Song of the Day #4,965: ‘Waiting in Vain’ – Bob Marley

Ah, nothing like a little Bob Marley to close out the weekend. ‘Waiting in Vain,’ a slow jam exploration of unrequited love, appeared on Marley’s 1977 album Exodus.

My knowledge of Marley’s discography is restricted to the greatest hits collection Legend, the top-selling reggae album of all-time. That record collects all of Marley’s best-known hits but has been criticized for leaving out his more challenging political work.

Exodus is practically a greatest hits collection in its own right. In addition to today’s SOTD, the album features ‘Exodus,’ ‘Jamming,’ ‘Three Little Birds,’ and ‘One Love/People Get Ready.’ Those five tracks make up more than a third of Legend‘s tracklist.

Marley and the Wailers released 13 albums between 1965 and 1983. They might be a good candidate for a future deep dive.

[Intro]
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love

[Verse 1]
From the very first time I blessed my eyes on you, girl
My heart says follow through
But I know, now, that I’m way down on your line
But the waitin’ feel is fine
So don’t treat me like a puppet on a string
Cause I know how to do my thing
Don’t talk to me as if you think I’m dumb
I wanna know when you’re gonna come, see

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
Cause if summer is here
I’m still waiting there
Winter is here
And I’m still waiting there

[Guitar solo]

[Verse 2]
Like I said:
It’s been three years since I’m knockin’ on your door
And I still can knock some more
Cuckoo girl, cuckoo girl, is it feasible?
I wanna know now, for I to knock some more
Ya see, in life I know there’s lots of grief
But your love is my relief
Tears in my eyes burn – tears in my eyes burn
While I’m waiting – while I’m waiting for my turn
See!

[Chorus]
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love
I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love, oh!

[Outro]
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna wait in vain
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna wait in vain
No, I don’t wanna (I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna wait in vain) –
No I – no I (I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t
Wanna – I don’t wanna wait in vain) –
No, no-no, I, no, I (I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna wait in vain) –
It’s your love that I’m waiting on (I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna wait in vain);
It’s me love that you’re running from
It’s your love that I’m waiting on (I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna –
I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna – I don’t wanna wait in vain);
It’s me love that you’re running from

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,965: ‘Waiting in Vain’ – Bob Marley

  1. Reb says:

    Deep dive highly recommended! I was introduced to the Wailers when in college, and as is so often the case during those years, they cemented themselves into my consciousness with ease. I place the Bob Marley concert on Sept 16, 1980 at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston as the single most rewarding concert I’ve ever been to. He performed the entire show seated, surrounded by his band…no one knew at the time that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer. He performed only 4 more shows after that. What an incredible gift he was to those who love music.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    I too know Marley only through Legend, but that really is an excellent greatest hits album.

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