from Reno, NvHey Kitty, I'm schizophrenic too. from the sounds of it, your too young to have any serious problems worth cutting. Really, thats never the way to go, trust me. As for the schizo thing, 2options; 1.See a therapist if you actually believe you're schizo 2. If ur just using schizophrenia as a joke, I take offense to that and there's honestly nothing funny about the disorder

    By the way, its an 18 second scream
  • Alec from Pal Harbor, Flsomething must of happened to chester in all his now songs he has ralking about being ignored and nonone caring about him, i think someone important in his life died or scared him for life because usually they are a normal rock band until recently chester has been having all these emotional breakdowns
  • Anonymous from Someplace, LaWhen I first heard the song, I thought he was saying "I give it up" instead of "I've given up".
  • Adam from New York, NyGod i love this song
  • Elmer from Zamboanga, Philippinesi lyk ds song..but his screaming is so dffrnt frm d other songs they made...try 2 cmpare d screaming parts of from the inside nd given up...its soo dffrnt.wat the hell happend 2 chester??
  • Kitty from Montreal, QcI love this song sooooo much! Yeah i totally agree it's emo. I think Chester is clearly not happy also, i love him because he expresses what he feels. I can totally relate. lots of people interpret it differently. I get what you say Taylor from Moundsville! me too, i'm schizophrenic or at least i think i am! no one knows and i don't know what to do! i wish someone can put me out of my misery! i cut myself but i don't know what is wrong with me because i like doing it and don't want to stop but i did because i had to! my parents found out! but i just want to CUT
  • Taylor from Moundsville, WvThis song leads mostly towards a mental issue,the lyrics(stuck in my head again, feels like ill never leave this place, theres no escape, im my own worst enemy)to me refers to constantly fighting issues images and lies in your mind.I kno this because for the past 5 years of my life iv had a Severe mental disorder.And only few kno.
  • Francesca from Malta, EuropeYeah Yeah love the 17 second scream....i really love lp but this song in my opinion is a bit emo, what do you think?
  • Amber from Salisbury, Mdi love this song,his scream makes it all the more beta.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dave Edmunds

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Lip-Synch Rebels

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillian

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.