Episode 16: Still Waiting

On Episode 16 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, I talk about “Still Waiting,” a sweet, forlorn ballad about being sad and lonely.

“It ain’t like my life is ended, but more like it never started.”

“Still Waiting” was the 3rd and final single released from Prince’s self-titled second album, the only released ballad. I prefer this song to “When We’re Dancing Close and Slow” and “With You,” so I agree with this selection if a ballad was the aim. “I Feel For You” would have made more sense overall, but the strategy for single releases tends to include various song styles, such as dance, rock, and of course, ballads!

Prince portrays the same sad, lonely, heartbroken guy on the track “So Blue” from his debut album. Strangely enough, both songs took up the middle space on side B’s track-listing. Apparently, there is a sequencing pattern that either Prince or Warner Bros. were following for these two records.

In the song’s lyrics, Prince wishes he was in a relationship, similar to what his friends are experiencing. He appears to exhibit some jealousy in missing out (an early example of FOMO) on being in love. His friends seem oblivious to his plight, bragging about the love (or maybe even the sex) they have with their significant others, and it’s eating him up inside. I guess his friends need to be more sensitive to his fragile emotional state? Either way, Prince is not happy or content with being alone.

His desperation to be with someone (”I try so hard, but my patience keeps fading away”) may come across as needy or even unattractive to the opposite sex. My advice? Don’t try too hard; love with eventually find you as long as you don’t stop living your life and continue to put out positive energy to others. Prince brushes off other’s advice that he’s too young to worry about falling in love. He’s clearly not buying that excuse. Prince continues to plead for love to come to him in the outro, adding what sounds like ad-libs to the chorus used earlier. He needs someone to hold on to, baby. “Please come to me.” “Don’t make me cry no more.” How can anyone resist these pleas? Come on, give him a chance. 

I really like how Prince uses his voice in the chorus to replicate the sounds of a choir of female back-up singers. It’s a nice touch to a lovely song. It’s an overall enjoyable track that may not have done much on the charts, peaking at #65 on the R&B charts and not charting on the Pop charts, but I can enjoy this song for what it is. An early example of strong ballad songwriting without the overly sexual nature that Prince would incorporate later in his career.

Prince performing “Still Waiting” with Sue Ann Carwell at First Avenue on March 8th, 1982.

The goal of each episode of Press Rewind is to:

  • Take a track by track look at the lyrical content of Prince’s discography
  • Discuss my own interpretation of each song’s lyrics
  • If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics

Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!

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