The Madonna Timeline: Song #18 – ‘Supernatural’


{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.}

I wake up with your fragrance and it’s all over me
What cologne do you wear?

The ipod has chosen its first B-side Madonna song in the form of ‘Supernatural’. Thematically, this is more of a Halloween song than a Christmas ditty, but since it arrived in December of 1991, it has the holiday connotation, whether fitting or not. I ordered it from some overseas mail-order company (it was actually a 3 inch CD – the cutest little thing, really.) As the B-side to ‘Cherish’, it actually was released a year or so prior to when I got around to receiving it.

At this point in my life I was more concerned with fish and Madonna than romance, so the supernatural love story alluded to in the lyrics didn’t impress me much.

You transcendentally imposed yourself upon my bed,
You know you didn’t say very much…

Around this time I had also ordered a batch of live rock, so this song brings me back to the saltwater fish tank that housed a Heniochus and a lionfish, along with three (then two, then none) damsels. It was as exciting and pathetic as it sounds, with much of my world revolving around a closed-off bedroom, Madonna music, and an unruly head of hair that hadn’t discovered the proper products yet.

You’re not demanding for a man, that’s really quite rare
You’re not the least bit obsessed with your hair
You’re not upset when I come home later than ten
For a ghost you’re a very good friend.

I felt estranged from my whole family, isolated and powerless, scared and lonely, and my only outlet was in letters and mix tapes to Suzie, who was spending a year abroad in Denmark. She was one of my only lifelines – she and my friend Ann. Without them, I don’t know what I would have done. The world was closing in around me, and it was a world in which I played no real part. I longed for something else, somewhere that I belonged – another world perhaps – but ‘Supernatural’ was not cutting it for inspiration.

I had such high hopes for this ‘Like A Prayer’ out-take, and it was the first time I realized that some things are better left on the cutting room floor. Not that this song doesn’t have its own Halloween charm, I just couldn’t get into it at the time. It took a few more questionable B-sides before I would truly get it into my head that not every Madonna song is a keeper (‘Goodbye to Innocence’ anyone?)

A ghost baby? 
Song #18: ‘Supernatural’ –December 1991
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