Sanctify Yourself

Album: Once Upon A Time (1986)
Charted: 10 14
Play Video


  • To sanctify something is to make it holy. In this uplifting song, Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr is calling for personal empowerment, asking us to value the life we were given.

    Kerr often touches on religious themes in his lyrics, but he tends to clam up when asked about his beliefs. If you're looking for evidence of God in this song, you can find it in lines like, "A vision, sweet miracles and strange circumstances" and "I hope and I pray that maybe someday you'll come back down here and show me the way."
  • In our interview with Jim Kerr, he credited Once Upon A Time producer Jimmy Iovine for developing this track, which started with a riff the band came up with.

    He also said the gospel feel on the song was inspired by the music of Sly & the Family Stone, which he called "quite an influence on that song."
  • Michael Been, lead singer of The Call, sang backing vocals on this track. The Call opened some tours for Simple Minds and proved very impressive. "You can hear him bellowing in the background, doing his gospel thing," Jim Kerr told Songfacts.

    Simple Minds later covered The Call song "Let The Day Begin."

Comments: 2

  • Tony from Olonkin CityThe concert footage in the music video was filmed in Belgium in mid December 1985. The song was in the charts January 1986.
  • Tony from Olonkin CityThis was the last song recorded for their album "Once upon a time."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

U2 Lyrics

U2 LyricsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the lyrics of U2?

Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock Photography

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.