Livin' On A Prayer Lyrics by Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi Lyrics

Livin' On A Prayer Lyrics
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'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
'Cause 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

Whooah, we're half way there
Livin' on a prayer
Take my hand and we'll make it - I swear
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
'Cause 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


We've got to hold on ready or not
You live for the fight when it's all that you've got


Copyright: Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, EMI Music Publishing
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Livin' On A Prayer Info:

Livin' on a Prayer is Bon Jovi's second chart-topping 45 from their 12x Platinum Slippery When Wet album. Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child, the single, released in late 1986, was well received at both rock and pop radio and its music video was given heavy rotation at MTV, giving the band their first No. 1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The song is about a fictional working class couple, Tommy and Gina, who struggle to make ends meet and maintain their relationship. Tommy "used to work on the docks" because "union's been on strike, he's down on his luck". Gina works at a diner, "workin' for her man". While some have loosely interpreted the Lyrics to be anti-labor, inferring that the striking labor union is the catalyst for the troubled chain of events for Tommy and Gina, others have pointed out that the song does not clarify the circumstances behind the strike, and the lone, vague reference could just as easily be interpreted as a pro-labor message with bosses' attacks forcing the union to go on strike. In fact, Jon Bon Jovi explained that he "wrote that song during the Reagan era (1980-88) and the trickle-down economics are really inspirational to writing songs".

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora wrote this with Desmond Child, a prolific songwriter who was brought in by the record company to give them a more commercial sound like he did for Kiss on "I Was Made For Lovin' You." The characters Tommy and Gina were based on a real life situation Desmond encountered in the late '70s with his then girlfriend, Maria Vidal, who he was living with. According to the notes in his Desmond Child & Rouge: Runners In The Night album, Desmond was a New York taxi cab driver and Maria was a waitress in a diner.

Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording of this song, which can be found as a hidden track on 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong. Richie Sambora, however, convinced him the song was good, and they reworked it with a new bass line, different drum fills and the use of a talk box to include it on their upcoming album Slippery When Wet.

Livin' on a Prayer has become the band's signature song, topping fan-voted lists and re-charting around the world decades after its release. The original 45 single release sold 800,000 copies in the United States, and in 2013 was certified Triple Platinum for over 3 million digital downloads.

From the Album:
Slippery When Wet (1986)

"Wild in the Streets"/"Edge of a Broken Heart"

October 31, 1986

7", 12", CD Single

Recorded: 1986

Genre: Glam metal

4:11 (album version)
4:53 (full version)
4:23 (Rock Band 2 edit)
5:07 (DualDisc remix)

Jon Bon Jovi
Richie Sambora
Desmond Child

Bruce Fairbairn

Triple Platinum

Music video:
"Livin' On A Prayer" on YouTube

The music video was recorded at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California and was directed by Wayne Isham.

Bon Jovi Tour Dates:

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