Whether pining for someone who doesn’t know you exist or lamenting someone you have loved and lost, we’ve all been there: waiting for someone we love.
Whatever the situation and history, waiting for that person can be the loneliest feeling in the world. Songwriters have taken advantage of that loneliness and poured that pain into their songs.
We have searched for these and created a compilation of 13 of the best songs about waiting for someone you love. Read on and find out just how much people can relate to the feeling.
1. “Unchained Melody” By Righteous Brothers
The most popular version of “Unchained Melody” was recorded by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. However, Hy Zaret and Alex North wrote the song originally for the movie Unchained.
What North came up with was a story about a person missing a lover they have not seen in a long time. It’s been so long that it prompts them to ask, “Are you still mine?” However, they know that they’ll reunite with their love, just like how “lonely rivers flow to the sea.”
The Righteous Brothers enjoyed great success with their version of “Unchained Melody.” The song surged in popularity once again in 1990 when producers used the Righteous Brothers’ version in the film Ghost.
2. “Hello Darlin’” By Conway Twitty
With more than fifty #1 albums and hit songs under his belt, Conway Twitty‘s reputation as a country music legend is cemented. His 1970 song “Hello, Darlin’” is his biggest country hit and spent at #1 for four weeks.
Written by Twitty himself, this heartfelt ballad is about a man who runs into an old flame and tries pretending he has been all right since their parting. As the song progresses, the man eventually admits that he can’t sleep and cannot stop crying.
The singer recognizes that her love was “so warm and true.” But he has made mistakes that ruined their relationship. Now he wishes for her forgiveness and still hopes that if she should come back to him, he will always be waiting for her.
3. “Waiting For A Girl Like You” By Foreigner
One of the rock band Foreigner‘s most successful songs was their ballad, “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” Lou Gramm and Mick Jones wrote the song, and this powerful ballad was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for ten weeks.
Jones admits he had no specific inspiration for this song but says it wrote itself. He felt the feelings around him and let them flow through him. On the other hand, Gramm describes a beautiful woman who suddenly appeared in the control room where they were recording the song.
What they came up with is a beautiful story about a man who has been waiting for that special girl to materialize in his life. And when she does, he wants to build a lasting romantic relationship with her.
4. “You Can’t Hurry Love” By Phil Collins
Even before Phil Collins recorded his version of “You Can’t Hurry Love,” the song was already successful in the US, UK, and Australia. The Supremes had already made a performance of the song in 1966. Collins released his version in 1982.
The upbeat song relives the memory of the singer’s mother telling him that he must be patient. He will eventually find that special someone. But he laments, “How long must I wait” and worries that loneliness might get the better of him.
The song has strong hints of gospel music, which was very popular in R&B. This was the #1 single on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks. The song would reach #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
5. “Patience” By Guns N’ Roses
The metal band Guns N’ Roses released “Patience” as a single in April 1989. While not known for its ballads, this heartfelt song reached #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
The song features a man singing about his ex and explaining that they can work things out with a bit of patience. He implores that they “take it slow, and it’ll work itself out fine.”
The band recorded the song in one session using three acoustic guitars. But when performing “Patience” live, they often use electric guitars instead of acoustic ones.
6. “Right Here Waiting” By Richard Marx
When you think about a song with “waiting” in the lyrics, you might be thinking of “Right Here Waiting.” Richard Marx himself wrote the ballad as a love letter to his wife while she was away. The lyrics and meaning steam from his frustration of missing her.
We can definitely see that from the lyrics. The emotions Marx went through were so palpable in each word of the lyrics. He misses her so much that it hurts, and he can only wait until such time that she’s back in his arms.
Did you know that Marx sent the song to Barbara Streisand to record it? She turned it down because she would not be waiting for anyone, as the song says. Her rejection was a blessing to Marx, who eventually decided to record the song. It was wildly successful and topped the charts in several countries.
7. “Love, Me” By Collin Raye
Next up on our list is “Love, Me,” a tender ballad performed by Collin Raye. It was released in 1991 and reached the top of the charts the following year.
The song tells a story of a young couple who are crazy in love. Her father doesn’t like him, and so the couple decides to run away together. The girl writes a note to her lover and leaves it at their meeting place. It explains that she is not sure when she will get there, but if he gets there before she does, to wait for her.
