"Praying For Time" as written by and George Michael....
Do you think we have time?
Do you think we have time?

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

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll taking our chance to say
I sang twenty years and a day
But nothing changed
The human race found some other guy
And walked into the flame

It's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Then maybe we should all be praying for time

Doo oh oh
Do you think we have time?
Do you
Do you think we have time?

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh, you hold on to what you can
And charity, charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
I sang twenty years and a day
'Cause nothing changed
The human race found some other guy
And walked into the flames

It's hard to love, Jesus, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope, there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Then maybe we should all be praying for time

Doo doo doo
Do you think we have time?
Do you
Do you think we have time?
Lord, give us time


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by sean439198

"Praying for Time" as written by George Michael

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Praying For Time song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentwhat a beautiful voice
    perplex_on April 09, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIncredible message that is so true it hurts, and unfortunately dismissed by many because it was written by ex Wham! guy. George deserved a lot of credit for this song, but I guess it would make a lot of people feel bad about themselves.
    Marcus7on April 08, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentListen Without Prejudice is one of the best albums that I own, together with a Led Zeppelin album. It is incredible how talented George Michael is.

    I think this is one of his best songs. I thinkt he lyrics are pretty self explanatory.
    Plottoberryon April 30, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a great song. The lyrics are every bit as relevant today as they were nearly 20 years ago.
    Han_Soloon February 13, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWell, the song was a number one hit. But it's the nature of the song that might make one think that. It sort of has its place, but it's not something you hear on the radio every day. Aswell the fact that George Michael refused to appear in a video for the song.

    The lyrics encompass the song's message so effectively, that I don't think a video would have been a particularly good idea anyway.

    The song is, thankfully, not about a particular event, but sort of a commentary on the state of the world, the culture, and the media's effect on us.

    He says this is the year of the guitly man, where the television takes its stand. I may be wrong, but based off of what Michael's sad, aswell as my own interpetation, I think it's about the media programming us to believe things are a certain way, and we are guilted in various ways - always as a way to get into our pockets, or make us go along with something.

    He says charity is a coat you wear twice a year. Charity is a fashionable thing to do, and everyone will dress up for the occasion once or twice a year, but is change in their hearts? Do they truly care or understand the full gravity of the world's plight? Maybe what is over there is also over here, but they don't at all realize it. We are mesmerized and distracted, distracted by the things we must obtain before it's too late.

    We're hiding behind our posessions, our faux sense of security, so we scream from behind our doors with a defensive scream to the world outside. We cling to the things they sold us because, afterall, God stopped keeping score.

    God comes into the story quite interestingly. My interpretation is that God, not knowing what was to occur, turned his back for a moment, and his children (possibly Adam and Eve, if you like) crept out the back door, out of touch, and became lost in the world and its darknesses.

    It is as if we've made such a mess of everything, that God stopped keeping tabs on who's doing what. And he won't return because he has no one to come back for. Of course, it only seems that this is the case, and it is true in the virtual sense.

    I don't think that he is criticising God for anything, but rather, the lyric is meant to illustrate the state of mankind. That it would be a wonder if God were still with us.
    Bettermanon May 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe album Listen withouth prejudice is an album of unusual quality. I was suprised that this song was the opener for the album - this topic is rarely discussed in music and certainly not in the way that Michael discribes it. I love it how he took facts, religion and his own intepretation into this song.
    Plottoberryon June 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThese don't appear to be the correct 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

    This is the year of the hungry man
    Whose place is in the past
    Hand in hand with ignorance
    And legitimate excuses

    The rich declare themselves poor
    And most of us are not sure
    If we have too much
    But we'll take our chances
    Because god's stopped keeping score
    I guess somewhere along the way
    He must have let us alt out to play
    Turned his back and all god's children
    Crept out the back door

    And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope
    When there is no hope to speak of
    And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
    Well maybe we should all be praying for time

    These are the days of the empty hand
    Oh you hold on to what you can
    And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

    This is the year of the guilty man
    Your television takes a stand
    And you find that what was over there is over here

    So you scream from behind your door
    Say "what's mine is mine and not yours"
    I may have too much but i'll take my chances
    Because god's stopped keeping score
    And you cling to the things they sold you
    Did you cover your eyes when they told you

    That he can't come back
    Beacuse he has no children to come back for

    It's hard to love there's so much to hate
    Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
    And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
    So maybe we should all be praying for time
    diamondblue1974on December 26, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBeautiful song, and yeah, it's got me preying for time, and alot of other things aswell. Simply AWSOME
    WhatsWhaton January 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationForethought: I think that many of George's songs were very superficial or situational depending on his relationship status, but this song showed he understood and saw the deeper roots of the problems regardless of the media and his own representation of shallowness and materialism. This has always been one of my favorites, if he could see the problems then everyone can.

