The Madonna Timeline: Song #90 – ‘Love Spent’ – Spring 2012

{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 had all of me, you wanted more
Would you have married me if I were poor?
Guess if I was your treasury,
You’d have found the time to treasure me…

This stunning song, one of the strongest cuts from last year’s darkly gorgeous ‘MDNA’ album, was wisely added about half-way through the ‘MDNA’ tour, given a stripped-down acoustic makeover that made the scorchingly personal lyrics all the more powerful. In it, Madonna scolds a former paramour (likely Guy Ritchie) about preferring her bank account over her love. On paper it sounds a bit trite and forced – in song, and certainly in that live performance, it becomes so much more.

How come you can’t see, all that you need is right here with me?
Up until the end, all this pretend wasn’t for free…

I don’t know what it’s like to be used for my money (mostly because I’ve never a substantial amount of my own), and I’ve certainly never latched onto someone because they’ve had money either (having never dated a rich boy). But I’m told, and I can understand, that money is one of the biggest causes of break-ups and relationship troubles. (Tell it Suze Orman.) I suppose no one knows that more than Madonna, who reportedly moved into the billionaire’s club recently.

Hold me like your money,
Tell me that you want me
Spend your love on me
Spend your love on me.


Now you have your money
Spend it ‘til there’s nothing
Spend your love on me,
Spend your love on me.

It’s hard to work up much empathy for a billionaire, but it does add another layer of complexity to the Madonna mystique. Imagine having that kind of money, the worries and responsibility that goes with being a corporation unto yourself. Sure, she has people who can take care of all of that, but how do you trust all of them? And how do you know if you’re being used? There’s whole other levels of worry, doubt, and dilemmas that grow exponentially as your net worth increases.

If we opened up a joint account,
Would it put an end to all your doubt?
Frankly if my name was Benjamin,
We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.
You played with my heart,
Til death do we part,
That’s what you said…

To some, this song might be read as another trifle of self-indulgence, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t hear a rich lady complaining about having too much money, I hear a woman crying out to be loved for herself as much as for her riches. I hear a person’s lament at not being the most important part of their beloved’s life. I hear the plaintive request that the passions a paramour feels include those of their partner. In essence, I hear the hurt of someone who will never be all that their loved one wants.

I want you to take me
Like you took your money
Take me in your arms
Until your last breath
I want you to hold me
Like you hold your money
Hold on to me
Til there’s nothing left

That’s a desperate place to be ~ offering your love but being wanted for something else you possess. Whether it’s money or fame or power, so much of life is simply bits for barter, this for that, and so little is unconditional. This is the sound of one of the richest women in the world begging for something more – something that money can’t buy. It is the currency of love.

Love spent
Really love spent
Yeah, I’m love spent
Wondering where the love went
Love spent
Yeah I’m love spent
Really love spent
Wondering where it all went

I want you to take me like you took your money
Take me In your arms until your last breath
I want you to hold me like you hold your money
Hold me in your arms until there’s nothing left.
Song #90 – ‘Love Spent’ – Spring 2012 
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