The song takes a sad turn when it explains that the grandson reads the note hours before her death. His grandpa cries as he tells her to wait for him on the other side.
8. “Austin” By Blake Shelton
If there’s a song that mentions waiting for someone you love in the literal sense, it would be “Austin.” This was Blake Shelton‘s first #1 hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs. It spent several in the #1 position, crossed over to pop radio, and appeared on the Billboard Hot 100.
The gist behind this song is that it’s about second chances. It tells the story of a woman who has moved to Austin after leaving her boyfriend. After a year, she decides to call him. She hears his message on his answering machine explaining where he might be. To her surprise, he ends it with, “And P.S., if this is Austin, I still love you.”
She couldn’t believe how someone would wait that long. She decides to leave him her number. When he calls her, he assumes he’s getting her answering machine. But it’s her saying, “…this is Austin, and I still love you.”
9. “I’ll Wait For You” By Joe Nichols
A song with “wait” in the title, “I’ll Wait For You,” was written by Bill Anderson and Harley Allen. Country singer Joe Nichols recorded the song in July 2006.
Once you listen to the whole lyrics, you’ll discover that this is about a woman who loves her husband so much. The man wants to see his wife, but the weather impedes his travel. The wife reminds him of the other times he hasn’t been there. But she promises that she will always wait for him.
The final verse is a real tear-jerker as we realize that the wife is in the hospital. The husband is a little too late as she already passes away. She leaves him a note saying she will wait for him at heaven’s gate.
10. “Waiting On A Woman” By Brad Paisley
Next, we have another country song, “Waitin’ On A Woman,” written by Don Sampson and Wynn Varble. Brad Paisley recorded it in 2005, 2007, and again in 2008. It was Paisley’s 12th #1 single.
The song has three verses. It shows a man waiting for his new wife to finish his shopping. While “sittin’ on a bench at West Town Mall,” he meets an older man who is also waiting for his wife. The older man explains that he is always waiting for his wife, but he doesn’t mind because he loves her.
In the last verse, the older gentleman explains that he will probably die first and wait for his wife in heaven.
11. “I’ll Be Waiting” By Lenny Kravitz
This next song is a powerful ballad that was once popular in Europe, topping charts in several countries. It did not find the same success in North America, and it stalled at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, Lenny Kravitz‘s “I’ll be Waiting” is a testimony to one’s enduring love for another person.
A song about unrequited love, the lyrics describe the singer waiting for someone to get her life together. The woman has been in a relationship and has her heart broken.
In the chorus, the singer expresses that as long as he’s breathing, he’s going to wait for her. He knows she’s the one for him, so he wants to be with her until they’re old. In the meantime, he’ll wait for her to see that he’d been there all along for her.
12. “Waiting For Love” By Avicii
We’re almost at the end of our list, and it won’t be complete without Avicii‘s “Waiting for Love.” It was released in 2015 and became a single from Avicii’s second album.
To better understand the song, we suggest that you watch the accompanying music video. It shows an older man caring for his wife. He wakes up one morning to find her missing. He travels on his scooter, looking for her. And while he searches, he encounters many new adventures.
The music video follows his journey as he learns and grows as a person. When he returns home, his wife is waiting with open arms.
13. “I’ll Be Waiting” By Adele
We are wrapping up this list with Adele‘s “I’ll be Waiting,” a single from her second album, 21. This song was not officially released as a single but started getting radio airplay in the summer of 2012.
Adele’s breakup with her ex-boyfriend inspired this song. Unlike the other tracks on the album, “I’ll be Waiting” does not focus on heartbreak but on the ability to persevere and find lost love.
It could prove difficult at times, especially when “time is against us.” It doesn’t get any better with the waiting one has to do for that person to come back.
Summing Up Our List Of Waiting For Some You Love) Songs
Losing a loved one is a heartwrenching experience many of us will go through. It’s not easy waiting for that day when they finally come back to us. Or when we finally accept that separation is the answer.
Either way, songwriters use this shared experience to create songs and lyrics that many listeners can relate to.
If you are waiting for a loved one, the songs above are your perfect companion. Get some tissues ready, though.