Category Archives: Madonna

Guess the Next Madonna Timeline

The time has come for another iTunes Madonna shuffle, and the next entry on the Madonna Timeline. After ‘Body Shop’ strummed its last banjo note, I watched as the randomness of the universe moved to an epic entry, and one that occupies the top trio tier of my favorite Madonna songs. I suppose I should give the top-ten run-down at this point, as they’ve all been showcased here:

  1. Drowned World/Substitute for Love
  2. Like A Prayer
  3. {To Be Announced}
  4. Express Yourself
  5. Crazy For You
  6. Music
  7. Rebel Heart
  8. Material Girl
  9. Rain
  10. Ray of Light

The bottom five of these stellar selections are still pretty malleable and ever-shifting. An artist like Madonna moves and bends with the times, and her body of work does the same. Certain melodies linger, specific lyrics speak with greater resonance, and what moves me one day might not move me as much the next. As for #3, I’m going to take my time with it. (There’s not much of a guessing game here if you think about it.) It remains a classic, and has so many iterations and memories attached to it that it will require some organization (and even then it’s going to have to be a multi-part timeline). Passive readers and those uninterested in Madonna need not return!

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #141 – ‘Body Shop’ – Summer 2000/2015

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

WITH ALL THESE CURVES WE MIGHT NEED TO HAVE THE BRAKES LOOKED AT

SO POP THE HOOD, LET’S SEE WHAT’S GOOD, I NEED A TUNE-UP BAD

MY PRESSURE’S LOW, I’M ON A ROLL, BUT MY TRANSMISSION’S BLOWN

I HEARD A THUMP AND THEN A KNOCK…

I HEAR YOU WORK AT A BODY SHOP, I HEAR YOU WORK AT A BODY SHOP…

At the dawn of a millennium, the car speeds through the midnight hour of a summer’s night. Opening the passenger-side window, I reach my hand into the rush of air, reminded after all that there are molecules floating around us, and when propelled they have force and power and speed. We are on a back road in upstate New York, and Andy is driving us to his house. We only met a few weeks ago, and neither of us is sure where we are headed.

He looks over at me and gives a mischievous smile that I will soon come to love. He steps on the gas pedal and the car rockets forward. (I may have asked if he could get the car to 100 miles per hour, or he may have volunteered the information – either way, he was nearing that goal.) The thrill of a speeding car, the heat of a summer night, and the excitement of a burgeoning romance came together in that one moment. As I dared to hold my hand in the heady onslaught of wind, I watched us clock 100 MPH and felt the exhilaration of it all in one deliciously exhilarating moment.

YOU CAN KEEP IT OVERNIGHT, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU LIKE

WORKING OVERTIME, WORKING ON THE LINE…

This is one of the Madonna songs that reminds me of my husband, and whenever he goes on one of the WRPI Car Radio marathons I insist that they play it. It’s ‘Body Shop’, from Madonna’s latest album ‘Rebel Heart’. Much as I did with Andy, I loved it the first time I heard it. With all the cynicism and cruelty of our modern-day world, it is the ultimate escape song – a perfect accompaniment to a road trip, or any other car moment for that matter. The automobile double-entendres coming non-stop threaten to derail the proceedings, but the music grounds it in folky simplicity. It’s a unique one in the Madonna canon, both for its topic and its sonics. Along the lines of ‘Cherish’, ‘True Blue’ and ‘X-Static Process’, this is an effervescent bit of pop gorgeousness, a lithe little love song pared down to camp-fire-sing-along sweetness, but Madonna’s casual delivery lends it a surprising twist even this late in her career.

It was used to great effect on her ‘Rebel Heart Tour’, beginning the Rockabilly Romance section of the show and leading into a sweet ukulele-rendition of ‘True Blue’. Only Madonna, and perhaps Herb Ritts, could make a garage into such a sexy scene.

YOU CAN POLISH THE HEADLIGHTS, YOU CAN SMOOTH OUT THE FENDER

YOU CAN START THE IGNITION, WE CAN GO ON A BENDER.

STUCK TO THE SEAT, OUR BODY HEAT, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH ALL THIS ASS

LET’S SHIFT THE GEARS, GET OUTTA HERE, WE’RE STEPPING ON THE GAS

WE GOTTA BOUNCE, WE’RE GOING FAST, LET’S LET THE SEAT GO BACK

YOU TAKE THE WHEEL, I’LL SIT ON TOP

I HEAR YOU WORK AT A BODY SHOP,

I HEAR YOU WORK AT A BODY SHOP…

As for that night my future husband and I sped down the backroads of upstate New York, I remember it quite well, and the memory always brings a smile to my face. Once, we were young together. Seventeen years later my heart still sings for him.

I WOULD DRIVE TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR YOU

JUMPSTART MY HEART YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GOTTA DO

I WOULD DRIVE TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR YOU

CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE IT’S TRUE…

SONG #141 – ‘Body Shop’ – Summer 2000/2015

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #140 – ‘Express Yourself’ – Summer 1989, and ever since

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

COME ON GIRLS!

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?

CAUSE I GOT SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT

AND IT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS…

The time is right now.

The moment is at hand.

In a world where a madman runs the most powerful nation on earth, the only thing left to do is resist.

We can no longer rely upon the Democrats or the Republicans to put our country first.

It will be up to We the People to save America.

It’s what our Founding Fathers did, and it’s up to us to preserve our legacy and define our future.

In a makeshift protest gathering to that very end, Madonna recently performed an acoustic version of one of her most iconic anthems – ‘Express Yourself’ – and almost thirty years after its inception the words ring with just as much import and power as they did back then.

It was the Women’s March, and what had happened to bring it about had left many of us, including Madonna, feeling helpless and concerned. She knew that we had just given our country over to the tiny hands and inept care of a traitor. She went on to say a few disparaging remarks about our illegitimate President and his increasingly shady and lying White House. But underneath it all was her perennial message of self-empowerment, shaded with a newly-realized reliance on all of us working together for something better.

