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The Madonna Timeline: Song #79 – ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’’ – Fall 2011/Winter 2012

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{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.}

L.U.V. Madonna!
Y.O.U. You wanna?

The lead-off single from Madonna’s latest album ‘MDNA’, ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’ actually leaked as far back as November of last year (which is when I first heard it and the first memories of the song were etched into my mind) and it’s now fittingly almost an exact year to that date. I was packing for a trip to New York, and managed to put it into the iPhone for the train ride. I’d been wondering why the song had been on my mind of late, and then I remembered. Aside from fragrance, music is one of the most powerful memory -triggers for me.

Walking down W. 35th Street to meet up with Chris and his new girlfriend Darcey, I pull my coat tightly around me. Though the night is warm for this time of the year, it’s breezy. Dried leaves swirl around my feet, and the smell of Fall carries on the wind. The Empire State Building rises and glows behind me. It is a New York night in November, where anything can happen.

I see you coming and I don’t want to know your name
I see you coming and you’re gonna have to change your game
Would you like to try?
Give me a reason why
Give me all that you got
Maybe you’ll do fine
As long as you don’t lie to me
And pretend to be what you’re not…

Strangers in the night, in the city that never sleeps, walk down the street beside me. The chance encounter, the happy moment, the way we humans connect to one another, all in the name of love – err, L.U.V. After having lunch with Suzie, and now dinner with Chris – two of my favorite people in the world – I am emboldened and glad to be exactly where I am. I don’t always feel that way about New York, but tonight there is no more perfect place. The fact that a new Madonna song is ringing in my ear only adds to that sparkle.

Don’t play the stupid game cause I’m a different kind of girl
Every record sounds the same, You gotta step into my world
Give me all your love, and give me your love
Give me all your love today
Give me all your love, yeah, give me your love
Let’s forget about time and dance our lives away…

The start of the holiday season was just underway. The lights were going up at Macy’s, the shopping scene was gearing up, and the initial thrill of a coming Christmas added to the anticipation at hand. The song, though, faded in my mind after the pre-release giddiness. I kept it as a signifier of that visit to New York, a happy reminder of an entertaining evening, no more, no less. The holidays came and went, and my head and heart were filled with other concerns (another song from the album had come out by then – ‘Masterpiece’ – and it haunted me more deeply than GMAYL.) Yet Luvin’ hadn’t had its way with me yet, and it returned in January with a surprising vengeance.

Keep trying, don’t give up, that’s if you want it bad enough
It’s right in front of you, Now tell me what you’re thinking of
In another place, at a different time you could be my lucky star
We can drink some wine, burgundy is fine, Let’s drink a bottle, every drop…

The video is one of Madonna’s more entertaining and compulsively watchable works in quite a while. Cheeky, fun, and filled with football references, it also featured a supporting cast of M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj. Favorite bits include the Burberry coat at the start, and the vintage Marilyn Monroe blonde bombshell throwback. Just as much of a nod to the past as it was a look to the future.

Don’t play the stupid game cause I’m a different kind of girl
Every record sounds the same, You gotta step into my world
Give me all your love, and give me your love
Give me all your love today
Give me all your love, yeah, give me your love
Let’s forget about time and dance our lives away…

When the single properly premiered, it was already Super Bowl time. The excitement of the game had infiltrated itself into my life for the first time (due mostly to Madonna, let’s be frank), but I was finding things of interest in the Patriots too, like Tom Brady and the Gronk, as well as learning the intricacies of Tebowing in a borrowed helmet from my brother. This game had a way of bringing people together, and if Madonna was the conduit to making these new connections, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.

The song itself has grown on me. As a lead-off single, at the time I felt it was rather weak. Too bubble-gum-throw-away, as catchy and fun as it was, and with all the hype and promotional opportunities presented with the Super Bowl, I think Madonna could have given a stronger song a better shot (‘Girl Gone Wild’ or ‘Turn Up the Radio’) – yet as an entire year has passed, it’s actually fared quite well. Unlike something along the lines of ’4 Minutes’ which was forgettable and unlistenable a day or two after its initial fiery blaze, GMAYL is a song I still enjoy hearing. It brings back happy memories.

It had its first live performance at that memorable Super Bowl, and since that’s always worth a revisit, here it is. Brilliant. Epic. Genius.

Song #79 – ‘ Give Me All Your Luvin’’ – Fall 2011/Winter 2012

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