Waiting On The World To Change

Album: Continuum (2006)
Charted: 14


  • This song describes how most people deal with problems in the world. When Mayer sings, "Me and all my friends, we are all misunderstood, say we stand for nothing but there's no way we ever could," he's talking about his generation and their lack of faith in the government - all we can do is wait, and it seems like everyone is waiting for the world to become a better place. We sit on our hands and watch as the government takes control. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Meghan - Canberra, Australia
  • This won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
  • In an interview with the Daily Mail December 21, 2007 Mayer explained why he wrote this song that makes a point without laboring matters: "I wanted to start a debate. Most of us are happy to wait for things to change."

Comments: 32

  • Someone from Planet Earthwho does John Mayer refer to when he says they?
  • John from Cleveland, OhioNot only does Mayer ripoff the music from Curtis Mayfield (As some have mentioned here Mayfield had multiple songs where he reused his own melody, such as "People Get Ready" and "We're a Winner"), but Mayer takes it a step further and starts with the same theme from "People Get Ready" (faith in God for support during suffering) and turns it into, responding to the problems "One day our generation is gonna rule the population".

    What Mayer knows, the same that Jimmy Page understands, is that there are no excessive financial damages rewarded in court for stealing music (one cannot arbitrarily sue for 200 million dollars for example). Any lawsuit is limited to actual, provable loss of profit based on sales of the recording. So unlike guys like Blackmore and Thoroughgood who pay perpetual tribute to the people who inspired their writings, those without a moral conscious steal as they please and merely wait for a possible fixed liability payment back to the original artist. I am unsure as Google results have gone to garbage but I think Mayer settled out of court with the relatives of the late, great, brilliant, soulful Curtis Mayfield.
  • Alright from IdkThis song is relatable
  • Brian from UsaLove will never conquer hate
    And what's wrong won't get rearranged
    If all you ever do is wait
    for the world to change.
  • Mikey from Moscow, IdI really like this one, but I think that John's trying to say that too many people just wait for things to happen. And if nobody takes action, nothing's going to change.

    "Unless somebody cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not!" -Ted Geisel
  • Red from Wadsworth, OhOk now all the retards who are ripping on this song are stupid he isn't talking about letting life go by without doing anything to fix the problems he is saying that when our "generation" comes to power we will fix the mess that was created but until them you have no other choice but to wait for your chance to do it.
  • Angie from Mmm, MonacoSame chord progression as The Impressions' "People Get Ready"
  • Angie from Mmm, MonacoJohn Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" is set to the same chord progression and instrumental rhythm.
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaDana,

    You are missing the point of the song. Mayer isn't telling people to wait on the world to change. He's asking us to think about why we wait instead of stepping up to the plate. I also don't think he's saying that the US should never fight in wars. Rather, he's questioning the reasons for the current war and trying to start a dialogue about these issues.
  • Dana from Santa Barbara, Cai love the music - the melody - john mayers voice and delivery - but i will never understand a song that stresses to a generation to WAIT on the world to change. It is the responsibility of every young generation not to WAIT but to LEAD. Also it is disappointingly liberal. The verse that said "the troops would have never missed a christmas". If some regiment of the u.s. military hadn't missed a christmas somewhere - the boston bred liberal john mayer would never have had a chance to sing his liberal song.
  • David from Seattle, WaShortly after it was released, I heard a radio interview with John Mayer discussing this song.

