One More Try

Album: Faith (1987)
Charted: 8 1
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  • In this song, Michael seems to be addressing a new lover, who he refers to as "teacher" (possibly because he feels he has a lot to learn about love). It seems that he is reluctant to enter into this new love because of past experiences, and that he has been burned and is very bitter to the idea of another relationship.

    Michael says that it's a very personal song, and one that is very close to his heart. He said it's "about my attitude coming out of my last relationship and into this new one when I was pretty unwilling to be open to anything."
  • George Michael was enjoying a spectacular run of hits when "One More Try" topped the American chart. After scoring three #1 US hits with his group Wham!, his 1987 debut solo album Faith was a blockbuster. The title track spent four weeks at #1 (longer than any other song in 1987), and the next single, "Father Figure," stayed for two. The next single was "One More Try," which was another huge hit, perched at the top spot for three weeks. The follow-up was "Monkey," which also rose to the top, this time for two weeks.
  • In 1999, the New Jersey teen trio Divine covered the song for their second single off their debut album Fairy Tales. Their version peaked at #29 on the Hot 100.
  • The song was covered by Mariah Carey for her 2014 Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse album.
  • Elton John said on his Beats 1 radio show, Rocket Hour, "I don't get jealous of many songs, but I'm jealous of this song. I'd love to have written this."

Comments: 23

  • Same Love from AustraliaThis Song really resonates with me, I too have been in this situation twice. I believe this song is about falling in love with a heterosexual man, that shares a connection with him. (I could be wrong but I feel I'm spot on) When michael says I've had enough of danger, i believe hes referring to the risk he takes by pursuing a forbidden connection with a "straight man". when hes reaching out to Angel's and is trying to find some peace, this refers to wanting relief from the pain of loving someone he ultimately cant have. when he says " I think it's time that you let me know" this suggests he is tired of waiting for the straight man to commit to his feelings, which is why he wants him to tell him or just let him go..... when he says "Cause teacher there are things I dont want to learn" this refers to him not wanting to learn how to walk away again from love simply because the straight guy isnt prepared to commit to an openly gay man, hence why the straight guy is the teacher, hes been there before and it hurts (the last one he had like this made him cry) and theres no joy for an uptown boy (George referring to himself being no different to the straight guy, whose teacher (the straight guy) teaching him how to walk away from their feelings towards each other because hes too scared or "straight to do anything about it). " when you were just a stranger and I was at your feet I didnt feel the danger but now I feel the heat" this refers to him liking the straight guy, and then the feeling became mutual, he then says "that look in your eyes telling me No, so you think you love me, know that you need me, I wrote the Song, I know it's wrong Just let me go" this is him saying yes I know you feel all of this and I get it! I've been here before, and I know you cant follow this through so Just let me Go and end it...*the whole time during this song you know george wants nothing more than that man to be his lover*. "So when you say that you need me, that you'll never leave me, I know youre wrong you're not that strong let me go!! (This is him retaliating to the straight man that he knows he wont man up about it and commit. As he has experienced before in a similar situation, which hes already been hurt by, but despite this you still feel george wants to follow his heart and try and be with the straight man that has fallen mutually in love with him. "and teacher there are things I still have to learn, and the one thing I have is my pride" again hes referring to him knowing he will still need to learn how to move on with him, but he wont compromise his pride. (I.e. to play games, and hide in order to keep him) so that makes him not want to learn to hold and touch him and think that he is his, incase he ultimately cant have him, because there ain't no joy for him be taught how to walk away from their love, simply because the straight guys just not willing to try, it makes him feel cold inside, but Maybe because of how much he does love him hes willing to just give it one more try (theres always another try) ????
  • Americannurse from TexasTo me, the lyrics of One More Try seem to be pointing to a Dominant/Submissive Sexual aspect of a relationship, with Father Figure pointing to the more tender aspects of a relationship. His songs can either be interpreted superficially or deep & complex. No matter the meaning, the songs have proven themselves to be timeless. I was in middle school when these songs were released. Now, my teenagers love George Michael’s music, just like my husband and I did in high school (and still do)!
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineThe song really is a tiny piece of art
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineSo basically Carrington Hotel (Katoomba, Australia) is a famous wedding place despite it was on renovation that moment end of March 1988 when "One More Try" video was filmed there during George Michael Australasian leg of FAITH Tour 1988. A sign as I told then...
  • Jay B from EnglandI think it’s pretty clear that this is about a relationship. A relationship that has been on the go for a while: the start of the second verse gives that away.

    The teacher analogy is quite ingenious to be honest. Being with someone it’s ‘ying and yang’. You are both a teacher and a student: you teach your partner about you whilst also simultaneously learning about your partner. It’s different sides of the same coin. The analogy is a cold one however. Love is not a mathematical sum. It’s not 2 + 2 = 4. It’s a multi varied equilibrium no? To say that it is (which the songwriter is) means that there are pieces missing so he’s stacking the chips on one side and counting them off against the other.

