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Song of Courage

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The night is long
And the path is dark
Look to the sky
For one day soon
The dawn will come.
— Choral reprise for "The Dawn Will Come", Dragon Age: Inquisition

Whenever the hero or his allies are under great odds, even seeming doomed to be destroyed by a single foe, army, or unstoppable force of nature, there's the chance that one of the main characters will give a speech or word that'll conjure the power of either an unseen choir, instrumental band or actually a character in the scene that'll rally their spirits to face their death and carry on with dignity and valor.

The heroes don't necessarily have to succeed- strictly speaking they don't even have to live past the endeavor, but the Song of Courage at least makes them look cool as they fall. The Song isn't about not going gentle into that good night — it's about triumph against the fear of death, and the people singing it may simply be awaiting their imminent deaths, knowing that trying to fight it won't help.

The Song of Courage can either be heard by the characters, or it could just be ambience for the sake of the audience.

Sister trope of The Song Before the Storm. Subtrope of Bravado Song. Can overlap with Pep-Talk Song if the courage is being sung to whoever needs it.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Pied Piper plays one (crossed with The Power of Rock) in the "Countdown" arc, using Queen's "The Show Must Go On," a song that probably qualifies for the trope all by itself given the fact that Freddie Mercury was dying of AIDS-related complications at the time it was recorded.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Owing to their vaguely Scottish roots, Gaunt's Ghosts would often march to battle to the sound of space-bagpipes. Indeed, before he was commissioned, this was Brin Milo's official job, and even afterwards he remained the best. It's noted that the enemy, and sometimes other Imperial Guard regiments, tended to view it as a Drone of Dread instead.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Samwise, alone in an enemy fortress, having come to a dead end while trying to find and rescue Frodo, starts to sing without even knowing why. Simple rhymes and children's songs quickly give way to this:
    Though here at journey's end I lie in darkness buried deep,
    beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep,
    above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars for ever dwell:
    I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell.
  • In The Outlaws, an entire tenement house full of Communist workers sings 'The International' during a search conducted by government soldiers.
  • The Bio of a Space Tyrant series by Piers Anthony. The immigrant workers Hope Hubris falls in with at the start of "Mercenary" all have their individual songs which are regarded as Serious Business, and the protagonist is impressed at the uplifting effect they have on those who otherwise live wretched lives.

    Live Action TV 
  • "Walk Through the Fire" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Musical Episode, "Once More, With Feeling".
  • "Yo Way Oh" from Lexx, also known as "The Fight Song of the Brunnen-G". The lyrics are in in the (fictional) language of the (fictional) Brunnen-G, but a translation exists and it basically amounts to a call to battle, a declaration of what is worth fighting for (one's home and heart), and a vow to win or die but always as a Warrior Poet. Traditionally sung before (or during) a hopeless battle or Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Game of Thrones. Sansa leads the women of the Red Keep in a song during the Battle of Blackwater when Stannis Baratheon's army is battering down the city gates and the Queen Regent walks out on them.


  • From Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... And Beyond! (the stage musical version of Finding Nemo) the song "We Swim Together" is this overlapped with Friendship Song.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]

  • The Bard class in Dungeons & Dragons and other games, often singing songs that make his allies literally immune to fear.

    Video Games 
  • COD 2 Spanish Civil War Mod: In the final mission for the Republican side, the government soldiers sing The Internationale together before storming Burgos and capturing General Franco.
  • Several songs from Final Fantasy IX, such as Those Whom I Must Protect and You Are Not Alone.
  • GONG from Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. The song that gives our heroes the courage to stand up against the LITERAL God of Death and is sung by EVERY SINGLE MECHA PILOT FROM EVERY SINGLE SIGNIFICANT MECHA SERIES IN THE HISTORY OF ANIME. Yeah, it is that badass
  • The Microwave Scene in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots can be seen in here [1], Tear Jerker included.
  • The Darkest Hour in Dragon Age: Inquisition after the Herald of Andraste nearly dies buying the rest of the Inquisition to escape from Haven before Corypheus wipes them out is ended when Mother Giselle starts singing a chantry hymn titled "The Dawn Will Come". Everyone else starts singing too, posing in reverence to the Herald.
  • In Detroit: Become Human, this is an option the player can choose if they chose Markus to lead a peaceful demonstration. Surrounded by armed soldiers and federal agents, Markus can start singing "Hold On Just a Little Longer", with his companions and fellow protestors joining him mid-song. If the player maintains a sympathetic or supportive public opinion for androids, this song will move President Warren into ordering the military to stand down. If not, this serves as Markus' final living moments as he and the protestors get gunned down.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons episode "Bart's Comet", Ned Flanders faces his apparent death at the comet by singing "Que Sera Sera", which unsettles the Springfield residents who kicked him out of his own shelter. When they all decide to leave and face the comet together, they join Flanders in the song creating an impressive chorus.
  • Played with in Batman: The Brave and the Bold with AQUAMAN'S Rousing Song of Heroism.
    AQUAMAN: (to Captain Atom) You don't look roused.
  • In the Sesame Street animated special The Monster At the End of This Story, Grover's friends all sing the song "Have Courage" to tell him about times when they were brave in the past and to help him see that he can courage too to face the monster.