Matthew Perry’s funeral song has devastating backstory: Star’s heartbreaking words about Don’t Give Up

The Friends star revealed what the song meant to him in one of his last interviews.

On Saturday, Matthew Perry was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

The funeral of the Friends actor was attended by his close family and friends, who were all in tears when the burial hymn was played, which had a tremendous effect on Matthew himself in his final years.

Mourners listened to Peter Gabriel’s 1986 song ‘Don’t Give Up,’ which features Kate Bush and has the words “Don’t give up, ’cause you have friends, don’t give up, you’re not the only one, don’t give up, no reason to be ashamed, don’t give up, you still have us.”

Matthew spoke to Tom Power at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto on November 22, 2022, in one of his final interviews before his unexpected death at the age of 54, about the song and why it was near to his heart.

Just a year before his death, Matthew was asked by Tom for the soundtrack of his biography, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.

“‘Don’t Give Up,’ Matthew said emphatically. When you arrive home, listen to this song by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. I’m not sure whether you’ve heard it because it was a long time ago, but it’s lovely.

“They are saying ‘Don’t give up.’ I mean, come on, how am I not going to like that? The music video was just them hugging each other and the camera just went around until the song ended. It was so cool and I loved that. When I sign [my] book, I always put ‘Don’t give up’ there, because you shouldn’t give up.”

Matthew’s words were met with applause from the audience.

In attendance at the actor’s funeral were his Friends co-stars – Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Le Blanc and Courteney Cox.

The group had remained close over the years and last week, they released an emotional statement following the passing of their friend and “brother”. On Monday, their joint statement was released to People.

Matthew Perry revealed before his death that Don’t Give Up would be the soundtrack to his memoir

It said: “We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family.” They continued: “There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss. “In time we will say more, as and when we are able,” the statement continued.

“For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.” Matthew’s family also released a statement following his passing.

They said on Sunday: “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of our beloved son and brother. Matthew brought so much joy to the world, both as an actor and a friend. You all meant so much to him and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love.”

The statement came from his mother Suzanne Perry, his father John Bennett Perry, and his five half-siblings through his parents’ remarriages (they split up less than a year after welcoming Matthew in 1969).

Matthew was incredibly close to his family – pictured with his father John Perry

Warner Bros. shared their reaction in a statement released to HELLO!: “We are devastated by the passing of our dear friend Matthew Perry,” the studio penned. “Matthew was an incredibly gifted actor and an indelible part of the Warner Bros. Television Group family.

“The impact of his comedic genius was felt around the world, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of so many. This is a heartbreaking day, and we send our love to his family, his loved ones, and all of his devoted fans.”

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