Baseball Related Songs: “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

In today’s episode of Baseball Related Songs we pay attention to one of the greatest hits of the rock band Bon Jovi: Livin’ on a Prayer. 

Livin' on a Prayer - WikipediaThe song “Livin’ on a Prayer was released on October 31, 1986. It was part of Bon Jovi’s album “Slippery When Wet.” The album itself was released in August of that year. Livin’ on a Prayer was preceded by “You Give Love a bad Name”, which was taken from the same album. 

Initially, Jon Bon Jovi did not like the original recording of the song but lead guitarist Richie Sambora convinced him the song was good, and they reworked it with a new bassline, different drum fills and the use of a talk box. Eventually it was added to Slippery When Wet. The fact that the song resided at no. one of the Billboard Hot 100 is a sign that the song was good according to the fans. 

Bon Jovi was established in 1983 and Slippery When Wet was their third album which is arguably their most successful. 

The song “Livin’ on a Prayer is about Tommy and Gina, a working-class couple who struggle to make ends meet. Tommy loses his job as a dockworker due to a strike while Gina works as a diner waitress. The couple Tommy and Gina are also referred to in the song “It’s my Life” from the album Crush. 

But what does this song have to do with baseball as it the song itself appears not to be baseball related at all? Well, the song is based on real-life events that Jon Bon Jovi and songwriter Desmond Child experienced in the 1970’s. Jon Bon Jovi had an acquaintance who was a star baseball player in his school and wanted to be a professional baseball player only for his girlfriend to inform him of her pregnancy wherein he gave up the ambition and took up a job in a factory. But besides that, the song served as walk-up song for Ryan Spilborghs. 

Spilborghs was an oufielder for the Colorado Rockies from 2005 through 2011. In 2013 he spent a season with the Seibu Lions of the NPB. After his active career, Spilborghs became a sports broadcaster. On February 6, 2014, it was announced that he had joined the Root Sports Rocky Mountain broadcasting team, where his primary role is sideline reporting during games; however he occasionally provides in booth color commentary. He is an analyst for Rockies pregame and postgame shows, as well as for other programs on the network. Spilborghs currently co-hosts (with CJ Nitkowski) the “Loud Outs” program that airs Saturdays on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio.

The lyrics of “Livin’ on a Prayer” are as follows: 

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 luck, it’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
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

Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, 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
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

Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Livin’ on a prayer

Oh, we’ve got to hold on, ready or not
You live for the fight when it’s all that you’ve got
Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer

Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer

Woah, we’re half way there
Woah, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
Woah, livin’ on a prayer














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