“Can you hear me? Are you ready to shake up the world? Welcome to the revolution of love. To the rebellion, to our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny. Where not just women are in danger, but all marginalized people. It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the fuck up. It seems as though we all slipped into a false sense of comfort, that justice would prevail and that good would prevail in the end. Well, good did not win this election. But good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning; the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here.”

DON’T GO FOR SECOND BEST BABY, PUT YOUR LOVE TO THE TEST

YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE HIM EXPRESS HOW HE FEELS

AND MAYBE THEN YOU’LL KNOW YOUR LOVE IS REAL.

The power of a good pop song lies in its ability to endure. To inspire copycats. To become a rallying cry for whatever emotion or event is on hand. Madonna channeled the greatness of this country’s most enduring freedom, and expressed her disdain for our current Clown-in-Chief in her own way. It’s been her way of life for the last three decades.

This is one of the Top 5 Madonna songs of all time in my humble estimation, joining the elite of the elite such as ‘Like A Prayer’, ‘Vogue’, and my personal fave ‘Drowned World/Substitute For Love’. It is Madonna’s greatest clarion call to emotional arms, a defiant anthem for self-empowerment, and a celebration of the love that we all deserve to so demand.

YOU DON’T NEED DIAMOND RINGS OR 18 KARAT GOLD

FANCY CARS THAT GO VERY FAST, YOU KNOW THEY NEVER LAST, NO, NO

WHAT YOU NEED IS A BIG STRONG HAND TO LIFT YOU TO YOUR HIGHER GROUND

MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A QUEEN ON A THRONE, MAKE HIM LOVE YOU TIL YOU CAN’T CALM DOWN. 

Summer 2012: The last time Madonna performed this song in a proper way was on her anger-fueled ‘MDNA Tour’ – it was the first ray of light in that dark night of majesty. Following a demon-filled hell-set of flames and fury, she suddenly appeared as a cheerleader, pom-poms and all, with a flying marching band above her head. As cartoon images of working women appeared behind her, she sang out her signature hit and seamlessly slipped into a bit of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ in the slyest shading of shade. Using the controversial rip-off as a way of reinventing her own song was genius; tacking on a bit of ‘She’s Not Me’ was the icing on an icy cake. Look it up, indeed.

I’d not really listened to the song in a while, but given this new context it fit into the proceedings quite well, coming as it did on the tour that supported her divorce-laden MDNA album. (Interesting to note that the original ‘Express Yourself’ was from her first divorce album, ‘Like A Prayer’.) It was clear that after all this time, Madonna’s main credo was still to be found in this 1989 classic, perhaps her most glaring antidote to the ‘Material Girl’ manifesto that had previously defined her early career.

DON’T GO FOR SECOND BEST BABY, PUT YOUR LOVE TO THE TEST

YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE HIM EXPRESS HOW HE FEELS

AND MAYBE THEN YOU’LL KNOW YOUR LOVE IS REAL.

Summer 2004: Madonna made ‘Express Yourself’ a military exercise in arms during the ‘American Life’ segment of 2004’s Reinvention Tour. Barking orders to her troop of gun-slinging gentlemen, she switched out the intro to ‘Come on boys, do you believe in love?’ and the gay guys saluted in screams and sing-a-longs. I was glad to see her resurrect the song from a too-long dry-spell, and it definitely deserved to be on one of Madonna’s more hit-heavy tours.

I have a distinct memory of strutting down the streets of Manhattan after this concert. Suzie and I had just parted ways at the subway stop, and with a sense of inspiration and empowerment I walked in the direction of my hotel. An insignificant moment: a moment alone in the city, feeling like I was on top of the world. I didn’t realize how young I still was. We never realize how young we are. On that night, the metropolis sparkled in hazy summer form, and the loneliness that sometimes accompanies a walk in New York had dissipated like the summer storm that struck right before the concert. In many ways I was still just a boy who believed in love, and at that high of a moment I wanted to sing about it too.

LONG-STEM ROSES ARE THE WAY TO YOUR HEART BUT HE NEEDS TO START WITH YOUR HEAD

SATIN SHEETS ARE VERY ROMANTIC, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN BED?

YOU DESERVE THE BEST IN LIFE, SO IF THE TIME ISN’T RIGHT THEN MOVE ON

SECOND-BEST IS NEVER ENOUGH, YOU’LL DO MUCH BETTER BABY ON YOUR OWN.

DON’T GO FOR SECOND BEST BABY, PUT YOUR LOVE TO THE TEST

YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE HIM EXPRESS HOW HE FEELS

AND MAYBE THEN YOU’LL KNOW YOUR LOVE IS REAL.

Fall 1993: “I’m gonna take you to a place you’ve never been before!” We go back in time further, to a moment when the world was a circus and Madonna was on her Girlie Show tour. I was in-between girlfriends. (Told you the world was a circus.) Madonna’s place in it was shifting too. Following the tumultuous ‘Sex’ book release and ‘Erotica’ album, she had been shaken off her pedestal by a fickle atmosphere that had been waiting for such a stumble since the ‘Like A Virgin‘ days. We have never been shy about our blood-thirst that way. The insanity of being Madonna came through on that tour, and in ‘Express Yourself’ it found disco glory and dance release. She descended from a giant disco ball, a future peek at ‘Future Lovers‘, then brought back the first of many disco infernos in a blonde afro wig, platform shoes and glammed-up sparkle. She was a showgirl no matter what, and at all costs.

As I made my way through the circus of my life, trying to make sense of my sexuality, trying to make everyone happy, trying to figure out how best to navigate the world of relationships and messy romances, I wanted to scream. When the world threatened to overwhelm like that, I found strange solace and release in that silly Girlie Show performance. She threw her hands up at the end of it, dancing with abandon on the end of the catwalk as longtime companions Niki Harris and Donna DeLory twirled behind her. “Cause you know they always do! (Every time!)”