    In counting there are two chips that are confusing him. The first is the writers last relationship. The writer references it in every chorus. It made him cry. Cry here is a metaphor for the relationship literally tearing his heart out. You need to have a bit of a poetic licence here to figure out how the relationship ended but the words “think that you’re mine” in the chorus seems to suggest that there may have been infidelity at play. Whatever it was it messed the writer up pretty bad.

    The second chip that isn’t stacking is the present relationship. “That look in your eye when you tell me “no””, “I think it’s time that you tell me so”, “now I feel the heat”... are lines symbolising the perceived messages that the partner is sending. Again, one needs a poetic licence to work out what the partner is doing - is the partner being cruel (that look in your eyes), is the partner saying one thing and doing another thus confusing the writer (I think it’s time you tell me so) or is the partner just being a grade A s**t (now I feel the heat). Whatever, the writer is in both a confused and lonely place. A place where he’s “looking out for angels and trying to find some peace”.

    Having said that the writer is aware that his vision is blurred by the last relationship. The messages that his partner is sending may not be the message that the partner is wanting to transmit and in any event the writer knows that giving his state of mind he may not be receiving them correctly. Could this be a case of simply a “bad teacher” and an “even worst student”? The writer knows this is a distinct possibility and as such turns the tables and asks the teacher “to let him go” if the partners intentions are true. To add weight to this the writer also makes it clear that he’s prepared to give this “one more try” on the proviso that the heart to heart he’s having teaches his partner that he wants to be loved unconditionally and in a manner that puts his mind at rest: no games, no expectations, no cruelty...

    It’s a fantastic song with very deep and powerful lyrics. Lyrics we all can understand right...
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineGot to say it looks to be the ONLY one pretty adequate description of George's songs presented by the website. Really sick about all that gay oriented s--t as especially his music interoretation.

    The fact is I remember well when I was just 6 and they told me like got to get marry George in the future (that looks at least strange as a thing to tell to a girl of my age) I already watched some stories where an old fat ugly georgian man emprisoned a girl in a narrow room wanted marry her. So said definitely NO to George in his late teens and that is why he was heartbroken first time despite I believed realizing I was just a little kid. But it looks exactly that "no" pushed him to date my true enemie means to hurt me the most as make me especially feel unwanted. As actually they made him looking for a danger that time.
    Despite in this song I was a little bit older of 11 but told him could never really be with him by a destiny because already have a younger brother named Alexander means belonged to him by real life laws (so there's also featuring to Deon Estos song). As actually it was also too much simple regarding real life laws marry a guy with half Jewish origins already having Simons family name derived from Jewish culture. Also means I would never appear in his life. So it looks (may be I'm wrong) that was that "last thing" he got as a news made him truly heartbroken as made cry.

    But watching the video as well just in 1989 was already 13 suddenly realized he'd like to really breake me (I believe he really got that idea in his late teens when I made him looking for a job to earn for bread so he hated the most) as he also looked truly angry despite heartbroken too. As well video location at Katoomba ("shining waterfall") in Blue Mountains also referenced some way to Mount Victoria nearby that town. As also Black Heath (actually Greeks used to call Scythians originated from Ukrainian South as "heathens"). But in fact that was also an idea of Victoria waterfall in the South Africa.
    As well a little bit later in "Fastlove" (1996) he not just openly showed his true intention as an idea to break me with an unwilling date to a black one in Paris 2005 but especially really had a lot of fun.

    I would like to mention my parents have met not far from true Cole Ridge in Carpathians at Ukrainian West so that is why exactly Tania Coleridge was invited for "Father Figure" video (by the way as Chris Cuffalo told video was filmed from 10 to 13 December (4 days) 1987 in Los-Angeles). As actually I was born in Tchernigiv region in the north-east of the country meaning "black". So grown up in the Southern heath really was that kind of a black heathen.

    By the way in my country that idiom of "to be burnt" in urban meaning is about someone who had a hidden intention (normaly bad one but not always) but was discovered.
    As well here you can obviously see typical Gothic window as a references to my way but just never got why George believed himself for a God to define it. Despite if me really is that Nonviolent Victory why someone decided I got to be literally violated with especially my heart and soul.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineIn this song George calls exactly me as Real Life Victory as a Teacher (just because I am about real life laws so do teach them). But the fact is I was pretty cruel to him at the time just because previously the trust was already lost or better literally broken by George chose my true enemy as Asian as a too much literal killer to date but especially pretending doing that likely in my interest. I was really disgusted by the fact even being just a little kid of 11 yet. As actually accepted the song as the video like literally a try just leave me as continuer his life without me. That is also obvious from next "Waiting (Reprise)" ("Listen Without Prejudice", 1990) I am already 14 that year as well.
    Video location was in Blue Mountains Katoomba New South Wales (Australia)
  • Viktoria Semenenko from Ukraine"I've never been a gay artist"
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineI have to insiste his creativity nothing to have with his sexuality as someones try to interpret his songs and he was very clear about in one of his interviews. Also wanted to remind there were two versions of this video at the time which I call "brokenhearted" (with a title picture of bowed head) and "I know that you need me". So both were on TV at the moment and really started with those title pictures.

