Waiting on a War

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"Waiting on a War"
Foo Fighters - Waiting on a War - single cover art.jpg
Single by Foo Fighters
from the album Medicine at Midnight
ReleasedJanuary 14, 2021 (2021-01-14)
StudioUnnamed house in Encino, Los Angeles
Foo Fighters singles chronology
"No Son of Mine"
"Waiting on a War"
"Making a Fire"
Music video
"Waiting on a War" on YouTube

"Waiting on a War" is a song by American rock band Foo Fighters. It was released as the third single off of their tenth album Medicine at Midnight.


The song was first released on January 14, 2021, as the third single from their tenth studio album, Medicine at Midnight, after "Shame Shame" and "No Son of Mine".[3] The date was chosen to celebrate frontman Dave Grohl's 52nd birthday.[3] The band debuted the song live on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on the same date.[4][5][6]

Themes and composition[edit]

Lyrically, the song was described as the Foo Fighters' modern approach to a "Give Peace a Chance" type song, with Grohl pondering the possibility of a dark future.[7] The lyrical content was inspired by bleak conversation Grohl had had with his own daughter Harper Grohl, in 2019,[8] which reminded him of his own worries about the world:

"Last fall, as I was driving my daughter to school, she turned to me and asked 'Daddy, is there going to be a war?'. My heart sank as I realized that she was now living under the same dark cloud that I had felt 40 years ago. I wrote "Waiting on a War" that day. Everyday waiting for the sky to fall. Is there more to this than that? Is there more to this than just waiting on a war? Because I need more. We all do.[7]

Grohl later explained that he himself had feared the effect of the Cold War while growing up in Washington DC.[9] Upon the completion of the song, Grohl felt it was one of the best songs the band had ever written.[10]

The song was described as an "acoustic-driven tune" and "aching ballad" that "explodes with rock fury in the home stretch".[1][9] Most of the song is composed primarily of Grohl singing over an acoustic guitar, bass, and drums, and strings, before building in intensity in its second half, and moving into an energetic, full-band rock sound with electric guitars for the last minute.[7][9] The song was noted to have a more traditional Foo Fighters sound than prior singles from the album.[7][10]

Music video[edit]

A music video directed by Paola Kudacki was released for the song on January 19, 2021. It features the band performing mixed with cinematic shots of young people whose carefree outlook on life is threatened by ominous-looking adults who have brown paper bags over their heads.[11]


Rolling Stone singled the song out as the standout track on Medicine at Midnight.[12]


Foo Fighters




Year Award Results
2022 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song Won


  1. ^ a b Trapp, Philip (January 14, 2021). "Listen to Foo Fighters' 'Waiting on a War,' a Song Written for Dave Grohl's Daughter". Loudwire. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  2. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 14, 2021). "Foo Fighters – "Waiting On A War"". Stereogum. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hussey, Allison (January 14, 2021). "Listen to Foo Fighters' New Song "Waiting on a War"". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Deriso, Nick (January 14, 2021). "Foo Fighters' New Single 'Waiting on a War' Ponders a Dark Future". Townsquare Media. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  5. ^ Kohn, Daniel (January 14, 2021). "Foo Fighters Release 'Waiting on a War'". Spin. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (January 15, 2021). "Foo Fighters Debut 'Waiting on a War' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Kaufman, Gil (January 14, 2021). "Peace is the Only Answer on Foo Fighters Emotional 'Waiting on a War'". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Moore, Sam (January 14, 2021). "Listen to Foo Fighters' new single 'Waiting On A War'". NME. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Blistein, Jon (January 14, 2021). "Foo Fighters Drop New 'Medicine at Midnight' Song 'Waiting on a War'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Carter, Emily (January 14, 2021). "Foo Fighters celebrate Dave Grohl's birthday with powerful new song, Waiting On A War". Kerrang!. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Moore, Sam (January 19, 2021). "Watch Foo Fighters' stirring new video for 'Waiting on a War". NME. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  12. ^ Grow, Kory (January 26, 2021). "The Foo Fighters' Throw a Party on 'Medicine at Midnight'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "Foo Fighters – Waiting on a War" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  14. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  15. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Canada Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2021.
  16. ^ "CZ - Radio - Top 20 Modern Rock - Foo Fighters - Waiting on a War" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas" (in Japanese). Billboard Japan. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  18. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  19. ^ "Schweizer Airplay Charts 14/2021 - hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  21. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  22. ^ "Foo Fighters Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  23. ^ "Hot Rock & Alternative Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Rock Airplay Songs – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved December 2, 2021.