Songs About Waiting For Someone
1. ‘Waiting In Vain’ by Bob Marley
I have often heard it said that you can’t feel down if you are listening to Reggae, yet this Bob Marley track is touching to the point of near sadness.
This song was released on the 1977 album titled ‘Exodus’. If the rumours are to be believed, Bob Marley wrote the song for a lover by the name of Cindy Breakspeare who was to be the mother of Damian Marley.
As you can hear in the lyrics, Marley expresses his desperation at having to wait for her love never quite sure if this is the ‘real’ thing or not.
2. ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ Phil Collins
This is a classic Motown track about being patient and waiting for love to come along. The advice is given to a youngster who grows ever despondent about not finding someone to love and suffering broken hearts.
Originally this was a hit in 1966 for The Supremes, making the top five in the UK charts and the top ten in the US.
Collins released his arrangement of the hit in 1983 and it did not take long to hit the number one slot in the UK charts where it remained for two weeks.
3. ‘Come Home Soon’ by SHeDAISY
Firmly in the realms of Country music, this song is a moving account of someone who is wishing and waiting for the return of a loved one.
What makes this song stand out for me is not the arrangement, although the blending of the voices is beautifully captured, but the honesty of the lyrics.
How often is it that you find it is only a Country ballad that truly succeeds in bringing the emotional depth to a song that expresses human feelings?
The video is perhaps a little too sweetly sentimental, however, the song transcends this effortlessly. If you are missing someone, take a listen to this song, I think it might just hit the mark.
4. ‘I Will Wait’ by Mumford & Sons
Until I heard this song on the radio, I’d never had the fortune to know Mumford & Sons. They are a band that seamlessly fuses rock with country, writing some of the most popular songs of the last decade.
This particular track was released in 2012 on the second album called ‘Babel’. It was a massive hit in both the US and the UK and still receives considerable radio play today. In 2013 it won a Brit Award.
Lyrically this song can be a challenge to grasp initially. Unlike many other songs listed here, the verse lyrics are somewhat obscure.
In essence, the singer recognizes their failings and humbly acknowledges the unshakable love that has come from their partner. Out of their love for them, they are prepared to wait as long as it takes for them to be with them.
5. ‘I’m Waiting for The Day’, by Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys
The quantity and quality of the hits that have flowed from the pen of Brian Wilson are great in number.
From the album ‘Pet Sounds’ released in 1966, this song is presented from the perspective of a man waiting for the woman he loves to say she’s ready to be his love.
As so often happens this is a song about how things can change for both people when a friendship becomes a love affair.
The track is quite an upbeat one in contrast to some of the other songs on the album. Here, the man waiting is positive that this will work out and they will be together forever.
In typical Beach Boys fashion, the arrangement is a colourful one. It makes use of a fascinating array of percussion instruments that Wilson uses in a metaphorical way supporting the song’s narrative and emotional content.
Structurally, the song follows conventional patterns, but the winning combination of Wilson and Love makes this song extra special.
6. ‘I’ll Wait’ by Van Halen
Perhaps better known for his hit song ‘Jump’, Van Halen penned a considerable number of other great songs. The style is unmistakably him, and the video that accompanies the song is equally Van Halen and iconic of the 1980s.
Interestingly, Van Halen had already created the arrangement of ‘I’ll Wait’ before the lyrics were ever written. Here seems to be a sticking point for the musician.
The resolution came in the form of Michael McDonald, singer with the Doobie Brothers, and it was him who created the lyrics to this song.
Several of the songs above have a sincerity that perhaps brings a deeper appeal to those hoping for something to reflect their mood.
‘I’ll Wait’, adopts a slightly different approach with a certain tongue-in-cheek slant. Powered by the pulsing bass and drum parts, this synth-driven song is really about a beautiful girl wearing designer underwear. It was released in 1984 one year after ‘Jump’.
7. ‘Waiting On A Woman’ by Brad Paisley
It sometimes alarms me just how reliant artists have become on the video that is released with their song. Alarmed as it is often the video that people remember and enjoy at the expense of the song whose qualities can be overlooked in favour of the visuals.
With this track, the intro to the song in the video presents a welcome, light-hearted prologue that sets the tone of the song rather well.
What is refreshing is the angle that this song then takes. It could easily have slipped into a predictable lyric about feeling upset, and lonely waiting for the girl to arrive but it doesn’t.
Instead, the song turns a different course and it becomes a meeting of minds between an old man and Brad. The old man tells of how he was waiting on a woman too and in fact, he still is.
He gives sage advice to the younger man, saying that he might as well get used to it as he still finds himself waiting even now. It’s just how some women are he tells him.
8. ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ by The Script
There is another unique approach to waiting for someone in this hit by The Script. In the song, we find a man who has been left by his girlfriend but he can’t move on as he still loves her.
What he decides to do is unusual. Instead of bathing in a sea of regret or drowning his sorrows in beer, he decides to take his sleeping bag to the corner of the street and wait for the girl to return.
A hypnotic video of the song uses time-lapse photography to show the months and seasons passing by the singer Danny. The girl never comes back and he remains still waiting in vain for her.
The track stems from 2008 and was not an immediate success for the Irish band. Subsequently, this song has been covered by several other artists including a group called ‘Straight No Chaser’.
9. ‘For Now’ by Lauv
Here is a track that is a little more up-to-date. It was released in 2020 and has been a popular song. As is probably quite common, especially post-pandemic, this song is about a long-distance relationship.
Lauv is missing her and finding it difficult to manage his life without the woman he loves. For now, so the lyric says, he has to be content with exchanging pictures with her and ‘kissing the screen’ of his phone until they can be reunited again at some future point.
Even though this situation is not what he wishes for, his devotion to the girl remains strong and he will wait for the day when they are together.
The track was a single release from Lauv’s debut album ‘How I’m Feeling’ (2020). Lauv is an American-born singer and songwriter. He made the musical headlines with his first hit called ‘I Like Me Better’ which splashed onto the charts in 2018.
Since then Lauv has enjoyed continued success. His most recent album is due to be released this year (2022), with the single out presently called ‘All 4 Nothing’.
10. ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx
This is an absolute classic track by Richard Marx. It has all the ingredients one looks for in a 1980s ballad, and it does not disappoint. The song was released in June of 1989 and was the second single from his award-winning second album titled ‘Repeat Offender’.
‘Right Here Waiting’ became a colossal hit across the world. According to current sources, the song has been awarded Platinum status by the Recording Industry of the US and is still the most-streamed love song on Spotify.
Marx, unlike many artists, has been happy to divulge the inspiration for this song, which rather romantically was his wife-to-be, Cynthia Rhodes.
As is often the way with hit songs, Marx composed the entire track in around twenty minutes such was his urgency to send this love letter to Rhodes who was filming in South Africa.
Marx had hoped to join her out there but had his visa application rejected. As it turns out, this rejection inspired one of the most popular love songs ever written.