AND WHEN YOU’RE GONE HE MIGHT REGRET IT

THINK ABOUT THE LOVE HE ONCE HAD

TRY TO CARRY ON BUT HE JUST WON’T GET IT

HE’LL BE BACK ON HIS KNEES, SO PLEASE…

It was too soon to ask, ‘Have I said too much?’ and at various points in our lives we said more than we should have. When taken to an extreme, expressing yourself is bound to get you in trouble. For all the times I felt my heart break, there were one or two others I had broken along the way. I didn’t see that then. It was better to be bold and brash and bitter, to banish the love before it stood a chance of turning to hate. There’s no denying that Madonna stomped on a few hearts along her rocky romantic journey. Taking that as license to do the same, I turned any hurt I had into rage.

I walked to the beat of the bridge of this song, gleefully imagining the regret those who passed me by would one day feel, stamping out all my anger and disappointment onto the sidewalks, defying anyone to get in my way, staring out at the world with a vicious and potent gaze of fierce vehemence, of battle-worn heartbreak, of the kind of madness that comes only from being denied love. Love was a battlefield and this was my battle cry.

DON’T GO FOR SECOND BEST BABY, PUT YOUR LOVE TO THE TEST

YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE HIM EXPRESS HOW HE FEELS

AND MAYBE THEN YOU’LL KNOW YOUR LOVE IS REAL.

Summer 1990: The Blond Ambition Tour.

A sweaty mass of oiled-up shirtless men.

The spinning cogs of a rainy metropolis.

A gold-chained monocle.

A pin-striped suit.

Jean-Paul Gaultier’s cone bra.

She opened the legendary Blond Ambition Tour with ‘Express Yourself’ – an extension of the original video for the song, brought to thrilling life with her soon-to-be-iconic back-up dancers. It would be captured for posterity in ‘Truth or Dare’, and like any good gay-guy-in-training, I promptly learned every choreographed step of the performance, and even found a monocle to make it legit down to the accessories. My stage-fright and shyness and social anxiety would never allow me to get very far, but behind the door of my bedroom – where “no one else can see” – I never tired of dancing there all by myself. Maybe one day I’d dance with someone else, but if the lesson of this song was anything, it was that I might be happy dancing alone. I might have to be.

{A fascinating side-note: the origins of that Blond Ambition performance actually run back to the MTV Video Music Awards in the fall of 1989. It was there where she first grabbed her crotch and, less-acknowledged, introduced a bit of voguing into the mix.}

Summer 1989: The follow-up to the ‘Like A Prayer’ single is released, along with the video.

The silky chartreuse dress.

The muscular dirty men.

The teasing lingerie peep-show.

The cat and the milk.

The monocle and the chains.

It was classic Madonna. All the elements that she would play with over the years were on full-display, all the kinks and giggles, the winks and nods, the tease and please. Above all else, it was a piece of pop art, the very best sort of video the medium could provide. With a few deft images, she pulled the gaze of men, women, and all of us in-between, marrying those Metropolis-fueled fantasies to a song and instantly creating a pop culture anthem that we’d be discussing decades later.

The original video was directed by David Fincher (who would later go on to direct ‘Vogue’ and the cinematic ‘Bad Girl’ along with an impressive body of films). It called out to my growing gay lexicon, resonating with something deep within me, something I could not name or categorize, but that I understood in a way that I’d never understand football or spitting or beer.

This was a world filled with beautiful men, commanding women, and an art-deco atmosphere that favored freedom above all else. The freedom to live, the freedom to love, the freedom to express yourself. It was a world captured by Herb Ritts, drawn by Keith Haring, and choreographed by Vincent Paterson. Informed by visionary gay sensibilities and the shirtless male models whose job it was to support and strut behind her, Madonna has always been at her best when surrounded by great gay men and women. Yet rather than emasculating those around her, it made everyone a little more powerful. Far from chaining herself, Madonna had found the ultimate freedom. “A lot of people don’t say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” For all those reasons, ‘Express Yourself’ was and remains a monumental signature song for Madonna – mantra and lifestyle and credo in one.

A kaleidoscope of memories is the gift of many a classic Madonna song, and the memory of ‘Express Yourself’ that may mean more to me than anything was made in the summer of its release. It is my first memory of the song. My brother and I were in the family station wagon, on one of the last vacations of our youth, heading to Cape Cod. Already we were growing apart – my brother and I, and all of my family from me, it seemed. Yet we stayed together that trip. I made a bet with my brother that Mo Vaughn, a famous baseball player at the time, was in this song. He knew the song, and knew that Vaughn wasn’t in it anywhere, so he challenged me and took the bait. I waited and sang/talked my way through the part in which he appeared: “So if the time isn’t right, then Mo Vaughn!” He cracked up laughing. There was, and there is, no happier moment than cracking my brother’s exhausted veneer of dealing with my zaniness and making him genuinely bust up laughing.

The wind rushed through the windows in that fourteenth August of my life, the splendid sea-scented wilderness of the Cape washed over us, and the sun drenched the inside of the station wagon. We were enjoying the final days of a summer and a childhood that would be gone too soon. Madonna had unwittingly charted of course for my adult life. No longer would I be a shy scared child, but I didn’t know that then. All I knew was that the sun was warm. My brother and I were laughing in the backseat of the station wagon. The rest of the season stretched out, school felt a far way off, and the funk-fortified groove of a Madonna song made my world happy for a little while longer.

“WITHOUT THE HEART,

THERE CAN BE

NO UNDERSTANDING

BETWEEN THE HAND

AND THE MIND.”

SONG #140 – ‘Express Yourself’ – Summer 1989, and ever since

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Do You Believe In Love?

“Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind.”

Before we bid adieu for our summer break from this blog, here’s a back-to-back classic post-pairing, as Madonna follows on the fashionably-attired heels of Tom Ford. This is a preview of the next Madonna Timeline, one of the last entries prior to my summer sabbatical, and it’s a doozy featuring one of the greatest Madonna songs of all-time: ‘Express Yourself.’

