Friday, August 14, 2015

Rolling Stone Names Madonna One of the Top 100 Songwriters of All Time

Traveling down, this road
Watching the signs as I go
I think I'll follow, the sun
Isn't everyone just

Traveling down, their own road
Watching the signs as they go
I think I'll follow, my heart
It's a very good place to start

Madonna didn't become the iconic superstar she is by chance.  No, there are plenty of reasons why she stands where she does today.  Of course, she's been a notorious provocateur over the years, which is unfortunately what many people think of when they think of Madonna, but that's just a small part of who she is and has been.  That's the part that yes, perhaps got her a lot more attention than she might have gotten otherwise, but without talent she'd be nowhere today.

Music, makes the people, come together...

Just recently Rolling Stone Magazine published its list for the best songwriters of all time, and Madonna has landed at #56.  Now, what I've already known for years and years is finally official!

From those earliest days in New York, when she broke out with Everybody in the early eighties, Madonna's music had that extra something that made people pay attention, whether it was the dancey music track, the lyrics, the persona, or all of them put together in one package.  I remember a family road trip to New Jersey once where I'd forced my dad to play Madonna's first album from start to finish in the van, telling everyone that she was going to be big, and although people naturally don't like to hear music they don't know in such a situation, they all enjoyed it.

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was 
Until I found you

Lyrics are oftentimes the most important ingredient in a song, and throughout the years, Madonna has had so much success in large part due to her lyrics.  They've reflected her own life at the time and almost always struck major chords with her fans, including me.  I won't say that I know every Madonna lyric she ever wrote, but there's definitely a huge file in my brain somewhere that contains her many, many lyrics.
When the world starts to get you down
And nothing seems to go your way
And the noise of the maddening crowd
Makes you feel like you're going to go insane

And for those out there (and I know there are plenty of you!) who say that "Oh, I don't like her new stuff. It's just not as good," take a look at these lyrics. They're from a song off of Rebel Heart called Wash All Over Me, and I posted these words on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, without commentary or reference to Madonna...
In a world that's changing
I'm a stranger, in a strange land
There's a contradiction
And I'm stuck here in between

Life is like a desert,
An oasis, to confuse me
So I walk this razor's edge
Will I stand or will I fall

Through a blind eye
I try to pretend that
Nothing is what it seems
Torn between the impulse to stay
Or running away from all this madness

Who am I
To decide what should be done
If this is, the end, then let it come

Let it come, let it rain
Rain all over me
Like the tide, let it roll
Let it wash all over me
Over me...let it wash all over me

Some of my friends actually thought I wrote it. "Amazing!," one of them said. Yup, that's Madge! Now check out the tune...

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