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The Madonna Timeline: Song #61 – ‘Deeper & Deeper’ – Fall/Winter 1992/93

{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 can’t help falling in love
I fall deeper and deeper the further I go
Kisses sent from heaven above
They get sweeter and sweeter
The more that I know.

It was a cold winter night, and the big Victorian house was drafty at best. Downstairs, the wind swept by stained glass, while the wrap-around front porch offered little protection. Despite this, the dark home offered warmth and refuge, the velvet red wall-paper in some rich damask pattern winding through the first few grand rooms. This was Suzie’s house, where she grew up, and where my family spent all of our holidays. It was the repository of memories old and happy, sad and pronounced, silly and momentous. On the night at hand – sometime in late 1992 or early 1993 – Madonna had just released ‘Deeper and Deeper’ from the infamous Erotica album, and we were convening for a Friday or Saturday night of nothing. No more than seventeen years old, we had no idea what the outside world held in store, nor how protected we were in that old Victorian.

When you know the notes to sing,
You can sing most anything,
That’s what my Mama told me.
Round and round and round you go
Where you find love you’ll always know
I let my father mold me.

Deeply-stained wood framed everything, and the staircase wound round and round, higher and higher, or deeper and deeper. A small group of us wandered the dim corridors, peering into darkened rooms, seeking out the refuge of light in the kitchen, or the hidden recesses of secret passageways. Empty bedrooms, cold tiled bathrooms, and the call of darker secrets in the attic high and beyond lent the evening a slant of mystery. The flickering light of a few candles fluttered on the velvet walls, while shadows grew and receded.

Daddy couldn’t be all wrong
And my Mama made me learn this song
That’s why I can’t help falling in love
I fall deeper and deeper the further I go
Kisses sent from heaven above
They get sweeter and sweeter
The more that I know.

A bit of music played, someone did a little dance, and I sat on the couch and watched it all unfold, the only boy among all the girls, accepted as one of them, my gayness already entrance to the world of women. I leaned back and let my eyes close. A copy of the Sex book sat on the floor, and someone rifled idly through it. Ripples of laughter echoed from the kitchen down the hallway. Surrounded by ladies-in-the-making, I felt completely at home. No matter what else happened – and much did – I would always feel that comfort with them.

All is fair in love she said
Think with your heart not with your head
That’s what my Mama told me
All the little things you do
Will end up coming back to you
I let my father mold me…

How I loved those girls, and how loved they made me feel. When you took away the sexual tension between two people of the opposite sex (as being gay tends to do), it’s much easier to get along and become great friends. I wasn’t there yet though, and so we danced upon the rollicking sea of teenage hormones and the taste of freedom on the tips of our tongues.

Daddy couldn’t be all wrong
And my Mama made me learn this song
That’s why I can’t help falling in love
I fall deeper and deeper the further I go
Kisses sent from heaven above
They get sweeter and sweeter
The more that I know.

They would grow into women before my eyes. One would fuck me, one would hold me, one would laugh at me, one would make me laugh, and one would love me for life. Through it all, the woman to whom I compared all women sang her siren song.

Someone said that romance was dead
And I believed it instead of remembering
What my Mama told me, Let my father mold me
Then you tried to hold me
You remind me what they said
This feeling inside, I can’t explain
But my love is alive
And I’m never gonna hide it again.

The most fun song on the Erotica album whirled its dancing beat, and on the television upstairs the video played in an amber-lit room. On-screen, the candles and the incense glowed, the whole sexy Madonna mystique was in full effect, with echoes of Dietrich in her blonde-afro wig, and waves of Andy Warhol rolled through the disco party scene. There were drugs and danger, and the master re-arranger, and then, finally, for the first time, Madonna quotes herself, and the then-rather-recent past of ‘Vogue’:

You’ve got to let your body move to the music,
You’ve got to just let your body go with the flow.

The music took up again, spinning wildly into dizzy abandon, and with it a little pocket of our youth was turned inside out, emptied and torn, ripped ragged in the wind of that last winter of our high school years. We loved each other then, as best as we could. We tumbled together down the final rocky stretch of childhood, holding onto one another, grasping and pushing and pulling, hoping to make the night run on forever…

Falling in love
Falling in love
I can’t keep from falling in love with you
There’s nothing better that I’d like to do.

Song #61 – ‘Deeper & Deeper’ – Fall/Winter 1992/93

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