It’s impossible, at this stage of the timeline, and more importantly at this stage of Madonna’s storied life, to fully encapsulate all the nuances and memories involved in such an epic song. But I did my best, and if I’m hiding behind unexplained vague references, it’s only because I’m suddenly feeling quite shy. I’m already enjoying the fact that this curtain is almost down for the end of Act One. But one more Madonna Timeline before I go. We all deserve that.

Here’s a look at the song through the ages:

So many versions, so many dance routines, so many Madonnas. We shed our past selves like snakes shed skin, but while they get to leave their papery shell behind, we carry ours with us – as ghosts, demons, angels and protectors. ‘Express Yourself’ is one such entity. The second single from the ‘Like A Prayer‘ album, it’s the funkiest one of the bunch, dwarfed only by that indelible title track. (Only Madonna could trump her own work, making ‘Express Yourself’ into second-best, baby.) The rest of the album was pop confession perfection: ‘Til Death Do Us Part‘, ‘Promise to Try‘, ‘Cherish‘, ‘Dear Jessie‘, ‘Oh Father‘, ‘Keep It Together‘, ‘Pray for Spanish Eyes‘ and even the wretched ‘Act of Contrition.’ Even among those jewels, ‘Express Yourself was a stand-out.

Tonight, the Madonna Timeline returns one last time before we break – baby, ready or not!

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Another Look at Madonna at the Met

As predicted, my originally-unimpressed stance toward Madonna’s sartorial choices has softened and refined itself into one of gentle admiration. While I never hated it, I wasn’t instantly wowed, which is rare for a Madonna outfit. It’s sort of what happened last year, when it took a few viewings and a closer inspection to reveal the full glory of what was going on. In this instance, I was too quick to consider it a lesser rehash of one of her classic moments (in this case, the formidable get-up of her ‘American Life’ period). This is actually much softer than that, and her hair and makeup are flawless. I still think ill of the grill in her teeth (in certain photos this just reads as spinach), but her canteen was filled with a rosé, and that nifty fact makes up for all sorts of mis-steps in my mind. Created by Moschino, it’s better than this particular year, but in the end will likely filter down as one of the lackluster years. Still, Madonna in camouflage is better than no Madonna at all.

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #139 – ‘American Pie’ – Spring 2000

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

A LONG, LONG TIME AGO

I CAN STILL REMEMBER HOW THAT MUSIC USED TO MAKE ME SMILE

AND I KNEW THAT IF I HAD MY CHANCE, I COULD MAKE THOSE PEOPLE DANCE

AND MAYBE THEY’D BE HAPPY FOR A WHILE…

 

Chicago: April 2000

A new millennium had broken, and now my heart was following suit.

At the tail-end of my most serious relationship to date, I found myself about to depart Chicago, where I’d moved to make a life with my boyfriend. We’d been there almost a year – arriving at the end of summer, kicking leaves through that bright burning fall, and breaking up like patches of ice at the end of a difficult winter – but as I packed to leave one final time, I felt a tug at my heart at leaving the sprawling city where I hadn’t quite put down roots. Mostly, though, I felt the pinch of having to leave a man I still loved, even if I knew it would never work.

DID YOU WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE

AND DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN GOD ABOVE?

IF THE BIBLE TELLS YOU SO…

NOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL,

AND CAN MUSIC SAVE YOUR MORTAL SOUL

AND CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO DANCE REAL SLOW?

He had started sleeping in his own bed. There’s nothing lonelier than having someone sleep in another bed in the same house. Even being alone is less lonely than that.

I knew he’d made the right decision. In my heart of hearts I knew. But that didn’t make the hurt any less. That didn’t offer much consolation. Being right isn’t the best way to feel better about yourself.

I would hear him weeping quietly some nights after the decision was made. It made me feel better, that I wasn’t the only one in pain. ‘Good’, I thought to my eternal shame. ‘Good.’

Would it have been better if there had been someone else?

I wondered.

Once, a couple of weeks after we’d already broken up, I caught him looking back at a guy on the street and smiling. Filled with a rage I’d never known, and simultaneously shot through with the knowledge that this was really over, I almost fell to the ground, paralyzed by the sudden sting of it. Instead, I calmly said I’d see him later, then ducked into a store to collect myself. I never let on. He never noticed. We might have gone through life that way if he hadn’t been brave.

WELL, I KNOW THAT YOU’RE IN LOVE WITH HIM CAUSE I SAW YOU DANCIN’ IN THE GYM

YOU BOTH KICKED OFF YOUR SHOES, MAN, I DIG THOSE RHYTHM AND BLUES

I WAS A LONELY TEENAGE BRONCIN’ BUCK WITH A PINK CARNATION AND A PICK-UP TRUCK

BUT I KNEW THAT I WAS OUT OF LUCK THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

I STARTED SINGING…

BYE, BYE, MISS AMERICAN PIE

DROVE MY CHEVY TO THE LEVEE BUT THE LEVEE WAS DRY

AND GOOD OLD BOYS WERE DRINKIN’ WHISKEY AND RYE

SINGING THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE… THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE

This was a death for me. This would be the last time I’d ever give my heart so completely, the last time I’d ever enter into anything without a fortress strong, and a barricade. That time of innocence, that beautifully tender time of optimism and hopeful belief – I let it die. Maybe all my tears and sorrow were for that, and not just for him. Sadly, pain is pain, no matter what the reason or source, no matter how much one tries to talk or rationalize a way out of it.

Even today, I retain sole rights to the innermost chambers of my heart. Just in case.

