The Madonna Timeline: Song #115 – ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ – Late Summer 2015


{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.}

Woke up this morning feeling good that you were gone
Hurt for a while, but I’m finally moving on
Said it, did it, hit it, quit it
Then you let it go
See you tryin’ to call me, but I blocked you on my phone
It took a minute, but now I’m feeling strong
It almost killed me, but I’m better off alone
Now you’re saying that you’re sorry, I don’t wanna know
Better face the fact you had to go

Saucy, sassy, brash, and brilliant, this is Madonna giving a grand fuck-off to those paramours who have done her wrong. With a reggae-inspired beat, it’s a departure from almost every other song she’s done. (Though a bit of the feel did make it into the ‘Erotica’ save-the-world anomaly ‘Why’s It So Hard’.)

This wasn’t a particular highlight of the ‘Rebel Heart’ album for me, but to each their own. It has since grown on me after enjoying Madonna’s rendition of it on her current tour. As the penultimate song, it carries the weight of a finale, even if it falls a bit flat in the end.

I know you’d like it if I sat at home and cried
But that ain’t gonna happen, here’s the reason why
When we did it, I’ll admit it, wasn’t satisfied
When the gun was loaded you were never on the side
I’m popping bottles that you can’t even afford
I’m throwing parties and you won’t get in the door
Said it, get it, love it, hate it
I don’t care no more
Tell me how it feels to be ignored

For that performance, Madonna has been bringing up a special co-dancer for the last portion of it. She spanks them, kicks them in the ass, and presents them with a surprise gift (usually a banana). Guests so far have included Amy Schumer, Anderson Cooper, and, when I saw her in Boston, her ten-year-old son David who was celebrating a birthday that night. Some raised eyebrows at a kid being named the ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ but when Madonna’s your mother, well, it works.

The song itself carries a classic Madonna mantra: she’s not sorry, and she never will be. In this instance, such a stance seems justified, and the seething anger of the lyrics is tempered only by the ability of Madonna to move forward without giving her wrong-doer a second thought. Cold, brutal, and the best method of survival, it masks hidden hurt and regret, something much of Madonna’s work manages to convey. A complex notion from a complex woman, and all the more compelling because of it.

It might sound like I’m an unapologetic bitch
But sometimes you know I gotta call it like it is
It might sound like I’m an unapologetic bitch
But sometimes you know I gotta call it like it is

You know you never really knew how much you loved me, till you lost me
Did you?
You know you never knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me
Well, fuck you

SONG #115 – ‘Unapologetic Bitch’ – Late Summer 2015

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