40 years on and still surviving

It’s a song that’s become an anthem for so many and October marks the 40th anniversary of its release.

At Merrick we love the spirit and defiance of I Will Survive.

It’s a song about heartache and the end of a relationship. And the strength and independence to move on with life.

These are all sentiments we can identify strongly with. And we’re far from being alone.

Gloria Gaynor’s disco classic has topped charts and been covered by umpteen household names. It’s championed by the gay community and even became the unofficial soundtrack to France’s 1998 World Cup win.

But just what is it about the song that means it remains in the public consciousness and is still instantly recognisable four decades after it was first recorded?

Empowerment anthem

It wasn’t an auspicious start. Gaynor was a minor US disco diva when she recorded the Righteous Brothers’ single Substitute and needed a B-side.

At the time she was in a back brace following surgery on her spine a month earlier. “That’s why I was able to sing the song with so much conviction,” she later said in interviews.

After she recorded the Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris penned song, Gaynor is reputed to have known it was the stronger single and lobbied unsuccessfully with her recording label to get it promoted. While Substitute went on to be a minor success, I Will Survive struck a chord around the world, selling more than 14 million copies.

Such was its appeal, Gaynor won a Grammy for best disco song in 1980. It was granted a place in the Rolling Stone magazine all-time 500 greatest songs and has since been released more than 200 times by stars from Diana Ross to Shirley Bassey to Aretha Franklin.

Graduating from disco hit to empowerment anthem, I Will Survive was selected for preservation in the US’s National Recording Registry.

In an essay on the song, Louis Niebur, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Nevada, Reno, said: “To this day, the song continues to inspire and motivate audiences, and is a battle cry to those who seek to overcome the challenges of contemporary life.”

I Will Survive – a Merrick signature

Having always been fans of the song, our I Will Survive pots have become a bit of a Merrick signature.


Merrick I Will Survive pots

So we give them to clients. They’re a little gift from us that says ‘we’re with you, you will get through this’.

People come to us at a low point in their life. They’re considering making a significant change that may be scary and uncertain. They are embarking on a process that will have far reaching consequences for them and loved ones.

And so, our aim is to give them the best family law advice and some reassurance that they’re not alone.

If our pots remind them a little of the spirit of that song first belted out in October 1978, then that’s no bad thing.