SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – I Say a Little Prayer

The prompt from Jim:

This week we have the time related prompts of Endless/Eternity/Everlasting/Forever/Infinity/Omega, and the song that you choose must contain one of these prompt words in either the title or the lyrics.


“I Say A Little Prayer” was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. The composing duo discovered the voice of Dionne Warwick when she was a backup singer for The Drifters. They felt her voice really matched their style of song writing.

According to several online sources, Hal David indicated the lyrics were intended to relate concern for someone serving in the Vietnam war.

Dionne Warwick recorded the song in 1966, but was not released until a year later. Burt Bacharach was never pleased with the way the song sounded which was unusual for his work with Dionne Warwick.

The song was released on the album “Windows of the World” and the track received so much air time it was released on single. It would reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the Billboard R&B chart.

The record was certified gold in 1968.

“I Say a Little Prayer” would again make the charts when released by Aretha Franklin in 1968.

An interesting note about The Sweet Inspirations who performed backup on both Warwick and Franklin’s recordings. From Songfacts.com:

The thread connecting these two versions of the song is the backup singers, the Sweet Inspirations. After performing on the original, the singers found themselves working with Aretha Franklin, who started singing it with them during sessions for her Aretha Now album. She came up with an original arrangement, and when Wexler heard it, he insisted on recording the song. Burt Bacharach has said that he likes Aretha’s version the best, describing it as “much better than the cut I did with Dionne.”

The female vocals are a crucial component to this song. They were performed by a group called The Sweet Inspirations, which were comprised at the time of Cissy Houston, Estelle Brown, Myrna Smith and Sylvia Shemwell (Houston is Warwick’s aunt, and Whitney Houston’s mother). Their contribution gave the song a powerful gospel sound and made the chorus pop.

The Sweet Inspirations were in on this song at the same time as Warwick – they practiced it with her during rehearsals at Burt Bacharach’s house. It was a very relaxed atmosphere where they were able to hone the song before entering the studio.

”I Say a Little Prayer”
Lyrics from Songfacts.com

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you
While combing my hair, now
And wondering what dress to wear, now
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only be heartbreak for me

I run for the bus, dear
While riding I think of us, dear
I say a little prayer for you
At work I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me

I say a little prayer for you
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you’ll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, and ever we never will part
Oh, how I’ll love you
Together, together, that’s how it must be
To live without you
Would only mean heartbreak for me

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one, but you
Please love me, too
I’m in love with you
Answer my prayer
Say you love me, too
Why don’t you answer my prayer?
You know, every day I say a little prayer
I said, I say, I say a little prayer


Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.

22 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – I Say a Little Prayer”

  1. I had both versions on vinyl, though it is now more associated with Aretha of course.
    I have one for you, with ‘Everlasting’ in the title. It was a big hit here, in 1968.

    Hearts go astray, leaving hurt when they go
    I went away just when you needed me so
    Filled with regret I come back beggin’ you
    Forgive, forget. Where’s the love we once knew?
    Open up your eyes, then you’ll realize here I stand
    With my everlasting love
    Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride
    You’ll never be denied everlasting love
    From the very start, open up your heart
    Be a lasting part of everlasting love
    Real love will last forever
    Ooh, ooh
    Where life’s river flows, no one really knows
    ’til someone’s there to show the way to lasting love
    Like the sun that shines, endlessly it shine
    You always will be mine. It’s everlasting love
    When other loves are gone, ours will still be strong
    We have our very own everlasting love
    Real love will last forever
    You give me, you give me, you give me everlasting love
    Ooh
    Open up your eyes, then you’ll realize here I stand
    With my everlasting love
    Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride
    You’ll never be denied everlasting love
    From the very start, open up your heart
    Be a lasting part of everlasting love
    Real love will last forever
    Open up your eyes, then you’ll realize here I stand
    With my everlasting love
    Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride
    You’ll never be denied everlasting love
    Open up your eyes, then you’ll realize here I stand
    With my everlasting love
    Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride
    You’ll never be denied everlasting love
    Open up your eyes, then you’ll realize here I stand
    With my everlasting love
    Need you by my side, girl you’ll be my bride
    You’ll never be denied everlasting love

    Songwriters: Mac Gayden / Buzz Cason
    Everlasting Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing,

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did not recognize the song by the title. But as soon as I heard it, I remembered it well. The chorus will be running through my internal jukebox all day. Thanks for playing along. Great song.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dionne and Aretha nice combo and a great choice Maggie. Hal David and Burt Bacharach could surely write some music, but I agree with Burt as the Aretha arrangement is superior. What a lovely name for a group Sweet Inspirations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It just goes to show how interconnected the music industry was in those days. What great voices and the talent was remarkable. Dionne will always be the artist I associate the original song with, but you can never argue with Aretha.

      Liked by 1 person

I appreciate those who read and I enjoy your thoughtful comments.

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