Unanswered Prayers

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"Unanswered Prayers"
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album No Fences
B-side "Alabama Clay"
Released October 1990
Format CD single, 7" single
Recorded late 1989
Genre Country
Length 3:23
Label Capitol Nashville 44650
Writer(s) Pat Alger
Larry Bastian
Garth Brooks
Producer(s) Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"Friends in Low Places"
(1990)
"Unanswered Prayers"
(1990)
"Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House"
(1991)

"Unanswered Prayers" is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Garth Brooks which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in 1991. It was released in October 1990 as the second single from his album No Fences and also appears on The Hits, The Limited Series, Double Live and The Ultimate Hits. It was written by Brooks, Pat Alger and Larry Bastian.

The song is one of Brooks' most popular recordings, and is one of the key tracks that helped his No Fences album stay on the top of the charts for many months (the album spent over 30 weeks at number 1 on Billboards Country Charts).

Content[edit]

A man runs into his high school sweetheart at a football game in their hometown. As he introduces her to his wife, he reminisces about that past relationship and how he had once prayed so fervently that this girl would be his significant other forever. He realizes that both of them have changed and then looks to his wife and realizes that God knew what He was doing all along.

Background and Production[edit]

According to Brooks, the song is based on a true story:

"Man, 'Unanswered Prayers' was a big part of my heart that went out on that record. A true life thing that happened to Sandy and myself. In October of '89, I saw my old high school flame. And I can say this now at the time I couldn't. For the first two years of my married life, I really thought the girl that was for me was still that girl that was in high school. And now man just the realization that what you have is the best for you, and the best you could ever do in your lifetime. It sure makes you sleep well at night."[1]

Garth provided the following background information on the song in the CD booklet liner notes from The Hits:

"Pat Alger and I worked on this song quite a long time without a hook, without the line. We passed it by Larry Bastian and it was as if it was meant to be. Larry, his wife Myrna and I were taking a walk down 18th Avenue, and he looked at me and said, 'Oh, that's simple. This song should be called 'Unanswered Prayers' because some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.' This is probably the truest song I have ever been involved with as a writer. This actually happened to my wife and me when we went back home to Oklahoma. Every time I sing this song, it teaches me the same lesson... happiness isn't getting what you want, it is wanting what you've got."[2]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1990-1991) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[3] 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 32
US Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 9

Other versions[edit]

Pat Alger, a co-writer of the song, recorded his own version of "Unanswered Prayers" in 1994. It was included as the closing track on his album Seeds. Tony Oller was in a TV version of this song that appeared on Lifetime TV network in 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Transcription from "The Garth Brooks Story" (1995)
  2. ^ Garth Brooks - The Hits: transcription from the CD booklet (bar code 7-2438-29689-2-4)
  3. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 1421." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 26, 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  4. ^ "Garth Brooks Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Garth Brooks.
  5. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1991". RPM. December 21, 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Best of 1991: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
Preceded by
"I've Come to Expect It from You"
by George Strait
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number one single

January 12-January 19, 1991
Succeeded by
"Forever's as Far as I'll Go"
by Alabama
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

January 26-February 2, 1991
Succeeded by
"Rumor Has It"
by Reba McEntire