The Madonna Timeline: Song #47– ‘Spanish Lesson’ – 2008

{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 was a tradition that started with ‘La Isla Bonita’ and the True Blue album. From that moment on, in every studio record until 1992, Madonna had featured one Spanish/Latin-influenced track. The tradition continued with “Pray for Spanish Eyes” on Like A Prayer, and reached its nadir with “I’m Going Bananas” on I’m Breathless. Even “Deeper and Deeper” from Erotica had a tinge of Flamenco guitar in it – but since that infamous album, Madonna has kept the kitschy Spanish numbers off her studio albums (I’m intentionally ignoring everything to do with Evita).

From 1998 through 2007, she left the Spanish lullabies to Ricky Martin and Shakira, as she recharged with electronica and dance music. That changed with her last studio album, Hard Candy. Suddenly it was 1986 all over again, as “Spanish Lesson” found her back in the Spanglish department, loosely translating common phrases (not exactly accurately –“Mucho gusto means I’m welcome to you” – umm, it does?) and turning up the silly factor: “If you do your homework, maybe I will give you more/ When you do your homework, get up on the dance-floor.” Yeah, it’s pretty painful. I won’t prolong the agony, and I won’t re-print any of the inane lyrics.

About the only personal memory I have of this song is hitting the ‘Next’ button in the car or on the stereo. I assume it made it into the iPod in the first exciting flush of a new album (2008). I really need to update this thing. And Madonna really needsa to get back into the studio… oh wait – she just did! The world has been waiting…

Song #47– ‘Spanish Lesson’ – 2008

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