Blog

The Madonna Timeline: Song #108 – ‘Burning Up’ – 1983

{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.}

Not every Madonna song is a classic in the mold of ‘Like A Prayer’ or ‘Ray of Light’ – and even though this Madonna Timeline selection is reportedly one of Guy Oseary’s favorites, I’ve never been all that fond of it (though the video and sound are classic early Madonna.) This is ‘Burning Up’ – a relic from the 80’s that probably should remain buried there. I differ from many Madonna fans on my antipathy for the song, but there’s enough room in the world for different tastes, so I’m standing by my dislike.

Don’t put me off ’cause I’m on fire
And I can’t quench my desire
Don’t you know that I’m burning up for your love
You’re not convinced that that is enough
I put myself in this position
And I deserve the imposition
But you don’t even know I’m alive
And this pounding in my heart just won’t die
I’m burning up

‘Burning Up’ treated us to one of the first hallmarks of many a Madonna song: an unabashed ode to sexuality and pleasure that could also be read as an ode to love. Underneath all the double entendres there is the simple excitement of feeling the heat from an object of affection, and the passionate will to do anything for said object.

You’re always closing your door
Well that only makes me want you more
And day and night I cry for your love
You’re not convinced that that is enough
To justify my wanting you
Now tell me what you want me to do
I’m not blind and I know
That you want to want me but you can’t let go
Come on, let go!

It also set Madonna apart from everyone else, particularly in the way she snarls, ‘Unlike the others I’ll do anything, I’m not the same, I have no shame, I’m on fire!’ Little did the world knew how true she would prove that to be.

You know you got me burning up, baby (Burning up for your love)
You know you got me burning up, baby (Burning up for your love)
Song #108 – ‘Burning Up’ – 1983
Back to Blog
Back to Blog