The Madonna Timeline: Song #59 – ‘Like It Or Not’ – Winter 2006

{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.}

You can call me a sinner
Or you can call me a saint
Celebrate me for who I am
Dislike me for what I ain’t

The iPod has selected ‘Like It Or Not’ from 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor album for the first Madonna Timeline entry of 2012. This one bucks the last-song-of-the-album-that-usually-sucks tradition Madonna has sometimes employed (‘Act of Contrition’, ‘Gone’, ‘Easy Ride’). Filled with confidence and matter-of-fact defiance, it haughtily exhibits the classic Madonna-mantra of self-empowerment, but after twenty years into her career it wasn’t so much an act of haughtiness as simple truth.

Put me up on a pedestal
Or drag me down in the dirt
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But your names will never hurt.

It’s an excellent starter for 2012, a year which will usher in a brand new Madonna album (her first on a new record label), a Superbowl performance, and the wide opening of her directorial effort W.E. Once again, we seem “poised on the precipice” of greatness, and she will be the one to take us there.

I’ll be the garden
You’ll be the snake
All of my fruit is
Yours to take
Better the devil that you know
Your love for me will grow

Even when it seems she has nothing left to prove, there are those who would not have her around at all, so this is a necessary reminder of her power and relevance, her lasting contributions, and the promise of so much more to come.

Her live performance of this song, on the Confessions Tour from 2006, is a simple, straight-forward delivery with some serious strutting, and a chair straight out of Cabaret. It’s Madonna at her best, connecting with her audience, but just as happy being alone and doing her own thing.

Because this is who I am
You can like it or not
You can love me or leave me,
But I’m never gonna stop.
Song #59 – ‘Like It Or Not’ – Winter 2006
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