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Can We Talk About Waiting?


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A true reality check from the album Erotica. This song explores the many situations you can place yourself into, through no fault of your own.



Everyone has been hurt by friends or lovers, but this song puts a hard perspective on it. The opening line “Well, I know form experience that if you have to ask for something more than once or twice, it wasn’t yours in the first place”. Truer words have never been spoken. I grew up learning to hide my feelings. I never let on to people that I cared, even if I did. When you open the door to someone, you risk losing a part of yourself. I never wanted that to happen to me. Probably a little selfish on my part. But, the part when you realise that they actually "don't want what you want" is not worth it.



“It was so easy in the beginning, when you didn’t feel like running from your feelings, like you are now…”. This line is ambiguous to me. Is Madonna talking to her lover or herself? I have used this line on myself so many times. My interpretation is that she’s talking to herself.



And, then there are relationships you’re stuck in. You can’t bring yourself to let go. You’re stuck in a purgatory of your own doing. "Life has taught me that love with a man like you is only gonna make me blue, but I love anyway no matter what you do..."



“Finally I see a different man”. A painful line. You need to open your eyes to save yourself, but it’s intensely hurtful. The beginning is wonderful. Holding hands, walks in the park and constant sex. But then reality kicks in and you realize you’re on two different paths in life. It’s very depressing. Live and learn, and move on.



Then there are the relationships when you know you’re being used. Those are the ones to run away from. Nothing gained, nothing lost. Being used is especially hard on your emotions. You cannot give away emotional support to someone who doesn’t give it back. It will kill your heart. "Tell me what I did to deserve this"



Have I opened my heart to men? Yes, but only a few times. The inevitable heartache is unbearable. It’s better to play it cool. Or is it? Is it better to have loved and lost, or not to have loved at all? My hard shell would pick the latter. And, during the break-up, you drive yourself crazy asking “What went wrong?”.



It’s really is a roll of the dice. I told myself when I was younger, “If it’s all a game, then I’m going to make my own rules”. I did make my own rules. My prize was one night stands, kicking men out of my house, and even worse - hiding my feelings from myself. I built a wall of steel and the day it came down was the day love didn’t hurt anymore. It took me a long time to open my heart. When and if you’re lucky, don’t take it for granted. Don’t fool yourself either, love is hard work.



“And the next time you want pussy, just look in the mirror baby”. Again, I truly believe she’s taunting herself with this line.



What is she really waiting for???

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Oh, and I love how the album is a companion piece to the book, and vice versa....

They're synonymous with each other. The book references several songs, including "Waiting."

Steven_Meisel_Sex_by_Madonna_09.jpg

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This is the centrepiece of the album for me - she's singing about entering a relationship knowing exactly what the (painful) consequences will be, which is what S&M is all about, right?

Yes. Exactly.

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The best Madonna song ever. It's my favorite Madonna track of all fine and is extremely lush to the ears, with its New York midnight alley way jazz vibe. I even love Did You Do It simply because it uses the Waiting instrumental and I'm in love with the remix as well, such s bonus we got 3 different versions! When recording the album, it's like that track was what she wanted the whole album to sound like but ended up perfectly gotting everything she wanted into one songz Since she loved that fact so much, she commissioned the remix, used the album version as the b side and included Did You Do It on the album since she loves the song so much.

Why was this not performed on The Girlie Show?

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A true reality check from the album Erotica. This song explores the many situations you can place yourself into, through no fault of your own.

Everyone has been hurt by friends or lovers, but this song puts a hard perspective on it. The opening line “Well, I know form experience that if you have to ask for something more than once or twice, it wasn’t yours in the first place”. Truer words have never been spoken. I grew up learning to hide my feelings. I never let on to people that I cared, even if I did. When you open the door to someone, you risk losing a part of yourself. I never wanted that to happen to me. Probably a little selfish on my part. But, the part when you realise that they actually "don't want what you want" is not worth it.

I so agree with this interpretation WeboGirl and I can so relate to it as well. I think I unfortunately learned this lesson too late after I had trusted and made myself vulnerable to people who I thought were friends who turned out to be anything but. It really does feel like losing a part of yourself when this happens. As a result I became very guarded about who I let in which in a way was kind of a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your personal stories-it's good to hear how music helps people cope - it is truly a healer in so many ways

Fantastic song - absolutely love it!

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Waiting, Secret Garden, and Deeper and Deeper are my holy trinity from "Erotica." All the Andre Betts song are fantastic from that album, but Waiting and Secret Garden stand out the most for me. Both have a tendency to get under my skin.

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Guest Rocco Papa

I really feel this song now in a way I didn't when I first heard it. I've always loved the song, but when you actually experience this sort of thing for yourself, it brings you closer to the song. I feel the same about Miles Away.

I also love how she incorporated lines from the Sex book into certain songs from the Erotica album (like in Waiting and Rain). The "Next time you want pussy, just look in the mirror baby" line is pure genius! :lol:

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I live to dissect Madonna songs. One day a song will mean something to me, then the next day it means something totally different. No else can do that to me but M.

She writes about all the weird, happy, wild, sad, crazy things that have happened in my life. Mostly, her songs about relationships and sex are spot on for me.

I want to keep dissecting. I just love her.

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I think I've had Waiting and Words on repeat for about 20 years.

Good, strong Madonna tracks with great lyrics, great production and sounds unlike anyone else.

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