HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT)

Gary U.S. Bonds' album version


Oh!
I work hard, baby, night and day
The things I had, somebody took away
They took away everything I had earned
But there's one lesson that ah I have learned

You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got

I've been pushed and I've been knocked down
But I picked myself right back up off the ground (oh)
And baby there's one thing that I have found (oh)
Fighting's the only way, so stand your ground

And fight to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
Oh!

(Oh oh!)
(Little girl!)
(Whoa, oh now, yeah!)

I've been used, I've been abused
I've had, baby, my regrets
I've been lost, I paid the cost
But there's one thing I ain't forget

I've heard some hard lines, I've seen some crying times (huh!)
Bad luck and trouble, they been friends of mine
Got to stand straight and stare right at your fate
And play it hard before it's too late

And then just hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to hold on, little girl, to what you've got
You've got to got to got to hold on
You've got to hold on (to what you've got)
You've got to hold on
You've got to hold on (to what you've got)
You've got to hold on
You've got to hold on (to what you've got)
You've got to hold on
You've got to hold on
You got to got to got to hold on
You've got to hold on (to what you've got)
You better hold on
Come on and hold on (to what you've got)
You've got to got to hold on
Come on now, hold on
You've got to hold on
Come on, just hold on
Hold on


Info

HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and donated to Gary U.S. Bonds.

Gary U.S. Bonds recorded HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) for his 1982 album On The Line. It's one of eight songs on the album that were produced by Bruce Springsteen with Steven Van Zandt. It was recorded in January or February 1982 at The Power Station in New York City, NY, during Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sessions for Gary U.S. Bonds from which the recording sessions Born In The U.S.A. flowed.

The above lyrics are for Gary U.S. Bonds' album version of HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT).

Other Studio Versions

According to Brucebase, a Bruce Springsteen vocal rendition of HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) was likely recorded at The Power Station in New York City, NY, during the January-February 1982 recording sessions with Gary U.S. Bonds – it's the same core recording with the E Street Band that's found on the Bonds album, but with the Springsteen lead vocal overdub.

On The Line

Gary U.S. Bonds released two studio albums and several hit singles in 1961 and 1962, three of which were top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Success was short-lived and Bonds relegated to playing the oldies circuit. In the early eighties, his career resurrected with two collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and the E Street Band: Dedication in 1981 and On The Line in 1982.

On The Line is Gary U.S. Bonds' fourth studio album, released in June 1982 on EMI America Records. The musicians backing Bonds on the album include many members of the E Street Band. The album includes seven songs written by Bruce Springsteen (HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT), OUT OF WORK, CLUB SOUL CITY, LOVE'S ON THE LINE, RENDEZVOUS, ANGELYNE, and ALL I NEED), one written by Steve Van Zandt, one written by Wayne Carson, and two written by Bonds and Gary L. Anderson. Although Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt are credited as co-producers of all of the album's 11 tracks, Springsteen was actually involved in only eight of them: the seven that he wrote plus The Box Tops' hit SOUL DEEP. Springsteen is not credited as playing or singing on the album but he did directly participate, along with the E Street Band, on most of these eight tracks.

The 1991 reissue of On The Line on the Razor Edge label includes album liner note by Gary U.S. Bonds himself. He wrote that they "also recorded three additional cuts for the album which were never mixed including 'Action In The Street', a Springsteen song which I still do in my live shows." The three tracks are ACTION IN THE STREETS, LION'S DEN, and SAVIN' UP.

On The Line produced one single, OUT OF WORK which nearly reached the Top 20, but the album flopped and Bonds was dropped by his label.

On The Line -- On The Line
On The Line -- On The Line

LP - EMI America (SO-17068) - USA, 1982

On The Line was re-released in 1992 on the Razor Edge label (catalog number RE-1988-2).

Other Official Releases

In addition to its release on the On The Line album, HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) was also included three more official releases.

Canned Heat / Gary U.S. Bonds -- Il Rock (album cover art)
Canned Heat / Gary U.S. Bonds -- Il Rock

LP - EMI (IGDA-1159/60) - Italy, 1990

This is a dual/split artist LP with five Canned Heat songs and one Gary U.S. Bonds song on side A and five Gary U.S. Bonds songs on side B. The six Bonds tracks are the first six from his One The Line album. This special pressing was available exclusively with an issue of Italian magazine "Il Rock".
Gary U.S. Bonds -- The Best Of Gary U.S. Bonds (album cover art)
Gary U.S. Bonds -- The Best Of Gary U.S. Bonds

CD - EMI (37812) - USA, 1996

This is a Gary U.S. Bonds compilation album.
Gary U.S. Bonds -- Club Soul City (album cover art)
Gary U.S. Bonds -- Club Soul City

CD - Disky (DC 881852) - Holland, 1998

This is a Gary U.S. Bonds compilation album consisting of 20 tracks from the Dedication (9 of the album's 10 tracks) and On The Line (all of the album's 11 tracks).

Live History

As far as it's known, Bruce Springsteen has never performed HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) live.

Covers

As far as it's known, no other artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT).

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Some of the above info about the studio recordings is taken from Brucebase.

Request

Please contact me if you have scans or info about any official release containing HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) that's not mentioned on this page.

Bruce Springsteen is not credited as playing or singing on On The Line album but this may not be completely true. It has been reported that he contributed backing vocals and guitar on some tracks. Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) on this website:

HOLD ON (TO WHAT YOU GOT) [Gary U.S. Bonds' album version]

Page last updated: 21 Oct 2012