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The Madonna Timeline: Song #99 – ‘I’m A Sinner’ – Summer 2012

madsinner

{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.}

Like the sun, like the light, like a flame
Like the storm I burn through everything
Like a bomb in the night, Like a train
Thundering through the hills, Let it rain…
 I’m a sinner, I like it that way…

Another highlight off Madonna’s most recent albumMDNA’, this is the joyously unrepentant ‘I’m A Sinner’. It’s got the guitar-heavy William Orbit touches that made the ‘Ray of Light’ album such an organic, grounded experience, and some cheeky religious references to give it a classic Madonna edge. It’s also a fun sing-a-long, and one of the more merry bits of the MDNA Tour. In that performance, she mashes it up with an unlikely B-side, ‘Cyberraga’, in a genius melding that must be seen to be believed.

All the boys, all the boys and girls
Wanna be like us tonight
All the boys, all the boys and girls
Ride the magic bus tonight
I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way
I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way…
Like a moon with no light of my own
Search the sky for a place to call home
I woke up with my head in the fire
Get my kicks when I’m walking the wire
 Im a sinner, I like it that way…
All the boys, all the boys and girls
Wanna be like us tonight
All the boys, all the boys and girls
Ride the magic bus tonight
I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way
I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way…

For my part, this song was one of the first I danced to with my niece and nephew. They were two at the time, but already bouncing about and parading around the dining room. They won’t remember that, but I will.

Outside, the summer day shifted the shadow of the house over the lawn. The red wagon in which I’d pull them around the block sat waiting for the next ride. Inside, the carpet was soft against our bare feet, and we were dancing to Madonna. I was their silly Uncle, acting like a kid again, and it was like a dream and a prayer and the innocence of childhood all over again.

Hail Mary, full of grace
Get down on your knees and pray
Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross
Died for our sins, it’s such a loss
Saint Christopher, found my way
I’ll be coming home one day
Saint Sebastian, don’t you cry
Let those poison arrows fly…
Saint Anthony, lost and found
Thomas Aquinas, stand your ground
All the saints and holy men
Catch me before I sin again.

We were supposedly born with original sin thrust upon us, erased only with the magic of baptism, but how soon we soil ourselves again. One can’t get through childhood without getting a little dirty. For some of us, it’s more than a little. But dancing with a couple of two-year-olds, even at my ripe old age, I feel clean again, and pure, and I can say that I’m a sinner, that we’re all sinners, and revel in it with no shame.

My niece and nephew don’t yet know or care about sin. Their only concerns are that I can bring them around in their wagon, or dance like a lunatic in the dining room, or read them a story when they tire out. The worst atrocities they can commit are a few thrown toys and the occasional temper tantrum, but nothing that rises to anything remotely sinful.

The live version…
 

I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way
I’m a sinner, I’m a sinner,
I’m a sinner, I like it that way
You’re a sinner, you’re a sinner
You’re a sinner, you like it that way
We’re all sinners, we’re all sinners
We’re all sinners
Song #99 – ‘I’m A Sinner’ – Summer 2012
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