I MET A GIRL WHO SANG THE BLUES

AND I ASKED HER FOR SOME HAPPY NEWS

BUT SHE JUST SMILED AND TURNED AWAY

I WENT DOWN TO THE SACRED STORE

WHERE I’D HEARD THE MUSIC YEARS BEFORE

BUT THE MAN THERE SAID THE MUSIC WOULDN’T PLAY

Suzie picked me up to drive all my stuff back to Boston. I showed her around Chicago briefly, but my heart wasn’t in it. There was nothing happy about this visit. As I brought her to various landmarks, I remembered how I had visited them myself, mostly alone, but sometimes with him. We had once watched the beluga whales at the aquarium, right after the break-up, and I remember wanting to cry in the blue-aqua light, peering in at such sadly-captive creatures, ghost-like in beauty and longing. Their perpetual smiles were the cruel masks of nature, and I remember reading something that said the corresponding alchemy of laughing and crying were quite similar in make-up. Again, understanding something does not always make it easier. If anything, you’re at a greater loss.

WELL NOW, IN THE STREETS THE CHILDREN SCREAMED

THE LOVERS CRIED, AND THE POETS DREAMED

BUT NOT A WORD WAS SPOKEN

THO CHURCH BELLS ALL WERE BROKEN

AND THE THREE MEN I ADMIRE THE MOST

THE FATHER, SON AND THE HOLY GHOST

THEY CAUGHT THE LAST TRAIN FOR THE COAST

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

We rented a truck and somehow found our way back to the apartment in the days prior to GPS and cel phones. I ran up and down the three flights of stairs a number of times with Suzie and him, and when the last item was loaded Suzie got into the truck and waited. I went back one final time. There was nothing much to say. It had been my longest and most serious relationship. It had been the one I thought would last. It had been… the one. I had no contingency plan, no other way to go.

We hugged. He said we did good. In the kitchen by the back door, we stood beside one another. I had made him dinner there. On chilly nights when the heat wasn’t enough I’d stood in front of the oven trying to get warm. Nothing very momentous had happened in that spot. Until now.

Somehow, by the grace of MapQuest or Suzie, we found our way out. Chicago was entering my rear-view mirror, a vestige of the past, and I didn’t look back until we were well beyond me being able to see anything.

WE STARTED SINGIN’

BYE, BYE, MISS AMERICAN PIE

DROVE MY CHEVY TO THE LEVEE BUT THE LEVEE WAS DRY

AND GOOD OLD BOYS WERE DRINKIN’ WHISKEY AND RYE

SINGING THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE

THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE

As for this cover of the classic Don McLean song (reportedly written in nearby Saratoga Springs, NY) Madonna did reasonably well at least according to some critics (and McLean himself, who gave her version glowing remarks). It didn’t catch on with the public, but the beautiful video, William Orbit’s luscious production work, and Madonna’s own creamy vocals (backed by Rupert Everett no less, when they were still on speaking terms) worked to create a reprise of musical Americana. The second of her movie-music bridge songs between ‘Ray of Light’ and ‘Music’ (the first being ‘Beautiful Stranger’), ‘American Pie’ was a rare non-event in Madonna’s lexicon. Intended to cross-promote her appearance in ‘The Next Best Thing’ (whose brilliant soundtrack had her prints – and two songs – all over it) ‘Pie’ found her biding her time until Mirwais arrived on the scene.

I was waiting for something else.

Sadness to pass…

Forgiveness to come…

Healing to happen.

BYE, BYE, MISS AMERICAN PIE

DROVE MY CHEVY TO THE LEVEE

BUT THE LEVEE WAS DRY

AND GOOD OLD BOYS WERE DRINKIN’ WHISKEY AND RYE

SINGING THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE

THIS’LL BE THE DAY THAT I DIE

WE STARTED SINGIN’

WE STARTED SINGIN’

WE STARTED SINGIN’

WE STARTED SINGIN’

SONG #139 – ‘American Pie’ – Spring 2000

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Four… Four

To make up for this morning’s relatively scathing indictment of Madonna’s ‘I’m So Stupid’, I’m looking back at the date and recalling a happier Madonna moment – the release of ‘4 Minutes’ with Justin Timberlake. It came out at this time of the year, when the number ‘4’ was all the rage – for the month as well as today’s date. It signaled another musical make-over for Madonna, who found herself influenced by the then-ubiquitous work of Timbaland and Timberlake, and though some found her just behind the trend, it was actually a fun fit. But I’m re-writing what has already been covered. Here’s the link in 4…3…2…1.

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #138 – ‘I’m So Stupid’ – Spring 2003

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

If it seems like we’ve just had a Madonna Timeline entry, it’s because we have. For songs such as this 2003 album cut, however, it’s not worth the hype or build-up. Despite my lifelong standom, I do not love absolutely each and every Madonna song. That would be crazy. Almost every album has at least one clunker in the bunch, and ‘I’m So Stupid’ is the weakest link of 2003’s ‘American Life’ opus. In fact, much of the malignment of that otherwise-promising album should be sourced to ‘Stupid’ – it really is that bad. At the time it was released, I was just so happy for new Madonna music that I found some redeeming bits in ‘ISS’, but time has not proven them worthy of redemption. Anyway, here’s a filler moment, and a filler post, to tide us over until the next moment of greatness. 

‘CAUSE I USED TO LIVE

IN A FUZZY DREAM

AND I WANTED TO BE

LIKE ALL THE PRETTY PEOPLE

 

I’M SO STUPID

‘CAUSE I USED TO LIVE

IN A FUZZY DREAM

AND I USED TO BELIEVE

IN A PRETTY PICTURES

THAT WERE ALL AROUND ME

BUT NOW I KNOW FOR SURE

THAT I WAS STUPID

SONG #138 – ‘I’m So Stupid’ – Spring 2003

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #137 – ‘Swim’ Spring/Summer 1998

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

PUT YOUR HEAD ON MY SHOULDER BABY

THINGS CAN’T GET ANY WORSE

NIGHT IS GETTING COLDER SOMETIMES

LIFE FEELS LIKE IT’S A CURSE

Water. It’s a natural element that Madonna has employed as a motif in various manners over the years. For her ‘Cherish’ video she went all wet and beachy-keen cavorting on the California coast to a trio of mermen brought to life by the magnificent Herb Ritts. A few years later she got even wetter, in lyrical and literal form, for the ‘Rain’ song and video off her “wet and a mess” ‘Erotica’ album.

