Song of the Day #75: ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ – Madonna

I have a decidedly negative opinion of Madonna that has only worsened over the past decade or so as she’s picked up a British accent and added “pretentious ass” to her long line of image makeovers.

But I have to admit, she had a string of hits in the 80s and early 90s that still hold up to this day. Songs such as ‘Borderline,’ ‘Like a Prayer,’ ‘Open Your Heart’ and this one, ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’ This was back when Madonna was sexy without desperately trying to be sexy and, if you ask me, she’s still coasting today on the extraordinary success she had in those years.

I have two things to say about this video. The first is that it’s an exceptionally made short film with much better production values than most of what you saw on MTV at the time. Right from the opening montage, with those quick cuts of New York City life, you can tell a lot of time and care went into it. And of course there’s the presence of talented actor Danny Aiello in the role of the father (and Debi Mazar playing a friend). Even Madonna, hardly an actress of any merit, acquits herself well. The video was directed by James Foley, who went on to direct Madonna’s future husband in At Close Range and also helmed Glengary Glen Ross.

Second, I must mention the famous nipple slip that takes place 1:40 into this video. I remember repeatedly pausing and rewinding our VCR in an effort to precisely freeze frame the moment. Certainly Madonna, ever in search of controversy, left it in there deliberately, and God bless her for it.

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #75: ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ – Madonna

  1. Dana says:

    Okay, first of all, THE Debi Mazar??

    Second, I somehow never heard about the nipple slip issue. Thanks for sharing:)

    Third, I agree that this is quite the infectious song and video. I was not a big fan of her early stuff, though, like Borderline, Lucky Star and Holiday. I became more intrigued with songs like this one, Live to Tell, Like a Prayer, Express Yourself and Vogue. I haven’t followed much of what Madonna has done in the past 15 years, but the little I have heard (and what critics have written) is that she continues to make some interesting and provocative music. Still, I don’t even own the older songs I like, so I doubt I will be putting my money into any new Madonna songs.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I got a “sorry this video is no longer available” message. I’ll try again later.

  3. pegclifton says:

    It worked, I do remember this video and the repeated showings of the famous nipple slip, probably why the VCR broke down. I like some of Madonna’s music mostly for dancing or to exercise by back in the days when I took aerobic classes. I haven’t paid much attention to her in years, although she’s a decent actress, and I think did a wonderful job in Evita.

  4. Amy says:

    First, thanks for starting another marital squabble over the name of a household actor/actrress that Dana somehow doesn’t know 😉 When I said to him, “Of course you know Debi Mazar; she’s in Entourage,” he was more than a tad disturbed 🙂

    Second, thanks for sharing one of my early favorite videos. This is such a great example of how videos can tell stories. In fact, between yeserday and today’s selections, I’m thinking that the art of the video peaked in the 80’s. It’s been all downhill ever since.

    Also, I love this Madonna hairdo 🙂 Fabulous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.