Waiting For God

Album: No Gods No Masters (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson wrote this song after being outraged by the treatment of black and indigenous people throughout the world. Penned long before the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives matter movement, it originated with the 2012 killing in Florida of unarmed 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin. The teen's shooting received international coverage because of the delay in charging his mixed-race assailer, George Zimmerman.

    Manson told NME she was shaken, sitting in her own "white privileged bubble," by the whole story. The singer started studying what was happening to Black citizens in America at the hands of the police. "Once you start paying attention, you see it happening almost every bloody day," she said. "I remember Philando Castile getting shot in his car and that awful footage of a man getting mowed down in his car for nothing."

    That this was happening all the time made Manson really mad. The lyrics for "Waiting For God" started with her trying to articulate her feelings about systematic racism, and the more she read and viewed, the more angry she became.
  • Garbage recorded the song for No Gods No Masters. Manson described the album as "a critique of the rise of capitalist short-sightedness, racism, sexism and misogyny across the world." The singer added to Apple Music she would have been cross with herself if she hadn't touched on systemic racism on the record, as it's something that's become increasingly pressing to her.

    "When Trayvon Martin was murdered - this beautiful 17-year-old kid, walking home at night in a hoodie, holding a bag of Skittles in his hands and he gets shot by a white supremacist - and the way his death was treated in the press, the way that disgusting George Zimmerman got off by pleading his own fear, I think it triggered something in me," she continued. "I finally started really paying attention."
  • "Waiting For God" is a simple power ballad where Manson calls upon the ruling authorities in the US and UK to be compassionate and fix the inequality between races. It ends with a paraphrase of the first part of the Lord's Prayer as she waits for the powers that be to show up (she refers to them as "God").

    Oh God, who art in heaven
    Who art in heaven, come
    Stand with us, may your will be done
    On Earth as it is in heaven
  • Speaking with Audacy host Megan Holiday, Manson remembered being in tears as she laid down her vocals alone in the studio. "I only recorded it twice, both times I was crying," she said.

    Manson added that she weeps any time she plays it for someone else, including her father. "I just feel so much frustration and despair that we still, in this day and age, are still tackling colonialism and racial intolerance," she explained. "I just find it perplexing, and frustrating, and heartbreaking... we can do better."

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