    This song is a clear interpretation of the greed and selfishness of humanity, the thoughtless actions that go on, and the media influence. "These are the days of the open hand...etc" is the first phrase of the song referring to everyone having enough but wanting more and greed progressing, getting worse. "Beggars and the choosers" is a phrase used in reference to people who have what they need but choose to want different or more because they can, not because they need.
    "The hungry man" phrase is a reference to those starving due to lack of compassion and people's ignorance to want and want regardless of what they already have creating deficit to others. It should be something already known because we surpassed the times of true hunger, but now it is a cause of greed.
    "The rich declare themselves poor etc" is in reference to greed and an insatiable appetite for materialism and money. George had his levels of materialism and want but he has been quoted with wanting to give up collecting money from the public and wanting to allow his music to be free because he didn't need any more money...this phrase in the song comments on the exact opposite, those who never have enough in their own mind regardless of who they hurt, what is right or wrong, and what problems it creates.

    Aside from the hopelessness in the chorus line, the song also lays thought to the fact that the "wounded skies above say its much too late" referring to the problems with the ozone layer and the hole that was discovered over the Arctic and South American area in the late 80's. This was a new discovery then (song recorded in 1989) during a time when global warming was just coming to be pushed as a big problem and international agreements such as the Montreal Protocol where they were projecting to eliminate CFCs were being broadcasted to all saying we were damaging the ozone layer. The problems of humanity progressing negatively combined with the world being "wounded" were topics for the entire length of the song.

    He does bring God into the song and that is a way to relate to so many of his listeners as well as his own history given his family, and father specifically, were Greek Cypriots where Orthodox Christianity dominated. His father played a large role in challenging George in his early years and making him work to be as great and famous as he became. Anyway, in most basic christian views, God taught to be kind, be generous, treat each other with respect, love they neighbor, do not covet, pretty much everything humanity has become the opposite of. Christian belief also states that God (specifically Jesus) will return for the final judgement and those who have lived the correct path will be given eternal life spiritually while the others will be cast into hell. The song states that he has given up and there are no good people left to come back for because humanity just keeps getting worse; God quits counting "keeping score" because there is so much wrong and so many people have deviated from the path of truth and righteousness (according to Christianity) so he turns his back and walks away because there is nothing left. (I am not saying George was christian or not but I'm sure given his family history it played some role in his growing up one way or another).
    This song is a reminder to people that we have strayed so far from what it means to be a good, kind, loving person that "there is no hope to speak of". Greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, envy, closed minds and many other negative progressions exist today and continue. This even effects the "good" in people because "its hard to love, there's so much to hate". "When will it stop" is the emotion that comes with it, the loss of faith in humanity.

    The sad part is that this song was recorded in the fall of 1989 and released in 1990 on the Listen Without Prejudice album, but this is now 2017, almost 20 years later, and this song still applies...if not even more so now then ever before.
    sean439198on December 30, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYep, it's really amazing that this song was written by George Michael - a person who I've always supposed to be a very futile one. It's hard to know how ironic he was on giving such an apocalyptical tone to this lyrics. Anyhow, I really enjoy this lyrics, despite it doesn't sincerely make me feel guilty of anything. I mean I surely know there are a lot of needy people everywhere I go in this world but I also know that the biggest responsible ones for their misfortune are the politicians who are able to spend real fortunes on wars and pharaonic projects but are totally unable to make something really good for helping the poor people. These are the first ones who should fear some punishment from Heaven... Nevertheless, I also think many of us could give more than we are used to give to. And most of us certainly need to learn to be less selfish and more charitable.

    Regarding more specifically the lyrics, on its 1st part he declares that it's time to look at the poverty around us with more attention before it's too late for saving ourselves from ourselves, while on its 2nd part he exposes our almost total negligence in relation to the sad things that have happened around us, so we all need to believe that it still exists time for us to come out from our comfortable houses for doing something useful for the rest of the world...
    circusjuggleron September 24, 2006   Link

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