Water is life, and Madonna turned to it when she needed to bathe in forgiveness and redemption. The ‘Secret’ video featured a baptism of sorts, while ‘Take A Bow‘ showed her as font of sadness, pouring forth salty tears from mascara-stained eyes. Water flowed through her gorgeous and dream-like ‘Bedtime Story’ video, yet all of this was but a hint of the flood to come.

I CAN’T CARRY THESE SINS ON MY BACK

DON’T WANT TO CARRY ANY MORE

I’M GONNA CARRY THIS TRAIN OFF THE TRACK

I’M GONNA SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

CRASH TO THE OTHER SHORE

SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

1998’s ‘Ray of Light’ album was drenched in the stuff. From opening track ‘Drowned World: Substitute for Love‘ (and the similarly-monikered tour that later followed) to the rain-matted finale ‘Mer Girl’, Madonna said she only realized in retrospect how much water imagery there was on the album. It’s there in ‘The Power of Goodbye‘ video, in the salty tears of her eyes or the salty water of a devouring ocean. William Orbit’s production also had a very liquid feel to it, with Madonna nicknaming him ‘Billy Bubbles’ for the various sound effects that he produced, lending everything a lusciously shimmering quality, reverberating with fullness and bubble-like beauty. It held dangers too, like water itself. A life-giving force, it could also take as much away.

CHILDREN KILLING CHILDREN WHILE THE

STUDENTS RAPE THEIR TEACHERS

COMETS FLY ACROSS THE SKY

WHILE THE CHURCHES BURN THEIR PREACHERS

WE CAN’T CARRY THESE SINS ON OUR BACK

DON’T WANT TO CARRY ANYMORE

WE’RE GONNA CARRY THIS TRAIN OFF THE TRACK

WE’RE GONNA SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

CRASH TO THE OTHER SHORE

SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

Tell the rain not drop,” she pleaded in ‘Don’t Tell Me’, the last water reference she made for a few years, but soon it returned, like a spring rain. It played a part in her ‘Sticky & Sweet Tour‘ performance of ‘Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You‘ and the ‘Here Comes the Rain Again/Rain’ intro. Even as recently as her last album (‘Rebel Heart’) Madonna has invoked the multiple meanings of H2O, particularly in ‘Holy Water’ and ‘Wash All Over Me’. In ‘Devil Pray’ she laments, “I’ve been swimming in the ocean, til I almost drowned.” It’s fertile artistic ground, and she’ll likely keep going to that well until it runs dry.

LET THE WATER WASH OVER YOU

WASH ALL OVER YOU

SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

SO THAT WE CAN BEGIN AGAIN

WASH AWAY ALL OUR SINS

CRASH TO THE OTHER SHORE

I CAN’T CARRY THESE SINS ON MY BACK

DON’T WANT TO CARRY ANY MORE

I’M GONNA CARRY THIS TRAIN OFF THE TRACK

I’M GONNA SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

CRASH TO THE OTHER SHORE

SWIM TO THE OCEAN FLOOR

SONG #137 – ‘Swim’ – Spring/Summer 1998

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Her Story

Madonna’s latest magazine spread also yielded a video project that is among her most beautiful and haunting. It put me in mind of some of her greatest artistic moments – the ones that turned themselves into cultural milestones, not just for Madonna, but for the landscape of entertainment and provocation. Here are a few that the Madonna Timeline has touched upon.

First up is an apt song for this time of the year, the majestic ‘Like A Prayer’ and its accompanying gospel heights.

Salvation came the year she turned 40 and released the ‘Ray of Light’ album.

From the ‘Inside Out’ she examined each step of her life.

For someone who doesn’t like to look back, she made a promise in ‘I’ll Remember‘.

She’l teach you how to… well, ‘Erotica‘.

Just watch her burn, and ‘Let It Will Be’.

Summer makes musical memories, especially when ‘This Used To Be My Playground‘ comes on the radio.

Who wants to get high? ‘Rainbow High.’

Everybody’s living in a material world, and she was the original ‘Material Girl’ – you know that we are…

She don’t wanna hear your ‘Words‘.

Deeper and Deeper’ and sweeter and sweeter – never gonna hide it again.

 

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The Latest Covers

Nobody knows better than Madonna what it’s like to be on the cover of a magazine, and she scored three more with Vogue Germany this month. They are each stunning, as much for the airbrushing as anything else I suppose, but beauty comes in forms fabricated and faux, and if I were on the cover I’d want as much help as possible. It’s time for Madonna to come out with a new project soon, as she’s been relatively quiet since the Rebel Heart Tour ended. (Adopting two kids takes away from creative endeavors too.) Anyway, on this special Madonna Anniversary day, take a look at the trio of exquisite images on the cover of the magazine that gave her a seminal hit. Strike a pose!

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A Light Anniversary

March 3rd is a holiday of sorts for any proper Madonna fan, as this is the day she released what I consider to be her finest album, ‘Ray of Light’. I won’t get into the story I’ve already told a thousand times on how I waiting in line at Tower Records in Boston to get it, I’ll merely link to it within this anniversary post. Better yet, and far easier in my sickly state, I’ll link to the songs from that album that have already appeared in the Madonna Timeline. Happy Anniversary, ‘Ray of Light’ – I knew you would last.

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #136 – ‘Graffiti Heart’

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

IF GRAFFITI ON THE WALL CHANGED ANYTHING AT ALL THEN IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL.

IF SCARS COULD GO AWAY, WHAT WOULD YOUR BODY SAY, DON’T EVER HIDE YOUR FEELINGS.

DON’T EVER TRY TO TAKE MY FREEDOM, YOUR IMPERFECTIONS, THIS WORLD NEEDS THEM.

