Song of the Day #4,802: ‘Cherish’ – Madonna

Three weeks, 14 studio albums, one icon… today concludes my Madonna deep dive!

As with my first two artist deep dives (Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne), this one limped to a close as Madonna’s last few albums didn’t approach the quality or impact of her early work.

I guess that’s the nature of the music industry, almost without exception. How many decades can you expect your muse to last?

This has been my favorite of the three deep dives, because it managed to completely transform my impression of the subject. I have ignored and dismissed Madonna throughout her career, enjoying her as a sex symbol and pop culture staple but never as a musical artist.

I had no idea she is a co-writer of almost every song she has ever recorded, or that she makes such deliberate and boundary-pushing decisions about who produces her albums. I knew she was an expert manager of her image, but didn’t realize how that same thoughtfulness and meticulousness carried over to her art.

I’m ashamed to admit that sexism no doubt played a role in those preconceptions, and I’m glad I’m more enlightened as I approach 50 than I was when most of these records came out. Better late than never.

Looking at my ranked list of Madonna’s albums (below), I’m most impressed that the top four represents a 20-year span across three different decades. Most artists are lucky to record one game-changing album. Madonna has delivered at least three.

The top ten titles are all worthy, and the top five are so much better than I ever would have imagined. The many hits sound even richer in context, and I’ve discovered so many deep-cut gems.

It took me nearly 40 years, but I’m finally ready to bow down to the Queen of Pop.

#1 – Like a Prayer (1989)
#2 – Ray of Light (1998)
#3 – True Blue (1986)
#4 – Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)
#5 – Like a Virgin (1984)
#6 – Music (2000)
#7 – Erotica (1992)
#8 – Rebel Heart (2015)
#9 – Madonna (1983)
#10 – Bedtime Stories (1994)
#11 – MDNA (2012)
#12 – American Life (2003)
#13 – Madame X (2019)
#14 – Hard Candy (2008)

[Intro]
Cherish, cherish

[Verse 1]
So tired of broken hearts and losing at this game
Before I start this dance
I take a chance in telling you
I want more than just romance
You are my destiny
I can’t let go, baby, can’t you see?
Cupid, please take your aim at me

[Chorus]
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
Oh baby, I cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
I’m always singing it, cherish your strength
You got the power to make me feel good
And baby, I perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would

[Verse 2]
I was never satisfied with casual encounters
I can’t hide my need
For two hearts that bleed
With burning love
That’s the way it’s got to be
Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
So don’t underestimate my point of view

[Chorus]
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
Oh baby, I cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
I’m always singing it, cherish your strength
You got the power to make me feel good
And baby, I perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would

[Bridge]
Who? You! Can’t get away, I won’t let you
Who? You! I could never forget to
Cherish is the word I use to remind me of your love

[Interlude]
You’re givin’ it
You’re givin’ it to me boy
Keep giving me all-all-all your joy
Give me faith
I will always cherish you
Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
So don’t underestimate my point of view

[Bridge]
Who? You! Can’t get away, I won’t let you
Who? You! I could never forget to
Cherish is the word I use to remind me of your love

[Chorus]
Cherish the thought
Of always having you here by my side
Oh baby, I cherish the joy
You keep bringing it into my life
I’m always singing it, cherish your strength
You got the power to make me feel good
And baby, I perish the thought
Of ever leaving, I never would

[Interlude]
Cherish
Give me faith
Give me joy, my boy
I will always cherish you
Give me faith
Give me joy, my boy
I will always cherish you
Cherish your strength (You’re givin’ it, you’re givin’ it to me boy, keep giving me all your joy) Can’t get away, I won’t let you
Perish the thought (You’re givin’ it, you’re givin’ it to me boy, keep giving me all your joy) I could never forget to

[Outro]
Cherish the thought (Give me faith, give me joy)
(My boy I will always cherish you) (Can’t get away, can’t get away)
Cherish the joy (Give me faith, give me joy)
(My boy I will always cherish you) (Can’t get away, can’t get away)
Cherish your strength (You’re givin’ it)
(You’re givin’ it to me boy) (Can’t get away, can’t get away)
(Keep giving me all your joy)
Perish the thought (You’re givin’ it)
(You’re givin’ it to me boy) (Can’t get away, can’t get away)
(Keep giving me all your joy)
Cherish the thought (Give me faith, give me joy)
(My boy I will always cherish you) (Can’t get away, can’t get away)
Cherish the joy (Give me faith, give me joy)
(My boy I will always cherish you)

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,802: ‘Cherish’ – Madonna

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Thank you for taking this deep dive into Madonna (not sure that sounds quite right😀). She has certainly proven to be more talented and substantial an artist than her first few hits seemed to suggest.

  2. willedare says:

    I agree with Dana. Thank you for your thorough exploration (and/or re-visiting) of her career. I bought all of her albums until the past ten years. Now I am inspired to listen to her more recent endeavors, too…

  3. Russ Paris says:

    I also want to thank you for the deep dive into Madonna’s albums. I was familiar with her first 7 albums, which I purchased around the time they were each released, but I stopped following her around then as her music went in a direction that didn’t appeal to me. After reading your thoughts, I think I’m happy with my decision and won’t really be taking the time to go further with her music. I’m okay with change and growth — it’s expected and needed. But not all change is good and I’m just not a fan of the direction her music evolved in.

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