Bon Jovi - Livin' on a Prayer - 1986

Today, we're diving into the iconic rock anthem "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, released in 1986. This song not only defined the decade but also became a defining moment in rock music. We'll explore the song's history, the band behind it, and the lyrics that have inspired millions. Get ready to rock and learn!

The Song: "Livin' on a Prayer"

Boldly put, "Livin' on a Prayer" is more than just a song; it's a rock anthem that captured the essence of the 1980s and propelled Bon Jovi into superstardom.

This track is the band's second single from their third album, "Slippery When Wet," and it soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming one of their most recognizable and enduring hits. The song's storyline revolves around Tommy and Gina, two characters facing hardships but persevering through the power of love and hope. Its catchy chorus, memorable guitar riffs, and powerful vocals have made it a staple in rock music playlists around the world.

Background and Production

Produced by Bruce Fairbairn and written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Desmond Child, the creation of "Livin' on a Prayer" was a collaborative effort that almost didn't make it onto the album. Jon Bon Jovi was initially skeptical about its potential, but after some persuasion and a reworking of the song, it became the centerpiece of "Slippery When Wet."

The song's signature talk box introduction, performed by Richie Sambora, and its relatable lyrics helped it resonate with a wide audience, making it an anthem for those fighting through tough times.

Impact and Legacy

"Livin' on a Prayer" has left an indelible mark on rock music and popular culture. It has been featured in films, television shows, and sporting events, becoming a symbol of resilience and hope. The song's message of holding on to each other and making it through tough times together has inspired countless fans worldwide.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Livin' on a Prayer" released? (1986) (!1985) (!1987) (!1984)

Who is NOT a writer of "Livin' on a Prayer"? (!Jon Bon Jovi) (!Richie Sambora) (Desmond Child) (!Bruce Springsteen)

Which album features "Livin' on a Prayer"? (Slippery When Wet) (!New Jersey) (!These Days) (!Keep the Faith)

What instrument features prominently at the beginning of "Livin' on a Prayer"? (Talk box) (!Drums) (!Bass guitar) (!Keyboard)

What are the names of the two main characters in the song? (Tommy and Gina) (!Johnny and Mary) (!Danny and Lisa) (!Mickey and Jenna)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In what year was Bon Jovi formed? (1983) (!1980) (!1985) (!1978)

Which Bon Jovi song was the first single released from "Slippery When Wet"? (You Give Love a Bad Name) (!Wanted Dead or Alive) (!It's My Life) (!Have a Nice Day)

Who is the lead singer of Bon Jovi? (Jon Bon Jovi) (!Richie Sambora) (!Tico Torres) (!David Bryan)

Which instrument does Richie Sambora primarily play in the band? (Guitar) (!Bass) (!Drums) (!Keyboard)

What is a notable feature of Bon Jovi's music style? (Rock anthems with catchy choruses) (!Electronic dance music) (!Classical music influences) (!Rap and hip-hop elements)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is Tommy working on that's "down on his luck"? (Dock) (!Factory) (!Construction site) (!Car dealership)

What does Gina dream of? (Running away) (!Becoming a star) (!Opening a restaurant) (!Going back to school)

According to the song, what do Tommy and Gina "live for"? (Each other) (!The weekend) (!The dream) (!The moment)

What does the song say about prayers? (They're halfway there) (!They're just a shout away) (!They're what dreams are made of) (!They're the key to success)

How do Tommy and Gina make it through hard times according to the song? (By holding on to each other) (!By winning the lottery) (!By moving to a new city) (!By giving up)


Tommy Dock worker
Gina Dreams of running away
"Slippery When Wet" Album featuring the song
1986 Year of release
Talk box Instrument featured at the beginning

Open Tasks


  1. Research the impact of "Livin' on a Prayer" on 1980s rock music. How did it influence the genre?
  2. Create a playlist of songs that share themes with "Livin' on a Prayer."
  3. Draw or create a digital artwork inspired by the story of Tommy and Gina.


  1. Write a short essay on the significance of the talk box in rock music, using "Livin' on a Prayer" as a case study.
  2. Analyze the lyrics of "Livin' on a Prayer" and discuss the themes of hope and resilience.
  3. Create a short documentary about Bon Jovi, focusing on their music in the 1980s.


  1. Compose a song inspired by "Livin' on a Prayer," focusing on its themes of overcoming adversity.
  2. Conduct an interview with music fans about their interpretations of "Livin' on a Prayer" and its impact on their lives.
  3. Develop a music lesson plan for high school students based on the analysis of "Livin' on a Prayer."

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