Livin' on a Prayer

Album: Slippery When Wet (1986)
Charted: 4 1
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  • Once upon a time not so long ago
    Tommy used to work on the docks, union's been on strike
    He's down on his luck, it's tough, so tough
    Gina works the diner all day working for her man
    She brings home her pay, for love, for love

    She says, we've got to hold on to what we've got
    It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
    We've got each other and that's a lot for love
    We'll give it a shot

    Woah, we're half way there
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
    Woah, livin' on a prayer

    Tommy's got his six-string in hock
    Now he's holding in what he used to make it talk
    So tough, it's tough
    Gina dreams of running away
    When she cries in the night, Tommy whispers
    Baby, it's okay, someday

    We've got to hold on to what we've got
    It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
    We've got each other and that's a lot for love
    We'll give it a shot

    Woah, we're half way there
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Livin' on a prayer

    Oh, we've got to hold on, ready or not
    You live for the fight when it's all that you've got
    Woah, we're half way there
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
    Woah, livin' on a prayer

    Woah, we're half way there
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
    Woah, livin' on a prayer

    Woah, we're half way there
    Woah, livin' on a prayer
    Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
    Woah, livin' on a prayerWriter/s: RICHARD SAMBORA, DESMOND CHILD, JON BON JOVI
    Publisher: EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 24

  • Gino from HoustonActually, I was the original Desmond Child. Richie Sambora and myself came up with the pseudonym. There was no Desmond Child before we came up with the pseudonym in the 80's. This John Barrett Jr. being Desmond Child and anything before the fact was fabricated by the government. Also, John Barrett Jr. is not his real name, and he introduced himself to me as John Bariskowski, and his friend was John Rouge. Rouge is not a girl. I cowrote some of the Livin on a Prayer lyrics. I originally was just scratching some lyrics on a paper, but yes it is about the american dream or just making it in the world of hard knocks. My original thought of the song came about a preacher always trying to sway me into priesthood, but I was swaying towards baseball and songwriting. I met Paul Stanley in the late 70's and Martha (vocal coach) in the early 80's. The word got out that I had songs. Martha was trying to train my vocals, and I sung many songs acappella. I wrote most of the songs at my home, but I sung them acappella at a small lounge built to accommodate models where many rockers also convened. Bon Jovi, Richie and myself had already written You Give Love a Bad Name at the store/ lounge, and he visited the store/lounge many times. I was back on the loading docks trying/practicing Livin on a Prayer. I wanted to move the song in another direction from the original choosing between priesthood to secular rock world song. Actually Tommy and Gina worked at the store. Finally it struck me, with all he commotion going on at the store, that this song will be about making it in America. I was trying to envision the road ahead. Bon Jovi had been waiting up at package pickup/store/lounge for about 30 minutes while I was in the back sorting through some merchandise and creating the song. There were many people up at package pick-up when I made it back up to package pickup. Gina walked through the entrance door, and I just sung most of the first verse and then Bon Jovi interrupted me saying enough. I then said let me sing the chorus, and I sung the chorus. Again he was amused, and he said that song was not for him but a Loverboy tune. He later finished writing the song, and he played the song in front of kids to see how they liked the song before placing the song on the album. The kids approved of the song. Oh, yeah where's my 2% handshake in front of people at the lounge/store.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaThis would've been a good theme song for the 2011 sitcom "2 Broke Girls" but more so if the sitcom had a dockworker boyfriend as well as the struggling diner waitress
  • Samantha from Mohegan Lake, Nyto me the story this song tells is a very romantic one. it's kinda like forbidden love. they never give up a single chance to be together and never take a single second for granted. Gina's advice is very useful because everyone should hold onto what they have. before they know it, the things that they hold onto may be gone so enjoy it while it lasts. live your life to the fullest and treat every day like it's your last. that's kind of what Gina is saying when she says "we've got to hold on to what we've got cuz it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not." and that is true in most cases. as long as you have whats most important to you, which in this case is love, you'll never need anything else in life and therefore you've completed your purpose in life, making it not matter if you make it to see the next day or not.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxThis is by far my favorite song of theirs, but I find myself smiling every time a certain line is played, because it sounds a bit like they're singing:

    "Doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not."
  • Camille from Toronto, OhSomething about a rock star singing "livin' on a prayer" makes this song the hit that it is; the juxtaposition, or contrast, of these two opposites. One does not normally associate rock stars and prayer with each other, but there he is, screaming melodiously that the only hope they got left is a prayer. Who hasn't been there at some point in time? Heck, it sounds like even members of a rock band understand that there are moments in life when all you got left is a prayer. Gotta love it.
  • Samantha from Mohegan Lake, Nyi love this song, along with a lot of other kids in my school. i even memorized all the lyrics to the song.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaI am not a Bon Jovi fan at all but this song kicks ass!!
  • Jim from Ralston, Neslash does not use a talkbox. he uses a wah pedal, which a sh*t ton of other guitarists use. i know i know slash is a good guitarist but just because he was in guiutar hero does not make him god. there are many better guitarists out there stop trying to make every classic rock artist relate to slash, please.
  • Jesus from Alabama, DcJon has a niece and nephew in new jersey named Tommy and Gina, so he used those names for the song
  • Cody from Lawton, OkHey, just saying Slash does NOT use a talkbox... he uses Wah, its a pedal, definately not a talkbox though "/
  • Blane from Pocola, OkBON JOVI sucks only good song is Wanted Dead Or Alive
  • Blane from Pocola, OkGNR's SLASH uses talk boxes all the time
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmWho doesn't try to imitate the talkbox guitar at the beginning? You're lying if you deny it. ;D
  • Michael from Morris County, NjGreatest hair metal song ever.
  • Nicola from London, EnglandThis song is great to and listen to. This song has some meaning to life, and the way we really relate to life. This is one of his best songs to date.
  • Calum from Edinburgh, Scotlandthis song is Def Leppard's #1 favourite rock song
  • Fer from Pacifica, CaBest rock song ever written by the best band ever. I even teach my 5th graders how to sing this song.
  • Bjorn from Amsterdam, Netherlandsalso before they called the album slippery when wet they wanted to call it guns and roses because Jon saw a picture of a barband (and they had a suitcase with the title guns and roses on it}in the newspaper. But that band became very succesfull(guns and roses)in a short time after that and then they came up wiht the title slippery when wet. Jon said this fact on the dvd 100.00.000 bon jovi fans can't be wrong
  • Amy from Dallas, Txnice song..thats interesting that the cover is a trash bag, lol it looks good..i guess
  • Nikki from Melbourne, AustraliaIn an interview with JBJ(2004), he actually says that they were going to title Slippery When Wet, Guns and Roses. But what with the "guns n roses" name already made popular by the band, they opted for Slippery instead.
  • Rob from Castaic, CaBowling For Soup mentioned Tommy and Gina in their song "Punk Rock 101." The line is "Like Tommy And Gina, They're Living On A Prayer."
  • Daryn from East London, South AfricaTommy and Gina were given another mention in "99 In The Shade" on New Jersey a couple of years later.
  • Julia from London, EnglandI love this song and i think this is the ultimate insparational song that sends out the message to hang on in there despite the difficulties that you are facing hence the line "it doesn't make a difference if we make or not"
    the song is pretty straightforward and does't reqiure a lot of pondering about what the lyrics mean- and that's a good thing. A lot of people can relate to this song and it sends out a message of hope that was very suited after sep 11
  • Nicalee from Oklahoma City, OkActually the girl with big boobs was left off the cover because Jon didnt like the pink border that matched the girls nails. He didnt think they would be taken seriously with a pink border. I believe Japan was the only country to receive the big boob booklet. Jon had little time to come up with a new cover or they were going to be sent out and thats when he found a black trash bag and sprayed it with water and wrote Slippery when Wet on it. This was from VH1s #1 albums or something like that
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