    He said that, instead of the obvious "Hey everybody, let's change the world!", he wrote "Waiting on the world to change" hoping it would have more of an impact and prompt discussions as to why things don't change. Reading some of the comments here, it looks like he succeeded.
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, NjThis song is has very similar chord progression to the song "Sexual Healin" by Mr.Marvin Gaye...
  • Keith from St. Joseph, MoThe country is going down hill fast. The Democrats want to take care of everyone as well as make them equal. The Republicans want you to live according to the their religion and morals. I wish Ron Paul would have had a chance but the Democrats hated the fact he supported personal freedoms and the Republicans hated the fact he didn't support religion and being the worlds policeman.
  • Louis from Topeka, KsI have an argument against Tim from Seattle. Our government is so corrupt, we can't acctually trust anything they do or say. Yes, there are countries that are worse off in terms of government, but ours is pretty bad. They perform illegal wiretaps, spy on innocent civilians, and use cruel and unusual torture methods. And, what on earth is wrong with writing political songs? If someone feels like they need to protest against war, or the government or whatever they want to, then why shouldnt they? Why do you need to serve in the armed forces, or go to college to know what is wrong with our government?
  • Cougs from Alabama, Alim doing a speech on this song
    so can people leave heaps of comments about why you think he wrote this song. like why the lyrics are relevant to what was going on in the world.
    thanks leave comments
  • Conor from Cincinnati, OhWaiting on the World to Change, aren't we all.
    Think about it for a minute, if there was one thing in the entire world you could change what would it be. Maybe you would eliminate world hunger or end poverty worldwide. You might do something more personal like bring back a love one for just a minute to talk to them one final time. To us this may seem unattainable. In the song John Mayor talks about how he and his friends are misunderstood and that people think they are just a bunch of foolish kids who can't possibly stand for anything. They don't agree with the way world leaders handle things and the direction the world is headed. They say if they were in charge there would be no wars or bloodshed. Now you're probably thinking that bringing an end to wars would be impossible for a small group of kids. He even mentions that they don't have the means to beat the system and you can't trust the media because they can just stretch the truth. Well if they can't beat the system alone they have to join together as one. That's why the song title is Waiting on the World to Change, because their waiting until their generation is the one making the decisions. We all say it, that when we grow up, get married and have kids were not going to do this or that. Well think of that on a Global scale. This song has a very strong political message about war. That message is that we don't need a war to settle disputes because this will only cause more and more damage. The thing I don't agree with is that we should stand back and wait to make changes to things we don't agree with. We need to step up and right the wrongs when we see them even if seems the world is against us. By stepping up others will follow in your footsteps and gain strength from you. It may seem impossible, but so was going to the moon. If there is a wrong, right it.
  • Sam from Lincoln, NeI think John is singing about the apathy of his generation when it comes to changing things. "It's not that we don't care...we just know that the fight ain't fair" is a direct nod to the smear campaign orchestrated against John Kerrey by the Swift Boat Veterans in the 2004 presidential election. Mayer is reflecting the disillusionment of his generation and reflecting the attitude that it's easier to wait on the world to change rather than to do something about it.
  • Robert from Kansas City, Ks, KsThis song is sampled from " your a winner " by the impressions
  • Daniel from Ballarat, Australiaoh yes we do keep on waiting for the world to change dont we. big john dogga expresses that well in this song. he has a ten inch aswell
  • Tukina from Pocatello, IdSounds to me like Johnny boy is makeing excuses for for the lack of action and stands taken by american youth. It's like saying "Well, this is pretty sh*tty right here, somebody needs to fix it." and then looking around at everyone expection something while doing nothing themselves.
  • Allison from An Awesome City In, CoThere's a quote that I love it goes:
    You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt and
    who wants to make butt prints in the sands of time?
  • Kara from Wichita, Ksand its not " we are all misunderstood, say we stand for nothing but there's no way we ever could" in the book i think it says "they say we stand for nothing and theres no way we ever could" and thats why i dont think they mean that we are lazy, i think they mean that some people in politics dont think that we could stand for anything because we are just normal people and didnt go to law school something like we aren't as good.
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaWhat a defeatist attitude. If you sit around and do nothing, then guess what?, nothing will happen.
  • Lou from Mission, CanadaJohn stated at the Vancouver concert on May 1st that this was as much of a political song as Greys Anatomy was a show about medicine
  • Sutton from Terre Haute, Inthe bending of information part definitely refers to the media not the government
  • Tim from Seattle, WaI love this song, but become angry when singers try to make political statements about governments and war... but they have never fought in a war or attended college. In order to continue my duties as a good USA citizen when I listen, I have to pretend I am Russian or Chinese and actually live in a country where the government "owns the information and can bend it all they want."
  • Matt from Milton, PaYeah, he's definitely using the common thing called irony as mentioned earlier. So, we might as well get off our lazy butts and do something about our idiotic government.
  • Ray from San Diego, CaHe's being ironic, people. Waiting accomplishes nothing. If today's young generation just sits around and waits for things to change, they'll be in sad shape when they're in charge of a world they haven't tried to save. I-R-O-N-Y. Look it up.
  • Jenny from Welland, Canadathis song is about, how we should stop war.
    and hunger.
    It's not fair that all those other people in the world have to suffer cause the government says that they HAVE* to go to war.
    We just have to wait, in order for the world to change.
  • Blake from Worcester, United StatesYea it is waiting on the world to change whoever put this one up is probably not a real john mayer fan. I went to his concert in Amherst and it was awesome.
  • Peter from Boston, MaThis song has a great meaning, but, as usual, it is way overplayed by the media. Grrrr...
  • Meghan from Saline, MiThis song is actually called Waiting ON the World to Change.
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