Waiting For Charlie To Come Home

Album: Etta James (1962)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning" songwriter Bob Hilliard and popular composer Burt Bacharach, this sultry number was the B-side of the 1962 single "Something's Got A Hold On Me." James fears she's screwed up her relationship with Charlie for good and dreams of being wrapped up in his "wild hungry arms," if only he would come home.
  • Blues singer ZZ Ward, who covered this for Billboard's Candid Covers, wrote an answer song called "Charlie Ain't Home" for her 2012 debut album, Til The Casket Drops. "I would listen to ['Waiting For Charlie To Come Home'] when I was growing up, and it was very haunting," she explained in a 2017 Songfacts interview. "It was all about her waiting for this guy, and her life didn't start until he got home.

    And so, it was a very emotional piece, and I was sitting around one day when I was working on my first album and I thought, 'What if I flipped it? What if I flipped that song so that, instead of waiting for Charlie to come home, it was about what was happening when Charlie wasn't at home?' So, my song is called 'Charlie Ain't Home,' and it's a very sexy song."
  • Jazz singer Nancy Wilson record this for her 1970 album Can't Take My Eyes Off You.

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