Prayer For The Dying
by Seal

Album: Seal (1994)
Charted: 14 21
Play Video


  • When introducing this song in concert, Seal has said that he wrote it after having a few run-ins with death, which ended up being a good thing because it made him confront his worst fears. It's a prayer for the dying in the sense that he's addressing those who weren't so lucky; Seal played with fire and didn't get burned, but many others didn't. The opening line, "Fearless people, careless needle," implies he's talking about drug use.
  • "Prayer For The Dying" was the first single from Seal's second album, which like his first, is titled Seal. It was a modest hit in the summer of 1994, but in America, the next two singles - "Newborn Friend" and "Don't Cry" - didn't chart and it looked like the album would peter out. Then the song "Kiss From A Rose" was extracted from the album and used in the 1995 movie Batman Forever. It went to #1 that August, over a year after "Prayer For The Dying" was issued.
  • The video was directed by Paul Boyd, who also did Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" and Sting's "Desert Rose." It shows Seal performing the song in a white circular room filled with doors he never opens.
  • Seal wrote this song with his guitarist, Gus Isidore. It was produced by Trevor Horn of Yes and Buggles fame; Seal was signed to Horn's label, ZTT Records.

Comments: 5

  • Mike from Wellington, NzI’ve listened to “Prayer for the Dying” over and over. It has to be one of the most alluring and beautiful songs ever! Seal has has been one of my favourites in these confused Covid times as I hark back to the past.
  • Heather from Rochester, Ny"...'careless needle' implies he's talking about drug use". Ok, sure, it could be. But I always thought it was about the medications they give you in the hospital, blood tests, etc when you're sick, dying or close to it.
  • Kim from MantecaSeal has an appropriately mysteriously personal view of dealing with dying. I don't get the lyrics clearly, but I think that is what makes the song so genuine and relatable. Hearing it during Covid just gets to me.
  • Landon from Winchester, Oh"Time is the space - Between me and you". Such an awesome song. It gives me chills no matter how often I listen.
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaThis is Seal's most beautiful, touching song, and he's done a number of excellent songs.
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