A throwaway bonus track from the brilliant ‘Rebel Heart’ opus, ‘Graffiti Heart’ is a wild ride, beginning with a sweet sing-song melody before transforming into a gloriously racing whirligig that reaches breakneck speed and velocity. It’s got a retro-80’s vibe to it, and the friends and figures Madonna invoke – Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat for example – are perfectly suited to its raw reminiscence.

Madonna once told the story of when she first arrived in New York City in her early twenties. Intent on being heard, intent on being seen, intent on being someone, she said she would walk through the city staring everyone straight in the eye, willing herself to be remembered by them because she “was going to be somebody”. We should have known then…

WHAT DO YOU GOT, SHOW ME YOUR BASQUIAT

HE DIDN’T KEEP IT ALL TO HIMSELF

EVEN WITH KEITH OUT ON THE STREET,

HE DIED FIGHTING SO YOU CAN DO IT AS WELL 

It was a different world, a different time. As raw and gritty as it may have been, there was a freshness tinged with innocence at the start of the 80’s, but maybe that’s just my nostalgic childhood shading things into something sweeter than they ever were. But if Madonna could feel like a virgin as she embarked upon her world-rattling career, why shouldn’t the rest of us join in on the shiny and new?

LOVE IS PAIN AND PAIN IS ART!

SHOW ME YOUR GRAFFITI HEART

LOVE IS PAIN AND PAIN IS ART!

SHOW ME YOUR GRAFFITI HEART

Madonna has spent a lifetime surrounding herself with artists – gypsies, shape-shifters, chameleons, and tricksters – soaking up their inspiration and creativity, taking it in and transforming it into something new, or at least hybridized. Singers and actors and writers and models have remained constant in her world, and after three decades of success as an artist, she in turn has inspired others. It can’t be said that she hasn’t been selfish at times – a great degree of that is necessary to have remained such a potent force for such a long time – but as she eases into this stage of her career, the collaborations and investments in artists other than herself are becoming more apparent.

On her recent Rebel Heart Tour, during the emotional centerpiece of the show (an almost-acoustic straight-forward reading of ‘Rebel Heart’), she introduced a series of fan-made art of her various guises through the years. As much as Madonna has made her relationship with her fans the one real lasting romance in her life, her acknowledgment of that in her concerts and interviews has always come off as somewhat trite and obligatory. This brief moment of sharing the stage with those who have loved her the most was one of the more authentic and genuine shows of affection that she’s given to us over the years.

FRIDA SHOWED HER FEELINGS, PAINTING FROM THE CEILING BACK IN THE BEGINNING.

NOTHING’S WHAT IT SEEMS, SHE PAINTED ALL HER DREAMS, SHE MADE HER OWN REALITY.

DON’T EVER TRY TO TAKE MY FREEDOM, YOUR IMPERFECTIONS, THIS WORLD NEEDS THEM.

‘Graffiti Heart’ does a little bit of that too. Madonna is nothing if not the lucky vehicle for her muses. This song brings back the early eagerness and hunger for making an impact through artistic expression. It’s very much a sentiment of youth, but one that Madonna has managed to retain throughout her ever-extending run. Her best moments come when she is thirsty for that explosion of art and music, when she remembers walking down the streets of New York wanting nothing more than to make a memorable mark.

Whether you love or hate her, you cannot deny that Madonna has contributed a magnificent amount of pop art to our culture. Her amalgamation of music and image paved the way for every major artist today, and she made herself and her image into her own work of art. The world will never be like it was in the 80’s, when Madonna and Michael Jackson and Prince could hold the pop culture trinity in their hands and gain the collective focus of a moment. We have splintered into too many pieces, with too many options, and it’s unlikely that any single entity will hold the rapt attention of the world as a whole in such a manner again. That won’t stop Madonna from trying, and every now and then she’ll do something (like calling out the so-called president on his bullshit) that acts as a lightning rod moment.

THEY CAN BREAK DOWN AND TAKE DOWN

BUT THEY CAN’T DESTROY OUR HISTORY

THIS WALL, IT MUST FALL

TO MAKE ROOM FOR OUR MASTERPIECE

She’s never been afraid to express herself. There is a boldness and a rebellion to that, especially at a time when some of us are being told to be quiet. It is the job of the artist to push against that, no matter what the consequences. Our graffiti hearts bleed a little every time we put our art out there. It’s something the more wisely-guarded and private people never have to experience, and for every rare success there are a multitude of painful failures and misunderstood endeavors that have left their scars. We cry, we wail, we scream, we fight, and in the end we are battle-worn and sometimes defeated. A true artist doesn’t stop there, though. We rally through. We create until the death – of our impulses, our visions, or the imperfect vessels of our human form.

IF GRAFFITI ON THE WALL CHANGED ANYTHING AT ALL THEN IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL.

SONG #135 – ‘Graffiti Heart’

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #135 – ‘Queen’

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

It will never rain, never rain

If the great sky falls down, no rain, no more rain

Blood’s pouring down, high alert, we watch it burn

It’s a world undeceived, sirens, sirens

Everyone’s whispering, the CIA, MI6

Hire the unknown

We’re at the end of days

For heaven’s sake

 

The queen’s been slain

She’ll never rule again

The queen’s been slain

She’ll never rule again

Your queen’s been slain

Queen’s been slain

This lackluster Madonna Timeline entry was one of the ‘Rebel Heart’ bonus tracks, and it probably should have been left off that hodge-podge too as it is a dirge-like bummer of a song. I suppose it holds a certain power and grace, offering a hint of royalty and a time of manners and honor and respect long gone. It was also reportedly written in honor of Princess Diana, which is neither here nor there.

I don’t much care for it, and that’s ok. The bridge is trying at best, echoing another sub-par work ‘Hey You’ (which is about as exciting as its title suggests). The rest is all gloom and doom, and we’ve had enough of that for the moment. Let’s fast-forward this – it’s one big meh…

Who will take her place?

