the Buzz for October 28th, 2011


George Michael — “Praying for Time”
(from Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1) — Praying for Time - Listen Without Prejudice

King George tweeted yesterday that this classic has recently become his favorite song to sing. It has, incidentally (if not coincidentally), become my favorite to hear. I would posit that one of the marks of a truly great songwriter — from Foster to Gershwin to Dylan to Mitchell to Amos to Gray — would be his or her prescience, which is to say: their ability to see, however wittingly, what’s headed down the pike; and, in turn, their ability to take that vision and turn it into a composition that is relevant yet timeless. In the fall of 1990, of course, we used this song to help assuage our fears and unease over the notion of going to war with a tyrannical despot half a globe away, but feed these words — these words that were written more than two decades ago, mind you — into your soul anew, with fresh ears — “this is the year of the guilty man / your television takes a stand” or “I may have too much / but I’ll take my chances / ’cause God’s stopped keeping score” — and then flip on the news and catch even a second of sight of the myriad Occupy [Your-City-Here] demonstrations that are popping up across the globe, and you may well come to understand that we’re heading into an even scarier war, facing a more daunting and desperate foe. You may well come to understand that, still and as ever, George is brilliantly, beautifully right: maybe we should be praying — to any and every god — for just a few more seconds on the shot clock.