Written and first recorded by Ian Thomas (1981).
Hit version by Santana (US #15 1982).
From the wiki: “‘Hold On’ is a song written and first recorded by the Canadian singer and songwriter Ian Thomas, on his 1981 album The Runner. In 1982 the Latin rock band Santana, featuring lead vocalist Alex Ligertwood, covered the song for their album Shango.
“Thomas is a successful Rock ‘n roll musician in Canada, at the height of his solo career during the 1970s, with his most memorable hit being 1973’s ‘Painted Ladies’. Thomas has also done musical composition for about a dozen films and television shows. Before breaking through with ‘Painted Ladies’, he was a producer at the CBC. Before that, he was part of the Folk music group Tranquility Base.
“In 1981, Thomas made a cameo appearance on SCTV with his real life older brother, Dave Thomas, during a sketch of ‘The Great White North’. He played himself and performed the songs, ‘Pilot’ and ‘Hold On’. He also wrote and recorded the theme song for his brother’s film Strange Brew.”
The Ian Thomas Band, “Hold On” TV performance on SCTV (1982):
Santana, “Hold On” (1982):