    I just propose people to look at all his songs as the whole story of one relationship just then you'll see the true senses of songs.

    And the subject of teaching were real life laws he never wanted to respect as a man and as a saint. That's all.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineGot to say he called a teacher his baby means me as a Victory of Real Life (St George is also considered as Bearing Victory in orthodoxal tradition). So this song is about the fact he found out I belong not to him but Alexander (Severe) and I was actually cozening him head that broke his heart. It is a continue of "Kissing a fool".
  • Ma from FloridaNot much facts here, but lots of speculation. Greece, F Mercury? It's annoying how people's ignorance of sexuality (that it's fixed or men are "hiding" if later they go another way) taints reality. Michael himself said he had relations with women. He wasn't "allegedly in a heterosexual relationship", he had a gf. People change not necessarily for the better. It's obvious his experiences hurt him and with his environment he has a lot to deal with. Flawlessly sung and of course from a great album.
  • Sonny from Atlanta, GeorgiaI believe the song was about his first homosexual experience....and he did not want to learn those things...but now that he has...he may give it one more try
  • Mare Soir from Oceanside, CaMy interpretation of the song is that the title is about trying once again with the person he referred to as "teacher." (in the beginning, anyway)It seems as if his use of the word is also is sarcastic; as if, "Hey who are you to teach me?" The video set also suggests that his space as far as that object of affection is not privileged;as in having any kind of material or financial means. There is one chair. Meaning he knows that that subject is pretty much closed. There is a holy vibe to it all with the three mirrors and plain stain-glassed windows. Maybe the subject of his affection was someone who taught him something metaphysical and he knew it;so he sings about trying again but needs to let the other person he could read that person's beads due to some experience that was otherworldly as the video suggests, the wind, the white set, it almost looks heavenly. George Michael's songs can not be taken at face value. He is an emotional genius and from his interviews one can tell he is VERY intelligent on all levels.
  • Antonio from North Little Rock, ArIn my personal opinion, this song is about a man who has had his heart broken once before by someone that he fell in love with, and now he wants to know where he stands with his present partner(teacher). He fears that if she doesn't feel the same way. he'll be heart broken and expect the same results everytime he trys to find his love. And not even bother to try and find love again.
  • Michelle from Manchester, NhI believe that this song is about someone who is possibly in love with another person but they don't exactly feel the same way. I think "teacher" could be reference to the way a person gets taught the ways of their partner when they are first together. I think the "teacher" is someone who possibly just wants a fling and he wants something more from the relationship.
  • Sanafabich from Santiago, Chile@Constance: I guess you're right
  • Constance from Dallas, Tx@sanafabich the fact is on point.He is speaking to the new lover. That doesn't suggest that the one before the new lover was his first. It could have been his second that really crushed him to the point were he is reluctant to love again. Heartbreak that makes a person think twice about falling in love again is the main point in this song. Doesn't matter if he is talking about first love or not.
  • Stephanie from Naselle, WaThe video for this song is quite possibly the cheapest video ever made.
  • Kelly from Boulder, Co, UtHmmm...Michael was very much ambivalent at the time of the "Faith" album and allegedly in a heterosexual relationship, and "I Want Your Sex" is very much a "heterosexual" song, as is "Faith" (the videos for both are obvious). While "One More Try" can certainly be interpreted as referring to a gay relationship (the "teacher" appellation even has echoes of teacher/student relationships in ancient Greece), a heterosexual interpretation is also very possible.

    At any rate, this might be Michael's very best song ever. The sparse accompaniment, the powerful, steady drum backbeat, the avoidance of a fade-out with that PERFECT, deliberate ending that reserves the song's title for the very takes a great deal of skill to make a six-minute ballad with a VERRRY slow tempo top the charts as long as it did. It's a masterpiece.

    One other tidbit: The summer of 1988 was a record-setter in terms of temperature, and the global warming fears really started around then. "One More Try" topped the charts in June of '88, and the line "I couldn't feel the danger/Now I feel the heat" was weirdly appropriate and is often referenced in stories about that infamously hot summer.
  • Cindy from High Point, Ncthere's a rumour that the "teacher" was Freddie Mercury..those 2 were very close..
  • Sanafabich from Santiago, ChileAnd the line "and the last one I had, made me cry" is refering to the line "there are thing that I don't want to learn", meaning the last thing he learned about his lover, made him cry.
  • Steven from Seymour, CtI disagree, it can't be about his first love, he says in the chorus while addressing his lover

    "And the last one I had, made me cry"

    so there has been atleast one previous relationship, not to mention the song title/last line is "One more try" which implies one if not multiple failed relations
  • Sanafabich from Santiago, ChileThat fact couldn't be more wrong. It's obvious the song is about someone's first love (probably older and more experienced, hence the "teacher" name), who isn't really commited to the relationship (very common in gay relationships). So he is asking for a straight answer: do you love me or not?
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