The Madonna Timeline: Song #45– ‘Miles Away’ – Summer 2009

{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 just woke up from a fuzzy dream,
You never will believe the things that I have seen,
I looked in the mirror and I saw your face,
You looked right through me, you were miles away…
All my dreams, they fade away,
I’ll never be the same.
If you could see me the way you see yourself,
I can’t pretend to be someone else.

The iPod must be on a ‘Hard Candy’ sugar rush, as it has moved from ‘Beat Goes On’ to ‘Miles Away’ for this Madonna Timeline moment. I think it is the sentiment that I can relate to most in this song, much more-so than the mediocre music. (Apologies for the lengthy absence of a Madonna Timeline post – it fell by the wayside as I was championing marriage equality.)

You always love me more, miles away,
I hear it in your voice, miles away,
You’re not afraid to tell me, miles away,
I guess we’re at our best when we’re miles away…
When no one’s around and I have you here,
I begin to see the picture, it becomes so clear,
You always have the biggest heart
When we’re six thousand miles apart.
Too much of no sound,
Uncomfortable silence can be so loud
Those three words are never enough
When it’s long-distance love…

‘Miles Away’ deals with the push and pull of a long-distance relationship, or a relationship that benefits from distance. It is meaty territory, but Madonna just nibbles around the heart of the matter without offering any truly personal morsels of revelation. She saved that for her live performance of the song on the ‘Sticky and Sweet Tour’.

The main memory I have of this song is watching her perform it in Boston, a day or two before official news of her divorce from Guy Ritchie made headlines. As she began strumming the opening notes on her guitar, she dedicated it to the “emotionally-retarded” – a rare, personal (if politically incorrect) glimpse of bitterness on a stage in front of thousands. That’s what they mean by “steely vulnerability”.

I’m all right,
Don’t be sorry, but it’s true,
When I’m gone you’ll realize
That I’m the best thing to happen to you.
So far away, so far away,
So far away, so far away…
Song #45: ‘Miles Away’ –Summer 2009
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