George Michael was quoted in the September edition of The New York Times regarding this song, he said: “No event inspired the song. It’s my way of trying to figure out why it’s so hard for people to be good to each other. I believe the problem is conditional as opposed to being something inherent in mankind. The media has affected everybody’s consciousness much more than most people will admit. Because of the media, the way the world is perceived is as a place where resources and time are running out. We’re taught that you have to grab what you can before it’s gone. It’s almost as if there isn’t time for compassion.”
During MTV’s Rockumentary, George Michael analyzed the meaning of ‘Praying for Time’ and explained why he decided to explore different subject matters on ‘Listen Without Prejudice’ album, he said: “There comes a point where you have to write something which you have not written before and which your interest in any particular topic or subject will inspire you, and that’s why I suppose, eventually, most lyricists do approach wider topics than sex and love, you know? (Lyrics: These are the days of the open hand, they will not be the last, Look around now, these are the days, Of the beggars and the choosers)
The ‘open hand’ to me represents the vast numbers of people, specifically in this country, who are actually on the poverty line or below the poverty line, which is something that’s going to go on and I like the idea of ‘beggars and the choosers’ because you take a phrase, what’s the phrase, ‘beggars can’t be choosers,’ and you completely change it. In other words, ‘the beggars and the choosers’ and nothing in-between, which was really my point, because it does seem to be not that much in-between these days.
(Lyrics: This is the year of the hungry man, Whose place is in the past, Hand in hand with ignorance, And legitimate excuses) That verse is really about the fact that the hungry men of today are completely, where there is a full knowledge of them, people know what’s going on, in this country and abroad, and the legitimate excuse of yesterday was that ignorance and that’s gone, obviously. So, in other words, the hungry man today is a well-known fact.” (Lyrics: I guess somewhere along the way, He must have let us all out to play, Turned his back and all God’s children, Crept out the back door) He continued: “I’ve always liked the term ‘God’s children,’ somehow as though we were that innocent, in a way, and the idea being that we ran out on God, in a sense – ‘crept out the back door’ – and because of that we’re left to make our own decisions. ‘We’ll take our chances because God stopped keeping score,’ like saying there’s no one here to pull back the reins so we have to make our own decisions.”
Release Date: August 13, 1990
Songwriter/s: George Michael
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts. In the UK, it reached number 6 on the Official Charts Company. The song topped the charts in Canada and reached the top 10 charts in The Netherlands, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. In Germany it reached number 19 and in Australia it peaked at number 16.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou aka George Michael was 27 years old when he released this song.
Cover Versions: Carrie Underwood – Caitlyn Vanbeck – Nell Bryden – very few Youtubers covered this song.
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August 18, 2018 at 10:54 am
27. He was a true writer.
February 22, 2020 at 7:53 pm
You are correct! I love that his music meant something to him and how he felt. Praying for Time. Freedom ’90, Mother’s Pride and a few are the best and hit home for me.
I honestly feel like a lot of songs now days are all about sex and that’s putting it mildly. Women are hoe’s, sluts, bitches and the male and female anatomy is called or inferred in so many ways.
Anyway, RIP George. You will forever be missed.
September 10, 2019 at 5:00 am
How can someone write such brilliance? Totally inexplicable.
October 18, 2019 at 12:51 am
Brilliant…Truly wise beyond his years!!
February 29, 2020 at 4:49 am
Lyrics and music – together best ever
April 1, 2020 at 7:23 am
This song has deep meaning especially these days. Resources and time running out in these days of Covid19. Panic buying. Hoarding. Price gouging. Beggars Choosers. Open hand. The world right now is praying for time
June 19, 2020 at 9:54 pm
An absolutely brilliant songwriter- very deep meaning and so is many of his ballads. One of my all time favorite artists.
December 16, 2020 at 9:43 am
Praying for time : How fitting for these days . George was one of the most talented Song writers his legacy lives on through his songs. Praying for time it’s just one of his brilliant songs. My favourite artist . RIP George x
May 30, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Hard to fathom being able to think on that level. This song is brilliant, but not only the words but the beautiful but haunting singing and phrasing and the arrangements. A truly special talent that left this world much to early
June 30, 2021 at 4:02 pm
Hands down Brilliant! One of my favorite voices of all time.
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