It’s written on everyone’s face

The truth is slowly dawning

I hear tomorrow calling

Some things can’t be replaced

The realization of a new generation

On the eve of imitation

All gone, overthrown

 

The queen’s been slain

She’ll never rule again

The queen’s been slain

She’ll never rule again

Your queen’s been slain

Queen’s been slain

 

May God bless you all.

SONG #135 – ‘Queen’ 

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #134 – ‘Inside Out’

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

HOLD ME CLOSER, FULL DISCLOSURE

LET IT OUT, LET ME IN

ON YOUR KNEES, CONFESS TO ME

EVERY DOUBT, EVERY SIN

THAT’S HOW LOVE’S SUPPOSED TO BE

Every work day begins with the same ritual: the walk from the car to the office building. Whether I’m being dropped off or parking on site, there is always The Walk. Throughout a decade and a half of state office work, I’ve had a number of variations on this theme, but The Walk has remained constant. From a parking lot where my Subaru would bake in the hot sun, to a comparatively luxurious covered-garage where the path to my desk was entirely shielded from the outside weather, The Walk was different for every location, but its essence was the same. These days I’m lucky enough to be driven to the side of my office building, where I make a brief but important fifty foot trek to the door. It’s short, but a lot happens in that small distance.

I WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALL ABOUT

YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU’RE BROKEN DOWN

LET YOUR WALLS CRUMBLE TO THE GROUND

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

EVERY SCAR THAT YOU TRY TO HIDE

ALL THE DARK CORNERS OF YOUR MIND

SHOW ME YOURS AND I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

It is here where I truly “dress” for the day. No matter what extravagance I’ve draped over my body, no matter which coat and bag I’ve chosen as armor, I’m not completely dressed until The Walk. You see, or you don’t see in this case, the most important thing a person can wear is not on the outside. It’s how you carry yourself. Do you believe enough in who you are to wear whatever you want? Or do you falter and waver, relying on a power suit or black dress to instill the confidence you lack? To me it depends on the day. Sometimes I am that strong, sometimes I’m not. No matter which it might be, I take a moment on The Walk to prepare myself for whatever may come. In the darkness of a winter morning or the bright emboldening sun of the summer, in the balmy humidity of August or the dry chill of February, I make The Walk, and try to decipher a little bit more of who we dare to be, and why.

LET’S DISCOVER ONE ANOTHER

KISS ME HERE, TOUCH ME THERE,

PUREST FORM OF ECSTASY

TRUTH OR DARE, DON’T BE SCARED

LET ME SOLVE YOUR MYSTERY

I summon the spirits of Miranda Priestley, Norma Desmond, and Margo Channing. I conjure the regal bearing of the kings and queens that history has worshipped and deified. I become imperious, haughty, untouchable and divine. With each step I inhale the brisk, blunt, bold persona I so desperately want to embody, and I build myself up to mythic stature through sheer force of will. If I believe it, they might believe it too. By the time I enter the building, I am, in my own mind and countenance, a formidable force. If only a fraction of that comes through, I might be all right. I might make it through the day.

I WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALL ABOUT

YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU’RE BROKEN DOWN

LET YOUR WALLS CRUMBLE TO THE GROUND

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

EVERY SCAR THAT YOU TRY TO HIDE

ALL THE DARK CORNERS OF YOUR MIND

SHOW ME YOURS AND I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

On most work days I take my lunch alone. I prefer it that way. In my line of work I have to deal with people all day – phone calls, meetings, discussions (even going to the bathroom can be a social booby trap) – so when I get a break I revel in whatever moments of solitude I can find. Yet even on my own, I’m keenly aware of how people react to me. I notice every furtive stare, every stolen glance, and I’m extremely, though inwardly, self-conscious about it. It’s a vicious little cycle – in paying attention to others, I’m deflected into paying attention to myself, which, contrary to all apparent evidence and popular belief, is not how I prefer to spend my time.

LET’S CROSS THE LINE

SO FAR WE WON’T COME BACK

CAN’T READ YOUR MIND

I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO ASK

CYNICAL SMILE

TIME TO TAKE OFF YOUR MASK

I’M ON YOUR SIDE

SO LET ME LOVE YOU

LET ME LOVE YOU

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Last week, for some unknown reason, I didn’t notice the people noticing me. A few surely were, I did catch one or two, mostly because I had a ridiculously over-the-top coat on. But then I looked down at the sidewalk, and then up at the buildings and storefronts, and when I stopped noticing them noticing me, I was overcome with a wild sense of relief, and a wonderful feeling of freedom. ‘When one’s mind is on one’s own business…’

Maybe it’s a sign of growing up. Maybe it’s a sign of authentic confidence. Maybe it’s a sign of genuinely not giving a shit what others think. When you play at something long enough, it tends to come true. 

I WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALL ABOUT

YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU’RE BROKEN DOWN

LET YOUR WALLS CRUMBLE TO THE GROUND

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

What does this have to do with a Madonna song? I’m not entirely sure. Madonna has always been about self-reflection/self-obsession, and a song like ‘Inside Out’ can be read as a simple ode of love to another, or as a way of getting to know your own self better. It’s one of the more majestic cuts from the ‘Rebel Heart’ opus, a beautiful power ballad with a meandering bass line and magnificent bridge. Pop perfection in a world that has lost touch with melody and song structure. At a more risky and romantic time, I would have given myself to this song, and to whomever held my interest at the time. I’m older now, and yearnings have quieted into something resembling sense.

EVERY SCAR THAT YOU TRY TO HIDE

ALL THE DARK CORNERS OF YOUR MIND

SHOW ME YOURS AND I’LL SHOW YOU MINE

LET ME LOVE YOU FROM THE INSIDE OUT

I still make The Walk every morning I go to work, but some days I forget myself, not bothering to build up the image that I expect others have of me. I forget to channel Madonna and Miranda and Margo, and I walk in without artifice or attitude, content to study the air, seeking a hint of spring, searching for something bigger than myself.

SONG #134 – ‘Inside Out’ 

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